Factors affecting hearing aid battery life

The hearing aid battery is a critical, but often forgotten, part of every hearing aid. It provides the power to your device, so without it, your hearing aid will not work. On this page you can find our detailed explanation on how to get the most life from your hearing aid batteries.

What are hearing aid batteries?

Hearing aid batteries use zinc-air technology. They work in a different way than alkaline and lithium batteries that you may be more familiar with. Zinc-air batteries require oxygen from the air to activate and produce energy.

Hearing aid batteries are sealed with a tab to stop this reaction from beginning until you need them. Removing the tab allows air to enter the small holes that the tabs cover, activating the battery. Allow around one minute for the battery to ‘air-up’, taking as much oxygen as it needs to achieve full power. Once ‘aired-up’, place the hearing aid battery inside of your hearing aid to power it.

Hearing aid batteries are available in four industry-standard sizes – size 10, 13, 312 and 675. The size of hearing aid battery you need will depend on the type of hearing aid device you have. An industry-standard hearing aid battery colour code helps identify the size:

  • Size 10 hearing aid batteries have a yellow tab. They are sometimes also referred to as PR70 batteries.
  • Size 13 hearing aid batteries have an orange tab. They are sometimes also referred to as PR48 batteries.
  • Size 312 hearing aid batteries have a brown tab. They are sometimes also referred to as PR41 batteries.
  • Size 675 hearing aid batteries have a blue tab. They are sometimes also referred to as PR44 batteries.
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What are hearing aid batteries?
Rayovac® hearing aid batteries are mercury-free and use zinc air technology. Zinc-air uses oxygen in the air around us to activate ingredients within the hearing aid battery and produce energy. Oxygen enters the hearing aid battery via small holes on the top of the cell. These holes are exposed when the tab is removed from the hearing aid battery.
Airing-up your zinc air hearing aid batteries

Airing-up your zinc air hearing aid batteries

Removing the tabs from the hearing aid battery allows air to flow into the cell and activates it. The amount of air which enters the hearing aid battery directly effects performance. This is why it is a good idea to ‘air-up’ your hearing aid battery for at least one minute, before initially starting your hearing aid with a new battery.

Putting your battery straight into your hearing aid device without ‘airing-up’ may lead to the appearance of the battery being ‘dead’. If this happens, remove the battery from your hearing aid, and return to the device after one minute.

The voltage of a hearing aid battery without the tab removed is typically between 1.0-1.25 volts. Upon removing the tab and allowing oxygen to flow for one minute, the voltage will climb to approximately 1.4 volts. The power of the battery can reach up to 1.45 volts over time.

Do not remove the coloured tab from the hearing aid battery if you do not intend to use it immediately. Removing the battery tab prematurely can dry out the battery, reducing its life. Storing your hearing aid batteries in a hearing aid caddy is recommended, should you wish to dispose of the packaging.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?

Many factors determine the life expectancy of a zinc-air hearing aid battery.

The size of the battery

As discussed previously, hearing aid batteries come in a range of sizes (10, 13, 312 and 675). The size of each battery determines the amount of energy which can be stored per cell. The larger the hearing aid battery, typically the longer the life. The battery size you require will be determined by what size battery your hearing aid takes.

Freshness of the battery

Like most other batteries, unused zinc air batteries lose their charge over time. Typically a hearing aid battery will lose less than 10% of their charge per year with the tab intact. To get the most of your batteries, it is better to buy small amounts frequently, rather than in bulk.

You can check the best before date on the reverse of the pack. If you have a stock of batteries, try to use the oldest ones first to get the best performance out of them.

RAYOVAC® hearing aid batteries have a four year shelf life. The products containing Active Core™ technology provide long-lasting power throughout this period.

How long do hearing aid batteries last?

The level of your hearing loss

Depending on the severity of your hearing loss, your hearing aid may require more power. This is a big factor which is often why it is difficult to determine a definitive battery life – it depends on the user.

Your device

The more advanced your hearing aid is, the more power it will require. Digital devices may have wireless streaming, bluetooth connectivity or noise cancellation. Any combinations of these factors requires a higher current to function. These features drain your battery faster, similar to a mobile phone when you have different apps running at once.

