Disposable vs Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries – Which Are Better?

For people with hearing loss, hearing aids can be a wonderful tool that allow the wearer to experience life to its fullest. But, as wonderful as hearing aids are, and as far as technology has come, the reality is that a good hearing aid is an investment, and keeping it running can be a costly endeavor. That’s why it’s important to consider all of the powering options available to you. We’ve compiled the following information to help you decide between traditional disposable batteries and rechargeable hearing aid batteries.

Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries 

If you are using a disposable hearing aid battery, the numerous options and prices available are as varied as the factors impacting battery performance.

While hearing aid batteries were historically made with mercury, these days the zinc air battery is most popular. These batteries are called “zinc air” because they require oxygen in order to activate, and the user must pull a sticky tab off the back of the battery to expose it to the air before it is operational. What this means is that once that tab is removed, the battery begins to lose power—whether it is in use or not. Thus, even when you’re not using your hearing aid, the battery is draining.

A hearingreview.com consumer guide discusses the various factors impacting hearing aid battery life. A big one has nothing to do with the battery at all and everything to do with the degree of a user’s hearing loss. The degree of hearing loss directly impacts how hard the battery has to work to amplify sounds to a usable level. Other lifestyle factors including humidity, altitude and battery storage practices also affect a battery’s longevity. Since most hearing aids now also have Bluetooth capabilities, streaming is another added source of impact to hearing aid battery life.

The report goes on to state that a size 312 disposable hearing aid battery has a life expectancy of between three and twelve days. On the conservative side, that’s around a hundred batteries per year. Put into perspective, this equates to a hundred battery purchases, a hundred battery change-outs and a hundred batteries needing disposal.

Impact on Quality of Life

The economics of disposable hearing aids are just one element. Quality of life is of equal or greater importance. A disposable hearing aid battery nearing the end of its life cannot be relied upon to work at the moments you need it most, which means there are a hundred opportunities per year for your battery to die at a critical time.

The inherent frustrations that come with using disposable batteries include having to change them on the go – in a dark restaurant, a movie theater or in the car. Their small size can make them difficult to handle. They are easily lost or dropped, and the time it takes to change out a battery means they have the potential to interrupt hearing in the middle of life’s most important moments – a wedding toast, a sermon, a job interview or an important conversation with a family member or friend.

What ZPower Customers Have to Say About Our Rechargeable Hearing System for Hearing Aids:

“It’s just a phenomenal hearing system; it’s made my quality of life one step better.”

-Stephen, Hearing Aid Wearer, ZPower User

“When I compare ZPower to my old rechargeable batteries, it’s like night and day. With ZPower I have never, ever had the charge go out.”

-Barbara, Hearing Aid Wearer, ZPower User

Watch the testimonials video in our video library to hear what hearing aid wearers said about life before and after ZPower.

Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries

On the other hand, a rechargeable hearing aid battery system, such as the ZPower option, has a number of advantages over the traditional disposable battery. For one thing, after the initial purchase of a ZPower charging system, users will only need to replace their hearing aid batteries about once a year, and the cost of a ZPower rechargeable hearing aid battery is comparable to the purchase price of 100 quality traditional hearing aid batteries. Compared to other rechargeable systems currently available, ZPower’s silver-zinc batteries have a superior energy capacity. In fact, a ZPower battery has at least 40% more capacity than other hearing aid compatible rechargeable microbatteries. This is because other rechargeable hearing aid battery options are made from nickel-metal hydride (NiMH), which simply cannot compete with ZPower’s batteries lifespan and energy density. For a side-by-side comparison chart, visit our Battery Technology page.)

But while a comparable price is always a benefit, it’s the quality of life gains that really make a ZPower rechargeable hearing aid battery system the superior choice. The dependability that comes with a battery that charges in three to four hours and then delivers all day, continuous power means users never have to worry about their batteries failing at critical moments. A ZPower battery delivers a level of everyday confidence and certainty to the wearer that a disposable hearing aid battery can only provide in its first couple of days of use.

In addition, it’s also worth mentioning the environmental benefits of rechargeable hearing aid batteries. Replacing 100 batteries with a single ZPower battery saves a tremendous amount of waste on an individual level. On a global scale, people use and then throw away around 1.5 billion hearing aid batteries every year. Plus, ZPower silver-zinc batteries are 100% recyclable.

Find out more about the various hearing aid brands and styles now featuring ZPower built in!

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What ZPower Customers Have to Say About Our Rechargeable Hearing System for Hearing Aids:

“It’s been a game changer for me. I have complete confidence that my batteries are going to last.”

-Greg, Hearing Aid Wearer, ZPower User

“My hearing aids are charged in the morning and last all day.”

-Elizabeth, Hearing Aid Wearer, ZPower User

“With ZPower, I can put batteries, battery charging and looking for batteries out of my mind.”

-Gene, Hearing Aid Wearer, ZPower User