Sony CRE-C10 OTC hearing aids review: effective hearing help is finally more affordable

Trending 4 weeks ago

Sony CRE-C10 OTC proceeding assistance wrong carrying case.

Sony CRE-C10 OTC Hearing Aids

MSRP $999.00

“Tiny, comfortable, affordable, and nan correct magnitude of proceeding help.”


  • Long artillery life
  • Small and discreet
  • Easy to use
  • Great sound quality
  • All-day comfort


  • Not rechargeable
  • App incompatible pinch immoderate phones
  • No Bluetooth audio streaming

Sony is dipping its toes into nan over-the-counter proceeding assistance marketplace pinch nan CRE-C10, a proceeding assistance made successful business pinch WS Audiology.

The business is judge to springiness Sony a limb up successful nan analyzable proceeding assistance market, wherever moreover a institution for illustration Bose has had to subordinate forces pinch an established player successful bid to make its proceeding assistance strategy work.

Are nan Sony CRE-C10 proceeding immunodeficiency bully capable to compete pinch bequest proceeding immunodeficiency and caller brands? I tested them for 2 weeks to find out.

Who are they for?

These proceeding immunodeficiency are aimed astatine group pinch “mild to moderate” proceeding nonaccomplishment — a group that’s almost 50 cardinal beardown successful nan U.S. alone. However, only a mini fraction of these folks person traditionally sought treatment, and less still take to usage proceeding aids.

The rationales for not doing truthful screen nan gamut. Everything from fears of being seen arsenic aged aliases incapable, to much applicable matters for illustration cost, comfort, and effectiveness successful a assortment of situations.

Sony mightiness not beryllium capable to get group to admit they person a proceeding problem, but for those who person made that leap, nan CRE-C10 could spell a agelong measurement to addressing their concerns astir proceeding aids.

Sony CRE-C10 OTC proceeding assistance wrong carrying case.Sandra Stafford/Digital Trends

The Sony CRE-C10 proceeding immunodeficiency are small, achromatic earbuds pinch clear strings attached. Each earbud has a soft sleeve, and 3 sizes are included to guarantee a bully fit. Their mini size makes them fresh discreetly into nan receptor canal. They’re still visible from overseas angles aliases very adjacent up, but astir group won’t announcement them.

Sony CRE-C10 proceeding immunodeficiency successful ear, broadside viewImage utilized pinch support by copyright holder

The creation of nan Sony CRE-C10 invites an evident comparison to Eargo 6. When I reviewed nan Eargo 6, I was near pinch 1 question: Who are these moreover for?

By now, I’ve sewage a guess. These discreet, no-frills proceeding immunodeficiency are surely intended for professionals moving successful blimpish agency environments. Someone tin deterioration them to activity and beryllium assured that nary of their coworkers will announcement aliases estimate astir whether aliases not nan wearer is secretly listening to euphony (since neither has Bluetooth).

In different words, they don’t look for illustration proceeding immunodeficiency aliases enactment for illustration earbuds. That sets nan C10 and Eargo 6 isolated from competitors for illustration nan Jabra Enhance Plus, aliases moreover nan (unreleased) Sony CRE-E10, each of which person a larger, earbud-like creation pinch audio streaming.

With that title successful mind, nan C10’s $999 value tag seems cheap. It’s surely cheaper than Eargo 6, which costs $2,950 per pair. The costs of batteries is hardly worthy mentioning, amounting to a fewer dollars per month.

Sony CRE-C10 OTC proceeding assistance pinch artillery removed.Sandra Stafford/Digital Trends

The proceeding immunodeficiency don’t person a powerfulness button, truthful you must unfastened nan artillery doorway whenever you aren’t wearing them. This was a astonishment to me, but apparently, it has been a communal problem among non-rechargeable proceeding immunodeficiency pretty overmuch since these devices were invented.

The artillery doors person an separator that makes them easy to open, astatine slightest for personification pinch fingernails. Opening nan artillery doors whitethorn airs a trouble to group pinch mobility problems, but nary much than nan mini proceeding assistance batteries themselves.

They look for illustration sturdy small earbuds, but they still require nan aforesaid observant curen arsenic immoderate different proceeding aid. They shouldn’t beryllium exposed to h2o aliases dropped from immoderate height, and they should beryllium kept successful nan carrying lawsuit erstwhile not being worn. That past portion is highly important, because nan artillery doors are rather vulnerable erstwhile open, arsenic other reviewers person pointed out. They could easy break if stored successful a pocket. The Sony CRE-C10 travel pinch a clam-shell lawsuit that opens and closes easy and has dedicated slots for 2 spare batteries.

Hearing assistance setup

Sony Hearing Control Fine TuningImage utilized pinch support by copyright holder

Sony CRE-C10 require a smartphone pinch an net relationship for setup. After setup, your telephone doesn’t request nan net to usage these proceeding aids.

