Live Listen – Hot Line For AirPods

Who remembers the Sony Walkman of yore? One of the most striking features of the unit was a bright orange button on the top. When you pressed it, it started up a microphone and piped what it heard though you’re headphones… to great comedic effect in 48 Hours with Eddie Murphy.

AirPods hot line

AirPods Hot Line Without The Orange Button

In iOS 12, Apple has introduced a similar feature called Live Listen. You can now listen into the outside world with a tap in Control Centre when listening to music using your AirPods. For some reason, Apple has not enabled this to work with regular wired headphones though.

But, think of the uses now… the microphone on your iPhone & iPad is very sensitive… perhaps you want to live your 007 fantasies? Or perhaps you are on vacation and didn’t bring your baby monitor? Put your iPhone or iPad in the room with your baby, toss an AirPod in your ear, and you can monitor how baby is doing.

Or perhaps you actually have a problem picking out individual conversations in a room, you could use this set up to “zoom” in on the person you are trying to listen to!

In any event, there is potentially a myriad of uses out there, but perhaps don’t go the espionage route.

Activating Live ListenAirPods Live Listen

Live Listen is considered a Accessibility feature, so you will want to navigate to:

Settings –> Control CenterĀ –> Customize Controls –> Hearing

By tapping on Hearing there, you will have added it to the control centre a new ear shaped icon!

Activate your AirPods and just tap on that icon to hear the outside world! For whatever reason though, standard music controls won’t work while this feature is enabled. You will have to use the manual controls. Furthermore, the volume of the Live Listen is controlled via your iPhone or iPad volume control.

Let us know if you come up with another interesting use for this feature!

Ryszard Gold
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Ryszard Gold

Ryszard (Rick) Gold, From Calgary, Alberta, Canada has over 20 years of experience working with Apple products in a technical capacity. Passionate about technology in general, his natural troubleshooting abilities, curiosity and appreciation of good design lead him into working exclusively with Apple Computer products.
Ryszard Gold
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