The 5 Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids Of 2022
Hearing aid technology has come a long way since it was introduced to the market a century ago. One of the most convenient advances has been rechargeable hearing aids with batteries that can last up to five years or longer. This is a huge improvement over traditional hearing aids that come with batteries which need to be replaced frequently.
These models are increasingly growing in popularity, says Philipp Orso, Head of Audiology at Makehear. One major reason is because users don’t have to mess with tiny batteries like they would with standard hearing aids.
How do you decide on the best rechargeable hearing aids? In our rechargeable hearing aid review, we compare top brands by features, pricing, the types of hearing loss they cover, and consumer reviews to help you find the right fit.
Our top picks for best rechargeable hearing aids
- Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids for Tinnitus: Lively
- Best In-Ear Rechargeable Hearing Aids: Eargo
- Best Digital Rechargeable Hearing Aids: Audicus
- Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids for the Price: MDHearingAid
- Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss: Widex
Why Trust Our Expert Review?
|Hours of research||Experts consulted||Brands considered||Models considered||Models selected|
Our experts research and recommend products that can help give you a better quality of life. Using our high standards and rigorous testing methodology, we’ve spent more than 4,000 hours, collectively, researching the best hearing aids to help you find the device that’s best for you. Throughout our research process, we did the following:
- Consulted with audiologists and geriatric care experts
- Mystery shopped the brands
- Surveyed hundreds of hearing aid users
- Tested various models of hearing aids
- Interviewed experts in the field
- Read thousands of verified customer reviews from trusted sites such as Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports
|Best For||Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids for Tinnitus||Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids for Severe Hearing Loss||Best Digital Rechargeable Hearing Aids||Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids for the Price||Best In-Ear Rechargeable Hearing Aids|
|Cost||Starts at $1,595 per pair||Starts at $2,229 per ear||Starts at $899 per ear; $59/month per ear for subscription||Starts at $599.98 per ear||Starts at $1,500 per pair|
|Warranty||3-year manufacturer, 3-year loss and damage||Typically, 2 or 3 years||1-year for customers who pay upfront; unlimited for members||90-day||1or 2 years|
|Style||Behind-the-ear||Behind-the-ear, receiver-in-the-canal, in-the-ear, in-the-canal, completely-in-the-canal, micro completely-in-the-canal||Receiver-in-the-ear||Behind-the-ear||Completely-in-the-ear|
|Type Of Hearing Loss||Mild to moderate||Mild to profound||Mild to profound||Mild to moderately severe||Mild to moderate|
|Bluetooth Capabilities||Yes||Yes, some models||Yes, some models||Yes, some models||Yes, some models|
|Models Currently Available||2||4||5||3||4|
|Hearing Test||Online/at-home||Hearing centers or audiologist office||Clinics or online/at-home||Online/at-home||Online/at-home|
|Adjustment||Remote by phone app or audiologist consultation||Remote by smartphone app||Remote by smartphone app or mail-in||Remote by smartphone app||Remote through Eargo Support|
|Battery Life||30 hours||24 hours||24 hours||24 hours||16 hours|
|Quick Charge Option||Yes. 30 hours of use on a 3-hour charge. 8 hours on a 30-minute charge||Yes. Full day of use on a 4-hour charge 4 hours of use on a 30-minute charge||No. 24 hours of use from an over night charge||Yes. 18-22 hours of use on 3-3.5-hour charge||Yes. 3 hours of use from a 15-minute charge 16 hours of use on 2.5-hour of charge|
If you experience a ringing in one or both of your ears not caused by an external sound, you’re one of the 15% to 20% of people, who, according to the Mayo Clinic, have a condition known as tinnitus. It’s even more common in older adults and individuals who suffer from hearing loss. Some people aren’t bothered by the ringing. But for some, tinnitus can be a serious issue.
For those living with tinnitus, Lively’s rechargeable hearing aid—Lively 2 Plus—is our top pick. The brand’s Tinnitus Manager feature is available through the Lively mobile app. Once calibrated by a hearing care professional, the feature can be accessed via the Lively mobile app. Lively claims that a vast majority of its users — up to 90% — report at least some relief from tinnitus when using the feature. Some audiologists even recommended Lively hearing aids to people with tinnitus who do not have hearing loss. One such consumer said the hearing aids significantly reduced the ringing in his ears, though he occasionally had noticeable flare ups. While you must still consult with an audiologist virtually, Lively offers the best over-the-counter rechargeable hearing aid experience.
See our full Lively Hearing Aid Review.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Audiology, only 1 in 5 older adults who could benefit from hearing aids use one. Many are deterred by the stigma associated with wearing the devices. The Eargo in-ear rechargeable hearing aids fit deep inside the ear canal and are virtually invisible.
