One of Apple’s most thoughtful accessibility features on iOS is Live Listen. The feature gives someone using a hearing aid a way to stream audio picked up by an iPhone’s microphone to the device in their ear — so long as the hearing aid is compatible with the Made for iPhone specification. Now, slated to arrive with iOS 12 come September, Live Listen will work with Apple’s own AirPods, so users who are hard of hearing can stream microphone audio from an iPhone directly to the wireless earbuds. TechCrunch first reported on the new feature earlier today.
The AirPods inclusion for Live Listen is great for those who have suffered some form of mild hearing loss or typically just have trouble hearing, but do not use a professional-grade hearing aid. As TechCrunch, some obvious use cases are placing your phone on the table at a noisy restaurant, or perhaps placing the phone next to your professor during a lecture. The feature is not intended to be a hearing aid replacement, of course, but something to augment hearing in loud or distracting situations.