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Sony CRE-E10

Sony, a globally recognized consumer electronics brand, has taken a significant stride into the healthcare realm with its latest product offering: the Sony CRE-E10 Self-Fitting hearing aids.

OTC Hearing Aid
Earbud Design
Technologies used:

Developed in collaboration with WS Audiology, a partnership between Widex and Sivantos (Signia)  the CRE-E10 offers an affordable, over-the-counter (OTC) solution for individuals with mild to moderate hearing loss. Below we’ll dive into the unique features, pros, cons, and everything else you need to know about this innovative product.

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Dr Cliff's Pros and Cons


  • Rechargeable
  • Bluetooth Streaming
  • App controlled
  • Proven Signia technology


  • Visible (style not for everyone)
  • Does not physically fit all ears

A Glimpse into the Sony CRE-E10

The Sony CRE-E10 is a Self-Fitting OTC hearing aid that combines Sony’s consumer electronics expertise with WS Audiology's hearing aid technology to deliver exceptional sound in a comfortable, streamlined design. This FDA-cleared OTC hearing aid comes with a rechargeable battery, offering up to 26 hours of continuous use and wireless Bluetooth streaming connectivity, compatible exclusively with iOS devices.

The CRE-E10 essentially caters to mild to moderate hearing loss users with high-quality sound to enhance their everyday experience. The device's design ensures comfort for everyday use, personalized to your hearing levels.

Understanding the CRE-E10 Design

The CRE-E10 hearing aid comes with both right and left hearing aids, a storage charging case, four pairs of click sleeves--extra small, small, medium, and large, with small installed by default--a USB-C charging cable, and a cleaning cloth and brush.

The hearing aids utilize Qi-compatible batteries for wireless charging, promising up to 26 hours of continuous use. The batteries can be charged using the storage case that has an internal power bank for additional charges without being plugged in. The OTC hearing aids come standard in black and have an earbud design..

The Sony CRE-E10 devices connect seamlessly to the Sony Hearing Control app available in the iOS App Store and Google Play.

The Sony Hearing Control App: A User-Friendly Experience

The Sony Hearing Control app is an integral part of the CRE-E10 experience. After testing several OTC products from various hearing aid manufacturers, the Sony Hearing Control software remains one of the more difficult to use applications.  However, the app does have some good features.

The app guides users to perform a hearing test, which takes about ten minutes to complete, and subsequently programs the hearing aids based on the results. The app allows for manipulation of volume, noise reduction, treble/bass, and microphone directinality. It also features several environment-specific presets that let the devices focus on certain frequencies and speech in noisy environments. Uncommon to most other OTC hearing aids, the Hearing Control app also lets you control the directional pickup of the hearing aid microphones, which offers a noticeable improvement in reducing background noise.

The Strengths of Sony CRE-E10 Hearing Aids

The Sony CRE-E10 offers several key features that make it a top contender in the hearing aid market.

The ability to adjust Treble/Bass & microphone directionality

The CRE-E10 self-fitting hearing aids do offer a fair amount of customization. Treble & Bass fine-tuning options, along with basic volume and directional microphone settings, allow for a more personalized hearing experience.

The devices also come with automatic sound optimization, which monitors your environment and modifies its sound enhancements based on surrounding noise levels.

Rechargeable Batteries Add Value

The Sony CRE-E10 hearing aids utilize rechargeable batteries, providing around 26 hours of continuous use, which is a surprising amount considering the small size of these earbud style devices. The batteries charge wirelessly when connected to the storage case, which doubles as a battery charger.  

The introduction of rechargeable batteries is a significant upgrade that can help users save money on disposable batteries, especially given the financial pressure of the current economy.

Bluetooth Streaming Capabilities

The CRE-E10 OTC devices offer Bluetooth streaming using a Made for iPhone BTLE protocol. The streaming quality is what you would expect from most prescription level devices, and even though it does consume the battery much faster than regular use, having the option to stream phone calls and listen to music or videos from a smart device is a beneficial addition.


The Sony CRE-E10s are very comfortable OTC hearing aids compared to others on the market.  The click-sleeves Sony uses are identical to the click sleeves of the Signia Active prescription hearing aids. 

The Limitations of Sony CRE-E10 Hearing Aids

While the Sony CRE-E10 has many strengths, it does have a few shortcomings.

Initial Setup Hiccups

Non-tech savvy users may have difficulty setting up these devices initially. Though the app explains the setup process very well, there are often issues that require un-paring and re-paring of the Sony devices. 

Power-On Issues

Another minor issue is that there were some instances when the fully charged CRE-E10s would not power on properly after being removed from the case. This irregularity could potentially be resolved in a future update.

iOS-Only Bluetooth Streaming

While the use of Bluetooth technology in the E10s is impressive, it's important to note that only those with iOS devices can take advantage of it. This limitation could be disappointing for Android users.

Limited Customizability

While there are numerous options for self-fitting the Sony CRE-E10 OTC healing aids using the Sound Control App, many of the adjustments provide limited measurable improvement in device performance.  Ensuring the use of a proper click-sleeve, vented or closed, will have the biggest impact on the user's overall performance. 

Final Verdict: Is the Sony CRE-E10 Right for You?

If you value the ability to stream audio directly to your hearing aids and are willing to budget a few hundred extra dollars compared to other OTC hearing aids, the Sony CRE-E10 could be an excellent choice for you.

These FDA-cleared OTC hearing aids deliver high-quality sound with customization and Bluetooth for under $1,400. Not only are these hearing aids durable compared to most OTC hearing aids, but their rechargeable batteries make them easy to maintain.

If you are working with a stricter budget and prefer the longevity that disposable batteries offer, it may be worth considering other options. However, if you are looking for rechargeable OTC hearing aids, with Bluetooth,  that don’t look like traditional hearing aids, the Sony CRE-E10s are an excellent option. 

Wrapping Up

The CRE-E10 is a great first step for Sony in the OTC marketplace, offering a user-friendly, affordable, and high-quality solution for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss. Its features like good sound quality, fine-tuning options, Bluetooth connectivity, and Lithium-ion  rechargeable batteries make it a worthy contender in the market.

While it does have some limitations, such as iOS-only Bluetooth streaming and initial setup hiccups, its strengths considerably outweigh these issues. The Sony CRE-E10 OTC hearing aids are undoubtedly a valuable investment for those seeking an effective solution to enhance their hearing ability if not yet ready for prescription hearing aid treatment. 

Sony CRE-E10

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