Setting up nan Sony CRE-C10 took conscionable a fewer minutes. First I created a Sony account, past I called customer work because nan app didn’t look to beryllium working. It turned retired to beryllium a scaling issue, truthful I had to disable nan Display Zoom mounting connected my iPhone. The customer work typical made this sound for illustration a communal problem, and so respective customer reviews person mentioned being incapable to usage nan app.

I paired nan proceeding immunodeficiency successful nan app. The past measurement was “fine tuning,” which programs nan proceeding immunodeficiency for nan user’s grade of proceeding loss. In this case, nan app played a bid of 3 beeps successful different pitches, past asked really galore beeps I heard. Each clip I answered, nan app would make adjustments, play much beeps, and inquire again. After doing some sides, nan Hearing Control app urged maine to spell to a proceeding professional. I already knew that I had unilateral (or one-sided) proceeding loss, truthful I saved nan settings and went up pinch testing.

As agelong arsenic your proceeding nonaccomplishment is stable, you shouldn’t person to repetition nan proceeding test. If your proceeding becomes worse complete time, you really ought to spot a professional. You whitethorn person a treatable problem aliases proceeding nonaccomplishment that exceeds what these proceeding immunodeficiency tin treat.


Sony Hearing Control App distant power adjustments.Image utilized pinch support by copyright holder

The Hearing Control app serves arsenic a distant power for Sony CRE-C10 proceeding aids. The app is simple, pinch basal slider barroom adjustments for measurement and sound balance. After programming, I seldom returned to nan Hearing Control app. The proceeding immunodeficiency were large capable to perceive and they remained connected, truthful location wasn’t overmuch logic to.

After setup, nan proceeding immunodeficiency aren’t wholly reliant connected your telephone aliases nan app. You won’t beryllium capable to alteration nan measurement aliases settings if your telephone dies, but nan proceeding immunodeficiency will spell connected moving arsenic normal. If you suffer your phone, you tin brace nan proceeding immunodeficiency pinch a caller device.

Sound quality

The Sony CRE-C10 proceeding immunodeficiency boosted measurement noticeably. The sound was agleam and clear. Voices sounded natural, not astatine each robotic aliases synthesized. When I covered my bully ear, I could easy make retired each nan speech connected nan television. I had nary problem pursuing conversations successful crowded restaurants, and I could easy understand nan waiter.

Music was a spot much inconsistent, arsenic it often is pinch proceeding aids. High notes were sometimes a small tinny aliases shrill, whether nan notes were soft keys aliases high-pitched vocals. The C10 besides alleviated my tinnitus, nan ringing sound that is simply a communal denotation of proceeding loss.

I didn’t person immoderate awesome problems specified arsenic whistling, popping, aliases feedback. The proceeding immunodeficiency are besides reasonably wind-resistant. There was a mild occlusion effect, astir noticeable erstwhile I was singing on pinch music. Occlusion is nan booming aliases echoing value of sound, often one’s ain voice, caused by nan receptor canal being closed off. For an thought of really it sounds, mildly plug your ears and past speak. It sounds a small annoying, but there’s not overmuch to beryllium done for it if you’re wearing in-ear proceeding aids.


Sony CRE-C10 proceeding immunodeficiency advertise 70 hours of continuous usage pinch each size 10 zinc-air battery. I wore nan proceeding assistance passim astir of each day, and nan artillery died successful nan mediate of my 5th time of testing. By my unsmooth estimation, nan artillery lasted astir 68 hours. Since artillery life depends connected use, immoderate variety from nan mean is to beryllium expected. The artillery life is connected par pinch different battery-operated proceeding aids.

Will they last?

The Sony CRE-C10 proceeding immunodeficiency are excessively caller for anyone to conjecture their lifespan. What we do cognize is that Sony offers a constricted one-year warranty. For comparison, accepted proceeding immunodeficiency thin to past betwixt three and 7 years. Most of them besides person warranties that screen not only manufacturer’s defects, but accidental nonaccomplishment aliases harm arsenic well.

Regardless, Sony is an established company, truthful I tin confidently urge nan C10s without worrying that they will go wholly unsupported if nan institution goes nether aliases discontinues them.

Should you bargain them?

The Sony CRE-C10’s closest competitor are nan Eargo 6, which is nary title astatine all. Compared to Eargo 6, nan C10 are acold much affordable and comfortable, pinch amended sound value to boot.

Should you bargain them? If you’re among those pinch mild-to-moderate proceeding loss, and you’re consenting to effort a proceeding aid, you should decidedly see it. They’re discreet, affordable, and of bully quality. Sony’s first proceeding assistance makes maine optimistic astir nan early of over-the-counter proceeding aids.

Editors' Recommendations

  • Best over-the-counter proceeding immunodeficiency for 2023
  • These are Sony’s first over-the-counter proceeding aids
  • Sony delivers nan $100 WF-C500, its astir affordable group of existent wireless earbuds