iOS 18 will include a new “Hearing Assistance Mode” for the AirPods Pro, the report says

Today's AirPods offer a number of different features related to hearing health and accessibility. However, a new report today suggests that Apple has big plans for iOS 18: a new “Hearing Mode” for the AirPods Pro.

AirPods Pro with iOS 18

In the latest edition From his Power On newsletterBloomberg's Mark Gurman writes that the AirPods Pro aren't scheduled to see any hardware changes in 2024. Instead, he says that “the big news will be a new Home mode for hearing aids, coming alongside iOS 18.”

AirPods already offer a feature called Live Listening, which launched as part of iOS 12 in 2018. This feature essentially turns the iPhone into a directional microphone, transmitting audio captured by that iPhone to the AirPods in real time. A host of testimonials over the years have shown how useful this feature is.

Apple also introduced Conversation Boost to the AirPods Pro in 2021, which boosts microphone pickup right in front of you, to better hear someone speaking to you. A 2022 study showed that some of these current AirPods Pro features are actually comparable to more expensive custom devices.

Also worth noting: In 2022, Established the Food and Drug Administration New guidelines to allow a category of hearing aids that can be purchased without a prescription. Hearing aids in this category may be sold directly to consumers in stores or online without a medical examination or fitting by an audiologist.

Further details about the new iOS 18 feature for AirPods Pro users are unclear. This isn't the first time Gorman has written about Apple's plans to bring new hearing health features to the AirPods. Last year, it was reported that Apple was also working on a hearing testing feature for future AirPods as well.

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