AirPods Pro Hearing Aid Mode Might Show Up in iOS 18

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AirPods Pro is great for drowning out the people around you, but the earbuds can also work similarly to a hearing aid. In the upcoming iOS 18 release, the AirPods Pro might go all-in with helping those who are hard of hearing. A hearing aid mode will reportedly come to the AirPods Pro with the release of iOS 18 later this year, according to Bloomberg’s Power On Newsletter sent out Sunday.

Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for confirmation on the new feature.

No specifics were provided on what this new mode entails, but this is not the first time the Apple earbuds have been recognized for helping those with hearing loss. A study from 2022 found that the AirPods Pro worked as well as lower-priced hearing aids, which on average can cost $2,000. The combination of the earbuds and the Listen Live feature made the AirPods Pro so effective. Listen Live is a feature for the iPhone that uses the phone’s microphone to pick up sound and transmit it to a connected earbud like the AirPods Pro. Apple updated the feature last Thursday to work with Made for iPhone hearing aids.

The upcoming iOS 18 appears to be a big release for Apple. Analysts believe the new operating system will be the company’s first big push into using AI, which could make Siri useful again. There should also be support for Rich Communication Services (RCS) in iOS 18 making it a bit easier for Android and iPhone users to share high-quality images, videos, and sound files via text. No date has been set for the release of iOS 18 but expect the first news of it to happen over the summer when Apple holds their WWDC event. It will then go live right around the time of the iPhone 16 launch.

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