Today’s Big Question is one that Audiologists and other Hearing Healthcare Professionals get asked on a daily basis. It’s a tough one, because of many variables, but there is a general rule of thumb that we follow when giving patients this advice.
There are four size of hearing aid battery. From smallest to largest, they are size 10, size 312, size 13 and size 675. The bigger the battery, the longer the battery life, but to accomodate the bigger battery the hearing aid gets bigger too. Let’s talk about the different sizes. Remember that hearing aids are designed to only work with their required battery size, so knowing your size is important!
Size 10 hearing aid batteries are the smallest hearing aid batteries. You will always see yellow somewhere on the pack, and usually on the battery stickers. For a while these were only used for the smallest in-the-ear hearing aids, but now they are commonly used for the smallest and most discrete behind-the-ear and receiver-in-the-canal hearing aids. Because they are really small, they don’t last very long. With standard use (10 hours per day, no audio streaming, standard receiver size) we only expect around 5 days per battery. If you have a power receiver or if you use the aid for streaming sound from your TV or phone, you should only expect 2-3 days.
At the moment, size 312 is our most common hearing aid battery. It’s small enough that the hearing aid can still be petite, but big enough to rationally power audio streaming and features like Direct to iPhone without requiring almost daily changes. You will always see the colour brown on the battery pack and usually on the stickers. Traditionally we always expected 7-10 days of battery life from a 312 battery. However, with the introduction of Made for iPhone and more and more direct streaming, you might only get 5-7 days, depending on your usage and the receiver strength in the hearing aid.
Size 13 batteries have been around for a long time, and are popular because they last that little bit longer. These ones will have orange on the pack and stickers. Again, the battery life varies based on your usage, the use of streaming functions, and receiver strength. But you should expect 10-14 days from a 13 battery most of the time. These batteries are also a little fatter and easier to handle for unsteady hands.
675 batteries were once very common, but now they are mostly only used for the most powerful hearing aids and some cochlear implants. You will always see blue on their packs and stickers. Although they look much bigger than the others, because they are used in power devices the battery life isn’t much longer. I would expect 2-3 weeks from a 675 battery in a power hearing aid.
BONUS TIP: Rechargeable hearing aids:
Hearing aid companies have been trying to crack rechargeable hearing aids for years, with varying degrees of success. In the past year, a few of the companies have come up with solutions that seem promising, allowing for an overnight charge and a promised full day of use on a single charge. Some of these batteries are built in to the hearing aids, and some or removable, which would allow you to switch to a normal consumable battery in a pinch. We are expecting launches of rechargeable options from two of our top six hearing aid companies in the next few months. Once they are all out, we will share a post comparing the different options available- so watch this space!
Remember that battery life can be affected by lots of different things, but if you feel that your batteries are not lasting as long as they should be, it’s best to chat to your Audiologist. Hearing aids that are old, or overdue for a service, might have increased battery consumption, or you may have features that are high battery users that you aren’t aware on. Also remember to always purchase hearing aid batteries from a reputable source and check the expiration date before you buy them, as old or poorly made batteries can damage the internal workings of your hearing aid.
Any tips or experiences to share? Post them and any questions below.