In a world where almost every piece of technology comes with a charger it only makes sense that hearing aids should fall into this category. Traditionally, hearing aids have been powered disposable batteries that required a weekly change. This method is still preferable for some. However, in the past few years hearing aid manufacturers have released rechargeable products that have enticed many new and experienced hearing aid users. The decision to go rechargeable seems simple but there are some points to consider.
Rechargeable hearing aids have been designed in two different ways. In the first, the rechargeable battery is fully encased in the hearing aid. It cannot be accessed by the user. These batteries receive their fuel through induction charging or fuel cell activation. This technology allows the device to charge rather quickly. One limitation to this option is the inability to troubleshoot with the battery if needed. Since the battery is housed within the unit it must be sent to manufacturer for any necessary repairs or troubleshooting. These devices also tend to be somewhat larger in size due to the battery width.
Alternatively, hearing aids can also be made into rechargeable devices by swapping out the generic battery door for one with metal charging contacts. The user then inserts a rechargeable battery into each hearing aid. This option is beneficial in that a disposable battery can always be used if needed because the battery compartment is still accessible to the user. On the flip side, this option is not without flaws; there have been multiple issues with poor placement of the battery contacts and faulty charging as a result.
Like with all technology, hearing aid manufacturers are working diligently to address these issues while also developing new options with more reliable charging capabilities and shorter charging times. Compared to the hours it took only a few years ago, devices may now achieve a full charge within a matter of minutes. There are still some limitations on the overall function. For example, users who enjoy streaming frequently may experience reduced battery life before the end of the day, similar to a cell phone. Nevertheless, rechargeable hearing aids are a great option for someone struggling with vision or dexterity issues.