Sony Electronics announced the availability of its first over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids for the U.S. Sony is re-imagining the hearing device space with a focus on innovation, accessibility, and personalization. With the unique products, developed in partnership with WS Audiology ("WSA"), a leading innovator in hearing aid technology for more than 100 years, Sony will enhance the lives of consumers by combining its unique premium technology, ultimate ease of use, and uncompromised comfort and wearability, to deliver an unprecedented hearing experience that easily bridges the gap between the wearer and their environment.
The first two products to debut from the partnership are the CRE-C10 and the CRE-E10 self-fitting OTC hearing aids, designed with the understanding that one size does not fit all, and that people deserve options that best fit their unique needs, situations, and lives. Utilizing the app, the CRE-C10 and CRE-E10 intuitively adapt to each user's speech and surroundings, blending the latest technology with comfort to meet each individual's hearing goals.
“Many people have ongoing challenges related to hearing loss and because of the negative feeling around it, they often don't seek the help they may need,” says Tyler Ishida, President of Consumer Business Group, Sony Electronics. “As a leader in the audio innovation space, we are thrilled at the opportunity to improve the hearing assistance landscape with cutting-edge yet quite accessible devices that will ensure new over-the-counter solutions for those living with hearing impairment and also help general consumers engage with their surroundings in a deeper, more connected way.
Created for daily use, Sony's goal with these new devices is to break down the current barriers faced by those with signs of mild to moderate hearing loss and provide a simple, app-enabled, do-it-yourself solution that can allow for a better hearing experience. While each device features an easy-to-navigate app interface with customizable options for the wearer's specific hearing needs and preferences, the two models coming to market will provide more choice when it comes to the look and capabilities of high-end hearing devices, Sony said in a press release.
"As a company dedicated to advancing the cause of Wonderful Sound for All, we welcome the introduction of these self-fitting hearing options, with the knowledge that more than 65% of the total U.S. consumer market that needs better hearing care has not yet achieved it," says Carsten Buhl, President, WSA Americas. "We expect these over-the-counter hearing aids to help people begin the journey to better hearing health.
Extremely Easy to Use
Each device can be used soon after purchase by following an easy setup with the Sony | Hearing Control App. Users are guided through a step-by-step process, answering a few brief questions to quickly set up and start using either device in a matter of minutes. The user-friendly app allows each device to communicate with the user's smartphone, letting them quickly personalize settings including volume control and more to ensure the wearer hears exactly what they intend, in multiple environments.
The app also allows the wearer to "self-fit" each device. During the in-app self-fitting process, each Sony device self-adjusts to the most appropriate of pre-defined hearing profiles, based on thousands of actual, real-life audiogram results. Whether the user is in a bustling room or a peaceful nature setting, both models easily adapt to deliver an authentic, connected sound experience that puts the wearer first.
"At Sony, we strive to realize an inclusive world where everyone can participate, and we see this new product line as an opportunity to increase accessibility for many," commented Mike Nejat, Vice President, Engineering with Sony Electronics, and head of Sony's U.S. Accessibility Promotion Office. "With our unique technology heritage, we can help bridge a gap between individuals and their environment."
Two Initial Device Choices
As one of the smallest OTC hearing aids on the market, the CRE-C10 has a sleek, discreet design that delivers exceptional sound quality, yet is virtually invisible when worn and has a long battery life of up to 70 hours of continuous use.
Read more: Bose and Lexie Hearing Partner on Self-Fitting Hearing Aids
The second debuting product is the CRE-E10, which has an earbud-like design combining excellent sound quality and comfort, offering the wearer confidence and convenience. In addition, CRE-E10 has a rechargeable battery for wireless charging that delivers up to 26 hours of continuous use and is also Bluetooth compatible letting the user easily connect to streaming audio or music (iOS only).
Regardless of which device the user selects, both models deliver outstanding noise reduction and directionality, reducing noises from the back and sides depending on the wearer's changing environment. In addition, each device adjusts the sound based on the surroundings to improve the overall listening experience. As Sony works to fill the world with emotion through the power of creativity and technology, these new hearing devices are expected to make the conversation more accessible while offering a premium over-the-counter hearing experience at a more affordable price point than current prescription-based devices.
Price and Availability
The CRE-C10 self-fitting OTC hearing aid has a suggested retail price of $999.99. The CRE-E10 self-fitting OTC hearing aid will be available for purchase this winter at the suggested price of $1,299.99. Both hearing aids will be available on Sony’s website.