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Some hearing aids use single-use, button batteries that you remove and install manually. Others have built-in batteries and are rechargeable.

The type of batteries your hearing aids use won’t affect their effectiveness. Battery types do, however, have specific advantages and disadvantages.

Rechargeable hearing aids have become very popular in recent years. In this article, we’ll go into detail about these models from trusted manufacturers.

  • Starkey Livio Edge AI: custom-molded, in-the-ear hearing aids that include fall protection
  • Phonak Audéo B-R: receiver-in-canal hearing aids that have a long lifespan
  • Lively 2 Pro: moderately priced behind-the-ear hearing aids that are purchased online and don’t require a prescription
  • Miracle-Ear ENERGY: available as behind-the-ear and in-the-ear hearing aids, with the behind-the-ear model being a good choice for profound hearing loss
  • Kirkland Signature 10.0: budget-priced behind-the-ear hearing aids, available only at Costco Hearing Aid Centers

It used to be hard to find rechargeable hearing aids worn inside the ear, instead of behind the ear. This has changed, adding to the rechargeable hearing aid choices available. In addition to more options, rechargeable hearing aids have specific features.

Let’s take a look.

The rechargeable hearing aids on this list come from trusted, well-known manufacturers. We vetted each brand for business standards and read reviews from customers across multiple sales sites to gauge features, such as:

  • time to fully charge
  • battery life
  • time between charges
  • manufacturer’s warranties
  • customer service

We also reviewed sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau to determine if customer complaints are plentiful and how they’re handled.

Rechargeable hearing aids can be expensive. Unlike hearing aids that rely on nonrechargeable batteries, there are very few options under $1,000.

In some instances, you may be able to get a better price for the same rechargeable hearing aids by shopping around.

Keep in mind that the retailer or dealer you choose can determine options that are important, such as free shipping and returns, warranties, and risk-free trials before buying.

Pricing guide

For the hearing aids on this list, we’ve used the manufacturer’s suggested retail price whenever possible, as a guide. Cost is per hearing aid and includes a charger suitable for a full pair:

  • $ = under $1,000
  • $$ = $1,000-$2,500
  • $$$ = $2,501-$3,500
  • $$$$ = over $3,500

Starkey Livio Edge AI

  • Price: $$$$
  • Shipping time: varies by supplier, approximately 7-10 business days

These completely in-the-ear hearing aids from Starkey are custom-molded for a personal fit. They’re designed to provide clear sound with no feedback or distortion.

They’re available in six neutral tones.

They magnetically attach to their charger, making them easy to handle. One 3-hour charge provides 24 hours of power, according to the company.

Built-in AI (artificial intelligence) is available and designed to improve speech audibility hampered by noisy environments, face masks, and physical distancing, by tapping the device.

Bluetooth connectivity allows for streaming phone calls and music.

These hearing aids include fall detection and can send alerts to selected contacts.

You can connect these hearing aids to two apps: Thrive Hearing Control and Thrive Care.

Thrive Hearing Control is meant for your use. The Thrive app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Thrive Care is used by your selected contacts. You decide what to share with them through the Thrive app. Thrive Care is also available for iOS and Android devices.

Because a prescription is required for hearing aids, to buy Livio Edge devices you’ll want to find an audiologist or hearing aid professional who distributes Starkey hearing aids.

Pros

  • It’s custom-molded for fit, and has zero feedback even in windy conditions, according to the company.
  • The hearing aids are easy to handle despite their small size.
  • It includes automatic fall detection and can alert your contacts if you’ve fallen.
  • It features Bluetooth connectivity for streaming.

Cons

  • This model can be expensive.
  • It’s only available from audiologists who carry Starkey hearing aids.

Phonak Audéo B-R

  • Price: $$$$
  • Shipping time: varies by supplier

Each charge of these hearing aids is designed to provide 24 hours of use, including unlimited streaming. It takes about 3 hours to get a full charge that lasts 24 hours, according to the company.

They use a system that automatically adapts your hearing aids to your surroundings, without the need for manual adjustments. This includes homing in on soft voices and on single voices in noisy surroundings.

You can download the myPhonak app for Android or iOS to create a profile and access hearing care resources.

These hearing aids are designed to have a longer lifespan than others and should last around 6 years, according to the company.

To buy these, you’ll likely need to work with a local audiologist, hearing center, or other hearing aid professionals.

Pros

  • These hearing aids are compatible with any smartphone, whether it runs on iOS or Android.
  • This model holds a charge for a full day, even if you stream media for many hours, according to the company.
  • The automatic operating system eliminates the need for manual adjustment of your hearing aids.

Cons

  • It’s very expensive when compared to comparable brands.

