Apple doesn’t market the AirPods Pro as hearing aids, but the premium wireless earphones can help people suffering from hearing loss problems. That’s according to a new study which claims the $249 AirPods Pro are almost as good as premium hearing aids that can cost thousands of dollars.
The current AirPods Pro aren’t actually hearing aids, and Apple can’t market them that way. The promising findings of the study suggest that future earphones could be as affordable as hearing aids, which would not surprise considering their potential success.
The study showed that AirPods Pro’s sound amplifier feature helped people with moderate-to-severe hearing loss to hear speech almost as well as prescribed hearing aids. Per The Wall Street Journal, the scientists published their results in the journal iScience.
The study compared the AirPods Pro, the $129 AirPods 2, a basic hearing aid, and a $10,000 premium hearing aid. The researchers enrolled 21 adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss who took hearing tests using the four devices.
The premium hearing aid was the most popular. The AirPods Pro was nearly twice as good. The AirPods 2 performed worse, however.
The AirPods Pro feature that turns the earphones into ad hoc hearing aids is called Live Listen. The AirPods connect to a different Apple device, like an iPhone or iPad. This device helps the user hear and filter out background noises. The feature can drain battery life from both the AirPods as well as the iOS devices.
The AirPods won’t be able to replace hearing aids but they can help people see what it would look like if there was some assistance, such as an upgrade or a hearing aid. Yen Fu Cheng explained The Journal .. Cheng is an ENT specialist at Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan and a co-author of the study.
Some individuals might be already using AirPods Pro for hearing aids even though they are not intended to do so.
Charles Limb is a Professor and Chief of Otology at The University of California in San Francisco. He said that such patients existed before this study was published. He said that patients already used their AirPods to get quick, dirty hearing aids. It seems that it works really well,” Limb was not involved in this study.
Separately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in October that certain hearing aids for adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss could be sold without a prescription. This change could help lower the average price of hearing aids in the future.
Now is the best time to get great discounts on the AirPods Pro hearing aid features. Finally, here’s how to enable Live Listen on your AirPods Pro.
More Apple coverage: Check out the best Apple deals online right now.
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