AirPods Pro Set to Introduce Hearing Aid Mode with iOS 18 Update AirPods Pro are expected to receive a significant update with the introduction of a "hearing aid mode" in the upcoming iOS 18 release.

The AirPods Pro are on the brink of a transformative update with the anticipated launch of iOS 18, slated for later this year. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, in the subscriber edition of his Power On newsletter, highlighted that the near future holds promising news for AirPods Pro users with the addition of a hearing aid-style functionality.

This isn’t the first whisper of such a feature; a 2021 Wall Street Journal article hinted at a potential hearing aid capability for a future AirPods Pro model. Nevertheless, with the release of the second-generation AirPods Pro in September 2022 and a refreshed model featuring a USB-C port, the feature remained absent.

Currently, the AirPods Pro offer a Conversation Boost feature, aimed at enhancing the clarity and volume of conversations for the wearer. Yet, they have not been positioned as a hearing aid device, a status that would necessitate Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

The FDA categorizes hearing aids as wearable devices intended to assist individuals with hearing impairments, covering both air-conduction and bone-conduction devices across various styles.

In a notable development, the FDA approved a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids in August 2022, which are exempt from the stringent regulations governing traditional hearing aids.

This category, known as Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs), targets non-hearing impaired consumers seeking sound amplification for specific situations, such as recreational activities. PSAPs are not regulated by the FDA to the extent of hearing aids, as they are not designed to manage or compensate for hearing impairments.

The specifics of how Apple plans to navigate FDA regulations for its rumored “hearing aid mode” remain uncertain. Should Apple suggest that the AirPods Pro could serve individuals with hearing loss or as an alternative to conventional hearing aids, FDA approval will be mandatory for such claims.

In conjunction with the anticipation surrounding the AirPods Pro update, iOS 18 is rumored to be one of the most substantial updates in iPhone history.

Apple is expected to unveil iOS 18 at its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June, with a public release likely coinciding with the launch of the iPhone 16 series in September.

AirPods Pro in case

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