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Rechargeable Hearing Aids

Rechargeable hearing aids have surged in popularity in the last few years mainly because of the new battery technologies that have entered the market. Those technologies ensure that any user will get a full day of use out of one charge even if they like to stream audio to their hearing aids. This has given us professionals the confidence to recommend them and consumers the confidence to buy them.

Two Types of Rechargeable Hearing Aids

There are two types of rechargeable hearing aids available, one type that uses lithium-ion as a power source and the other which uses silver-zinc. While they each have pros and cons, it seems that the lithium-ion is proving the most popular. Nearly every hearing aid brand has introduced or is in the process of introducing lithium-ion powered rechargeable hearing aids.

Silver Zinc systems looked very promising, however, there have been many issues with the early designs that have ensured that most feel comfortable with the lithium-ion alternative. 

Suitability

In general rechargeable hearing aids are suitable for everyone, but they are particularly suitable for people with eyesight or dexterity issues. With no battery changes, they never have to worry about handling small batteries. They simply take them off the charger and go. 

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Resound Rechargeable Digital Hearing Aids

Resound have just announced the introduction of a new rechargeable hearing aid, the Linx Quatro (13/08/2018). The device will be a Lithium-ion powered hearing aid and they say it will have the best battery life in the industry. The stats they have released look really good and so do the devices. There really seems to have been some joined up thinking in the design and it is obvious that they have utilised the knowledge gained from their sister company Jabra with rechargeable headsets and ear phones. The choice of Lithium-ion seems to confirm the bias for the system, as most manufacturers seem to be working on their own versions. They first introduced their rechargeable hearing aids in August 2017 and initially, they used the Z Power Silver-Zinc battery technology.

Resound

LiNX Quattro LT61

As we said, Resound has announced the launch of a new premium plus hearing aid called the Linx Quattro. Resound have purposely kept the details a little vague as they will make them clearer as they go through the launch cycle. However, I wanted to outline clearly what we know, and take a guess at what we don't.

This is what we know so far:

  • The devices will only be available in one new technology level
  • The devices are Receiver In Canal devices
  • The devices are Bluetooth hearing aids 
  • The devices use a brand new chip platform
  • The chip has 100% faster processing than 3D
  • The chip has 100% additional memory over the 3D
  • Resound are using a new way of handling directionality inputs
  • They have introduced a redesigned wireless radio with extra signal strength
  • They have extended the bandwidth of the devices giving extra high-frequencies
  • They have increased their dynamic input range, calling it industry leading
  • The devices are available with a Lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack and without 
  • The rechargeable hearing device will deliver 24 hours of use with 50% streaming on a three-hour charge
  • The Lithium-ion devices will deliver 30 hours of use without streaming on a three-hour charge 

Longest Battery Life in The Industry

The devices will have the longest battery life in the industry, even though they are very discreet. Just one three hour charge will give up to twenty four hours use even if you are streaming for half the time. That's pretty amazing battery life even for a rechargeable. As I said, they are pretty discreet and a lot of thought has gone into the design of both the devices and the charger. The charger acts as a carry case and it holds its own charge so that you can charge on the go if you need to. The charger is small, so easy to put in a coat pocket but very functional. There is an auto on and off function and LEDs that allow you to see at a glance what the charge status is.

Made For iPhone Hearing Aid

The Linx Quattro is a direct connection or Made For iPhone hearing aid just like all the Linx devices before it. Resound have redesigned the wireless radio though and they say that it is more powerful than ever before. That should translate into pretty stable connection to the iPhone and hopefully Android phones when Android releases the new version.

Premium Plus Price Point

Resound have not introduced the devices as a replacement for the Linx 3D, rather, they have introduced them as a new premium price point above the Linx 3D 9 and 7. We will keep you updated as to what they do next.

Resound LiNX 3D rechargeables

Resound

LiNX 3D LT61 DRWZ

The new addition to the LiNX 3D range is a completely new form factor and is similar in size if a little different from their existing LT61. The device is officially designated the LT61-DRWZ and it runs on a 312 rechargeable battery which is supplied by Z Power as is the recharging cradle technology. That means there should be plenty of power for a full day of use even if you are streaming audio and taking phone calls. The device is expected to available on the market in September.We would expect the prices to be similar to the LiNX 3D prices.

