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Can AirPods be used as hearing aids?

Feb, 06, 2024

Airpods and hearing aids serve different purposes. While AirPods are not tailored to individual needs, hearing aids are highly personal devices that have been adjusted to the specific needs of each user. For this reason, if you suspect you are suffering from a hearing impairment, it is crucial to consult an audiologist for proper guidance.

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AirPods as sound amplifier with "Live Listen"

AirPods can be used as a sound amplifier by enabling the "Live Listen" feature. Simply place the AirPods close to the sound source, such as the speaker or TV, and the sound will be transmitted directly to the user's ears.

AirPods provide both accessibility and hearing

Apple's "Headphone Accommodations" feature

In iOS 14, Apple introduced the "Headphone Accommodations" feature, which amplifies soft sounds and adjust the audio for an enhanced sound experience. This is a handy feature for those with hearing impairments as it adjusts the audio output of the device to compensate for any hearing loss. However, this is no substitute for an expert audiogram, which is the most accurate way to diagnose hearing loss.

AirPods "Live Listening Mode"

AirPods "Live Listening Mode" allows individuals to use their device as a remote microphone in challenging listening environments. Although this feature can be quite beneficial, it cannot substitute professional hearing aids.

"Transparency Mode" feature of AirPods

The "Transparency Mode" feature on AirPods lets users hear external sounds while listening to audio. It's crucial to understand that this feature isn't meant to replace professional hearing aids.

Audio sharing

While wearing AirPods, it is also possible to share audio with another person. This feature can be beneficial for individuals with hearing impairments that need to be aided by another person who can hear the same audio.

AirPods' limitations as a hearing aid

Although AirPods may assist people with hearing difficulties, they should not be seen as a replacement for hearing aids. It's crucial to understand that hearing aids are classified as medical devices, and using them without the guidance of a specialist can pose potential risks.

No medical regulation for AirPods

AirPods are wireless earphones made for listening to audio and making phone calls. While they have features that can assist people with hearing difficulties, they are not meant to serve as medical-grade hearing aids.

Life of the battery

On average, AirPods offer around 5 hours of listening time or 3 hours of talk time. On the other hand, the battery life of a hearing aid can vary, lasting anywhere from 3 to 22 days depending on the type of hearing aid and how often it is used.

Self-diagnosis without self-advice

There are many benefits of using hearing aids over AirPods. In addition to adequate and sustainable long-term treatment and diagnostic accuracy, hearing aids guarantee effectiveness, customisation, medical regulation and subsidies from the government or health insurance.

Severe hearing loss not receiving proper treatment

AirPods are not intended for individuals with significant hearing impairments and should not be regarded as a suitable remedy for such.

Benefits of using hearing aids over AirPods

Hearing aids offers numerous advantages compared to AirPods, including a seamless hearing experience, personalisation, adherence to medical regulations, and potential financial support through government subsidies or health insurance.

Hearing aids cannot be replaced by AirPods

For individuals facing hearing difficulties, relying on a professional hearing aid is the most effective and suitable solution. Depending solely on AirPods may prove insufficient, and attempting to self-diagnose hearing issues can be risky and detrimental to your hearing ability in the long term.

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