Crash course on hearing aid batteries
If you have hearing aids or know someone that does, you’re probably at least a little familiar with the inner workings of your devices: How they work, how to clean them, how to change the batteries, etc…or, maybe you’re not, and that’s what brought you to our blog today!
Regardless of your existing knowledge, it never hurts to know the basics, especially when it comes to those little things powering your hearing aids: your batteries. But how do hearing aid batteries work? What do the different colors mean? How do I pick the right ones for my device?
These are all great questions, so let’s dive in and answer them.
How do hearing aid batteries work?
The most commonly used hearing aid batteries, outside of rechargeable batteries, are zinc-air batteries, which are disposable and are powered by oxygen. When you first open a pack of new batteries, before installing them into your device, you’ll remove the tab to expose the batteries to oxygen and get them ready to power up your hearing aid. The exposure to oxygen combines with zinc, creating a reaction that generates energy. Zinc-air batteries are not reusable, so you have to replace them often depending on the lifespan of the ones your specific device uses.
There are four main types of disposable batteries available on the market today, and there are several different sizes and uses that allow at least one of them to fit almost any hearing aid device you can think of. These four main types also have a standard color-coding system, allowing you to know which battery your device takes and purchase the correct one when you need to, regardless of the brand or source.
Something else you should know about hearing aid batteries is that many hearing care providers, like Beltone Tristate, for example, will purchase batteries from larger manufacturers, like Rayovac and Energizer, and rebrand them to sell to patients at their practice. So, while you can probably get the same batteries from a few different places, check with your provider to see if they sell their own when they get you fitted for your first set of hearing aids.
What’s the difference between the different batteries?
The biggest differences between the four main types of hearing aid batteries are their size, their lifespan, and what types of devices they are compatible with. For example, not all batteries are compatible if you have an in-the-ear device or a behind-the-ear device, and not all batteries will last longer than a week or two.
So, what are the main types of batteries, and how do they work? Let’s take a look at the four options we have available at Beltone Tristate and the major distinguishing features of each:
B20 Batteries (The Yellow Ones): Beltone’s B20 batteries are equivalent to a standard size 10 battery and are the smallest option. They are built to last about 3-7 days and are compatible with mini receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) or completely-in-canal (CIC) hearing aids.
B26 Batteries (The Orange Ones): The B26 batteries are equivalent to a size 13 and can last about 6-14 days once activated. They are compatible with behind-the-ear (BTE) and in-the-ear (ITE) hearing aids.
B347 Batteries (The Brown Ones): The B437 batteries, equivalent to a size 312, are extremely versatile batteries, as they can power mini BTE, RITE, and in-the-canal (ITC) hearing aids. These batteries can last between three and ten days.
B900 Batteries (The Blue Ones): Last but not least, the B900 batteries are equivalent to a size 675 and are only used to power BTE hearing aids. However, they also last the longest – between nine and 20 days.
How to pick the right battery for your hearing aid device
When your hearing care provider recommends hearing aids for you, they will help you pick the best device option for your specific case and lifestyle. As we just talked about, not all batteries will power all devices, so once you have a device selected, your provider can help you determine the right or best battery option from there.
Many hearing care offices will carry their own batteries to make them accessible to their patients. We at Beltone Tristate carry all four of the major types of batteries on our site!
Want to learn more or need an upgrade for your hearing aids? Shop batteries directly from Beltone Tristate or schedule an appointment with one of our hearing aid experts today!