If you’re struggling to hear what’s around you, you can try using your AirPods to help you hear better in certain situations. iOS’s Live Listen feature uses your iPhone’s mic to pick up sounds and then sends that audio directly to your AirPods, helping you focus on what you want to hear. To enable Live Listen, go to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls and tap the green + button next to Hearing. Then put your AirPods in, open Control Center (swipe up from the bottom of the screen or swipe down from the battery and WiFi on an iPhone with FaceID), tap the Hearing button, and tap to turn on Live Listen. Fine-tune what you’re hearing by moving the iPhone closer to what you want to hear and pointing the mic at the source of the sound—pay attention to the sound level meter dots—and by adjusting the iPhone’s volume controls. To stop listening, tap Live Listen again or just remove your AirPods.
If you have Bluetooth-connected MFI-certified hearing aids you can use this trick to pick up sounds from a different location than where you currently are, as long as you keep your iPhone within Bluetooth range (usually about 20 to 50 feet). Unfortunately this trick doesn’t work work with other headphones, just AirPods and MFi hearing aids.