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Sony CRE-E10 Self-Fitting OTC Hearing Aid

Reviews, Prices, and Sound Samples

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$1,299.99 / pair New Purchase
4 stars stars
4.0 stars from 3 reviews
Hands-Free Calling Yes
iPhone Streaming Yes
Android Streaming No
Rechargeable Yes
IP Rating IP68

The Sony CRE-E10 sets a new bar for over-the-counter (OTC) self-fit hearing aids, blending the best of both earbuds and prescription-type devices. What’s more, they were found to be a top performer by HearAdvisor™ when ranked by categories such as speech enhancement, feedback reduction, and streamed audio quality.

The Sony CRE-E10, available for $1,299, is one of the more premium OTC hearing aids: it features good sound quality, Bluetooth® audio streaming and hands-free calling for iPhones (v13.0 and higher), and rechargeability. Sony also offers the CRE-C10 hearing aid for $999, an instant-fit Completely-in-Canal (CIC) OTC hearing aid that does not feature audio streaming and is not rechargeable.

Both Sony devices earned HearAdvisor Expert Choice Awards for 2023, and interested readers can view HearingTracker's comparison web page of the two devices which includes sound samples.

Sony CRE-E10 on my table.

Sony CRE-E10 on my table.

Sony CRE-E10 Pros

I liked how light and comfortable CRE-E10 were in my ears. Wireless connection and overall use was also straightforward with my iOS mobile device.
Sony CRE-E10 is currently the top performer among all devices tested by HearAdvisor™.
Some may like that CRE-E10 is self-fit and does not require you to visit a doctor's office. 
The all-day battery life is impressive given their relatively small size.

Sony CRE-E10 Cons

Some may not like the “plugged” feal of an in-the-ear style device. The non-custom fit may also lead to poor retention for some people. 
CRE-E10 is expensive, being priced similar to some prescription hearing aids. While these devices are impressive, for the same price it’s fair to say some people will do better seeing a “best-practices” audiologist to be fit with traditional devices. 
A common downside to OTC devices like CRE-E10 is that they lack a family of accessories, such as a remote microphone, to pair with. If you are interested in specific accessories a prescription device will provide more options here. 
I was quite shocked to learn that CRE-E10 does not have any physical buttons or touch controls. While they adjust automatically per environment, changes can only be made within the Hearing Control app.

HearingTracker Audiologist Matthew Allsop provides an overview of the Sony CRE-E10 hearing aid.

Who is Sony CRE-E10 for?

  • You want the best OTC Earbud-like Hearing Aid - Sony CRE-E10 are an OTC self-fit option that do not require the assistance of a hearing care professional. They look and feel similar to a common wireless earbud while improving speech clarity. What’s more, they were a top performer in the HearAdvisor™ lab meaning they should offer significant benefits when programmed for a mild-to-moderate sloping hearing loss. 
  • Flexible budget - CRE-E10 is currently sold for $1299.00 putting them at the higher end of OTC self-fit devices. This is also a comparable price bracket to some older generation prescription devices that can be purchased from a traditional hearing clinic. Those interested in making this jump should be aware of the price similarities and weigh your needs of direct assistance and follow-up from a hearing care provider. 
  • Do-It-Yourself Warrior - CRE-E10 can be purchased directly from Sony and shipped to your door. You will be at the drivers seat for the fitting of these devices and are able to perform your own hearing assessment through the Hearing Control app. With that said, hearing care providers can assist with this process if needed and even perform verifications in office to assess programming and fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Sony CRE-E10 was found to offer significant speech enhancement benefits by HearAdvisor™ when programmed for a mild-to-moderate hearing loss. Individual benefits will vary based on fitting, severity of hearing loss, and more. 

Sony claims that CRE-E10 can last up to 26 hours off a single charge. Audio streaming and other uses will result in shorter battery life.

While amplification alone may decrease annoyance of tinnitus, these devices do not offer a dedicated tinnitus management system at this time. 

CRE-E10 Overview

Sony CRE-E10 were released in January 2023 and are over-the-counter (OTC) earbud-like hearing aids. Sony needs little introduction, but the E10 was developed in partnership with WS Audiology which is the mother company behind brands such as Widex and Signia. The Sony E10 has often been compared to the Signia Active X.

Not surprisingly, we found CRE-E10 impressive punching beyond the weight of average OTC devices—and even surpassing some offerings from prescription technologies (more information on this and the HearAdvisor™ SoundScore below). This is a testament to the combined expertise from consumer electronics giant Sony and WS Audiology’s lineage making reliable effective hearing assistive technologies. 

HearingTracker audiologist Matthew Allsop provides an overview of the new Sony CRE-E10 OTC Hearing Aid. Closed captions are available on this video. If you are using a mobile phone, please enable captions clicking on the gear icon.

Sony’s CRE-E10 is an OTC device intended to aid those with a mild to moderate perceived hearing impairment. They are self-fitting with the Hearing Control app, meaning you can avoid the doctors office. They are also designed for everyday use and will adjust automatically per environment for comfort and speech enhancement.

