The University of Michigan’s School of Public Health is partnering with Apple to learn how sound exposure impacts heating health. The Michigan Public Health Apple Hearing Study is an ongoing study that has already begun to yield results. The overall purpose is to improve understanding of listening behavior and how it impacts hearing health. You can join the study if you meet the requirements (see below) and download the study research app.

The study has four primary objectives. Apple wants to learn how headphone listening patterns and sound exposures affect hearing health. The test will also help understand how sound exposures affect the hearing health of Apple Watch users. The study will explore how participants react to data regarding their sound exposures. In addition the study will look for potential relationships between sound exposures and cardiovascular health of Apple Watch users.

The Apple Hearing Study continues, but in early March the research team released insights from the study so far. The results indicate that 1 in 4 participants average higher than the World Health Organization recommended daily sound exposure limit. One in 10 participants have higher headphone exposure than the recommended weekly allotment. Four in 10 work or have worked in loud workplaces. Two in 10 attend loud events at least once a month, 6 of 10 of whom never wear hearing protection.

One in 10 Apple Hearing Study participants self-reported professional hearing loss diagnosis, but only 1 in 4 use any form of corrective support. Four in 10 have not had their hearing tested in the past 10 years and 1 in 4 participants hear ringing in their ears at least a few times each week.

We don’t know what the research team anticipated — or if they even started with any expectations — but the initial results indicate that a significant portion of the participants are exposed to loud noise but don’t do anything about it.

If you’d like to participate in the study, you need to be English literate American resident who is 18 years or older and uses an unshared iPhone 6s or later with iOS 13.2 or higher. You also have to give informed consent to participate. Here’s where you can download the study research app.