It’s important to differentiate between amplifiers and prescription technology with professional hearing support – these are not the same and will not deliver the same results.

What You Need to Know About Apple’s New Hearing Aid Mode

by | Jun 19, 2024 | Industry News

Speculation from various reputable news sources suggests that tech giant Apple is poised to enter the hearing care market in late 2024 or early 2025. At the time of publishing this article, nothing is confirmed, but it is rumoured that Apple’s forthcoming iOS 18 update will include a new feature called “Hearing Aid Mode.” 

Here’s everything we know so far. 

Rumours indicate that Apple’s new “Hearing Aid Mode” will enable Apple AirPods users to utilize their AirPods as sound amplifiers. This feature would build on Apple’s previous “Live Listen” (2019) and “Conversation Boost” (2021) features. “Hearing Aid Mode” aims to assist individuals in hearing better in challenging listening environments. 

Though nothing is confirmed yet, Apple has scheduled their Worldwide Developers Conference for June 10, where they are expected to release details about the new iOS 18 software update. Bloomberg correspondent Mark Gurman hinted in his January newsletter that this could be Apple’s most significant software update yet. 

There is also speculation that Apple plans to release their 3rd generation AirPods Pro in early 2025, which are expected to maximize the benefits of “Hearing Aid Mode.” 

How Could This Feature Help You? 

Currently, several apps in the Apple app store can be used with your AirPods to amplify sounds. These apps work by capturing audio through your microphone and amplifying it into your ears. 

The new “Hearing Aid Mode,” when paired with the Apple AirPods Pro 3, is rumoured to offer more sophisticated amplification functionality. According to rumours, Apple may introduce features that will allow you to self-assess your hearing and improve your listening experience in difficult environments. 

We’ll be watching Apple’s conference on June 10 closely and will share any updates as they become available. 

One Major Concern 

We can learn some lessons from our American counterparts in private practice hearing clinics. In 2022, we saw the impact of the FDA’s approval of over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Major brands like Sony and Jabra launched their own OTC devices, leading to significant consumer confusion. Many believed these “affordable hearing aids” would solve all their hearing issues, but for those requiring professional care, the devices fell short. 

We worry that advertisements and media claims might lead people to buy the new AirPods, not achieve the desired results, and mistakenly believe that professional hearing care is ineffective. 

It’s important to differentiate between amplifiers and prescription technology with professional hearing support – these are not the same and will not deliver the same results. 

The Positives 

Apple’s entry into the hearing care market could help to dismantle the outdated stigma around hearing care. Apple is one of the world’s largest – and many would say coolest – technology companies. If Apple will be promoting the benefits of improved hearing, it could significantly help to normalize the conversation about hearing care. 

We believe that any discussion about treating untreated hearing loss is a positive thing. It is our hope that the conversations will inspire those who need it to seek professional care. 

What Happens Next? 

We will keep a close watch on this news and provide updates through this blog as we receive more information. 

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact our offices at (416) 590-9100 for Toronto, or (905) 817-1010 for Mississauga. Alternatively, you can request a callback, and a member of our team will reach out to you soon. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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