Evaluating Apple AirPods Pro as Hearing Devices

Folks

This is a good read that evaluates the Apple AirPods Pro as Hearing Aid devices.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, my KS10’s don’t stream seamlessly when listengint to an audio book or even on a phone call when my iPhone is to my side or in my pocket. Hence, I take out my hearing aids and use my Apple AirPods - 1st Generation - to take my walks. Unfortunately, have used these so much over past six years that the battery won’t keep a charge so was in the market for new headphones. In researching this topic I found it interesting.

It seems, won’t know this tomorrow when I pick them up that I can program them with a primitive form of my personal audiogram - think that is cool.

Anyway, I thought this was a worthwhile read and worth sharing.

From me and mine to you and yours the very best of the Christmas and Holiday Season.

Don

https://hearingreview.com/inside-hearing/research/evaluating-apple-airpods-pro-with-headphone-accommodations-as-hearing-devices?utm_source=hearingtracker.com&utm_medium=newsletter

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The Pros are great. You take a pic of the audiogram, and it programs the Pros… When using them in transparent mode, they work like HA’s and frankly do a pretty good job of it for me. The programming also works on streaming, and I am hearing music like I haven’t heard it in decades. The sound is fantastic, my wife’s voice sounds full and doesn’t have the tinny sound of the HA’s. Downsides? Because they are a very closed dome, the sound of my voice is loud and hard the deal with. Battery life is great for earbuds, but a deal breaker for HA replacement. And of course I would feel very uncomfortable wearing them somewhere like church.

They are useful to me for the audiogram enhanced streaming, some HA use and as a backup for my HA’s as I only have one pair.

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The occlusion was horrible for me. My own voice. Eating. Ugh. If I was just listening to music or walking around they were OK. But they didn’t do enough for me. I gave them to my son in the Army.

I used mimi to get the audiogram into ios. I don’t have a print of my test to take a picture of, it is an online pdf.

I agree with most of your assessment.

WH

Great to hear. Thanks. Wouldn’t need them if KS10 Bluetooth would better. Love the KS10 and that is only downside.

I had bought these parts for testing after I had read a report that the pro’s can also be used as a center punch.
But I was very disappointed with the performance and could not find any gain in transparency mode. Also the noise cancel feature was very weak in my perception. No comparison to my Bose QC 35.
Have I done something wrong ?

Juergen, don’t know. I pick mine up today and will let you know early next week about my experience. Again, I’m getting them primarily for walking since my KS10’s don’t project bluetooth well when in my pocket (ED: they work okay when on my car dash),

All the best…

Don

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Same for me. When my hearing was damaged and waiting for new hearing aids, the AirPods were my only way of hearing speech and TV! I removed them when eating and kind of got used to my loud voice but am looking forward to my “real” HA’s.

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I got to the point where I just didn’t see them as worth it. I never got used to the voice/eating/etc.

Juergen

Got my new AirPods Pro and programmed the Audiogram in. Tested the sample and can definitely hear the difference - particularly with music. Love these things so far.

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Just my opinion but apple as a corporation would be very vulnerable if they marketed their airpods as anything but earbuds.if they were to introduce features that made them into actual hearing aids they would be in violation of of regulations and anyone could start suing them for purported hearing problems from using them.
By making them so they can be “tweaked” to improve sound quality they are simply making an end run around regulations but I would imagine their lawyers will advise them against adding anything that would make them into actual hearing aids.

Agreed. That said they allow you to tweak then so I get phenomenal sound while walking when I am not wearing my hearing aids proper. All I want.

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They are not hearing aids, nor do they claim to be. They are good quality ear buds that you can put your audiogram into, and receive the enhancements of your prescription while streaming. And they have got me listening to music again. Whether streaming (horrendous sound quality) or through speakers, my HA’s ruin the experience. As I said above post, I haven’t heard/enjoyed music in decades.

Yes you can put them in a mode where they will function like a HA, but they are not designed like a hearing aid. I will admit I’m using them as HA’s some everyday, and am even getting used to the way my voice sounds. But they could never replace my HA’s. On the other hand for someone who could never afford HA’s, I can see the as an option. And I like the idea that if my HA’s ever needed to go in for repair, at least I would have something. I got mine at Walmart about two weeks ago on Black Friday pricing. Paid $159 and now I feel they’re worth double that or more.

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Well said. Agree on all points

I have a pair which I love. Music sounds great — not quite as good as hearing aids and good speakers, but quite good. I got them for an athletic endeavor— I was doing some sculling and group crew rowing with a group of adults, and we are coached. I don’t want to wear my real hearing aids in these skinny boats that tip so easily, so I got these to wear on the water. I put in my audiogram with Mimi. They are definitely not as good as hearing aids, but I have far less strain and feel like I’m missing less. I got some extra clips that keep them from falling out of my ears when I’m in the boat, and those work well. And now i wear them around the house all day when I’m alone to stream music. I think I wear them more than my hearing aids overall. But absolutely not as good as hearing aids for human contact when waterproof-ness is not required.

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ha11. Thank you for your insight. Agree on the quality of music listening. I’m still researching how you can use them as a surrogate hearing aid. Have you figured that out yet?

I gave up on music a number of decades ago, even before getting hearing aids. Earbuds were also distorted to me. But at least for me my More1 aids with the MYMusic program is letting me enjoy music again. Is it perfect, probably not but it works for me.

Thanks for your feedback cvkemp. What I found interesting about the AirPods Pro is that in the Apple Health App you can program your Audiogram. When I did this and tested it made an improvement in the quality of the music. Right now I use my AirPod Pro when walking and listening to an audible book. The KS10 would not work seamlessly if my iPhone was in my pocket - apparently a known issue.

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When hiking around hear, I don’t listen to music or audiobooks because I need to hear what is around me. We have a few bear, and coyotes in the area. They also say there are some big cats but I haven’t seen any. I walk with my four legged buddy, who is maybe 17 pounds, but is great at warning me about anything in the area. When I listen to music are audiobooks it is with a Fire tablet that requires me to use the connect clip to interface with my aids and the tablet.

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how-to-use-your-apple-airpods-pro-as-hearing-aids

Yes, as in that article. The main thing I find is that they don’t have the intelligence of hearing aids at picking out voices over background noise. One time I was wearing my AirPods Pro down by the boats (still on land) as hearing aids while there were lawnmowers and weedwackers. I knew that my hearing aids would have worked a lot better at sorting out the signal from the noise in that situation. As it was it seemed like they were amplifying the lawn mowers more than the voices. But in a quieter setting they are effective enough, as I said before, that I struggle a lot less to hear the voices. Before I starting using the AirPods Pro out in the boats it was a real struggle and I missed stuff. One time I was rowing in an 8 person boat in a charity event without hearing aids and before I got the AirPods. The guy in front of me was more experienced than me and in a quiet voice gave me a whole string of (unsolicited) advice and instruction. Then he asked, “Did you understand what I just said?” And I said, “No, none of it. I’m not wearing my hearing aids.” He looked a little sheepish and said, “I’m in the same boat.” (Literally and figuratively I guess).

I think the AirPods Pro do not give full correction based on the audiogram in my case. I’m not sure if they would correct more of the high frequencies if I faked my audiogram to say my high frequency loss was even worse than it is, or if the AirPods Pro just max out at a certain correction level. I think that would make sense from a liability perspective, since there is no REM limiting the levels. If they can boost the high frequencies quite a lot, they could end up cranking out loud high pitched sound if you’re already playing loud music or in a loud place, which could be damaging.