Individuals with hearing loss face high personal costs for hearing aids, making over-the-counter hearing aids, or headphones featuring custom audio control, alternative options. Apple Inc.’s AirPods Pro contain a variety of headphone accommodations designed to help people hear better. Recent research has evaluated electroacoustic properties of AirPods Pro demonstrating good ability to fit prescriptive targets for different hearing losses. Here, we examine the usability and perceived benefit from engaging custom audiogram-driven features in AirPods Pro. Listeners with self-assigned hearing profiles ranging from normal hearing to a moderate degree of hearing loss take a hearing screener using the Mimi Hearing Test app. AzBio sentences are presented in quiet and in noise while enabling and disabling the custom features in Apple’s accommodation settings. Listeners then complete a questionnaire targeting usability of the features and perceived benefit. Overall, listeners found the features easy to use and to be at least a little helpful, regardless of hearing status. Listeners with suspected or known hearing impairment reported slightly greater benefit than normal hearing listeners when listening in noise with the custom audio features. Headphone accommodations in AirPods Pro may be an affordable option for an improved listening experience.
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September 25 2023
Usability and perceived benefit of hearing assistive features on Apple AirPods Pro
Emily Hammond, Anna C. Diedesch; Usability and perceived benefit of hearing assistive features on Apple AirPods Pro. Proc. Mtgs. Acoust. 8 May 2023; 51 (1): 050004. https://doi.org/10.1121/2.0001771
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