Apple will add Live Listen support for AirPods in iOS 12, according to a new report. The company didn’t include the detail during its WWDC 2018 keynote, but a leak claims iPhone users will soon be able to enable the feature on their handsets. Live Listen was originally exclusive to hearing aids under the Made for iPhone program.
The information comes from TechCrunch, which reports that iOS 12 will bring the option to use Live Listen with AirPods. Via it, iPhone owners can use their handset as a microphone with live audio from it being sent to the wireless earbuds.
In its present form, individuals with compatible hearing aids can use their iPhone’s microphone to listen to specific audio through Live Listen. One could, for example, place their phone near someone speaking on the other side of the room, helping them hear audio otherwise drowned out by ambient noise.
Assuming the report is accurate, AirPods owners will soon be able to perform the same action. Such an addition would be a welcomed expansion for Apple’s earbuds product while making both it and the iPhone more appealing to those with hearing issues. Whereas hearing aids are often very expensive, AirPods are only $159 USD.
Of course, Live Listen isn’t a replacement for hearing aids, which are often tuned to amplify certain frequencies the wearer has trouble hearing. Features like Live Listen merely offer the regular ambient sounds, potentially at a higher volume, which helps individuals with certain auditory issues.