The E10 offers other advanced features such as rechargeability, noise reduction, directional microphones, and audio streaming (currently only available for iOS). While this may sound more akin to a traditional hearing aid, E10 has the look and feel of a wireless earbud. This is a big win for those not interested in the behind-the-ear style. 

What’s it like to use CRE-E10?

CRE-10 are lightweight at 3g and fit similar to other earbud-like devices. Various sized click sleeves (extra-small to large) are provided to customize their fit to your ears. They can be placed in-ear with a simple push and twist but be sure to have the correct side as there is a dedicated left and right earbud. 

I found them comfortable and easy to wear throughout the day. One potential benefit to CRE-E10 is that they felt and functioned more similar to true-wireless stereo earbuds than traditional hearing aids. This may be a deliberate design choice given Sony’s lineage in consumer electronics, but those looking for a more streamlined earbud feel should feel right at home. 

Sony CRE-E10 unboxing on table.

Sony CRE-E10 unboxing on table.

Bluetooth Streaming

CRE-E10 currently offers wireless connectivity with Bluetooth™ through the Made For iPhone (MFi) protocol. There is currently no support for Android audio streaming. Like the E10, Signia's Active X is MFi only.

Device Setup

I found the Hearing Control App user-friendly and to provide decent control over my CRE-E10 hearing aids. After connecting devices to my mobile device, Sony guided me through a roughly 10 minute initial fit process. This walked me through insertion instructions and my Hearing Profile check. My settings were then applied and I was able to further adjust them to my preferences.

Controlling CRE-E10

General use with CRE-10 hearing aids is straightforward, adjustments to their volume and other settings can be made within the iOS Hearing Control app. Surprisingly, there are no physical buttons or touch controls on the ear pieces which some may find limiting. This is a surprising choice by Sony as these controls are commonplace on other earbuds and hearing aid technologies. For example, Phonak Lumity hearing aids allow you to start/stop various features by double-tapping the device. With that said, the exclusion of buttons can improve ease of use for some users and likely contributes to the devices water resistance (IP68) and overall durability.

How long should I expect CRE-E10 to last before needing to buy new hearing aids?

OTC hearing aids are still relatively new in their current form making judgements regarding their longevity a bit of a guess. However, CRE-E10 hearing aids feel well built in-hand and have an IP rating of 68. So the internal electronics are well protected from debris and moisture. The internal lithium-ion rechargeable battery should also span the entire life of the hearing aid. With proper cleaning and maintenance it is fair to assume they should last 3 to 5 years which is consistent with traditional hearing aids.

Power & Rechargeability

CRE-E10 boasts an impressive 26 hour lithium ion rechargeable battery life according to Sony. While we were not able to directly test this claim ourselves, you can expect to experience shorter battery life while streaming audio, if you frequent complex noisy environments, and or if your volume is set at higher levels. For example, Sony lists 23 hours of use with 2 hours of audio streaming. I personally did not experience any issues with the CRE-E10’s battery life as they always outlasted my testing needs.

Cree10 Bookcase

The E10's in their charging case.

CRE-E10 can be charged by placing them in the included carrying case. Again, there are dedicated left and right earpieces so be sure to orient them properly. Charging from a fully depleted battery will take approximately 4 hours. A “quick-charge” feature offers 6 hours of battery life after 30 minutes of charging. Sony has also built-in a power bank to the carrying case charger which holds enough juice to power CRE-E10 through an additional three complete charging cycles. 

The Hearing Control App

The Hearing Control App offers three main tabs for adjusting Volume, Sound Balance, and Directionality. These tabs were relatively minimalistic though they provided moderate adjustment to the overall sound quality and loudness. Moving the Sound Balance slider up towards “Treble” for example was useful when greater speech clarity was needed. 

Sony App Screenshots

The Hearing Control app’s three main tabs: Sound Balance, Volume, and Directional Hearing (left to right) allow you to further personalize CRE-E10 per individual needs and environment.

Those wishing to dive further into the Hearing Control app can access more features within the hamburger menu. One noteworthy feature here is the “Fine Tuning” tab which can help make adjustments to your CRE-E10 based on input you select from drop-down lists. You can also access other account settings and retake the initial Hearing Profile check.

The Hearing Control app is overall very useful and does not feel too limiting. It sits roughly in the middle of what I’ve experienced testing numerous technologies—not too complicated that it is confusing but not so watered down that it leaves you wanting more. One advanced feature I hope Sony adds in the future is a multi-band equalizer. While this may be beyond the interest of the average user, it would provide fine-tuning adjustments which would be of great benefit should a hearing care professional assist with the fitting. Lastly, CRE-E10 hearing aids do not appear to offer any sort of active-noise cancellation though other forms of noise reduction are available.

Lab Testing with HearAdvisor™

HearAdvisor™ is an independent reviewer of hearing technologies. Their goal is to help you hear and compare hearing aids online by providing objective evaluations and sound samples. More information about their testing setup and methods can be found on

Sony CRE-E10 performed very well in the HearAdvisor™ lab and received the highest SoundScore of any tested device to-date at the time of this article's publication. This is noteworthy as CRE-E10 is a new technology that falls within the OTC category. It was found to offer considerable speech enhancement in both quiet and loud situations (less than and greater than 70 dB average sound levels respectively).

