Changing batteries is one of the biggest problems faced by hearing aid users. However, in late 2016, when two new rechargeable hearing models arrived in the market, consumers finally got a choice of options as easy and convenient to charge as your cell phone. The recent product innovations have changed the picture completely. There are several companies now producing hearing aids with rechargeable batteries and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. In this article, we have compiled a list of the top 5 brands of hearing aid manufacturers with their pros and cons.
Signia (previously known as Siemens): Cellion
The first in the world rechargeable hearing aid with long battery life and IP68 rating to make it completely water proof and resistant to dust. Cellion offers exciting features such as turning your hearing aid as a headphones.
Rating: (3.8 / 5)
Signia was the first the company to venture into the Lithium-ion power with induced charging technology. The product is known as Cellion. Cellion offers the intra canal receiving option and is soon coming out with a new BTE version as well.
The key features:
- The Cellion gives about 24 hours of operating time once fully charged. The lithium ion powered cell has made the hearing aids battery free as claimed Signia.
- The charging of the hearing aid can be done in maximum of four hours. That guarantees 24 hours of uninterrupted streaming. A 30 minute charging can ensure that the hearing aids run for at least 7 hours whenever there is an emergency.
- For people who travel frequently, the chargers have a standard micro USB interface to enable charging from any USB based sources like laptops or power banks.
- The IP668 rating means that the hearing aids are waterproof and not just water resistant or splash resistant. It enables users to swim with hearing aids and can withstand a certain depth in the water.
- Cellion provides the feature of wireless connectivity to the phones. The hearing aids also have the ability to turn in ear phones once connected to a phone
- The hearing aid also features the recognition of direction. The feature helps in recognizing from which direction the sound is coming from. The Signia app helps in distilling background noise to focus on only on the required sound.
- Long battery life
- Long operational time
- Lithium ion power cell is the same technology used for Samsung phones. There is a high probability of it catching fire.
- Signia app is not great in removing background sounds.
- The hearing aids do not provide hybrid technology to accommodate non-rechargeable batteries for travelers who travel to remote areas without electricity
Price range: $1500-$3000 (Best buy)
Phonak claims to be the company which provides world’s most long lasting, quickest, and easiest solutions to hearing problems.
Rating: (3.9 / 5)
The product in question is known as Phonak Audeo B. This product was launched in 2016. The new technology Phonak belong was launched in 2017 to enhance the connectivity to the electronic media along with the hearing sounds from background nature.
The features of the hearing aid include:
- The batteries take almost 5 hours to charge but give full 24 hours of non-stop usage in one charge. This is possible due to the use of the Lithium-ion batteries which are easier and quicker to charge.
- Another very important feature that Audeo provides is the zoom in technology which helps to concentrate on the source of sound required to hear in a noisy background. This feature helps in 60% improvement in speech understanding as compared to without the hearing aid.
- The most important feature that Phonak takes real pride in is the connectivity to any Bluetooth devices to support a conservation that is going directly to the hearing aid instead of the first the phone and then on to the hearing aid.
- Water and dust resistant
- Longevity in usage and quicker to charge
- High-quality wireless connectivity
- Helpful in removing background sound
- Lithium batteries are a fire hazard
- It is water resistant but not waterproof for people who have to work near water.
- Phonak does not have an inbuilt mobile app to make the working of the hearing aids easier
- BTE versions are not yet available.
ReSound latest hearing Aids known as LiNX 3D is the latest in the market in 2017 with very high-quality hearing and features that make it one of the best available.
Rating: (4 / 5)
The features given by ReSound LiNX 3D are:
- These are the first rechargeable hearing aids that were launched by ReSound. It does not use a Lithium-ion powered cell to make it a non-fire hazard. The batteries give a duration of 14 hours when charged once with two hours of streaming.
- The hearing aids can be synced with the Apps designed by ReSound themselves so that fine-tuning of the hearing aids can be through the phone without having to visit offices each time to adjust settings.
- The Spatial sense technology gives a better sense of the surrounding sound and total 360-degree hearing. It also has the Binaural Directionality III feature which is useful to focus on specific sounds.
- The hearing aids can be turned into headphones in Apple products. For other OS products, extra accessories can enable that. There are accessories which can enable the user to hear better during lectures or classes etc.
- Unlike many other rechargeable hearing aids, LiNX 3D is not a fire hazard
- They have 360-degree surround sound to enable hearing from all sides
- They can be synced through Apps
- Available in BTE as well
- They do not last long when charged
- Focusing on sound is not very well developed in the hearing aids.
- Water, sweat, and dust resistant but not waterproof for swimmers and other water lovers.
Unitron claims to have made the smallest of all hearing aids in the World and is responsible highly stylized hearing aids never seen before.
Rating: (4.3 / 5)
The Moxi Fit R by Unitron was launched in February 2017. It is the latest in the line of rechargeable hearing aids produced by Unitron. Unitron claims that it has more speed and accuracy than any of the products launched before.
The features include:
- Rechargeable and 100% recyclable batteries which are responsible for 24 hours of use with 90 minutes of wireless streaming or if required the 16 hours of long, continuous streaming. All this can be done with only 5-7 hours of charging.
- The SoundNav technology helps to identify sound from all directions and classify them into seven distinct environments. It was designed to incorporate the four different types of conversation environments.
- Spatial Awareness gives a good understanding of the surrounding sound and helps the user to understand the source of sound coming towards them.
- SpeechPro of the Moxi Fit R is the reason why it is very useful for users to isolate and concentrate sounds in noisy backgrounds to a great accuracy.
- It is not a fire hazard
- Smallest hearing aid
- High longevity and durability of batteries once charged
- High-quality automatic nature of the hearing aids
- High-quality style in design of the structure
- Isolation of speech in noisy background is not very accurate
- Cannot be connected to phones or operating system
- Takes slightly long time to charge
- Not waterproof.
- Moxi Fit R does not have the technology to set up with apps to keep settings in check according to the user.
Oticon became one of the major names in the field of rechargeable hearing aids after the collaboration with Zpower and their rechargeable battery systems.
Rating: (4.5 / 5)
Oticon opn was launched in 2017 after the collaboration to provide people with
The features of Oticon opn are as follows:
- The batteries of the hearing aid are made of silver-zinc technology to make sustain the ability to recharge. A quick of recharge is 7-8 hours is enough to make it run for the whole day.
- Another feature it offers is the ability to use nonrechargeable batteries in case of emergency if needed. The hybrid quality is very useful for people who have to travel in areas where electricity is not very easily available.
- Accessories for the hearing aids can be easily found and with the help of telecoil technology, the wireless transmission of sounds can be transmitted directly from the loop to the hearing aid.
- Open surround system is very helpful for the hearing aid to get a good sense of the surrounding environment to gauge the 360 degrees sound receiving.
- It is very eco-friendly
- Because the batteries are not Lithium-ion powered, the chances of it exploding or catching fire is nil
- Its hybrid technology to also incorporate non-rechargeable batteries is equally helpful for travelers in remote areas.
- The batteries take a longer time to recharge and the longevity and durability are not as high as lithium-ion powered batteries.
- Focusing on a single source of sound or speech in a noisy background is very difficult with hearing aids.
- It does not have connectivity with other wireless electronic gadgets such as phones. The setting up also requires people to keep visiting the office.
- The silver zinc technology in the battery is costlier which results in the overall high pricing of the hearing aid.