Having a conversation in a crowded bar or party? Soon, you’ll be able to pop in your Apple AirPods to hear the person you’re talking to a little better.
First launched in 2014, Live Listen turns your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch into a “remote microphone that sends sound to your … hearing aid,” Apple says in a support page. “Live Listen can help you hear a conversation in a noisy room or hear someone speaking across the room,” Apple wrote.
Until now, it has only worked with special “Made for iPhone” hearing aids. Using AirPods with Live Listen should be helpful in some scenarios, but won’t replace an actual hearing aid for those dealing with hearing loss.
AirPods earned a “good” rating in PCMag’s review; we praised their “clear audio performance” and liked the fact that their carrying case doubles as a backup battery.
“From an audio standpoint, the AirPods offer decent bass response and crisp, clear highs, but would greatly benefit from creating an in-canal seal like most earphones do,” we wrote. “Instead, you hear the outside world and get less low end than you might otherwise.”
Meanwhile, if you’re paranoid about losing your $159 AirPods, you might want to pick up the Elago AirPods Wrist Fit, a handy yet slightly silly-looking AirPods holder that slides onto an Apple Watch band, so you can keep your wireless headphones close by at all times.