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Last Updated : Jan 15, 2019 02:26 PM IST | Source:

Boon or bane? New Apple AirPods feature lets you eavesdrop on others' conversations

If you have AirPods, you can press “Live Listen” to “On” and leave your phone in the room with someone and you can hear what they saying.

Pranav Hegde

Apple has introduced a slew of new features in iOS 12, which are hidden deep inside the settings menu of the iPhone. One such feature is 'Live Listen' where you can use your iPhone as a microphone, if you also own a pair of AirPods.

Spotted first on Twitter, the 'Live Listen' feature turns your iPhone into a listening device when activated.

"But people can commandeer Live Listen to snoop on their boss or partner by hiding their iPhone in the same room as their victim. Anyone using the tool can turn up the volume on their iPhone's microphone to listen through AirPods," The Sun reported late on Thursday.


Several users have pointed out on social discussion platform Reddit and Twitter that 'Live Listen' feature can be misused by users to snoop on others conversations which may be going on in another room - as long as their iPhone is in the room, they have their AirPods in and "Live Listen" tool is turned on.

The feature works at a distance of over 50 feet (15 meters) and can even bypass walls.

According to Apple, with Live Listen, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch can act like a microphone that sends sound to your AirPods. Live Listen can help you hear a conversation in a noisy area or even hear someone speaking across the room.

While we do not promote the misuse of this feature, here is how you can use the ‘Live Listen’ feature on AirPods:

Airpods how to

  • Go to Settings, tap on Control Center and then further, tap on Customize Controls. Turn on Hearing.

  • Put AirPods in the ear and open Control Center

  • Tap the ear icon; it should say “Live Listen.”

  • To get clear audio, place the iPhone's chin facing the person to hear what they have to say.

So far, Apple has not commented on the issue and it needs to be seen whether the tech giant will do something to avoid any misuse.

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First Published on Jan 15, 2019 07:52 am
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