Cellion Primax and Audeo Belong R Hearing Aids Review
Rechargeable hearing aids, are they worth it?
The first generation of lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids have hit Australia. Lithium-ion rechargeable technology is commonly used in consumer electronics due to their high capacity (relative to size), minimal memory effect and low self-discharge. Only recently has this technology been utilised in hearing aid technology. The following lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aids are available in Australia:
- Signia (formerly Siemens) Cellion primax receiver-in-canal model
- Phonak Audeo Belong R receiver-in-canal model
The Signia Cellion primax is available in four performance levels from premium to entry-level (7px, 5 px, 3px and 2px) and features a 48mAhs inductive-charging system (the highest in the industry delivering at least 24 hours of hearing even if streaming audio). Using an inductive charging system, the Cellion is designed to be extremely easy to use as there is no need to plug it in to be charged. When the hearing aids are placed in the charger cradle they turn off automatically and when removed, they turn on automatically (no need to fiddle with the controls). The inductive charger comes with a mains power adaptor but is also compatible with a range of off-the-shelf power packs.
The Phonak Audeo Belong R is available in the premium, high-end and mid-range levels (B90, B70, B50) and features a 42mAhs traditional contact-charging system (delivering 24 hours of hearing including 80 mins of streaming audio). Compared to the Cellion primax, the Audeo Belong R offers the technology at more price-points including a mid-level offering. In addition, Phonak offers two charger options: charger case and mini-charger (a great travel option). There is also an optional Phonak power packs that can be purchased.
What are the Pros and Cons of the technology?
- Convenience and ease of use – this is certainly the main advantage of the lithium-ion rechargeability. Users never need to change fiddly batteries. The systems are designed so that they are charged every night so they deliver a full day’s hearing. If users charge their hearing aids every night they never need to worry about their hearing aids running out of power unexpectedly during the day (a common occurrence with disposable zinc air batteries).
- Improved robustness – Doing away with disposable zinc-air batteries means here is no need for a battery door that opens and closes. This means the housing is designed with less gaps improving the hearing aid’s water resistance and general reliability. If fact both the Cellion and Audeo R have an ingress-protection raining of IP68 meaning they are both water and dust resistant.
- The unexpected – If the user forgets to charge the hearing aids and they are flat, there is no option to use disposable batteries. Although both systems provide significant life after only a short charge, there is a risk of not having operational hearing aids for a short period.
Lithium-ion technology is often the battery technology of choice for consumer electronics as it offers several advantages over disposable battery technology:
- Saves money over time for the owner
- Devices can be designed to be smaller (due to the integrated-design of the batteries)
Lithium-ion technology is new in hearing aids and at this stage does not offer these advantages. Firstly, the cost of the current generation lithium-ion hearing aids is very high (significantly higher than their non-rechargeable equivalents.) From our basic calculations over a 5-year lifespan (taking into consideration the cost savings of not having to purchase disposable batteries), they appear to be slightly more expensive than their traditional equivalents. Secondly, the current lithium-ion cell is larger than the most commonly used zinc-air batteries (size 10 and 312) and consequently the lithium-ion hearing aids are slightly larger than their traditional equivalents.
As the price of the technology decreases, lithium-ion technology will be used in more and more hearing aids. Currently we feel these new lithium-ion hearing aid options are a great option for clients who have difficulty managing disposable batteries or clients who are active and want a highly convenient hearing aid solution.
Sounds of Life offers the Cellion and Audeo B hearing aids at Brisbane’s lowest prices:
- Premium: Cellion 7 px RIC $3690 (+ $299 for the charger)
- High-end: Cellion 5 px RIC $2850 (+ $299 for the charger)
- Mid-range: Cellion 3 px RIC $1950 (+ $299 for the charger)
- Entry-Level: Cellion 2 px RIC $1590 (+ $299 for the charger)
- Premium: Audeo 90 B R RIC $4200 (includes free charger)
- High-end: Audeo 70 B R RIC $3350 (includes free charger)
- Mid-range: Audeo 50 B R RIC $2300 (includes free charger)
About Sounds of Life
Sounds of Life Audiology is a leading, independent hearing aid specialist. We offer affordable hearing aid pricing on quality hearing aids (including virtually invisible hearing aid technology) from the world’s leading brands including Siemens, Signia, Phonak, Starkey, Unitron, Resound, Bernafon, Oticon and Sonic Innovations.
Contact Us today on 1300 744 432