App-Enabled, DIY Hearing Aids Now Available OTC in the US

Sony’s daily-use hearing aids adapt to user speech patterns, changing environments, and offer customization for personal need and comfort.

Susan Shepard

October 17, 2022

3 Min Read
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Image courtesy of Akhararat Wathanasing / Alamy Stock Photo

More than 65% of the United States market needs better hearing care and have not yet achieved it, said Carsten Buhl, president, WSA Americas, in a company statement. Sony Electronics has partnered with WSA to introduce the CRE-C10 and CRE-E10 self-fitting OTC hearing aids in the US. They were 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 an app, the CRE-C10 and CRE-E10 intuitively adapt to each user's speech and surroundings, blending the latest technology with comfort to meet individual 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," said Tyler Ishida, president of Consumer Business Group, Sony Electronics, in prepared remarks. "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.

The daily-use aids, suitable for those with signs of mild to moderate hearing loss, 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 company believes the two models coming to market will provide more choice when it comes to the look and capabilities of high-end hearing devices. 

Each device can be used after following an easy set-up with the Sony Hearing Control App, where users are guided through a step-by-step process to answer a few brief questions. The user-friendly app communicates with the user's smartphone and allows to them to quickly personalize settings such as volume control to ensure the wearer hears exactly what they intend, in multiple environments.

Each device can be self-fitted using a process in the app in which each Sony device self-adjusts to the most appropriate of predefined hearing profiles, which are based on thousands of actual, real-life audiogram results.

The two initial device choices are the CRE-C10 and the CRE-E10. The CRE-C10 is one of the smallest OTC hearing aids on the market, with a sleek, discreet design that delivers exceptional sound quality, yet is virtually invisible when worn. It has a battery life of up to 70 hours of continuous use.  

The CRE-E10 has an earbud-like design, combining excellent sound quality and comfort and offers the wearer both confidence and convenience. It features a rechargeable battery for wireless charging that delivers up to 26 hours of continuous use. It is also Bluetooth compatible, letting the user easily connect to streaming audio or music (iOS only). 

Both models deliver outstanding noise reduction and directionality, reducing noises from the back and sides, depending on the wearer’s changing environment, according to the company. Each device also adjusts the sound based on current surroundings to improve overall listening experience.

About the Author(s)

Susan Shepard

Susan Shepard is a freelance contributor to Design News and MD+DI.

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