The hearing aids of today are getting smaller, more advanced and more powerful than those of the past - whether they are powered on standard batteries or rechargeable versions. Rechargeable batteries need to be charged fairly regularly and standard batteries are disposable and need to be replaced. In this article, we discuss the different types of batteries for hearing aids and common questions we get asked by our patients.
A hearing aid uses on average about one battery per week and you need one hearing aid battery per hearing aid. Some hearing aids with very small batteries may only provide 4 days use whereas ones with larger batteries may last up to 2 weeks. Historically, mercury zinc batteries were the most popular form for a hearing aid. Now the zinc-air batteries are commonplace, as they are more eco-friendly and maintain reliable voltage.
No, they are all different, similar to regular household batteries you can buy various brands of hearing aid batteries and in different sizes. Behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid styles historically use size 13 and 312 batteries. Whereas, In-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids usually use size 312 or 10 batteries. To make it easier, each size has an industry-standard colour code, which we have highlighted below.
Hearing Aid Battery Size 10: This is sometimes called 10A and is the smallest size of the hearing aid battery. It is colour coded with a yellow sticker on the battery and usually the pack.
Hearing Aid Battery Size 312: This is the next size up from a size 10. It is colour coded with a brown sticker on the battery and usually on the pack. From the end, it looks like a size 13 battery but is half the thickness.
Hearing Aid Battery Size 13: This is the size that most NHS hearing aids use. It is colour coded with an orange sticker and on the pack as well.
Hearing Aid Battery Size 675: This is the largest battery and is usually only used in powerful hearing aids. It is colour coded with a light blue sticker on the battery and on the pack.
Hearing aids don’t always have to use standard batteries or disposable batteries, there are rechargeable versions available – so they can be recharged. These are simply called rechargeable hearing aid batteries or lithium-ion batteries and pretty much all hearing aid brands have these as an option in their device ranges. With rechargeable hearing aid batteries, you don’t have to buy new batteries when your old ones run out of power. You just recharge them and go! Rechargeable batteries should last as long as the life of your hearing aids.
Most consumers choose to buy the rechargeable version of the modern hearing aids on the market, as they are more eco-friendly and more convenient. However, those who wear hearing aids that require standard batteries need to recycle them correctly and not dispose of them with everyday rubbish. Most local supermarkets now have battery recycling points for the disposal of hearing aid batteries and household ones too.
Rechargeable batteries need to be charged fairly regularly and standard batteries are disposable and need to be replaced. Rechargeable hearing aid batteries have a shelf life too. For instance, if your battery compartment in your hearing aid doesn’t have a door then it has a lithium-ion rechargeable battery inside. This means that these batteries take about 3-4 hours to fully charge and can usually last you around 24 hours. This type of battery usually lasts as long as the life of your hearing aids – roughly around 4-5 years.
Are hearing aid batteries free on the NHS? The simple answer here is yes, you can get free hearing aids, free NHS hearing aid batteries and repairs from the NHS. However, this is only the case if you have NHS hearing aids. You can obtain them from your local GP or they can send them out to you in the post. NHS hearing aids, as standard, are free of charge (on a loan basis) and currently come with a selection of free batteries.
The price of hearing aid batteries varies on what brand you go for and sometimes what size you need. It is important that you invest in ones that are long-lasting and high-performance - so you will ways have the confidence that they can deliver reliable power throughout your day. The most popular brands are Rayovac hearing aid batteries and Duracell hearing aid batteries. On publication, the average you will pay for batteries is around £2.00 for a pack of six mercury-free zinc-air batteries.
As stated above, there are some popular and reliable brands out there, in regards to hearing aid batteries. You might want to discuss with your audiologist the type of batteries and brand of batteries that are best for you and your hearing aid device.
As mentioned earlier, you can receive free hearing aid batteries from the NHS, if you have NHS hearing aids. However, if you don't you will need to purchase hearing aid batteries either online or through your audiologist. Most manufacturers do send free hearing aid batteries when you first purchase your new hearing aids with them, but this is not the case for all in the industry.
For all generic and standard hearing aid batteries, it really depends on the type of hearing aid that needs powering and its overall capacity, how often you are wearing your hearing aids and how much you stream via Bluetooth connectivity. This is also a similar case for rechargeable hearing aids. If you stream a lot you will be recharging your batteries more regularly. But, there are some nifty and discrete charging pods out there that you can easily take out with you and charge on the go. Some manufacturers have 'quick charge' options for when you are in need of it most and need a power boost urgently.
We advise all NHS hearing aid users to contact their local Audiology Department to order more or request that they post them out to you. For private hearing aid wearers, you can get hearing aid batteries from your own audiologist in the clinic or they can post them out to you at your convenience.
Read Next: Rechargeable Hearing Aids
When we refer to a product as 'New', we mean that the product is new to the market.
When we refer to a product as 'Superseded', we mean that there is a newer range available which replaces and improves on this product.
When we refer to a product as an 'Older Model', we mean that it is has been superseded by at least two more recent hearing aid ranges.