Many people do not understand the difference between amplifiers and professional hearing care with ongoing support.

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

by | Jun 2, 2024 | Industry News

Based on speculation from many reputable news sources, Apple is planning to enter the hearing care market in late 2024/early 2025. At the time of publishing this article, nothing is confirmed, but we’ve heard rumours that Apple’s upcoming iOS 18 update will include a new feature called “Hearing Aid Mode.” 

Read on for everything you need to know about this potential update. 

It’s rumoured that Apple’s new “Hearing Aid Mode” will be focused on allowing Apple AirPods users to use their AirPods as sound amplifiers. This new feature follows Apple’s previously launched “Live Listen” (2019) and “Conversation Boost” (2021) features. 

Nothing is confirmed, but Apple has scheduled their Worldwide Developers Conference for June 10, where they plan to release details of their new iOS 18 software update. In his January newsletter, Bloomberg correspondent Mark Gurman suggested that this could be the biggest software update that we’ve ever seen from Apple. 

This news comes alongside speculation that Apple plans to release the 3rd generation of their popular AirPods Pro in early 2025. The newest generation of AirPods will allow users to gain the most benefits from “Hearing Aid Mode.”  

How Might This Feature Be Useful for You? 

There are many apps available in the Apple app store today that can be used with your AirPods to amplify sounds. These apps work by taking the sounds they can hear through your microphone and amplifying them into your ears.  

Rumours suggest that the new “Hearing Aid Mode” when used with the Apple AirPods Pro 3 will be more sophisticated than the existing apps. Apple may introduce features that would allow you to self-assess your hearing and hear better in difficult listening situations.  

We will be watching Apple’s conference on June 10 and will share any updates we learn with you here in this article. 

One Big Concern 

We can learn some lessons from our American friends who operate private practice hearing clinics. In 2022, the FDA approved over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids. Soon after, major tech brands like Sony and Jabra rushed to launch their own OTC devices. 

The media and advertising caused quite a bit of confusion among consumers by announcing that “affordable hearing aids had arrived.” Many people with hearing loss bought these OTC devices expecting them to fix all their hearing problems. And for many, the OTC hearing aids did not meet their expectations. 

Our concern is that history may repeat itself. People may purchase the new AirPods, not have the experience they are looking for, and come to the conclusion that professional hearing care will not work for them either. Many people do not understand the difference between amplifiers and professional hearing care with ongoing support. 

The Positives 

Any discussion or conversation around the treatment of untreated hearing loss is a positive thing. It’s time to address the outdated stigma around hearing loss, and this update could help.  

Apple is one of the largest – and many would say the coolest – technology brands in the world.

If Apple promotes the benefits of better hearing, it could help to normalize the conversation around seeking hearing care and inspire people to seek the care that they need. 

What’s Next? 

We will continue to monitor this news closely and will keep you informed through this blog as we receive updates.  

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to schedule an appointment, you can reach our office at (226) 674-1127. Or request a callback and a friendly member of our team will be in touch with you soon. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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Hanan Merrill

Aside from enjoying a host of recreational and family activities, Hanan loves to help people solve problems. It really doesn’t matter whether he’s using his “handy” side to tinker with mechanical problems or his listening ear trained through years of experience as a pastor in a previous career…helping is what he enjoys doing. As a hearing instrument practitioner he enjoys the opportunity to get to know his clients in a relaxed atmosphere and to look for ways to minimize the effects of hearing loss. One of his greatest joys is when his clients report communicating easier, generally feeling more confident and relaxed, and in tune with life because of well tuned hearing devices.