How Humidity Affects Your Hearing Devices

Somehow we all seem to know that moisture is the enemy of electronics. It’s easy to see what happens when electronic devices get wet: They stop working! Something we might not be clear on, however, is just how much humidity is okay for an electrical device.

Hearing devices like hearing aids, hearables (such as Apple Airpods) and other miniaturized, sensitive electronic devices that spend a lot of time up against our bodies or inside our ears are at a special risk for moisture damage. Our ear canals are among the moistest areas of our bodies, where earwax and moisture collect and inundate electronics. Even behind-the-ear (BTE) devices, like the bodies of many hearing aids, are prone to exposure to sweat and moisture. Our hair often helps to create an environment around our BTE devices that is significantly higher in humidity than the ambient space.

How Much Humidity Is Too Much?

Ideal ambient humidity is 40–60%. That’s the humidity level that’s best for our bodies and, incidentally, most electronic devices. The problem for electronics is when they are at a colder temperature than the air, which causes moisture to condense and create water droplets inside them. Incidentally, it’s for this reason that a new electronic device brought into your home from the cold air should be allowed to adjust its temperature for a while before you plug it in and turn it on. This applies to computers, televisions, refrigerators, and most other electronics that you bring home. Portable devices tend to be protected against the effects of condensation a little better, though it’s still not a bad idea to do this if the device in question has been out in the cold for long.

Ambient humidity levels exceeding 80% for extended periods of time are likely to cause trouble for electronics, including hearing aids and hearables. Rechargeable technology has helped the situation somewhat. By removing the need for user-accessible battery compartments, one place that moisture tends to be introduced is taken out of the equation. Still, over time, moisture is bound to creep into the most sensitive areas of our hearing aids and hearables.

Redux Removes All Moisture

Redux is a revolution in hearing aid and hearable dehydration technology. In a matter of 15 minutes, a Redux machine is able to remove 100% of the moisture from a pair of hearing aids or hearables. The process is incredibly important if your hearing devices are accidentally exposed directly to water, but it is also effective as part of your regular maintenance routine.

The Redux process has been shown, over the course of thousands of implementations, to subjectively improve the function of working hearing aids and hearables in 77% of cases. This is because moisture can create inefficiencies in circuits, microphones and speakers in our tiny devices. By drying them out completely, these sensitive electronics are free to work as intended.

Regular use of the Redux process will not only keep your hearing aids or hearables working better on a day-to-day basis, but will actually extend the lifespan of the product. Hearing aids have a life expectancy of 4–7 years. The reason that window is so large has to do with the particularities of the differing environments they have to work in. Some people use hearing aids in generally drier climates, which helps them last longer. Other people may have drier ears or sweat less than others, which also helps them last longer. Regardless of the amount of moisture your climate, body type or lifestyle impose on your hearing aids, periodic use of the Redux process will allow your hearing devices a kind of fresh start. They’ll often work better for you the moment they come out of the machine, and will generally last longer.

If your hearing aids or hearables are currently functioning perfectly, that doesn’t mean the Redux process won’t do anything for them. Ideally, the Redux process should be periodically performed even when hearing devices are working correctly in order to keep them working correctly. By periodically removing moisture, you’ll be less likely to run into issues down the road. 

Professionals in the hearing aid industry report that the vast majority of problems they see with hearing aids are caused by exposure to moisture. A Redux process takes only 15 minutes, but regular use can help you avoid expensive repairs and replacements.