It’s no secret that battery life is a common complaint amongst hearing aid users. According to research from a 2010 MarkeTrak survey, battery lifetime is the challenge that receives the most negative ratings from users. Battery usage is a complicated factor and measuring it can be evenmore difficult. As hearing aid technology allows for stronger and more powerful devices, bigger and better batteries are required. This is difficult in a time when clients are demanding smaller and more discreetdevices. Environmental factors like temperature, humidity, air quality, and noise pollution can also have bad effects on batteries.
Measuring battery life in hearing aids is a lot like measuring fuel efficiency in a car. But, with a car, driving habits can be modified to improve fuel efficiency. This isn’t possible with hearing aids, which are running and processing sound at all times using all their features. The only exception to this rule are functions that allowfor streaming of sound from one device to another and can be turned offwhen not in use.
Tips on how to make the most of hearing aid batteries
Luckily there are a few ways to make hearing aid batteries work more efficiently. Our battery experts offer these tips for conversations about batteries:
- Turn it off: Don’t keep your hearing aid running at night or when it isn’t in use. Open the battery drawer and remove the battery.
- Use fresh produce: The fresher the batteries are the better, so pay attention to the expiry date. Do not keep large quantities of batteries in stock. And be advised that mercury free batteries have shorter lifespan than traditional batteries.
- Keep it dry: Humidity can greatly decrease battery efficiency. Keep hearing aids away from water and as dry as possible when in humid environments.
- Don’t keep it too dry: An environment that is too dry can also damage the batteries. The ideal relative air humidity is somewhere around 50 – 60 percent. This is why it is not a good idea to store batteries in the fridge, where the air humidity is generally low. Make sure the battery is removed when using a dry aid kit.
- Keep it cool. Batteries like cool environments so keep them away from the heat – but do not store them in the refrigerator, where they may be damaged.
- Keep them unopened: Don’t remove the batteries from the original packaging before you need to use them.
Battery life varies for each individual case
Customers asking for a precise answer to how long their batteries will be running are likely to be disappointed. While manufacturers give estimates on expected battery life, the real-life usage is dependent on each individual case.
“There is no easy way to tell how long hearing aid batteries will last in a given hearing aid, so providing your customers with a precise answer is not always possible,” says battery expert Ole Toft from Widex. “For professionals, it is therefore worthwhile to ask users to report back on their experiences with products from different manufacturers to obtain a general overview of real life current consumption.”
UNIQUE pushes the limits
With the WIDEX UNIQUE™ hearing aid we have refined the entire process of digital sound processing to push the barriers of performance.
Improved A/D convertors for incredibly wide input, a sound classifier for intelligent listening and the Wind Noise Attenuation system that dramatically reduces wind noise by 8.4 dB – UNIQUE is like no other hearing aid.