Sony and WS Audiology have entered into a partnership agreement in the over-the-counter self-fitting hearing aid business

Sony has recently confirmed suspicions that they will be entering the OTC hearing aid market by signing a deal with Danish company WS Audiology. The final rulings for OTC hearing aids were published on August 16th with the ruling expected to take effect in October 2022.  

As the official ruling has been anticipated for years, many TWS manufacturers have been capitalising and developing new technologies to give them an upper hand in the new hearing assistive market. For example, Nuheara’s IQ buds are capable of giving the wearer a personalised hearing profile for both audio transparency and audio streaming using a simple in-app DIY hearing test. Bose have also been developing their own form of adaptive ANC most likely as a transferable technology for smart hearing aids that can identify and amplify specific sounds. 

While we believe that Sony’s partnership with WS Audiology give them an upper hand, especially in the early years of the new market, many companies already have a lot of tech in place to give them an edge over the competition. SAR currently expects DTC/OTC hearing aids to reach just over 1 million shipments by 2027. Our relatively low forecast reflects our belief that the same technology is likely to be integrated into TWS devices and this will make a separate OTC device less likely to be needed.  

DATAbase: Headphones & Headsets FORECAST 

Joe Murray Market Analyst, DATA Lead

Joe is a market analyst for audio devices and technologies at SAR Insight & Consulting. He is tasked with analyzing, comparing, and forecasting new technologies, markets, and products in the industry.

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