Your personal usage

The more you use your hearing aid, the faster the battery will drain. It is recommended that you either switch off or open the battery drawer, or you remove the battery from your device when it is not in use (i.e. overnight).

Your sound environment

The noise around you can affect battery life. A noisy environment such as a restaurant or music venue will drain your battery more. Having the volume at a high level will also prematurely drain the battery.

Your immediate environment

Humidity, temperature and altitude all affect the lifetime of your hearing aid battery. Air that is too dry or too damp can reduce your batteries lifetime. Dry conditions will dry out your batteries, reducing their life, whereas humid conditions will attract condensation, damaging the battery. For hearing aid users living in humid conditions, RAYOVAC® offers a high-humidity battery. This battery has been designed to deliver long lasting performance in humid conditions.

Similarly, temperature directly affects the performance of the hearing aid battery. The optimal temperature for batteries to perform is 10-25 degrees Celsius.

Regions of high altitude may experience lower levels of oxygen compared to those closer to sea level. This could cause a hearing aid battery to struggle to supply sufficient power to the hearing aid to work efficiently.

Active Core Plus™ Technology has been specifically engineered to cope with extreme conditions

The lifetime of a hearing aid battery will vary from brand to brand. RAYOVAC® Extra Advanced and RAYOVAC® ProLine Advanced hearing aid batteries are manufactured using Active Core™ technology. Designed and developed specifically by the RAYOVAC® team, Active Core™ technology gives the user durability, and long-lasting performance. No hearing aid battery lasts longer**
Keep a Log of your battery usage

Keep a Log of your battery usage

As you’ve read above, there is no single answer to how long hearing aid batteries should last. The best way to understand your hearing aid battery usage is to identify your device’s performance and your personal usage over a set period of time.

A good way to do this is to keep a diary, tracking when you insert a new battery and when that battery runs out. Once you becoming familiar with the typical requirements of your device, you’ll be able to anticipate when to purchase your next new pack. However, you should also carry spare batteries at all time in case of emergencies.

Taking care of your hearing aid batteries to ensure they last longer

Despite their size, zinc-air hearing aid batteries hold a lot of energy. However, there are many ways you can extend their life even more, to get the best from your hearing device.

How to store your hearing aid batteries

Ensure your zinc-air hearing aid batteries are stored in a cool, dry place. If you store them in a place that is too hot or too cold, this may reduce their shelf-life. Do not store your batteries in a refrigerator.

If you are required to remove your batteries from their packaging, do not leave them loose in a pocket or bag. Loose batteries may become damaged, so using a hearing aid battery caddy is recommended. RAYOVAC® offers a hearing aid battery caddy as part of the accessories range that is designed specifically to hold and protect your batteries correctly.

Also, remember to leave the tab on the batteries until a minute before you intend to use them.

When placing a battery into your hearing aid, ensure your hands are clean. Dirt and grease can impact on your battery’s performance.

Ensure you keep both your hearing aid and its batteries out of reach of children. RAYOVAC® hearing aid batteries are mercury free, making them safer if accidently ingested. However, they do contain zinc, and you should seek medical advice should they be consumed.

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How to store your hearing aid batteries
Clean your hearing aid device

Clean your hearing aid device

If you are not using your hearing aid for an extended period of time, we advise you remove the battery. Removing the battery and replacing the tab will prevent air entering the cell, preserving battery life. When you aren’t using the hearing aid, leaving the battery door open will allow it to dry out to prevent condensation forming and extend battery life.

If you own a hearing aid drier or dehumidifier, do not place your batteries in this, as they may get dried out, reducing battery life.

When you want to use your hearing aid device again, remove the tab once more and replace the battery as normal.

You should regularly clean your hearing aid – any dirt or debris can severely affect the performance of your device and its battery. Ensure your hands are clean when handling your device and battery.

Avoid bringing your hearing aid or batteries into contact with sprays, creams or oil, including sun cream, perfume or hairspray. These products may clog parts of your device.

Do not wear your hearing aid in wet environments, such as in the bath or shower. Similarly, your device may also be damaged of it is worn in swimming pools, steam rooms, saunas and other humid environments.

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