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Industry News

Apple link to hearing aids and beyond!

Apple iPhone link to hearing aids and AirPods!

It appears that Apple is planning a new “directional move” for its Apple AirPods that wasn’t “exactly” mentioned in the launch of iOS 12 last Monday!

It all comes down to Live Listen, a software feature previously used for the synchronisation of the Apple smartphones with eligible hearing aids on the global market. The function which is part of Apple’s Made For iPhone Hearing Aid Program allows users with a iPhones the ability to access the microphone within the smartphone and use it as an additional microphone in noisy environments to pick up voice. The feature effectively turns the iPhone into a directional Microphone for hearing aid wearers on the go.

Accessed through the iPhone’s settings, the feature allows users with an iPhone and AirPods the ability to place the mobile phone on the table of a noisy café or bar and the voice of your companion to sent through to the AirPods. The Live Listen feature has been available since 2014 and has allowed hearing-impaired iPhone users the ability to hear better in noisy environments if they have a pair of hearing aids which is compatible with their iPhone. The Live Listen feature also provides the user, the ability to make a basic volume adjustment and the option of a shortcut to turn the feature on and off.

For hearing aid wearers and those with a mild hearing loss, the feature has been considered one of the most revolutionary in the smartphone market. But does this mean Apple is making a play for the world hearing aid market? Well, that’s a whole new argument in itself.

What we do know is that the feature positions the AirPods as an entry level listening device or loosely referred to “hearable”. It also provides iPhone users with an alternative to a microphone type device that usually compliments hearing aids and is typically offered during a hearing aid sale. Does this make them a contender on the world market against hearing aids? Defiantly not, with the complex and personalised software features of a hearing aid, the AirPods are simply a “give way sign” to those still deciding if a hearing aid is right for them. The feature remains one of the most innovative partnerships between smartphone manufacturers and the manufactures of hearing aids.

When considering if a hearing aid is right for you; seek the guidance of a trained hearing professional. For those living in Sydney Australia wishing to explore their hearing loss call (02) 9133 7899 for a free hearing test appointment. Or book an appointment online at www.eardeals.com.au.

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