Lively 2 Pro

  • Price: $$
  • Shipping time: within 1 week via FedEx Ground

These nearly invisible, behind-the-ear hearing aids come with 3 years of follow-up care with a Lively audiologist.

Each 3-hour charge is designed to provide 30 hours of power.

They’re Bluetooth enabled and connect to any smartphone.

They have less bells and whistles than some other rechargeable hearing aids. Lively sells directly to consumers, and their products are less expensive.

They can be a good option for mild to moderate hearing loss, but not for severe to profound hearing loss.

To get your hearing aids, you’ll take an online hearing test.

On-demand medical support and hearing aid adjustments are done through an app. The My Lively app is available for Android and iOS devices. To see what devices are most compatible with the app, you can visit the Lively compatibility page.

They’re available in eight neutral tones, designed to match hair color.

They come with a 3-year warranty and 100-day money back guarantee.

Lively hearing aids are purchased directly through their website and don’t require a prescription.

Pros

  • These hearing aids are less expensive than comparable brands.
  • Follow-up care with an audiologist for 3 years is included in the price.
  • The model has built-in tools for tinnitus relief.

Cons

  • Since these hearing aids don’t require a prescription, you may not get the same level of care or diagnosis that you would at an in-person audiologist appointment.
  • These hearing aids may not be appropriate for all levels of hearing loss.

Miracle-Ear ENERGY

  • Price: $$$
  • Shipping time: varies by supplier

These rechargeable hearing aids are available as receiver-in-canal and behind-the-ear devices.

The receiver-in-canal hearing aids are suitable for mild to severe hearing loss. They are slimmer and less visible than the behind-the-ear model.

The behind-the-ear hearing aids are suitable for mild to profound hearing loss.

Both types supply feedback cancellation, noise reduction, and tinnitus control.

For both types, a quick half-hour charge is designed to provide 8 hours of use. A full 3-hour charge is designed to provide 19 to 24 hours of power.

They have an environmental adaptability feature that will automatically adjust sound to your surroundings without the need for manual adjustments.

Both types have Bluetooth connectivity so you can stream phone calls and music from your smartphone.

Miracle-Ear operates many of their own stores nationwide, if you’d like to work with them directly.

Pros

  • The model comes in two styles and is appropriate for mild to profound hearing loss.
  • It automatically adjust sound to your hearing environment, eliminating the need for manual program changes.

Cons

  • You can only purchase it at a Miracle-Ear store. There are many locations but you may have to travel to get to one.
  • It can be expensive and won’t accommodate all budgets.

Kirkland Signature 10.0

  • Price: $
  • Shipping time: up to 2 weeks

These behind-the-ear hearing aids are available through Costco Hearing Aid Centers. You must have a Costco membership to shop there.

They’re designed to produce stereo-quality sound reminiscent of high quality headphones.

A full, 3-hour charge is designed to provide 24 hours of sound.

Bluetooth connectivity lets you stream phone calls, music, and TV shows from two devices.

Settings automatically adjust for noisy environments and speech optimization. But you can also manually adjust volume and noise cancellation through the Easy Line Remote app, available for Android or iOS.

In 2021, there was a MAUDE (Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience) Adverse Event Report filed for this product due to injury from entrapment of the device. This is important to keep in mind, but it’s currently the only report of this issue.

Pros

  • They’re significantly less expensive than comparable hearing aids from other manufacturers.
  • This model produces high-quality, resonant sound with low feedback.
  • You can answer your phone or play music hands-free by tapping twice on your hearing aids.

Cons

  • You must have a Costco membership to shop in a Costco Hearing Aid Center for Kirkland hearing aids.
  • Not every Costco Hearing Aid Center has audiologists on staff. In some instances, you may be seen by a different type of hearing professional.

Buying hearing aids can be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t done it before.

The first step may be taking an online hearing test. You can also get a full examination from an audiologist. This will help you understand your level of hearing loss and provide guidance.

Hearing aids won’t restore hearing loss, but they can significantly improve your ability to hear the world around you.

There are different types of hearing aids. Your level of hearing loss, comfort, and desire for device invisibility may all play a role in the type you choose.

Only buy hearing aids from trusted manufacturers and retailers. Even if you’re bargain shopping, remember that a too-good-to-be-true deal is often too good to be true.

Look for features that can affect hearing quality, such as tinnitus masking and wind noise reduction.

Other features, such as Bluetooth connectivity and remote controls, can affect cost, which may or may not be as important to you.

If this is your first pair, look for a risk-free trial period, so you have time to determine if the pair you chose is a good fit for you.

Give yourself time to adjust to wearing hearing aids. Your voice may sound strange to you at first. As time passes, you’ll become more adept to using your hearing aids and be able to appreciate the difference they can make in your quality of life.

