With waterproofing slowly becoming a new standard in hearing aids, it begs the question ‘How waterproof are waterproof hearing aids?’ ‘Are they more waterproof now than they were before?’ ‘Are there any hearing aids I can swim with?’ While some hearing aids are labelled as waterproof, every device has their limits. As a general rule, rechargeable hearing aids can be considered water resistant, due to the absence of an opening battery drawer. Some of the latest hearing aid models are far more water resistant than others.
With the rise in popularity and new products being introduced with waterproof functionality, we break down just how waterproof the top hearing aids are.
The Phonak Lumity - Up to 50cm
Phonak’s latest hearing aid release was the Phonak Lumity. While being similar in performance to the Paradise Life, it features 16% better speech understanding. However, it can’t process speech if it’s full of water. Therefore, it’s important to know the Phonak Lumity’s limits.
The Phonak Lumity is waterproof up to 50cm. This means that taking it swimming and going deeper than 50cm under the water and the hearing aid might leak. The further underwater you go, the more pressure is on the hearing aid. This means you should be able to take the hearing aid in the pool if you are doing some basic exercises and don’t have your head too far under the water. If you plan to dive further down than this or jump in the pool, consider leaving them at the side of the pool as you could be pulled further than 50 cm below the surface.
The Phonak Paradise Life - Up to 50cm
The Phonak Paradise Life was the world’s first waterproof, rechargeable hearing aid. Similarly to the Lumity, the Paradise Life is waterproof up to 50cm. If you are having trouble visualising how much 50 cm is, this is just over the length from the top of your middle finger to your elbow. If you plan on putting your head deeper than this in the swimming pool, maybe leave your hearing aid in their charging case in a bag.
The Rest Of Phonak Range - Only Water ‘Resistant’
Other models in Phonak’s hearing aid line up are not labelled as ‘Waterproof’ and therefore are not designed to be submerged in water. They are only, in Phonak’s words “designed to withstand normal activities and occasional accidental exposure to extreme conditions.”
We recommend erring on the side of caution especially if your hearing aids are battery powered as water can get into the battery drawer and cause your hearing aids to malfunction.
Signia Active Pro - IP68 Rating
Signia's Active/Active Pro hearing aids are rated as IP68. So what is IP68? ‘IP’ stands for Ingress Protection. The ‘68’ is made up of two individual components, with the 6 meaning that the hearing aids are resistant to solids (such as dust) and the 8 meaning that the hearing aids are resistant to water ingress.
Officially, Signia does not provide a recommended immersion depth for their Active/Active Pro hearing aids, only that the Active/Active pro devices are IP68. If you are unsure, it’s not worth the risk, but they will protect against rain and sweat if you want to wear them while running.
Signia Pure - IP68
The Signia Pure range including the charge and go AX models are also rated as IP68. Again, no depth recommendation is given. With IP68 hearing aids, taking them on a run in a drizzle will hopefully not affect performance, but be wary when swimming just in case.
Resound OMNIA - IP68
Much like the Signia active models, Resound do not provide a depth recommendation for their latest release - the Resound OMNIA. The user guide states that all Resound OMNIA models are IP68 and should function after immersion in water.
In summary, as newer hearing aids are released, they do offer more protection than their predecessors. Models such as the Phonak Lumity, and Paradise life can be safely submerged up to 50cm, while other latest models such as the Resound OMNIA and Signia Active are rated IP68, also offering a lot of protection to water and dust.
Looking for some water resistant hearing aids?, explore our full range and contact us if you have any further questions.