Kemar With E10

Sony CRE-E10 in the HearAdvisor™ lab on our anthropomorphic manikin while testing.

Acoustic feedback, or whistling, was no issue and their streamed music quality approached that of Apple Airpods Pro. Many of these benefits can be attributed at least in-part to the in-the-ear (ITE) style and occluding fit offered by CRE-E10. This is again a testament to the combined expertise of Sony and WS Audiology.

My overall opinion on CRE-E10

Sony CRE-E10 is an impressive OTC self-fitting hearing aid offering comfort, all-day battery life, and speech enhancement capabilities. As such, it is a contending device for those shopping the OTC category. While it can be controlled wirelessly and further personalized with the Hearing Control app, this is only available for iOS mobile devices.

Editor's Note: For interested readers, a contributor to the HearingTracker Consumer Forum posted an extensive review of his experiences with the CRE-E10. There are also other comments from users in the Forum.

What is the biggest drawback of Sony CRE-E10?

Wireless connectivity is currently limited to iOS devices as CRE-E10 uses Bluetooth™ Low Energy. Hopefully Sony will have an update soon for Android users.

Where can you purchase CRE-E10

CRE-E10 can be purchased online directly from Sony or other consumer electronics retailers such as Best Buy. They can also be found in-store so be sure to check availability in your area.

Table of Contents

HearAdvisor Sound Performance Lab Results

SoundScore 5.0
Speech in quiet 4.4
Speech in noise 4.3
My own voice 1.7
No feedback issues 3.8
Streaming quality 4.2

Maximum score for each category is 5 points. Green triangles (if present) denote above-average performance; hover your cursor over them to see the specific data.

Busy Café
Quiet Office
Audio Stream

Adjust volume to make "Open Ear" as loud as it would be in the real world, without hearing aids. Remove hearing aids while auditioning. High-quality headphones will improve results!

Recordings are made in a sound-treated acoustic test lab an 8-speaker ring presenting ambisonic recordings and an acoustic manikin. For more important listening notes, be sure to check out our hearing aid comparison engine.

HearAdvisor partners with HearingTracker to provide objective laboratory performance data. All hearing aids are fitted and performance-tested for mild sloping to moderate hearing loss. All audio samples cutoff above 10kHz. *Specific model tested: Sony CRE-E10.

Sony CRE-E10 Physical Specifications

Model details listed above may be incomplete or inaccurate. For full specifications please refer to product specifications published by the original equipment manufacturer. To suggest a correction to the details listed, please email

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Sony CRE-E10 Technology Details

Sony CRE-E10
Price $1,299.99 / pair

3 reviews

Noise Reduction
Feedback Suppression
Wind Noise Reduction
Self-fitting Tuned based on hearing test through device

Technology specifications listed above may be incomplete or inaccurate. For full specifications please refer to product specifications published by the original equipment manufacturer. To suggest a correction to the details listed, please email

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Sony CRE-E10 Accessories

Hearing Control App

Hearing Control App

App for setting up and controlling your Sony hearing aids.


  • Remote Control
  • Smartphone App

Compatible Aids

  • CRE-E10

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Sony CRE-E10 Reviews

Hearing aid reviews are fundamentally different from reviews for most other consumer electronic products. The reason is because individual factors, like degree of hearing loss, have a profound effect one's success and overall satisfaction with the product. When purchasing a hearing aid, you'll need to consider more than just your hearing outcome ... Continue reading

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Overall Ratings

Hearing Tracker uses a ten-question survey to assess consumer feedback on hearing aids. The percentage bars below reflect the average ratings provided per question.
Note: Original answers provided in star rating format.

Benefit in Quiet
No data available
Benefit in Noise
No data available
Benefit on the Phone
No data available
Clear and Natural
No data available
Music Improvement
No data available
Physical Comfort
No data available
No data available
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Hearing Improvement
No data available
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Anonymous 04 November 2023
5 stars stars

Pros:  hearing improvement better than my BTE Phonaks, battery life at least 23 hours, super convenient - my glasses do not interfere with the devices - hats and mask would be no problem, excellent streaming from iPhone/iPad, directionality is very helpful, excellent customer service.

Cons:  tricky to seat the devices in the charger, annoying little startup jingle

Member 13 July 2023
2 stars stars

Sony made the new CRE-E10 OTC hearing aids ability to stream music NOT compatible with Android? I feel that is ignoring all the loyal $$$Xperia customers who would like hi-fi music earbuds w/OTC hearing aid support. Another bad decision by Sony!

Anonymous 09 May 2023
5 stars stars

I just wasn't ready for hearing aids yet... But, a friend had these and I tried them and figured I could use them around the house to hear my girlfriend and tv better. I've started using them sometimes out of the house too... Kind of weird having them in with friends, but so far no one has given me a dirty look. hahaha.

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i have an android telephone

question: how long do you think it will take sony to do an android version?

Abram Bailey, AuD

Sony is just putting it's brand name on a Signia product, so I suppose you would need to look at the latest products from Signia like the Silk IX to see what might be next in the Sony pipeline.

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