AirPods Pro might feature 'hearing aid mode' with iOS 18

Mark Gurman says big news for AirPods Pro this year will be a major new hearing aid mode coming alongside iOS 18
An undated image shows AirPods Pro. — Unslash
An undated image shows AirPods Pro. — Unslash

Apple's AirPods Pro already boast a considerable assortment of features that cater to accessibility as well as those in need of aid to enhance their hearing power. 

However, a recent report surfaced on the internet suggests that something huge is brewing behind the iPhone maker's plans related to the iOS 18 update, the highest-end of the company's flagship operating system that will further complement the hearing aid features of AirPods Pro. 

As per the report, the iOS 18 will integrate a new feature in AirPods Pro. The feature is dubbed as “hearing aid mode”. 

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Mark Gurman — a Bloomberg correspondent who publishes extensively insightful reports on Apple products and their updates and developments — claims in his latest Power On newsletter that the AirPods Pro won't see any hardware-centric tweaks this year, instead, “big news will be a major new hearing aid mode, coming alongside iOS 18.” 

Gurman has previously reported on Apple's intentions to introduce new hearing health features to AirPods. Last year, he also mentioned that Apple is developing a hearing test feature for future AirPods. 

AirPods currently have a feature called Live Listen, which was launched as part of iOS 12 in 2018. This feature essentially turns an iPhone into a directional microphone, transmitting real-time audio to AirPods. Testimonials have shown the usefulness of this feature over the years. 

In 2021, Apple introduced a Conversation Boost feature to AirPods Pro, which enhances microphone pickup from directly in front of the user to improve hearing during conversations. A 2022 study demonstrated that some existing AirPods Pro features already compare favourably to more expensive dedicated devices.