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February 9, 2023

Hearing aids can be very expensive for older Americans. The average cost of a doctor-prescribed pair ranges from $2,000 to $7,000.

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The National Council on Aging recently revealed that only 20% of people who need hearing aids use them, almost entirely because they cannot afford them. However, a new study concludes that the $249 Apple AirPods Pro are almost as good as hearing aids for a fraction of the cost.

A new study concludes that the $249 Apple AirPods Pro are almost as good as hearing aids for a fraction of the cost.
(apple)

Apple AirPods Pro vs Traditional Hearing Aids

in a A recent study At Taipei Veterans General Hospital, 21 people with mild to moderate hearing loss were tested using basic hearing aids, advanced hearing aids, Apple AirPods 2nd Gen, and Apple AirPods Pro.

The results showed that in quiet environments, the Live Listen feature using Apple AirPods Pro proved to be just as effective as basic hearing aids, and only slightly less effective than advanced hearing aids. Live listening with Apple AirPods Pro proved to be more effective than premium hearing aids when the noise was coming from the side.

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The most surprising finding of the study was that the AirPods Pro met four of the five ANSI/CTA-2051 standards, the electroacoustic standard for all hearing aids.

With all of this in mind, should someone in need of hearing aids invest in a pair of Apple AirPods Pro? Here’s a side-by-side comparison of some stats:

  • Hearing aids placed in the ear canal, sometimes invisible to the eye Compared AirPods Pro are earphones that are not only visible but also prone to drops and exposure to wind and rain
  • Good hearing aid battery life is around 30 hours Compared AirPods Pro typically last around 6 hours before needing to be charged
  • Hearing aids usually come with a full 2 ​​to 3 year warranty Compared AirPods Pro come with a one-year limited warranty
The most surprising finding of the study was that the AirPods Pro met four of the five ANSI/CTA-2051 standards, the electroacoustic standard for all hearing aids.

The most surprising finding of the study was that the AirPods Pro met four of the five ANSI/CTA-2051 standards, the electroacoustic standard for all hearing aids.
(Kurt Knudsen)

Can AirPods Pro be used instead of hearing aids?

The fact that AirPods Pro perform so well compared to hearing aids may prove an enticing prospect for the hearing-impaired community. However, you should always seek the advice of your doctor first.

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No doctor is currently prescribing the Apple AirPods Pro as a hearing aid replacement, nor is Apple promoting AirPods in any way as a solution to hearing loss.

Still, if you have a pair of Apple Airpods Pro and just can’t hear in a loud, crowded space, know that there’s at least one temporary alternative that uses the Live Listen feature to sound a little better.

No doctor is currently prescribing the Apple AirPods Pro as a hearing aid replacement, nor is Apple promoting AirPods in any way as a solution to hearing loss.

No doctor is currently prescribing the Apple AirPods Pro as a hearing aid replacement, nor is Apple promoting AirPods in any way as a solution to hearing loss.
(apple)

How does Live Listen work?

Live Listen acts as a sort of microphone that allows you to hear the person you’re talking to at a higher volume. It should be noted that Live Listen is not available for all models of iPhone, and currently only available for products using iOS 14.3 or later. Live Listen is also not automatically enabled on all devices.

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Activate Live Listen on iPhone

  • go set up
  • tap control center
  • scroll down to more control
  • click plus icon next to the listening tab
Live Listen acts as a sort of microphone that allows you to hear the person you're talking to at a higher volume.

Live Listen acts as a sort of microphone that allows you to hear the person you’re talking to at a higher volume.
(Kurt Knudsen)

Use live listening

  • make sure your earphone connect
  • Swipe down from the top right to open Control Center
  • click hearing button
  • Open live listening
Hold your iPhone in front of someone you're talking to, and their voice will be amplified for you through your AirPods. You can also adjust the volume accordingly in the controls.

Hold your iPhone in front of someone you’re talking to, and their voice will be amplified for you through your AirPods. You can also adjust the volume accordingly in the controls.
(Kurt Knudsen)

Hold your iPhone in front of someone you’re talking to, and their voice will be amplified for you through your AirPods. You can also adjust the volume accordingly in the controls.

Get Apple AirPods Pro (2nd generation) here

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Let us know if you use Apple’s Airpods Pro as an alternative to expensive hearing aids. We’d love to hear from you and hear about your experience.

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