Rechargeable Hearing Aids vs Non Rechargeable Hearing Aids
One of the more common questions people ask when considering a new hearing aid purchase is – “are these hearing aids available with a rechargeable option?”. Most of the hearing aid manufacturers now offer a rechargeable option. Until fairly recently I have been reluctant to recommend them due to reliability issues they all seemed to have. However, within the last year the battery technology has improved to the point that I can recommend the rechargeable option in good conscience.
Even so, this does not mean that the rechargeable hearing aid is the best option for everyone. The advantages of the rechargeable hearing aid are as follows:
- Convenience. You just place the aids in the charger at night and don’t have to bother with changing batteries every week or worry about keeping a stock of batteries on hand.
- Dexterity. Those with limited manual dexterity don’t have to fumble with small, easily lost hearing aid batteries.
These are the disadvantages:
- Cost. On average, the rechargeable version of a hearing aid will cost several hundred dollars more to purchase than its non-rechargeable counterpart. Additionally, the rechargeable battery in the hearing aid will have to be replaced about once a year. Replacement cost of the rechargeable battery is about $50. So, when you factor the initial cost of the rechargeable option with the need to replace the battery every year it is apparent that you will spend considerably more than you would have with the non-rechargeable batteries.
- Convenience. You have to remember to take the charger with you if you travel.
In general, I thank the better option for most people is to spend a little less and get the non-rechargeable hearing aid and just replace the batteries as needed. Consider that the average battery life for a hearing aid is about 10 days. Each battery cost about 90 cents. This means annual battery expenditure for each hearing aid is only $30 - $40. So it’s considerably less expensive to go with a non-rechargeable hearing aid. However, for some people the rechargeable hearing aid can make sense.