If you’re deciding between rechargeable hearing aids and hearing aids that have one-time-use batteries, some things to consider include:

Ease of use

Rechargeable hearing aids don’t require manual removal and replacement of small button batteries. It can be challenging to swap out button batteries, especially if you have arthritis, diabetic nerve damage, poor vision, or limited dexterity for any reason.

Safety

If you have trouble removing and installing button batteries, they can easily be dropped on the floor, left forgotten on a table, or lost.

Small children and pets can easily eat or chew misplaced button batteries.

Loose button batteries can also be mistaken for pills and accidentally ingested.

Ingested button batteries are a dangerous health risk. They can cause internal burns or throat pain.

Convenience

Rechargeable hearing aids are typically powered up in a charging station, such as a charging case. A charge usually lasts 24 hours.

Most people charge hearing aids overnight, while they’re asleep. It takes 3 to 4 hours for most hearing aids to charge fully. Leaving them in the charging station for more time won’t drain the battery or harm them in any way.

Rechargeable hearing aids typically rely on lithium-ion or silver-zinc batteries. Silver-zinc batteries have a battery door. Lithium-ion batteries are fully enclosed. Both types are long-lasting.

Lithium-ion batteries last for around the lifetime of your devices, typically 4 to 5 years. Silver-zinc batteries last for about a year, and a professional needs to replace them.

In contrast, disposable button batteries need to be manually changed every 2 to 10 days. If you do lots of streaming, you may need to change them more often. It’s easy to run low on power with disposable button batteries, so traveling with extras is essential.

Cost

Some rechargeable hearing aids are more expensive than hearing aids with disposable batteries. Despite the higher initial price, rechargeable hearing aids can wind up being the cost-effective option over time.

Button battery costs vary, based on the type of hearing aids you have. Wireless technologies and streaming require more energy, depleting disposable batteries quicker than in years past.

In general, you can expect to pay around $100 to $150 annually for disposable batteries. If your hearing aids last for 5 years, you will spend over $500 in additional costs to power them up.

Environmental impact

Button batteries take a toll on the environment as well as your wallet.

Button batteries contain mercury. Since the chances of the batteries leaking during use are small, this doesn’t make them a health hazard to you. What it does mean is button batteries should be recycled and disposed of properly.

Even so, many of these batteries wind up in landfills or on sidewalks. There, they can leak, contaminating waterways and groundwater. If they’re incinerated, they can contaminate the air.

By some estimates, millions or even billions of batteries, including button batteries, are improperly disposed of annually. This potentially makes them a significant environmental hazard.

This doesn’t mean that rechargeable hearing aid batteries are benign. These must also be recycled and disposed of properly, based on your community’s norms. Since they last for years, there are less of them available to contaminate the planet.

Hearing aids with disposable button batteries are an alternative option to rechargeable hearing aids. They can be less expensive, are popular, and may be a viable alternative for you.

Personal sound amplification products (PSAPs) are not FDA-approved devices for people with hearing loss. Even so, some people with mild to moderate hearing loss say these devices help with sound amplification.

If your hearing loss is minor, PSAPs may be a viable option for you. Keep in mind that PSAPs vary considerably in quality and cost. Cheapest is probably not best.

What is the best brand of rechargeable hearing aids?

There are many high-quality brands of rechargeable hearing aids. What’s best for you may not be best for someone else. Features that may make hearing aids stand out as the best type for you include how long they hold a charge, sound quality, and cost.

How long do rechargeable hearing aids hold a charge?

This varies based on the brand and model you choose. Rechargeable hearing aids often need to be charged for 3 hours each day. Some hearing aid models can hold a charge for 4 to 7 days, based on the amount of streaming you do.

Can you recharge hearing aids?

Rechargeable hearing aids are designed to be recharged, typically in a charger case. If your hearing aids run on disposable batteries, however, you will need to change your batteries manually, rather than recharging your devices.

Do rechargeable hearing aids work?

Yes. Many brands of rechargeable hearing aids supply excellent sound quality and special features, such as tinnitus masking and speech enhancement for clarity of sound in noisy environments.

Rechargeable hearing aids are available as in-the-ear and behind-the-ear styles. Since their batteries are long-lasting and don’t require constant changing, many brands are cost effective as well as convenient.

There are many brands to choose from. When purchasing hearing aids, always look for a reputable manufacturer, provider, and retailer.


Corey Whelan is a freelance writer and reproductive health professional who specializes in health and wellness content. She has spent much of the last two decades educating people about infertility and family building options. Whelan is a science nerd, and her heroes span the gamut from Temple Grandin to her wonderful mom. She shares her life in Brooklyn, NY, with her all-grown-up, fascinating children and their wacky shelter dogs. Follow her on Twitter.