How to use AirPods as a hearing aid by listening directly.

Apple’s AirPods are one of the most popular pairs of wireless headphones for a number of reasons. You get seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem, along with other useful features like Active Noise Cancellation and Siri. A lesser-known feature is Live Listen on AirPods.

How to listen to AirPods live

Live Listen can amplify ambient sounds using the microphone on your iPhone and AirPods. This means you can use your AirPods as a hearing aid if you’re hard of hearing or in a noisy environment and can’t hear what the other person is saying.

If the idea appeals to you, here’s how to use your AirPods as a hearing aid with Live Listen. First, let’s understand what Live Listen is.

What is Live Listen?

Your iPhone has an option called Hearing that can be accessed via a toggle in Control Center. This option gives you a number of features related to the decibel levels you’re listening to music or the ability to play white noise in the background.

With these features, You also get a Live Listen option that essentially gives your AirPods the ability to play whatever you’re hearing around you. This makes it easier to listen to nearby sounds using the mic on your iPhone and transmit them to your AirPods.

Think of it as a temporary hearing aid that you can use in situations where you’re talking to someone and they can’t hear you. It also helps in crowded places where there is a lot of noise and you want to have a conversation with someone near you.

Which devices are compatible with Live Listen?

I’m glad to know that all generations of AirPods are compatible with Live Listen. Among them:

  • AirPods 1st Gen
  • AirPods 2nd Gen
  • AirPods 3rd Gen
  • AirPods Pro 1st Gen
  • AirPods Pro 2nd Gen
  • AirPods Max

You can also use Live Listen with some Beats headphones. These are the supported models:

  • Powerbeats Pro
  • Beats Fit Pro

The headphones must be connected to an iPhone running iOS 14.3 or later, which means you’re good to go if you have an iPhone 6S or later.

How to turn on live listening on your AirPods

Once your AirPods are paired with your iPhone, remove them from the case and place them in your ears. Then follow these steps on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. Go to Control Center option.

Step 2: Now find the Hearing option under More controls. Once found, click on the green ‘+’ sign next to it.

It will now be added to the list of buttons in the Control Center. If the hearing switch is already part of the included control section. You can move to the next step.

Step 3: Now access the Control Center on your iPhone. Then press the hearing button.

Step 4: Select the option to listen directly from the list.

Your iPhone will now start picking up all the sounds around you and send them directly to your AirPods. AirPods will act like a hearing aid, as you’ll hear the sounds around you with clarity.

The decibel levels of the sounds in this menu can also indicate whether they are comfortable for your ears or if they are too loud.

How to turn off live listening on your AirPods

Once you’ve used your AirPods as a hearing aid, if you simply want to reuse them for music. You can disable Live Listen by following these steps.

Step 1: Access Control Center on your iPhone. Then press the hearing button.

Step 2: Click the Live Listen button at the bottom to close the feature.

How to listen to background sounds using your AirPods

In addition to live listening, The hearing button also gives you an additional feature where you can listen to background sounds or white noise. There are some preset sound options that you can use to focus while you work or sleep at night.

Here’s how to enable some relaxing background sounds on your AirPods.

Step 1: Access Control Center on your iPhone. Then press the hearing button.

Step 2: Select the background sounds option. now, Tap Background sounds again to select the sound you want to play.

Step 3: You can click on each individual option to see what it sounds like before settling on what you want.

Once you’ve selected your preferred background sound, You can adjust the volume of the sound.

How to turn off background sounds on your AirPods

After listening to the background sounds, Here’s how to disable the feature.

Step 1: Access Control Center on your iPhone. Then press the hearing button.

Step 2: Click the Background Sounds button at the bottom to turn off the feature.

AirPods Live Listening FAQs

1. How far can I hear using Live Listen?

Live Listen uses your iPhone’s microphone to capture audio, so you can hear it as far away as your iPhone can detect sound. In terms of how far you can be from your iPhone, it’s about the same distance as your AirPods.

2. Can I replace my hearing aids with AirPods?

not much, AirPods cannot be used as medical-grade hearing aids. Therefore, We don’t recommend replacing your actual hearing aids with AirPods.

3. Can I use Live Listen even while listening to music?

yes Live Listen even works with audio playing in the background. So you can listen to music or play videos and use Live Listen at the same time.

4. Does Live Listen work with fake AirPods?

You can’t use a fake or fake pair of AirPods to listen directly.

5. Can I listen to conversations using Live Listen?

Indeed, You can use Live Listen to listen to conversations. If you put your iPhone in a room where people are talking, you can hear the conversation on your AirPods through Live Listen, even if you’re not in the same room.

Listen to your surroundings better.

Apple has always been ahead of the pack when it comes to public features, and Live Listen on AirPods is a great example of that. If you thought you could only use AirPods to listen to music, today you’ve learned a new trick.

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