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Sony Electronics Launches its First Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids in the US and Makes Hearing and Improved Accessibility Options for Consumers a Reality

Sony Electronics today announces the availability of its first over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids for the U.S. market. 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.1

“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.

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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.1  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.1  

“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,” 4 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 easy set-up with the Sony | Hearing Control App.1 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.1 During the in-app self-fitting process, each Sony device self-adjusts to the most appropriate of pre-defined hearing profiles, which are 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.2  

The second product debuting is the CRE-E10, which has an earbud-like design combining excellent sound quality and comfort, offering the wearer both 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). 2, 3

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 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.   

The CRE-C10 self-fitting OTC hearing aid has a suggested retail price of $999.99 and will be available for sale this month at https://electronics.sony.com/more/otc-hearing-aid/all-otc-hearing-aid/p/crec10 and through a range of third-party retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, and select hearing-care professionals.

The CRE-E10 self-fitting OTC hearing aid will be available for purchase this winter at the suggested price of $1,299.99.  For more information on the CRE-E10, please visit https://electronics.sony.com/more/otc-hearing-aid/all-otc-hearing-aid/p/cree10.  

About Sony Electronics Inc. 
Sony Electronics is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America and an affiliate of Sony Group Corporation, one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world, with a portfolio that encompasses electronics, music, motion pictures, mobile, gaming, robotics and financial services. Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sony Electronics is a leader in electronics for the consumer and professional markets. Operations include research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, distribution and customer service. Sony Electronics creates products that innovate and inspire generations, such as the award-winning Alpha Interchangeable Lens Cameras and revolutionary high-resolution audio products. Sony is also a leading manufacturer of end-to-end solutions from 4K professional broadcast and A/V equipment to industry leading 4K and 8K Ultra HD TVs. Visit http://www.sony.com/news. for more information.

1Sony | Hearing control app – Use app on smartphone to personalize settings. Download app at Google Play and the App Store at the time of the launch. Network services, content, operating system and software subject to terms and conditions and may be changed, interrupted or discontinued at any time and may require registration.
2Actual performance varies based on settings, environmental conditions, and usage.
3.Interoperability and compatibility among Bluetooth® devices vary.
Quick Statistics About Hearing. (2021, March 25). www.nidcd.nih.gov. Retrieved October 11, 2022, from https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/statistics/quick-statistics-hearing

Healthcare Business Today is a leading online publication that covers the business of healthcare. Our stories are written from those who are entrenched in this field and helping to shape the future of this industry. Healthcare Business Today offers readers access to fresh developments in health, medicine, science, and technology as well as the latest in patient news, with an emphasis on how these developments affect our lives.

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