Sony Corporation (“Sony”) and WS Audiology Denmark A/S (“WSA”) have entered into a partnership agreement and various ancillary agreements with the aim of jointly developing and supplying new products and services in the over-the-counter (“OTC”) self-fitting hearing aid market, beginning with the United States.
Through the partnership, Sony and WSA will combine their respective technological and medical expertise to create solutions that will shape this new field. Toward this end, the partnership will leverage Sony’s longstanding audio and product miniaturization technologies, its brand, and its broad consumer sales and service infrastructure that manages a wide array of products, in conjunction with WSA’s hearing aid technology and innovation strength, as well as its distribution power in the professional channel, which has been at the forefront of providing better solutions to help people with hearing loss for over 100 years.
Going forward, both companies will pursue enhanced products and services, striving to create OTC hearing aids that can be used more naturally and comfortably. By focusing on OTC hearing aids, both companies are trying to build a world where top-of-the-line hearing aids can be obtained more easily and by all people who are seeking solutions for better hearing with easy-to-use features that personalize the hearing aid.
Sony and WSA are currently developing the first product under the Sony brand for the U.S. market, where the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on August 16th, 2022, local time, published the final ruling allowing hearing aids to be sold OTC without a prescription, effective October 2022.
Details of the product will be issued closer to its launch date.
“Sony Corporation’s vision is to continue to deliver Kando and Anshin to people and society across the world through the pursuit of technology and new challenges,” said Osamu Hajimoto, Deputy President of New Business & Technology Development Group, Sony Corporation. “We are honored to collaborate with WSA, one of the leading companies in hearing aid field, building up the trust of users for many years. We strive to utilize our longstanding technologies to contribute to ‘Anshin’ in people’s daily lives, and create ‘Kando’ by expanding the possibilities of future products and services.”
* Both are Japanese words: Kando means emotion and Anshin has various meanings such as peace of mind, reassurance, reliability and trust.
“We are thrilled about this strategic alliance with Sony,” said Maarten Barmentlo, Chief Marketing Officer and President OTC, WS Audiology. “Sony was founded on a passion for sound quality and a desire to push the limits of audio engineering technology, enabling music lovers and audiophiles to get the listening experience they deserve and expect. Our joint passion for the best possible sound has clearly brought us together. With Sony’s renowned brand name and distribution network, we can take a big step forward to deliver on our purpose of Wonderful Sound for All.”