AirPods and Powerbeats Pro owners have an interesting opportunity. They can listen to you talking, being at the other end of the room or even outside its doors. We are talking about the function “Live-listening” – we talk about it in more detail.

Live Listen was originally designed with a good purpose in mind: to be able to hear the other person in noisy environments or when they are not near them. For example, this is convenient for students who sit in the last row of the audience but want to hear the lecturer.

However, some users have found that the function can be used for a dirty business – eavesdropping on other people’s conversations.

How does it work?

Let’s start with technical points. Live Listen turns your iPhone or iPad into a microphone that transmits the signal to your headphones in real-time:

  • AirPods;
  • AirPods Pro;
  • AirPods Max;
  • Powerbeat Pro;
  • Beats Fit Pro.

To use the feature, you need to update iOS or iPadOS to version 14.3 or later.

How to eavesdrop on a conversation with AirPods?

First, you need to connect your headphones to your Apple smartphone or tablet and turn on the Live Listen function. For this:

  1. In the settings, go to the “Control Center”;
  2. Scroll down and click the Add button in the Hearing menu;
  3. Put on your AirPods;
  4. Swipe down to open Control Center and tap on the Ear icon you just added;
  5. Select “Live-listening”;
  6. Place your iPhone or iPad next to the person you want to hear. Is there sound in the headphones? So, everything works.
  7. Adjust the volume on your device if the sound is not heard well enough.

The function works within the range of the AirPods Bluetooth signal, so try not to go too far. When using Live Listen, iPhones or AirPods don’t make any sounds that could reveal you.

If Live Listen doesn’t work on your iPhone, make sure you have Bluetooth turned on and your headphones are charged.

And finally. Remember that AirPods are not meant to be wiretapped. And in general, eavesdropping on private conversations can be not only dangerous but also prohibited by law. Therefore, you act at your own peril and risk.


Always be aware!

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