Hearing aid with batteries or rechargeable: which one to choose?

Last update on May, 31, 2021

Which is better: rechargeable or battery hearing aids?

There are many solutions on the market today to meet a variety of needs, from rechargeable hearing aids, which do not require battery replacement, to the more traditional battery-powered hearing aid. Your hearing care professional will consider your individuals needs to help you choose the right hearing aid for you and your lifestyle.

Hearing aids with batteries

Battery-powered hearing aids are powered by disposable zinc-air batteries that are activated by oxygen once the seal protecting them is removed. Once the protective seal is removed, the battery’s lifespan depends on its usage and its size, as well the level of humidity in the environment and the use of resource-consuming technologies, such as Bluetooth.

Advantages and disadvantages of batteries

When it comes to battery-powered hearing aids, you should keep in mind the following advantages and disadvantages in order to reap its full benefits and make an informed choice. The advantages of this type of hearing aid include:

  • Several days of battery life
  • Compact size that allows you to carry them anywhere;
  • Possibility to recharge it and simultaneously use your hearing aid

The disadvantages include:

  • The use of batteries can be difficult for people with visual impairments or who suffer from conditions such as Parkinson's disease which makes it difficult to handle small objects.
  • Batteries are difficult to dispose of and pose an environmental hazard.

Advice for battery-powered hearing aid users

Battery life can be prolonged with a few precautions, including:

  • Turning off the power when not in use;
  • Storing batteries in a cool, dry place;
  • Removing the battery from the unit if it will not be used for several days.

Rechargeable hearing aids

The latest generation of hearing aids are often rechargeable, which means they do not use disposable batteries and charge like a smartphone or other electronic device. They usually come with a case that doubles as a charger and can last all day, after an overnight charge.

Hearing aids with rechargeable batteries

Nowadays, it is also possible to power the hearing aids with rechargeable batteries, but these have a lower capacity than disposable batteries.  In these cases, a nickel-metal-hydride battery is used, usually available in blue, orange, brown and yellow, which needs a suitable charger to be recharged.

Rechargeable hearing aids with supplied charger

The latest generations of rechargeable hearing aids use lithium-ion batteries with convenient, compact charging cradles, most often available in a mini version. With these devices, you can recharge your hearing aids in just a few hours, and using USB plug-in charging stations and powerbanks, you can charge them on the go without the need of an electrical outlet.

Rechargeable models: advantages and disadvantages

Many advantages of rechargeable models:

  • Use is greatly simplified because a few hours of recharging is sufficient to guarantee a whole day of autonomy;
  • Charging is done easily, simply by placing the hearing aid on the base provided for this purpose;
  • The need to carry batteries with you to prevent possible failure does not apply;
  • The rechargeable solution is much more environmentally responsible.


  • When the option of the rechargeable method has been chosen, the range of choices is considerably reduced because not all hearing aid models offer this self-contained method. It may therefore happen that the model that seduces by its shape and color is not available in rechargeable mode.
  • In case of a severe hearing loss requiring a particularly powerful hearing aid, rechargeable models are generally not suitable.

Reimbursement of hearing aid batteries and chargers

In the same way that batteries for battery-powered hearing aids are reimbursable expenses, rechargeable batteries are also fully reimbursed by health insurance. The cost of the chargers, however, are the responsibility of the patient.

Other questions? Come and visit us in an Amplifon center

Book an appointment and come and visit us at one of our Amplifon centers, our hearing care professionals will be ready to answer any of your curiosities about the world of hearing and to show you our range of Amplifon hearing aids.

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