AirPods Pro can help people with hearing loss, but they won’t replace a hearing aid – experts

A new study claims that Apple’s AirPods Pro are as effective as some hearing aids in helping people with hearing loss understand speech in quiet environments.

The study, published in iScience this week, found that a sound amplification feature called “Conversation Boost” inside the AirPods performs, along with two prescription hearing aids. The study even claimed that the AirPods met four out of five criteria for being classified as hearing aids. This is not a distinction that Apple claims.

However, a leading expert in this field said Trusted reviews True wireless earbuds should not be considered a substitute for dedicated medical devices. Andrew Bellavia, founder of hearing and audio consulting firm AuraFuturity, says that while AirPods can be useful for those with normal or low-level hearing loss, they shouldn’t rely on those with greater needs.

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“I have no doubt that the hearing features in AirPods Pro can improve speech understanding for some people with mild to moderate hearing loss, as well as those without measurable hearing loss who have difficulty in noisy situations,” he says. Trusted reviews.

“When I tried them, the amplification level was a bit too low for my heavy losses, but the Conversation Boost still made some improvements in a noisy restaurant.”

Find a hearing care professional

The comments and study come shortly after over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids became available in the United States. Bellavia says both OTC solutions and AirPods can help people with normal, age-related hearing loss. However, people with greater concerns should test their hearing using tools that are freely available online, and then seek help from medical professionals.

For anyone considering buying AirPods Pro specifically to help them hear, or for that matter an OTC hearing aid, I recommend doing two things beforehand:

  • Take the CEDRA Evaluation Questionnaire provided by Northwestern University. It only takes 2 minutes and can indicate if your hearing problem requires medical attention.
  • Take an online tester to estimate your level of hearing loss. Hearing resource Soundly has evaluated several testers and recommends five they think are the best.

“Know that hearing aids and over-the-counter consumer devices with hearing aids work best for people with normal, mild to moderate age-related hearing loss. If in any doubt, see a hearing care professional for an evaluation and to suggest options.” .

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