Hearing aids are small computers that are powered up non-stop for 12 to 15 hours every day, performing all sorts of tasks, including sound amplification, sound filtering, noise reduction, wireless communication, and even motion detection – not to mention measurement of heart rate and other vitals, available with the latest models.

It is no surprise, then, that if your hearing aids use disposable batteries, you need to change those batteries every few days. Buying disposable batteries for three to five years, which is the average lifespan of a hearing aid, can amount to a material amount of money.

With so many choices out there, it can be difficult to figure out what are the best hearing aid batteries for you. We have researched all of the major manufacturers, and in this article, we discuss all you need to know about disposable hearing aid batteries and present you with the best products based on service hours performance, price, availability, shelf life, and consistency of quality.

How Do Disposable Hearing Aid Batteries Work?

The best disposable hearing aid batteries and all of the disposable batteries reviewed in this article have zinc-air technology. The name zinc-air derives from the two main substances that generate the electrical charge in the battery: Zinc, the element inside the battery, reacts with the oxygen in the air – which penetrates through a special permeable membrane that is exposed once you remove the protective tab that covers the battery.

It is important to wait a few minutes (1-5 minutes) after you remove the protective tab from a new battery and before you close the battery door of the hearing aid. This allows enough air in for the battery to charge to its full potential. Closing the battery door too early will result in lower battery life.

But What About Rechargeable Replaceable Batteries?

There are two types of rechargeable replaceable batteries that we don’t cover in detail in this article: Silver-zinc batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries.

  • Silver-Zinc (AgZn) Rechargeable Batteries: Z-Power makes rechargeable batteries that work with a limited number of hearing aids from various manufacturers. Check with your hearing healthcare provider or with your hearing aid manufacturer to see if your hearing aids are compatible with these batteries
  • Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable Batteries: PowerOne Accu Plus is a rechargeable battery that is voltage compatible with zinc-air batteries and, therefore, may be used instead of zinc-air batteries in some hearing aid models. Check with your hearing aid manufacturer because some hearing aids have too high an energy consumption and may not work well with this type of battery. PowerOne’s Rule of Thumb: If your current hearing aid works well for more than 10 days without having to change the zinc-air battery, it is worth considering rechargeable batteries as an alternative power source.

What Factors Affect Hearing Aid Battery Life?

The main factors that affect battery life include:

  • Battery size
  • The severity of your hearing loss
  • Length of daily usage
  • Audio streaming and other current-draining functions
  • Operating environment
  • Age of the batteries

Battery Size

There are four standard hearing aid battery sizes which, from largest to smallest size, are: 675 (color-coded blue), 13 (color-coded orange), 312 (color-coded brown and 10 (color-coded yellow). As you may guess, the larger the battery, the higher the battery capacity and the longer the battery life.

Battery Size

312

13

10

675

Color Code

Brown

Orange

Yellow

Blue

Diameter

7.9 mm

7.9 mm

5.8 mm

11.6 mm

Thickness

3.6 mm

5.4 mm

3.6 mm

5.4 mm

Share of Market

57%

25%

10%

8%

Average Life

4-6 days

6-10 days

3-5 days

9-12 days

The Severity of Hearing Loss

The more severe your hearing loss is, the more amplification your hearing aid will need to perform and the more current it will drain from the battery. That’s why most Power BTE (Behind-the-Ear) hearing aids use either size-675 or size-13 batteries.

Length of Daily Usage

Most people wear their hearing aids between 12 and 17 hours every day, with the average daily usage clocking at around 13 hours per day. Obviously, the longer you use your hearing aids every day, the shorter the average life of your hearing aid batteries

Audio Streaming and Other Functionality

Audio streaming to and from your hearing aids drain a lot of power from your batteries, so if you are a heavy streamer, you should expect lower battery life. Additionally, if your hearing aids operate constantly in noisy environments, expect more battery drain from the noise-canceling functionality on your hearing aids. Also, if your hearing aids are not placed well inside your ear, they may generate feedback (whistling noise) which also drains your battery faster than normal.

Operating Environment

High humidity and extreme temperatures – both hot and cold – shorten the life of hearing aid batteries. Also, batteries operating at high altitudes will have shorter battery life than at lower altitudes.

Battery Age

Most zinc-air batteries have a long shelf life – 3-4 years on average – as long as you don’t remove their protecting tab. With the tab on, Ag-Zn batteries will lose approximately 2 percent of its capacity per year, so fresher batteries will last slightly longer than older batteries. It’s always a good practice to buy batteries from audiology clinics or online retailers that sell higher volumes and turn their battery inventory often. If you are buying batteries from a local pharmacy or supermarket, make sure that the expiration date is 1-2 years out.

Battery Life by Manufacturer

Various manufacturers use different standards and methodologies to produce the battery life and battery capacity figures reported on their product specifications or datasheets. This makes it very difficult to compare product attributes to decide who makes the best hearing aid batteries.

In 2013, the Department of Otorhinolaryngology at the University of São Paulo School of Medicine published a study that analyzed the performance of various brands of batteries for hearing aids. The results of this study showed large discrepancies between the results obtained in the laboratory and the specifications reported by manufacturers.

