How to Live Listen With Your iPhone and AirPods

Imagine you’re in a place where a group of people are talking, but you’re unable to hear the person you want to listen to and find yourself distracted. In this situation, you can take help of your iPhone ( iOS 12 and higher) and AirPods to listen to the person clearly and without any disturbance. This is all because of a feature called “Live Listen.” It makes your iPhone a microphone to enable you to hear clearly in difficult situations or in a noisy area. Set up “Live Listen” feature and place your iPhone nearby to the person you want to listen and hear what they are saying.

How to set up Your AirPods and iPhone or iPad for Live Listening

First, you must add controls into the Control Center of your iOS device before using Live Listening.

1.    Enter into the ‘Settings’ of the iPhone or iPad.

2.    Scroll down and click on ‘Control Central.’

3.    Click on ‘Customize Controls.’

4.    Click on ‘Hearing.’

Now the “Live Listen” feature and controls will get added into the Control center of your iPhone or iPad. With this, you can easily and quickly access and control whatever you need.

How to turn on and use the Live Listen with your iPhone or iPad and your AirPods

Before turning on Live Listening, make sure your iPhone or iPad is connected with your AirPods. Pair and connect your AirPods as usual.

1.    Bring up the ‘Control Center’ on your iOS device.

2.    Click ‘Live Listen’ (looks like an ear) icon.

3.    Click on ‘Live Listen’ for turning on Live Listening.

That’s it! The featured is turned on. Now you have to position your iPhone or iPad.

How to position an iOS device to get a clear sound quality

When you turn on Live Listening on your iPhone or iPad, it will start working as a microphone. To hear a person or an area clearly, you need to position your iOS device in such a way so that it can pick up the sound easily and directly.

•    Live Listening uses the microphone phone of your iPhone or iPad to capture the sound. The mike is at the bottom side of an iPhone, so position the bottom side of your iPhone or iPad toward the person or area you want to listen.

•    Try to place your iPhone or iPad as much as possible close to the person you want to hear.

•    Adjust the sound quality of your iPhone or iPad, so that you can better hear the person instead of other noise.

•    To get a better sound quality, adjust and set the volume of your AirPods to the middle or slightly above the middle.

How to turn off the Live Listen on your iPhone or iPad

If you want to turn off the Live Listen, then you can simply click the red colored banner located at the upper side of the screen and click ‘Live Listen.’

You may also turn it off from the control center, here is how.

1.    Bring up the ‘Control Center’ on your iOS device.

2.    Click on the ‘Live Listen’ icon.

3.    Click on the ‘Live Listen’ to turn off Live Listening.

That’s it! Hear what you want clearly, even in a noisy environment.

John Martin is a Microsoft Office expert and has been working in the technical industry since 2002. As a technical expert, Samuel has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as

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