if your hearing It’s normal, you might miss the huge turbulence the hearing aid market has experienced over the past few years. What once meant spending thousands of dollars through audiologists or custom hearing aid merchants — all of which are clunky, over-the-ear hardware made by one of the “Big Five” manufacturers collectively known as the Cartel — has radically changed. Variety. Today’s hearing aids may look like standard audio earbuds or fit almost perfectly in the ear canal, and thanks to a long-awaited ruling from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, five years in the making, you can finally buy them over the counter, There are no prescription drugs and it costs a lot less.
Startups and established consumer electronics companies alike are scrambling to enter the market, and the latest offering comes from Sony. If you needed proof that hearing aids have fully gone mainstream, well, here it is.
Sony recently launched two models of over-the-counter hearing aids; the CRE-C10 is an entry-level set that costs $1,000 a pair, less than half the starting price of many popular models. A far cry from hearing aid models released even a year or two ago, the C10 slides so completely into the ear canal that even careful observers see only a short removal line (often mistaken for the antenna’s protrusion). Includes a range of interchangeable sleeves to perfectly fit your figure, but fit right out of the box.
With no audiologist involved in customizing your sound profile, it’s a (seemingly) simple matter to start configuring and fine-tuning assistive devices. You’ll quickly notice there’s no Bluetooth or Wi-Fi here. Like many consumer hearing aids, they use the Sony Hearing Control app to communicate directly with tiny speakers via high-frequency sound waves from your phone, rather than wireless technology.
Pro tip: You need to follow the configuration instructions exactly, and I mean without compromise. As a tech veteran, I slacked off and skimmed through the introductory material easily, forgetting a crucial step before I discovered that the phone couldn’t communicate with the hearing aids. Many netizens also complained like this, but the problem still lies with Sony, who should have made this process even more stupid.for me i am certainly My phone is not muted because I was talking on speaker a few minutes ago.But it turns out that although I Telephone The volume is not muted, my media The volume is, the app tries to inadvertently send a signal to the hearing aid through the silent speaker. While it’s ultimately my fault for not following directions exactly, Sony would do a good job of improving its setup process to help users determine if something as simple as this is holding them back and avoid the onslaught of complaints.
Once I figured out the muting bug, the configuration proceeded normally, and about 10 minutes of the session required me to use my “do you hear that?” to listen for pulses of various frequencies and volumes in both ears. The result is used to set the frequency shape of the hearing aid. Once you’re done, you can’t directly change these settings without running the configuration again, but the various controls let the user change the volume for each ear independently, adjust the bass and treble, or use the “fine-tune” system to, well, fine-tune the audio . All in all, I found the default calibration to be very effective, and during my testing of these devices, I ended up relying only on minor volume adjustments to get clear audio from the secondary.
Consistently high performance. The aids do a good job of amplifying all sounds across the board, but I found the bass to be particularly high. This can cause a somewhat harsh, echo-like feel when walking or typing, so pay attention to app volume adjustments to mitigate this effect. Overall, however, I found that everything from talking to watching media improved after using the hearing aids, even before any fine-tuning was done. There’s very little hiss—the more ambient sounds you have around you, the more noticeable it is—and I never encountered any of the high-pitched whine I’ve seen in other OTC models. Best of all, the units are very comfortable because they’re small; I can wear them for hours at a time without any discomfort. I’m sure if I had the time to test long term I could easily get to the point of forgetting they were there.