Apple is Designing New AirPod Models That Could Detect Hearing Loss





Apple is known for creating quality earbuds that enhance the listening experience. The company has now revealed some ideas in the works for its line of Airpod headphones which could help determine if someone has or is developing a hearing problem.

As reported by Bloomberg, Apple has been working with engineers from hearing aid manufacturers to branch out into the hearing aid industry. Apple already lets users adjust features to personalize their AirPods, such as Ambient Noise Reduction and Transparency Mode. Apple AirPods users also can use Conversation Boost and Live Listen Mode to focus on in-person conversations

The new AirPod feature would play different sounds and tones to determine similar to the tests run at a clinic, but with portable convenience. Towards the end of last year, the FDA approved new regulations allowing people to buy hearing aids over the counter, so this is a great time for Apple to further expand its tech into more medical device fields.

The hearing aid features are still not ready for market and there’s no word yet on when a tentative launch will be scheduled. If they’re priced anywhere near the other AirPod generations, a hearing aid-enabled earbud would be significantly less expensive than traditional hearing aids while also providing the user with more features. 

The company’s online store lists 2nd Generation AirPods at $129, 3rd Generation AirPods starting at $169, and AirPods Pros at $249. If earbuds aren’t your style, Apple also has an over-ear headphone design. The AirPods Max cost $549, while the average price of traditional hearing aids ranges from $1,000 to $3,500.

This is not Apple’s first venture into producing mini-medical diagnostics for consumers. The hearing feature is similar to the Apple Watch ECG app which alerts users to cardiac concerns and its temperature recording feature used by many as a fertility tracking device. The developing AirPods would also be able to take your temperature but more accurately through your ear canals instead of your wrist.

Apple’s future AirPods are rumored to be more budget-friendly than their predecessors and also switch over to a USB-C charging port.

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