Phonak, a global provider of hearing instruments and wireless communication solutions, will soon launch the next generation hearing aid product platform Belong, which includes lithium-ion rechargeable battery technology in hearing aids. Built on the Palio 3 technology and designed to simplify consumers’ lives, the new Aude?o B Receiver-in-Canal (RIC) products and the lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid, Aude?o B-R, will be released to the US market in August 2016, with Europe to follow in September. A YouTube video highlights the features of the new Aude?o B-R.
The launch of the Belong platform with the new Aude?o B RIC products comes less than 24 months after the introduction of the Phonak Venture platform. The new products join AutoSense OS: the system designed to further enhance hearing performance. The new Belong platform includes Aude?o B-R, reportedly the first hearing aid to feature a built-in lithium-ion rechargeable battery providing 24 hours* of hearing. According to Phonak, the Aude?o B-R features the quickest charging, longest lasting rechargeable hearing aid that has yet been produced.
“Consumers are becoming increasingly active and require hearing solutions which can automatically keep up with their lifestyles,” said Martin Grieder, group vice president, Phonak. “Aude?o B is evidence of our clear commitment to pioneer life-changing innovative hearing solutions in the marketplace. This ground-breaking technology provides consumers with the first of its kind lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid, offering 24 hours* of hearing with one simple charge of just 3 hours.”
In its announcement of the new products, Phonak cites recent Marke Trak research, which reveals that rechargeable batteries and rechargeable hearing aids are top of the list of features that hearing aid users are seeking. Phonak reports that it created the Aude?o B-R in response to this insight and based on years of research, development, and intensive testing. Today, lithium-ion is the fastest growing and most promising battery technology that offers 40% more power than conventional rechargeable batteries.
Ideal for those constantly on the move, Phonak rechargeable hearing aids also come with smart charging options. The 30 minute fast-charging option gives 6 hours of immediate use. Additionally, lithium-ion batteries last through the lifetime of a hearing aid, even after years of repeated charging. This, combined with the fact that the battery compartment is sealed, frees customers from the cumbersome task of regularly changing their batteries. The new technology is also environmentally friendly, with users typically going through around a 100 batteries per year and hearing aid. The power pack, which is easily attached to the Phonak Charger Case, provides power for 7 full charges of 2 hearing aids, ideal for short trips where no power source is available. In addition, Phonak offers a compact mini charger giving users full flexibility.
“Less than two years after the successful introduction of the Venture product platform, Phonak once again proves its unwavering commitment to pioneer life-changing innovative hearing solutions,” said Lukas Braunschweiler, CEO of Sonova. “The quickest charging, longest lasting rechargeable hearing aid ever produced will be a game-changer in ease-of-use for our industry. It is further evidence of our promise to empower consumers to live a life without limitations. I am convinced that this groundbreaking new product will further support the long-term, sustainable growth of Sonova.”
The new Audéo B premium hearing aids come in a new design and will be available in 4 performance levels and 9 colors. All models are IP 68 rated, meaning that they are dust tight and protected against water. For more information on the new platform and hearing aid, watch the YouTube video.
Are the lithium rechargeable batteries replaceable
Last thing I would ever want is rechargeable hearing aids!
Right now I carry two little batteries with me as back up. My batteries last up to 5 days. When they start to die, I get plenty of warning and within a minute replace them.
Rechargeable hearing aids means bringing along a bulky charger every where I go because these last “up to a day.” Then when they die, they have to sit on the recharger. While I do what? Tell all my customers and colleagues and management to come back later? Oh, and lithium ion? When will the first one set someone’s hair on fire?
I’m happy to see hearing aids finally catch up with other digital technology. Now to make them more affordable. *wishlist*
Are all the new B series offered in a CROS or is it just the 312?
Is the Phonak Audeo v being discontinued in Europe?
I’d like to know which is lighter in weight, the rechargeable hearing aid or the hearing aid with a battery that needs replaced weekly or so?
Phonak Audeo Belong comes in four sizes: 10 battery; 312 battery; 312(T) battery(aid has a telecom) and 13 battery. The 10 is the lightest and the 13 is the big one. Audeo B-R (with the rechargeable battery) is between 312-T and 13 as size. They are all light, not heavy.
Will the new rechargeable batteries work with CostCo’s Phonak Brio hearing aids?
No. The battery is integrated into the electronics design and is slightly bigger in size than a standard 675 battery, however the exterior does not seem to be much larger, if at all. The battery is not accessible to the consumer. Very nice.
3 hours per charge? What do you do whilst waiting around? Can’t see the advantage. Enlighten me.
The hearing aids would recharge while you are sleeping.
One of the disadvantages of the disposable battery is that it can go dead at the most unexpected or inconvenient moment, which is extra annoying when you forgot your spares. So when charging every night, you have guaranteed 100% functionality all day, every day of the year. In the rare case you forget to charge over night, a 3 hours charging you are good to go for a big part of the day.
I now wear Audeo-V RICs. I was hoping that Phonak would finally come out with a direct iPhone connection in the new platform. I was disappointed that they do not seem to be moving in that direction. Rechargeable batteries are not all that important to me. The battery life is fine as is. For me, the device they now have that links to smartphones is useless.
Bluetooth can consume much more power and reduce the life of any battery. Some reports from patients have been that they have to use 2 or more batteries a week depending on if it is a size 10 or 312. Rechargeable is the future, especially if you need a lot of power. Some companies offer lifetime replacement of batteries, and that can save a lot of money over the life of the hearing aid.
One person’s opinion (probably means lots of others too) . . .
I’d rather have a larger hearing aid that has direct connect to Bluetooth. IMHO (in my humble opinion) you can forget iPhone and just support Android :).
Here is some more information. Look at: https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_are_the_advantages_and_disadvantages_of_a_Li_ion_rechargeable_battery
Worth celebrating that mainstream Hearing Aid manufacturers are waking up to Lithium Ion rechargeable technology, but interesting that the introduction of a similar innovation by a small US company (IMH) two years ago got little notice. The IMH EZCharge hearing aids were a welcome introduction of ways to manage Lithium Ion power supplies in full-function hearing aids. Earth-friendly advances are always a happy occurrence for the planet, but genuine innovations don’t always flow from the biggest participants in the industry.