I hope you will find it useful.
First of all there are 4 type of batteries available, there are 2 ways of indentifying them: number and colour.
Size 10 with Yellow tab
Size 13 with Orange tab
Size 312 with Brown tab
Size 675 with Blue tab
All battery model will usually have a reference and the needed number will be in that reference (size 10 battery can be a 10A, AE10, ZA10, etc....).
In case of doubt, ask the seller. Professional sellers will usually come back to you withing a couple of hours with the response (during normal office hours).
Should it be Rayovacs, Duracel or the Earpower ones? or no branded ones??
Personally, I would suggest a couple of very important points here regardless of brands.
- Make sure you buy from a reputable source, sellers with very high positive feedbacks (98% minimum!).
- Ensure that the batteries on offer are the freshest possible. Reputable sellers advertise their "sell-by-date" on all hearing aids batteries listings. Some sellers advertise 3 years shelf life, some others have just a few months left. The latter is not good of course. Their pricing might look interesting but overall, if the batteries dont last as long, they turn up pricier!
This is very important because of the way these batteries work. They are known as zinc-air batteries, meaning, that in order to release energy, they need to be activated by air. Hence the sticker on the back of the battery. Once removed, it releases the air inside and the battery starts working. It works great, but, the sticker cannot be 100% air proof when attached to the battery, meaning that over time, the batteries loose on effectiveness! Ensure you buy the freshest ever and avoid sellers not advertising this date (there are quite a few of them!!)
- Avoid sellers from far flung places like China or Hong Kong. Price migh seem interesting but once costs of shipping has been added, they always turn out pricier.
Also you are not guaranteed to get them, there is a lot of postal losses etc...
These sellers cannot offer any form of guarantee. Say your battery damages your expensive privately bought device, who will pay for the repairs? Only EU based sellers can offer a suitable guarantee / cover.
- Avoid non professional sellers like the plague. These sellers sell without any registrations, this is black economy, these people do not pay taxes and cannot offer any warranty/guarantee either.
- Avoid "end of line" resellers or people selling bankrupt items etc... Easy to find out, check their other items for sale and if they sell hearing aods batteries alongside toothpaste and DVDs, you know that they are trading in anything they can put their hands on. That also means that they dont know where the itmes come from, how they were stored etc... They probably will not be in a position to provide any satisfying support as they don't know much about hearing aids...
Now about quality of batteries!
I use size 10 and have tried quite a few brands over the years: Rayovac, Duracell, Panasonic, PowerOne, Renata and EarPower.
Overall, I have paid anything from £1 to £5 per car of 6 batteries.
Generally speaking, Rayovacs are OK value for money. Duracell are very expensive (due to their fancy packaging system!), PowerOne are really better than Rayovacs but cost so much more, it is not worth it IMHO. Renatas are OK value for money, bit like the Rayovacs I find. EarPower are the batteries that got me to buy on eBay. They were so cheap, I decided to try them, just to see if they were worth anything.(I think I pay about half or a third of the normal Rayovac price at my local audiologist). To my suprise, they did last a bit longer than the Rayovacs while I expeced them to underperfom by a mile.
That was a very pleasant surprise and now I only buy these as the seller is very reputable (100% positives!), quick and efficient.
Now having said that, I would suggest all users to try all brands and jusdge by themselves!
After some research, I found that hearing aids batteries are a funny bunch! Some batteries work better with some aids and some are not as good! I could not find any reasons for that really. So just try a few brands and decide yourself on best Value For Money!
Another thing that comes to mind is how long will a battery last? Personally, I noticed that it is very difficult to test 2 or 3 different batteries because of the noise environment we live in.
2 people with the same brand and model aids will not necessarily use the same number of batteries per month or year. If one works in a very noisy environment and the other one is not working and living in a quiet house in a remote place in the countryside, the latter one will use much less power as the aid will not need to amplify as much as the first one!
So beware of comparisons and when testing 2 brands, ensure your test them in a very similar way!
I will think of other stuff to add on to this review and keep it updated if needed!