The company developed unique products in partnership with hearing aid technology developer WS Audiology. Sony said they combine ease of use with comfort and wearability for an “unprecedented hearing experience.”
Sony and WS Audiology began by launching two products from the partnership: the CRE-C10 and CRE-E10 self-fitting hearing aids. The companies designed them with the understanding that one size does not fit all. They aimed to offer options best fitting each person’s unique needs, situations and lives.
Utilizing an app, both hearing aids adapt to each user’s speech and surroundings. Sony said they blend the latest technology with comfort for each individual’s hearing goals.
The product launch follows a major FDA ruling in August that improved access to hearing aids. The ruling established a new category of OTC hearing aids. Consumers with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment may purchase hearing aids directly from stores or online retailers without the need for a medical exam, prescription or fitting adjustment by an audiologist. This potentially lowers costs for the devices.
“Cutting-edge yet quite accessible”
“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 the consumer business group of 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.”
Sony said it aims for the new devices to “break down” current barriers for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The technology provides a simple, app-enabled solution for a better hearing experience, Sony said. The app interface offers customizable options for specific needs and preferences.
“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,” said Carsten Buhl, president, WSA Americas. “We expect these over-the-counter hearing aids to help people begin the journey to better hearing health.