Rechargeable Hearing Aids Still Dominate The News
In recent news it seems that rechargeable hearing aids are going to dominate the hearing aid industry in 2017. Two more hearing aid brands have now announced that they are going to offer rechargeable hearing device options. Starkey made a recent announcement and Unitron also made some rumblings in recent days. Let's look at what we know.
First off, the Starkey announcement was pretty clear, they are going to offer a new rechargeable hearing aid option based on an existing hearing aid on the Muse platform. The hearing aid is the Muse Micro RIC 312t, and in partnership with ZPower, they are going to offer them later this month. ZPower is a pretty innovative American hearing aid battery company. They have actually been offering aftermarket rechargeable kits for some hearing aid brands for a while now. They had kits for GN Resound brands and Siemens/ Signia brands for some time.
As I said, they are aftermarket kits and they worked by replacing the existing battery door with a ZPower designed battery door, battery and charger. We believe, but are not sure, that the new Muse Micro312t rechargeable will have a specially designed Starkey battery door which will allow the use of the ZPower battery and charger. Here is what we know.
Muse™ micro RIC 312t
The Muse™ micro RIC 312t has been around for a little while and is part of Starkey’s® “made for music” hearing aid platform. The power pack is actually ZPower’s innovative silver-zinc battery technology. It is used with their charger to give at least 24 hours of use. This option will allow Starkey customers to switch to normal disposable batteries if they are caught without them. The Muse micro RIC 312t will be available in three levels of technology: i2400, i2000 and i1600.
the key features
- Rechargeable silver-zinc power cell
- Easily replaceable with disposable battery
- 24 hours continuous use at least (no word on streaming yet)
- Available in all levels of technology
While this is not a Lithium-ion powered option, there are plenty of benefits to be had by Silver-Zinc technology. It is more energy dense than Lithium-ion for starters, which means smaller hearing aids. While the battery will have to be replaced once a year, it is easy to replace it. You don't need a factory visit, you just buy a replacement and put it in.
Unitron Talks Rechargeable
Unitron Rechargeable Hearing Aids
As reported by our friends at Hearing Aid Know, in just the last few days Unitron has also hinted at rechargeable hearing aids. They tweeted a few days ago that if people were attending the JDVAC convention that they should stop by and take a look at their new rechargeable Moxi Fit-R. I mean that is pretty solid, especially if they were showing them to people at the conference.
Going to #JDVAC 2017 Convention? Stop by the Unitron booth, and be among the first to preview Moxi™ Fit R, a revolutionary rechargeable.— Unitron US (@UnitronUS) February 3, 2017
It makes perfect sense for Unitron to do so since their sister company was the first to deliver the new Lithium-ion technology. Why shouldn't they follow? However, Unitron tends to do their own thing, so there is actually a lot of speculation about what solution they are introducing. What we do know is that their first rechargeable hearing aid ever will be based on an existing award winning design, the Moxi Fit. As with Phonak and the Audeo B-R, their first foray into this field will be with a RIC offering.
But will they follow with Lithium-ion? That is a question that will only be answered towards the end of this month when they officially announce the launch. As always, we will keep you informed, if you have any questions about hearing aids, hearing loss or hearing care, don't hesitate to call us at 1-440-248-4790 or book an appointment online now.