Study finds Apple's AirPods Pro may serve as a hearing-assistive device for mild-to-moderate hearing loss

Study finds Apple's AirPods Pro may serve as a hearing-assistive device for mild-to-moderate hearing loss
  • AirPods Pro can help offer assistance to people with mild-to-moderate hearing problems.
  • People with severe SNHL and other types of hearing impairment were excluded from the study.
  • A hearing aid can cost up to sthousands of dollars, whereas Personal Sound Amplification Products are less expensive.
  • Read further to know more about the study.
AirPods and earbuds are designed to offer a comfortable talking and listening experience and not to cater for any medical situation. But a study published in iScience revealed that Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAP) like Apple's AirPods Pro could help people in hearing better.

Apple does not sell its premium AirPods Pro as a hearing aid, but a study reveals that it can help individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss. The study compared hearing performances among adults with mild-to-moderate hearing loss when aided with each hearing assistive device –AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro and hearing aids. A total of 21 individuals were included in this study who had no experience of using hearing aid.

AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro were connected with the iPhone XS Max smartphones with iOS version 13.0 for the study. The hearing performance of hearing aids and AirPods were then analysed to understand the similarity and differences between them in the study, which was supported by grants from the National Science and Technology Council, Veterans General Hospitals and the University System of Taiwan Joint Research Program.

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The electroacoustic features like maximum output sound pressure level at 90 dB sound, frequency response bandwidth, frequency response smoothness, and more were compared. AirPods Pro had the most similar features, whereas AirPods 2 met only some features in comparison to a hearing aid.

The results of the study claim that AirPods Pro can be considered a good option to use by people who have mild-to-moderate hearing problems. The basic hearing aid device and AirPod Pro showed nearly the same performance, on the other hand, the AirPod 2 was not a good fit for this.


Hearing aids are definitely the best solution to offer a better hearing experience but are available at a high cost and might require a medical prescription. Comparatively, Personal Sound Amplification Products like AirPods Pro, are easily available at a reasonable price, require no medical document and can assist in hearing better, making it a tempting option. Although the study does open up exciting possibilities for using AirPods Pro for its style, functionality, sound amplification features, and for countering social stigma associated with using hearing aids, it must be borne in mind that AirPods don’t meet the Food and Drug Administration standards to work as a hearing aid.
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