iOS 18 could add some big accessibility features to AirPods

AirPods Pro 2 on a mosaic table
(Image credit: Gerald Lynch / Future)

WWDC 2024 is just hours away at this point, and while Apple's big software event will undoubtedly focus on platforms like iOS 18, Apple's popular earphones aren't being forgotten.

As reported by Mark Gurman of Bloomberg, Apple will roll out new accessibility features for its AirPods.

After mentioning the Apple Watch hypertension detection that could be coming later this year, Gurman says "There also will be support for a new hearing test feature on Apple’s AirPods."

"The earbuds are getting a new hearing-aid feature as well, but this may not be announced until later this year."

Gurman doesn't note which earbuds these new features would come to, but it's a safe bet to expect them to be focused on in-ear buds and not over-ear like the AirPods Max.

AirPods Pro 2

(Image credit: Mike Sawh)

The evolution of AirPods

iOS 17 saw several big AirPods features, as Apple continues to invest in its audio ecosystem (I'm still waiting on the next AirPods Max, though).

AirPods got Conversation Awareness and Adaptive Audio last year, as well as Personalized Volume, and even if you don't use them it's nice to know they're there - although you will need the AirPods Pro for many of them.

The arrival of a hearing aid feature, along with a hearing test, could make AirPods a "one-stop-shop" for at least a prediagnosis of a potential hearing issue, and adjusting themselves to help accommodate it.

AirPods Pro | $189.99 at Amazon

AirPods Pro | $189.99 at Amazon

Apple's current AirPods Pro offer excellent noise cancelling, Conversation Awareness and Spatial audio.

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Lloyd Coombes

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom. Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more. He’s also the Editor in Chief at, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.