AirPods Pro are more useful than you think. They can replace an inexpensive hearing aid

AirPods PRO

Many Apple gadgets have a dual purpose: for example, the iPad is not only a tool for watching movies and games, but also a great assistant for archaeologists, and the iPhone has completely replaced many other gadgets for us. You may not have known, but even AirPods Pro can be used for more than just listening to music: the functions of the accessory allow you to use it as a hearing aid, and Apple is constantly working on this and improving the gadget for people with disabilities. Experts have even studied hearing aid features in AirPods Pro and learned a lot of interesting things.

Hearing aid AirPods

Hearing aids are very complex devices. They can filter out unwanted frequency ranges or help focus your hearing in certain directions to hear the right person from nearby. However, the price of hearing aids is indecently high: for not the most expensive you will have to pay several thousand dollars, and the most expensive ones cost almost 10 thousand dollars.

Therefore, it is almost impossible to find budget models – at the moment, this niche is free. So, those who need this device simply cannot afford it. Statistics show that among those under 70 years old, only one in six bought it for themselves.

Apple has been interested in the functionality of hearing aids since 2013. Back in 2013, the Made For iPhone certification program was specifically expanded so that the smartphone could work with Bluetooth hearing aids. iOS 12 added Live Listen to enhance the sound of your voice, and last year introduced Conversation Boost for AirPods Pro to suppress background sounds for people who are hard of hearing.

But this is no coincidence: in its latest report, the company noted that it will continue to turn headphones into hearing aids. However, it is noted that the proposed features of AirPods hearing aids are still far from launch: release dates may be shifted or features will never be presented at all. But the very fact that Apple gadgets have a positive impact on people’s health automatically means that AirPods will become a full-fledged hearing aid.

AirPods Pro Features

Despite what plans Apple has, even the current AirPods Pro features allow headphones to replace hearing aids in many ways. A study published in the journal iScience shows that sound amplification feature in AirPods Pro Helps adults with mild to moderate hearing loss hear speech almost like two prescription hearing aids.

The study compared different models of AirPods with two hearing aids. At the same time, the headphones did not meet the medical standards of US regulatory authorities. However, that doesn’t change the fact that Apple’s headphones have worked just as well as inexpensive hearing aids in helping people hear better.

Although the study was small, it showed that AirPods Pro met four out of five hearing aid standards. So, in the test of sound and clarity, even the AirPods 2 met two standards out of five – old headphones are not so bad! According to study co-author Ying-Hui Lei, the AirPods Pro broke the ideal internal noise threshold, making it harder for users to distinguish between quieter sounds and speech.

In addition, the most important disadvantage was that AirPods Pro use iPhone microphonesso they must be constantly connected to a smartphone via Bluetooth, which greatly affects battery life: hearing aids use internal microphones to pick up sounds, so using them is much easier and you do not need to worry about battery life.

MacWorld author Roman Loyola notes in his column that after hearing loss in 1991, at some point he himself used AirPods Pro and Live listening in some situations and noticed that they actually improve hearing, and after information about the study, he will use more often headphones this way.

In any case, for now AirPods Pro hearing features cannot be a complete replacement for a hearing aid. The same Live Listen option is designed to help the user hear the sound clearer, but it is clearly not designed to replace a hearing aid. Most likely, the functions of the AirPods Pro can be considered as a temporary solution, especially since the regulatory authorities did not give the headphones the appropriate certification.

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