Although the study is now 10 years old and there have been advances in hearing aid battery manufacturing processes, it is valuable to show which manufacturers appear to make the best hearing aid batteries. Following are the top results of the study regarding battery life in hours by battery size and by manufacturer:

Size-312

 

Size-13

 

Size-10

 

Size-675

Brand

Hours

 

Brand

Hours

 

Brand

Hours

 

Brand

Hours

Duracell

276

 

Sony

312

 

Rayovac

276

 

Duracell

372

iCellTech

204

 

Renata

300

 

Panasonic

264

 

Panasonic

312

Renata

 

Duracell

276

 

Duracell

252

 

PowerOne

300

Sony

 

PowerOne

 

Sony

 

Energizer

264

Panasonic

 

Rayovac

 

iCellTech

 

Rayovac

252

Rayovac

 

Panasonic

264

 

Energizer

 

iCellTech

240

Size-312 Battery Top Performance: Duracell

For size-312 batteries, the size most widely used, Duracell showed the best performance with 276 hours, followed by iCellTech, Renata, Sony, Panasonic, and Rayovac, all with 204 hours.

Size-13 Battery Top Performance: Sony

For size-13 batteries, Sony showed the best performance with 312 hours, followed by Renata with 300 hours and Duracell, PowerOne, and Rayovac, all with 276 hours. It’s important to note that a few years after the study was conducted, Sony sold its battery operation to Murata.

Size-10 Battery Top Performance: Rayovac

For size-10 batteries, Rayovac showed the best performance with 276 hours, followed by Panasonic with 264 hours, and Duracell, Sony, iCellTech, and Energizer, all with 252 hours.

Size-675 Battery Top Performance: Duracell

For size-675 batteries, Duracell comes on top again with 372 hours, followed by Panasonic, PowerOne, Energizer, Rayovac, and Renata.

Our Opinion on Who Makes the Best Hearing Aid Batteries

Looking beyond the results of the above-mentioned study, we researched all of the major manufacturers, reached out to hearing healthcare professionals for their qualified opinions and to hearing aid manufacturers for their recommendations to arrive at our own list of the best hearing aid batteries based on service hours performance, price, availability, shelf life and consistency of quality.

The following are the best batteries for hearing aids:

1) Duracell – American manufacturer, originally founded in Burlington, Massachusetts, in the 1920s and currently owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Duracell is a reputable manufacturer of high-quality hearing aid batteries easily distinguished by its plastic battery containers and the extra-long battery tabs designed to help people with dexterity limitations.

BUY Duracell:

312

13

10

675

2) Rayovac – American company, established in Chicago, Illinois, in 1906 and now part of Energizer Holdings, Inc. Rayovac is among the leading hearing aid battery producers. Rayovac offers various product options to suit different hearing aid users. For example, their ProLine Advanced batteries are designed to provide long-lasting power for high-draining hearing aids, while their Extra Advanced batteries provide a reliable power source for less demanding hearing aid users.

BUY Rayovac:

312

13

10

675

3) PowerOne – German manufacturer, part of VARTA Microbattery, PowerOne batteries were introduced in 2001 in Nuremberg, Germany, at the EUHA, the International Congress of Hearing Aid Acousticians, which is the world’s largest event for hearing care professionals. PowerOne is among the world’s top-selling hearing aid batteries.

BUY PowerOne:

312

13

10

675

4) Powermax – Originally from China, Powermax USA, based in Rancho Cucamonga, California, markets Powermax HearRite hearing aid batteries as made in the USA. Their state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Ningbo, China, manufactures over 1 billion batteries a year.

BUY Powermax:

312

13

10

675

5) Energizer – Founded in 1896 in New York as the American Electrical Novelty and Manufacturing Company, it is now part of Energizer Holdings, Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers of batteries, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri.

BUY Energizer:

312

13

10

675

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Hearing Aid Batteries

  • Wait a few minutes (1-5 minutes) after you remove the protective tab from a new battery and before you close the battery door of the hearing aid.
  • Don’t remove the tab until you’re ready to use them
  • Turn off your hearing aids when you’re not using them
  • Leave the battery compartment door open overnight
  • Store your batteries at room temperature. Extreme heat or cold will shorten battery life
  • Don’t store your batteries in the refrigerator
  • Keep batteries in their original packaging until you’re ready to use them – don’t carry them loosely in your pocket or bag – batteries can short-circuit if they come into contact with other metal objects like coins

Swallowing a Hearing Aid Battery is Dangerous

Keep hearing aid batteries out of the reach of pets and children, and be careful to not swallow one accidentally. According to the National Capital Poison Control, every year in the United States, more than 3,500 people of all ages swallow button batteries. If anyone at your home swallows a hearing aid battery, call the 24-hour National Battery Ingestion Hotline at 800-498-8666 or seek medical attention immediately.

Conclusion

Choosing the best hearing aid batteries for you or a loved one is an important decision that will help you get the best performance from your devices. Getting the longest life from your hearing aid batteries can result in material savings over the life of your hearing aids. In this article, we shared with you the best hearing aid batteries based on service hours performance, price, availability, shelf life, and consistency of quality. We hope we equipped you with all the information you need to know about disposable batteries for hearing aids.

Head Hearing Health Clinician at | + posts

Florida License: AS-2471 – NPI: 1992749147

Ivonne Baixeras is a Florida-Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist with a track record of almost three decades treating hearing problems in Miami-Dade County and serving the needs of thousands of satisfied patients. Ivonne is a graduate of both Miami-Dade College & Florida International University and worked for many years at the largest national chain of hearing clinics in the US where she's received multiple awards.

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