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Hearing aid batteries: What you need to know about powering your hearing aid

Hear better all day with the right battery for the job. Here’s our guide to types and sizes of disposable batteries for hearing aids

Hearing aid batteries are tiny devices with a big workload. With even the smallest hearing aids offering functions such as mobile streaming and custom sound enhancement, their dinky power sources tend to run out fast – so managing batteries is a big part of being a hearing aid user.

About half of all hearing aids in current use take disposable batteries, while the other half come with built-in rechargeable batteries. Whichever type of battery your hearing aid has, you’ll need to change it or charge it regularly. Every day for rechargeables, or every week or two for disposables. Our article on rechargeable hearing aids explains all you need to know about rechargeables, but in this article we’ll focus on disposable batteries.

Below we’ll run through the different types and sizes of hearing aid batteries, and compare their costs and lifespans. If you want a hearing aid with a particularly long battery life, mention it to your audiologist. Our free quote-finder tool will help you find an audiologist near you.

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What are the different types of hearing aid batteries?

There are four main types of disposable batteries for hearing aids: size 10, size 312, size 13 and size 675, each with a different colour-coded sticker. They’re not interchangeable, so it’s vital to get the right battery for your hearing aid.

The smallest size 10 (sometimes labelled as 10A) is tiny enough to fit some “invisible” (completely-in-canal, or CIC) hearing aids, while the largest size 13 and size 675 have enough capacity to power large behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids. Size 312 is the most versatile hearing aid battery size, and can fit aids of many types, including CIC, in-the-ear (ITE) and BTE models.

The larger the battery, the larger its capacity and the longer its average lifespan. High-power functions such as high levels of sound enhancement, Bluetooth connectivity and mobile streaming will drain the batteries faster. 

Your audiologist will be able to tell you the exact type of battery your hearing aid takes, and it’s important to use the right one. But here’s a general guide to the different types and the aids they work with…

BatterySizeStickerHearing aid typesTypical life
10/10A5.8 x 3.6mmYellowInvisible, CIC, ITC3-7 days
3127.9 x 3.6mmBrownCIC, ITE, BTE5-10 days
137.9 x 5.4mmOrangeBTE7-14 days
67511.6 x 5.4mmBlueHigh-power BTE10-21 days

How much do hearing aid batteries cost?

Disposable hearing aid batteries cost from around 30p each, and last from between a few days and a couple of weeks each. To put it in terms of running costs, you’re looking at between 2p and about 8p per day, per hearing aid.

Hearing Direct has a wide selection of hearing aid battery multipacks. An own-brand six-pack of size 675 batteries costs just £1.79, while 60 Duracell size 10 batteries cost £15. If you’re a low-power user, either purchase could last you months.

The amount you pay over the months depends on how long your batteries last, and that’s dictated by numerous factors including your hearing aid model, the sound enhancement and functions you use, and the hours per day you use it.

The largest 675 batteries last longest, while the smallest size 10 batteries have the shortest lifespan. So if you want to keep your hearing aid running costs to a minimum, ask your audiologist for an aid that takes 675 batteries.

How will I know to change my hearing aid battery?

You can usually tell when a hearing aid battery is low, because the sound starts to distort. The battery can then stop working quite quickly, so it’s always worth having some spares to avoid losing power in the middle of the day or when you need it.

READ NEXT: Hearing aid types, explained

What are hearing aid batteries made from?

Nearly all the disposable hearing aid batteries you can buy today are zinc-air batteries. Zinc is lighter and cheaper than lithium ion (which most rechargeable batteries are made from) and more environmentally friendly than alkaline batteries, such as disposable AA or AAAs. This is why you can safely dispose of hearing aid batteries in a recycling bin, unlike ordinary batteries.

Hearing aid batteries are called “zinc-air” because they won’t work until they’re exposed to oxygen. They come with a peel-off back that keeps the air off them until you unseal and activate them. You’ll need to keep the backing on your hearing aid batteries until you’re ready to use them.

Can I buy rechargeable batteries for my hearing aid?

Yes. Until recently you had to choose between disposable hearing aid batteries or rechargeable hearing aids with built-in batteries, but there’s now a middle-ground: rechargeable hearing aid batteries that you remove and charge each night.

As with rechargeable AA batteries, rechargeable hearing aid batteries don’t last as long per charge as their disposable counterparts. But if you’re a low to medium-power user, and the hearing aid model you want isn’t available in a rechargeable edition, rechargeable hearing aid batteries may be a good option for you.

Rechargeable hearing aid batteries are more expensive than disposables and require a special charger. You can buy two Power One Accu Plus rechargeable size 312 batteries from Hearing Direct for £23, plus a Power One charger for £100. The batteries are likely to need replacing after a few months.

READ NEXT: Our guide to rechargeable hearing aids

When will I need to replace the battery in a rechargeable hearing aid?

Probably never. The lithium-ion batteries that are built into rechargeable hearing aids last about five years, about as long as the hearing aids themselves, and much longer than rechargeable button batteries. Most hearing aid manufacturers will replace the battery if it dies while the hearing aids are still working well.

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