The AirPods Pro may let you boost your hearing, but that’s not enough to make it a hearing aid. | Photo by Chris Welch / The Verge

The line between hearing aids and hearables has blurred ever since over-the-counter hearing aids hit shelves last month. Case in point: a new iScience study that claims a $249 pair of AirPods Pro can sometimes perform as well as prescription hearing aids that often cost thousands more. But while AirPods may seem like an affordable hearing aid alternative, it’s not quite that simple.

Researchers recruited 21 participants in the study to test how well second-gen AirPods and AirPods Pro performed compared to a premium hearing aid costing $10,000 and a basic aid costing $1,500. The participants were asked to repeat verbatim short sentences that were read to them while wearing each device. The AirPods Pro were found to be comparable to basic…

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