AirPods May Pick Up New Hearing Health Features, Report Says

Apple reportedly plans for AirPods to become more of a health tool in the next year or two.

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Apple's AirPods Pro 2

Apple's AirPods Pro 2

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Apple may be looking to add new health features focused on hearing to its AirPods. The tech giant plans to upgrade the earbuds to become more of a "health tool in the next year or two," reported Bloomberg's Mark Gurman on Sunday. AirPods could reportedly gain the ability to collect some type of hearing data. 

Apple already has two features, Live Listen and Conversation Boost, which can essentially turn AirPods into on-demand hearing aids. But, as noted by Bloomberg, these features aren't approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Apple plans to introduce hearing health features "more officially" for AirPods in the future. It's possible some health features could come to existing AirPods via a firmware update. 

AirPods with expanded hearing health features could offer people with hearing loss an additional option. Last year, the FDA finalized a rule making hearing aids for adults with mild to moderate hearing loss available over the counter. While the average cost of a pair of OTC hearing aids is estimated to be around $600 to $1,200, Apple's AirPods Pro 2 cost $249. 

Apple didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

See Also: Best Wireless Earbuds for 2023: Top Picks for Every Listener