The innovative medical-grade silicone fiber design allows each hearing aid to sit suspended in the ear canal so air can flow naturally in and out of the ear. This gives a more natural feel, according to many users, and lands Eargo as our top pick for best in-ear rechargeable hearing aids.
Several reviews on the Eargo Better Business Bureau page report satisfaction with the hearing aids’ performance as well as their discreetness.
While all four Eargo hearing aids are rechargeable, one drawback with these tiny hearing aids is that they only hold their charge for a maximum of 16 hours instead of 24 to 30 hours like the other hearing aids on our list.
Recent advances in technology have revolutionized hearing aids. Rather than amplifying sound waves the way analog hearing aids do, digital hearing aids convert sound waves into digital signals and produce an exact sound duplication. This allows for more complex sound processing and improved performance in certain situations, such as blocking out background noise. Several hearing aid companies offer digital rechargeable hearing aids. Audicus stood out to us for several reasons.
First, Audicus provides some of the most advanced technology in hearing aids at much lower prices than some competitors. The company does this by cutting out the middleman and dealing directly with independent manufacturers. Second, Audicus offers a monthly subscription plan that promises a new pair of hearing aids with the latest technology every 18 months. This also makes Audicus hearing aids more affordable, though they aren’t the most affordable rechargeable hearing aids on our list.
Audicus hearing aids also appear to hold up well over time. One reviewer on the Better Business Bureau page for Audicus said their first pair lasted five years and is the best digitally adjustable hearing aid.
Hearing aids don’t just improve hearing. They also boost self-confidence, strengthen self-image, and offer improved communication to provide a better quality of life. Good quality hearing aids can also cost a pretty penny, but they are well worth the investment. Our review found that MDHearingAid has some of the best affordable rechargeable hearing aids.
At $1,199 per pair, MDHearingAid already offers a good deal. But the company offers regular discounts and deals that can slash that price in half.
Several reviews on the brand’s page on the Better Business Bureau cite the hearing aids’ high quality paired with low price. We do recommend MDHearingAid as the best inexpensive rechargeable hearing aid. Unfortunately, MDHearingAid also offers the least impressive warranty on our list — just 90 days instead of 1-3 years provided by other companies.
See our full MDHearing Hearing Aid Review.
According to the American Journal of Public Health, an estimated 6.6 million Americans aged 12 years and older have severe to profound hearing loss in at least one ear, three-quarters of whom are older than 60. Severe hearing loss can make loud noises barely audible, and conversations sound like whispers, whereas people with profound hearing loss only perceive loud sounds as vibrations. Thankfully, hearing aids can help most people with severe to profound hearing loss recover some hearing.
Widex hearing aids with rechargeable batteries are our top choice for people with severe to profound hearing loss because they offer several powerful behind-the-ear options in a variety of skin-tone or fashion colors.
However, these powerful hearing aids do come at a steeper price than other hearing aids on our list. The investment may be worth it for the extra might these hearing aids offer.
How Do Rechargeable Hearing Aids Work?
Rechargeable hearing aids rely on lithium-ion or silver-zinc, also called Z-power, batteries to recharge and power your device. Most come with a charging case. Once you place your hearing aids in the case, they are automatically turned off to charge. An indicator light on the case will blink while the devices are charging and stay lit once they are fully charged.
Battery Life and Operating Time
Most rechargeable hearing aids last a full day. But be aware that battery life and operating time are dependent on how you use your devices. Utilizing Bluetooth to stream audio from your phone, television, or tablet in your hearing aids can drain battery power faster. How fast the batteries drain also depends on the type of battery and hearing aid. Many models also feature a quick-charge option that can provide a partial charge that can last for 3 to 8 hours to help get you to the end of the day.
Disposable vs Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
Quality hearing aids come with either disposable or rechargeable batteries. The most significant difference is the cost. Rechargeable hearing aids usually cost more than hearing aids with disposable batteries, but after about three years, the price discrepancy narrows when the cost of disposable replacement batteries is factored in.
Disposable battery-operated hearing aids can last 3 to 22 days before needing changing, whereas rechargeable hearing aid batteries lose their charge after 16-30 hours.
Lithium-ion vs Silver-zinc Rechargeable Hearing Aid Batteries
There are two different types of batteries that are used in rechargeable hearing aids: lithium-ion or silver-zinc.
- Lithium-ion – Rechargeable hearing aids that do not have a battery door contain lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. These batteries can power hearing aids for up to 24 hours on a 3-4-hour charge. The battery life of a lithium-ion battery is about 4-5 years. When the batteries die, you can either get a new pair of hearing aids or send your device to the manufacturer to have the batteries replaced.
