Sony Announces New Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

Two new devices will hit the market, with the first arriving this month after the FDA's new rule goes into effect.

Jessica Rendall Wellness Writer
Jessica is a writer on the Wellness team with a focus on health news. Before CNET, she worked in local journalism covering public health issues, business and music.
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Jessica Rendall
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Two black Sony hearing aids

Sony's CRE-E10 over-the-counter hearing aid, which looks like earbuds, will be available this winter.

Sony Electronics

Sony Electronics gave details Wednesday of two hearing aids that will be available over the counter, in partnership with WS Audiology. Sony and WS Audiology announced last month that they were pairing up to create over-the-counter hearing aids, following new regulation from the US Food and Drug Administration that clears many hearing aids to be sold without prescription.

Sony said the first two products will be the CRE-C10 and the CRE-E10, both self-fitting hearing aids that pair with the company's Hearing control app to "intuitively adapt to each user's speech and surroundings." People will be guided by the app for the fitting process, which is a similar set-up process we can expect for other over-the-counter hearing aids, like Bose and Lexie Hearing's devices

The CRE-C10 is "one of the smallest" hearing aids entering the over-the-counter market and has a battery life up to 70 hours, Sony said. It will be available this month online from Sony and from retailers including Amazon and Best Buy for $1,000. It will also be available through some hearing-aid professionals. 

A person holds a pair of small hearing aids

The CRE-C10 hearing aid will be available this month online and at some stores, including Best Buy. 

Sony Electronics

The CRE-E10 will cost $1,300 and arrive this winter, Sony said. This device looks like an earbud and has a rechargeable battery with up to 26 hours of use. The E10 is also Bluetooth-compatible and will let Apple iOS users stream music or audio.

In August, the FDA cleared the way for hearing aids to be sold over the counter without a prescription, which is expected to lower the cost and burden for the roughly 30 million American adults who might benefit from a hearing aid. It will also allow more companies to enter the health care market, furthering a new era that blurs the line between health care and tech.

Over-the-counter hearing aids will be available to adults with mild or moderate hearing loss

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.