iOS 12: How to use Live Listen with your AirPods

Once only for MFi hearing aids, this nifty sound-boosting tool now works with your AirPods.

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If you have MFi-compatible hearing aids, you can do more than just play music or make calls straight from your iPhone: You can also use your iPhone as a special sound-boosting microphone to help you hear in difficult situations.

You simply turn on the feature—called Live Listen—and place your phone near the person you’re talking to. Say, over on their side of the table in a crowded and noisy restaurant. Your iPhone’s mic will pick up nearby sounds and send them, boosted, to your hearing aids.

With iOS 12, the Live Listen feature comes to AirPods, too. It’s a great feature that can really help those who don’t necessarily need a hearing aid but are having trouble hearing others in a difficult situation. Here’s how to get it working.

1. Head to Settings > Control Center > Customize Controls.

2. Look for the “Hearing” control and add it to your Include list by tapping the (+) sign next to it.

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Just add Live Listen to your Control Center to use the feature with your AirPods.

Now, when you want to use Live Listen, do the following:

1. Make sure your AirPods are connected to your iPhone (check your Bluetooth settings).

2. Open Control Center (swipe down from the upper right on iPhone X, or swipe up from the bottom edge on older iPhones).

3. Tap the Live Listen icon, which looks like an ear. If your AirPods are connected, you should see them listed along with a little sound level monitor.

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If Live Listen is active, you’ll see a little sound meter.

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