Apple Airpods Pro as hearing aids

We all know that Apple Airpods produces impressive “high fidelity” sound quality through their wireless headphones. I have been waiting to write a thread on using “airpods as a hearing aid” since 2yrs after the launch of Apple Airpods in 2016, that if its possible to use airpods as a hearing aid. And it became true after Apple added a new feature called “Live listen”. Then, i came across another idea of adding a rode microphone or any other good quality external microphone (attached to lightning port) as the iPhone microphone might not be enough to produce sound quality for the hearing disabled people and to use live listen feature.
Now, with Airpods Pro launched with active noise-cancellation (this is big advantage!) and live listen turned on, am pretty sure this will be enough for hearing disabled ppl to understand human voice better.
If any hearing loss persons out there have tested and used airpods for hearing aid purpose for a long time could share their experience. Cause am going to buy airpods pro MAINLY for hearing aids purpose. And i guess airpods pro’s active noise cancellation will surely benefit as a hearing aids.

Hearing loss 50% (mixed) both the ears since higher educaiton. Have used Siemens CIC nitro, now using Sonic flip 80 (built quality bad).

Thank you

While pods do provide amplification…

they are not hearing aids. A properly fit hearing aid will add as much gain as is necessary where it’s necessary and less where it’s not. This is corrective, whereas the pods are just making everything louder. You cannot compare them because they’re not even close to being the same.


Ok, what about active noise-cancellation? With this human voice will be heard louder than the background noise. And hearing aids app you can set the desired values of kHz based on your audiogram know?

Noise cancellation in headphones and air pods is different than what it is in hearing aids.

Hearing aids manage noise on the premise of “signal to noise ratio.” The processor is rapidly sampling looking for a modulated signal (the signal part of S.N.R.) that is a voice that is prominent in the environment. The noise portion of S.N.R. is going to be road noise, crowd noise, etc.

When the noise becomes equal to or greater than the signal, the processor starts manipulating the input to the patient’s ear. This can include either, or both, turning on directional microphones, and changing the frequency response in the regions where the noise is most prominent so that the noise is not overriding the speech (the signal portion of S.N.R.)

Noise management in headphones is not the same.

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Ok, thanks for the information.

My AirPod Pros arrive Monday. My hearing loss is relatively modest so my purpose isn’t to replace hearing aids but just to hear music better when there is background noise. I can stream audio to my Oticon hearing aids and often listen to talk radio that way but they suck for music.

My Gen 1 AirPods work better for me when listening to music than the HAs. I’m pretty much assuming active noise cancellation is just going to improve the experience for my purpose, such as walking the dogs outside where there could be traffic and other general noise. (And the fact I have a family member who can get me a sizable discount pushed me over the edge on this purchase.)

After I’ve had some time with the “Pro” version I’ll be glad to let people know if there seems to be any other advantage. I consider them an upgrade from my noise cancelling over-the-ear headphones which work really well but I don’t like wearing anywhere except an airplane seat.

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Thank u very much, and pls let us know how the “live listen” with new active noise cancellation performs. I will test the AirPods Pro once it’s available in Apple store in India for trail.

After a couple days with them I can easily say the Pro is an improvement over the previous AirPods. Active Noise Cancellation isn’t quite as good as the best over-the-ear headphones but it’s close enough I don’t plan on carrying bulkier headphones when traveling.

I really like the Transparency mode which gives you some noise cancellation but lets you hear outside noises (like a person speaking to you) better than when the buds are turned off. It doesn’t amplify speech or anything like that but does quiet some background noise. It doesn’t really help me hear better but lets me hear as well as taking the old AirPods out of my ears.

Full cancellation mode blocks traffic noise well enough I didn’t have to turn up the volume when walking along a moderately busy street and listening to music or receiving a phone call.

I did try the Live Listen mode and it did what’s it’s supposed to. That’s not something I would normally use but together with noise cancellation it certainly works better than prior AirPods.

For listening to music they’re pretty good with my hearing loss. But they aren’t nearly as good as wearing my HAs and listening to good quality speakers in a quiet room.

thanks, my weakness is listening to conversation in traffic environment and outside noisy environment, when there’s sound during conversation, i cant understand what they are saying. My loss is mixed loss, 0hz to 500hz sound is where i cannot catch, i can communicate in quite environments, but in noisy environment its hard for me. Also i dont like the sound quality of HAs compared to natural sound quality, this is why am suggesting apple Airpods sound quality (now with active noise cancellation). I will comment once i get time to test airpods myself. And thanks for your suggestions, it helps a lot.


I’m in the same boat as you. I suffer from cochlear synaptopathy (Aka hidden hearing loss). I have only minor hearing loss on standard tests but in environments with competing noise like bars, loud restaurants, or rooms with many conversations—I can’t make sense of many words and essentially just stand and smile. People tend to get mad if I ask them to repeat multiple times or if I ask them to repeat if they asked me something and I didn’t understand and just smiled.

I have the AirPod Pros and am excited to test them out in noisey environments. I feel this will be easier than having the devices that sit around the neck. I’ll give an update after I’ve tested a few places.

I’m a little confused. If one has a typical ski slope hearing loss, how would he know if the buds are better since presumably he would not be hearing a portion of what they were streaming to his ears?

thanks, just let me know how it sounds with active noise cancellation turned ON and use an app which should allow band equalizer to be modified according to our loss.

active noise cancellation for background noise and an app with band equalizer to be able to set according to hearing loss audiogram… if only someone develops a dedicated app for tuning airpods pro into connexx like software “Connexx Smart Direct” ‎Connexx Smart Direct on the App Store. Cause iPhone/iPad or android is powerful enough to handle full fledged system software on its devices.

Folks considering purchasing Apple Airpods should be reminded that many Gen1 2016 Airpods, used daily, have lasted 18-36 months before needing to be replaced due to battery problems. They are not repairable by Apple or any third party. Most owners love everything else about them, so as long as you think the cost is reasonable for 18-36 months of use, they’re worth considering.

It is possible that the 2019 generation Airpod has a longer-lived battery. It’s also possible that now that noise reduction is drawing additional battery load, the batteries will not do any better. Just be aware.

One example among many online articles about this issue (and ignore this misleading and widely-criticized headline):

I can’t find an app that will enhance conversations in front of me while canceling other noise. I only find apps that amplify existing sound.

Any apps that you know of?

I am not sure what you are asking…

the question is worded oddly. But, if you are asking how he would know if the air pods wouldn’t work, that’s fairly simple.

He probably could increase the volume enough to hear everything in the streaming audio, but it will be over driving in the lows, which acoustically masks out high frequencies.

A hearing aid doesn’t increase volume equally across the board, they add gain where it’s necessary, and less where it’s not.

That’s exactly what I was asking. IOW it seems to me the pods wouldn’t work very well for someone hearing impaired, at least not for violin music.

Am suggesting Apple AirPods pro for background noise cancellation (u need a hardware enabled feature). For app based u can only find band equaliser and effects.

I bought HAs in 2016 and today the seller called me a few times & insists upon a new model of HAs has arrived with built in rechargeable battery & waterproof. Do they think it’s a mobile phone to change the device so early? It’s a huge profit making business here in India. I hate the way they think even on persons with disabilities, they continue making profit oriented business rather quality service.
So 36 months is ok for $249 AirPods (only if they are beneficial for me, as I haven’t tested them yet in stores) compared to $1400 HAs.

Wow, 1400 USD for a pair of OPN-S1??? Is this including fitting and support? For how many years?

With what I would spend here I could probably come to India for a good vacation and buy hearing aids too.

Apologies for the OT!