Archived Post

Dear Apple: Please Make Hearing Aids

Dear Apple,

I’ve been an Apple fan since 1984 and have written about the company and its products since 1986 when I started up a Mac and Apple II GS bulletin board system. I love your products and your commitment to excellence. That’s why I’m asking for a favor for me and millions of people around the globe: please consider making hearing aids. 

My hearing was always quite good up until the past few years. Last year, I was told by an audiologist that I needed to get hearing aids. What that meant was getting a product that might have Bluetooth connectivity, that wouldn’t distort voices or sounds to the point that I  couldn’t understand them, and also that I would pay a ridiculous price.

Do you know what good hearing aids cost? For the pair of Oticon OPN miniRITE hearing aids recommended by my audiologist, I had to lay out $4800. For that amount of money, I could ALMOST afford a base iMac Pro. Nope, instead I was laying out almost five grand for a product that — while better than most hearing aids — is sadly deficient. 

I loved my AirPods. I can’t wear them now because of the hearing aids, which means that I either wear over-the-ear headphones or put up with poor quality Bluetooth streaming through the hearing aids I own.  I would love it if Apple would create a pair of AirPods — let’s call them AirPods HA — that were true hearing aids. 

These AirPods HA would be stylish and I could wear them anywhere. Right now, my hearing aids are small enough to “hide”, which is great because they’re ugly. They’d have battery life that could last all day, or if it couldn’t I could just pop one or both into my charging case to get a boost. I specifically requested rechargeable hearing aids because I didn’t want to pollute the planet with those little batteries, but I’m lucky if they last a full day on a charge, and the replacement rechargeable batteries (which last less than a year) are not only hard to find, but ridiculously expensive. To get those rechargeable batteries, I have to make a separate trip to my audiologist.

The AirPods HA  would be able to be easily programmed by my audiologist to match my hearing profile, and updatable via the Health app. Have a hearing test, get an immediate update. Much better than the annual process I have to go through now. In fact, why not make an accurate hearing test part of the AirPods HA and have them automatically adjust the hearing profile?

These hearing aids would be like most other Apple products — easy to connect. I’d be able to connect them to my iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac and iPad with just a tap, and the connection would be immediate. 

Best of all for Apple is that I’d be willing to pay up to $1,500 for a set of hearing aid-quality AirPods. While that sounds like a ridiculous amount of money, it’s a bargain in a world where a set of off-brand hearing aids sells for $1,800 at a major US discounter. 

So, Apple, how about it? You already have a lot of the technology needed to disrupt the hearing aid market, which at this point is dominated by a few companies that charge way too much for their products. Please help those of us who are hard of hearing.


Steve Sande, Publisher

Apple World Today

Steve Sande
the authorSteve Sande
Steve is the founder and former publisher of Apple World Today and has authored a number of books about Apple products. He's an avid photographer, an FAA-licensed drone pilot, and a really bad guitarist. Steve and his wife Barb love to travel everywhere!