A new report has revealed an interesting feature of the Apple AirPods Pro. Studies show the company's truly wireless earbuds can be a cheaper alternative to hearing aids.
A new study published in the iScience journal essentially focuses on the "Live Listen" feature of the giant Cupertino-based AirPods model and some Beats earbuds. For those who don't know, this feature in Apple's Hearables essentially makes the iPhone act as a microphone, relaying enhanced audio to the user's AirPods earbuds. Please note that this feature is not intended to help people who are hard of hearing and need hearing aids.
Rather, they are designed to filter out specific sounds in noisy situations for people with normal hearing. Hearing aids currently cost between $1,000 and $10,000 in the US alone. But a researcher at Taipei Veterans General Hospital found that the AirPods Pro model from Apple works surprisingly well as an affordable hearing aid when compared to a real hearing aid. For this study, the researcher used 2nd generation AirPods and 1st generation AirPods Pro paired with an iPhone XS Max.
Hearables featured both the top-of-the-line OTICON Opn 1, which costs $10,000, and Bernafon's $1,500 MD1 hearing aid. Results from 21 participants with varying degrees of hearing loss revealed that AirPods Pro also ranked high on the list of hearing aids. However, while it can serve as a hearing aid replacement, it is a temporary solution and not a true hearing aid replacement.