A TechCrunch report suggests, “Apple has one hardware-specific feature that wasn’t announced in the keynote.” The new iOS 12 update will allow the users to use Live Listen, a special feature previously reserved for hearing aids certified through Apple’s Made for iPhone hearing aid program, with their AirPods.
On enabling the feature in iPhone settings, the users can use their iPhones effectively as a directional mic. It means that if the user is in a busy environment the users can have their Airpods with iPhone on the table, for example, and the voice of whoever is speaking will be routed to their AirPods.
Live Listen was developed and launched by Apple back in 2014 to help iPhone users with hearing aids. It let them hear people in noisy environments or from across a room, such as a crowded restaurant or lecture hall. The feature could be easily turned on while the user is wearing a compatible hearing aid that is paired with their iPhone. The Live Listen can be turned on and off, allows volume adjustment and even set it as their preferred Accessibility Shortcut.
Live Listen support in AirPods is important. The inclusion of this feature makes AirPods more capable and more alluring; it’s significant given they are almost universally hailed as one of Apple’s best products in years. Now, anyone with limited hearing will have access to this feature without needing to buy dedicated hardware to get it.
Still, it is important to note that the Airpods won’t be replacing the hearing aids and one must consult their audiologist to get the best hearing aid for themselves.