What are the key features

  • Rechargeable Silver-Zinc power cell
  • 24 hours continuous use with almost endless streaming
  • Easy charging
  • Can use normal hearing aid batteries
  • Available in all of the levels of technology, the 9, the 7 and the 5

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Oticon Rechargeable Digital Hearing Aids

In an announcement in April 2017, Oticon announced the expansion of the models on the Opn range. That expansion also included a brand new rechargeable model. Oticon has initially gone down the route of the Z Power Silver Zinc technology which made sense at the time. Z Power systems offer real versatility and a lot of power. However, there are strong rumours that Oticon will introduce lithium-ion powered hearing aids in 2019.

Oticon

Opn 1 Mini RITE Rechargeable

Oticon Opn Rechargeable

This is a wireless slimline Rechargeable 'Mini-Receiver-In-the-Ear (miniRITE)' hearing aid using a rechargeable Silver-Zinc 312 battery (can also use disposable hearing aid batteries). All Oticon Opn miniRITE hearing aids sold since the introduction last year and going forward can be retrofitted to be rechargeable with a kit that will also be available.

They are small and pretty discreet hearing devices and come in a range of shades and bright colours. They offer four levels of receiver power allowing hearing losses from mild to severe to profound to be fitted. The internet-enabled Oticon Opn comes with a number of additional features because it can connect to devices via the internet and Bluetooth. The hearing aids will connect directly to your Apple Smartphone so you can make phone calls and listen to music without any intermediate streaming device.

You can find out more about the latest Oticon hearing aids here

What are the key features

  • Rechargeable Silver-Zinc power cell
  • 24 hours continuous use with almost endless streaming
  • Easy charging
  • Can use normal hearing aid batteries
  • Available in all of the levels of tech

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Signia Rechargeable Digital Hearing Aids

Signia formerly Siemens, were one of the first brands to introduce lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids. They have been intelligent about how they offer the solution, they did not seal their battery into the hearing aid. This means that when it comes time to change the power pack, it can be done locally in your hearing care professionals office.  They initially introduced a new updated version of the Cellion in 2017. In 2018, Signia introduced a new hearing aid platform called the Nx. As part of this launch, they have also introduced a new hearing aid called the Pure Charge N Go.

Signia Pure Charge n Go

Signia

Pure Charge N Go Nx

This device is a very svelte Pure (RIC) device which is powered by a Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack, again it offers the new system which separately processes the wearer’s own voice. The hearing aid has a rocker switch which allows programme changes and volume changes. It is IP68 rated. It can also be fitted with the four levels of receiver making it suitable for most hearing losses. It comes with superior connectivity with direct streaming and the myControl App. It also has access to the full live remote support via TeleCare 3.0. The device is available in three levels of technology.

Signia say that Pure Charge&Go’s high-capacity power cell will allow for enhanced Bluetooth connectivity. This will enable users to enjoy high-quality, long-lasting stereo streaming of TV audio, music, and phone calls directly to both hearing aids.

They say that you will be able to stream up to five hours per day and still benefit from 17 hours of battery life before needing to recharge. That's pretty good streaming time and battery life. So for a quick overview:

  • Up to 17 hours of battery life with 5 hours of streaming
  • Just 3 hours to fully charged
  • 30 mins of charging gives 6 hours of use
  • Easy wireless charging, drop them in the charger and voila
  • Made For iPhone, Direct connection to iPhone
  • High-quality audio streaming
  • Ultra HD e2e and Bluetooth connectivity

Signia

Cellion Hearing Aids

Signia Cellion

Signia were one of the first to launch lithium-ion hearing aids with the Cellion™ primax™ hearing aids. The devices and the charger have been designed to be smart, they turn off when dropped into the charger and turn on automatically when they are taken out again. The charger will also de-humidify the hearing aids during the cycle. Signia say that the rechargeable lithium-ion power cell lasts 24 hours straight without charging with unlimited audio streaming.

The Cellion is a Receiver in Canal hearing aid and it can be used with a variety of receivers which will allow them to cover hearing losses from mild to profound. Signia have three levels of technology and the devices are available at all levels of technology. The devices are also rated to ip68 which is for all intent and purpose almost waterproof. Again, I would expect Signia to offer Lithium-ion powered BTE devices this year as well.

What are the key features

  • Rechargeable lithium-ion power cell
  • Three LEDs show the different statuses of the charging progress.
  • Auto on function when the aid comes out of the charger
  • Auto-off function when it is put into the charger
  • 24 hours continuous use with unlimited streaming
  • Contactless, inductive charging
  • The charger gently dehumidifies the devices during the charging cycle.
  • Available in all three levels of tech

Read More About Signia Hearing Aids

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