- Silver-zinc – If your hearing aids have a battery door, they contain silver-zinc rechargeable batteries. Also called Z-power batteries, these batteries will power hearing aids for up to 24 hours on a 3-4-hour charge. Silver-zinc batteries have a battery life of about a year and will need to be replaced by your provider.
How Much Do Rechargeable Hearing Aids Cost?
Rechargeable hearing aids vary in price depending on the features offered, the type of hearing aid, and the materials. In general, rechargeable hearing aids cost more upfront than hearing aids that use disposable batteries. When considering this, be aware that the price becomes more balanced within 3-4 years when the amount spent on replacing disposable batteries over that period of time is taken into account.
“When people go for battery-powered hearing aids, it’s mostly because of the price. Battery hearing aids are still way cheaper than rechargeable ones,” Dr. Orso says. The cost of rechargeable hearing aids varies depending on the type of hearing and features it offers. An audiologist can help you get the best hearing aids for you.
For reference, hearing aids on our list range in price from about $600 per pair to about $2,800 per pair.
What You Need to Know Before Buying a Rechargeable Hearing Aid
Before buying rechargeable hearing aids, consider your lifestyle and preferences. Here are some points to consider:
- Battery life: Rechargeable hearing aid batteries last from 1 to 5 years depending on the type of rechargeable batteries used. Disposable hearing aid batteries only last between 2 to 22 days, depending on the hearing aid, battery capacity, and usage.
- Cost: Users of disposable battery-operated hearing aids will go through an average of 300 batteries in 3 years, costing about $300-$400 during that period of time. Comparatively, a user of rechargeable hearing aid would go through about six silver-zinc batteries over three years at a cost of about $100-$200 including installation costs, or two lithium-ion batteries during that time at about $250-$350 including installation cost.
- Lifestyle: Users who have vision or dexterity issues may have difficulty handling hearing aid batteries when it’s time to change them, making rechargeable hearing aids a more convenient option. However, users of rechargeable hearing aids are dependent on the charging unit. If something happens to it or the cord, once the hearing aids lose their charge, they won’t function until they can be recharged.
Our Criteria for Choosing the Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids
We consulted audiologists and geriatric care experts in addition to independently testing various models. We read thousands of verified customer reviews and conducted exhaustive research.
Through this in-depth research, we determined the following to be the most important criteria to consider when shopping for a hearing aid:
- Types of hearing aids available
- Types of battery used
- Quick-charge options
- Types of hearing loss covered
- Bluetooth compatibility
- Audiologist care
- Comfort and fit
- Customer satisfaction
- Customer service
- Features such as bluetooth capability and rechargeable batteries
We selected Lively, Widex, Audicus, MDHearingAid, and Eargo for our list to provide you with a range of options, price points, styles, and functions.
Consumers who want a rechargeable hearing aid instead of a traditional one have a lot of options. Narrowing them down can be time-consuming. We pored over consumer reviews and researched the top brands to come up with the best rechargeable hearing aid brands for every type of user.
Tinnitus sufferers will appreciate the Lively mobile app’s Tinnitus Manager feature, which does an impressive job at dulling the associated ringing in the ears. Individuals with severe or profound hearing loss are sure to find a match among the many rechargeable hearing aid options Widex offers. Those looking for the latest in digital hearing aid technology can stay up-to-date with picks from Audicus.
One of the biggest issues with hearing aids is the cost. And while rechargeable hearing aids are initially more expensive than traditional hearing aids, deep discounts from MDHearingAids helps cushion the blow. And for those in search of discreet in-ear options can’t go wrong with tiny rechargeable hearing aids from Eargo.
Rechargeable hearing aids aren’t perfect but they are far more convenient. And if the inconvenience of changing batteries is preventing someone from getting a hearing aid, then rechargeable is the way to go for many reasons, Dr. Orso says. “Some of the greatest benefits to hearing aids is they reduce loneliness, delay dementia, and improve overall quality of life.”
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a lot of factors to deciding between traditional disposable battery-operated hearing aids or rechargeable ones. Traditional hearing aids offer more styles and lower up-front costs. Considering the convenience rechargeable hearing aids offer, however, it may be worth paying more upfront. This is especially true when you consider the cost and time savings of not having to buy and replace your hearing aid batteries every few days. Because rechargeable hearing aids don’t require you to toss out dozens of batteries each year, they are also more environmentally-friendly, which is a priceless perk.
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- In-The-Ear Hearing Aids Review
- Best Rechargeable Hearing Aids
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