Why it’s vital to switch that podcast off occasionally and let yourself get bored

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It has become part of my daily routine to slip headphones on as I leave the front door. I don’t take them off until I reach my destination, unless I’m buying something in a shop or giving directions – as the writer Lucy Prebble has remarked, “taking off headphones is the new removing your hat”. I sometimes listen to music, but mainly I listen to talk.

Perhaps the biggest cost, though, is that I’m listening to myself less. When I’m riveted by the narrative of a real-life murder mystery, my thoughts don’t wander, and it’s only when thoughts are allowed to wander that they become interesting.

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AirPods could revolutionize what it means to be hard of hearing

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Last month, it was reported that Apple would add Live Listen, a feature that allows people to hear conversations in noisy settings, to AirPods later this year. The feature has been around since 2014. It uses the iPhone as a mic and connects to Apple-certified hearing aids to amplify hearing. When the next version of Apple’s key mobile software, iOS 12, is released, AirPod users will have access to the feature, though it’s recommended that those who require hearing aids still use them and not simply rely on AirPods for clarity and amplification.