Transparency mode is disconcerting: because it favors certain frequencies to the detriment of others, it sometimes gives the impression of hearing better with the headphones in the ears. But AirPods Pro can really improve your hearing, with the assistance of your iPhone, which can act as a remote microphone. The “real-time listening” function is obviously not a substitute for hearing aids, but can prove invaluable in certain situations.
Look no further, you won’t find the live listening feature in the accessibility settings. Open the Control Center section of the Settings app, then tap Customize Controls, and add Audition. You will now find a small ear icon in Control Center.
Touch this icon to bring up the Live Listening widget, and touch the widget to (de) activate the function. When live listening is on, your AirPods Pro plays back sounds picked up by your iPhone’s microphone. All sounds, including ambient noises, which means taking care of the positioning of the iPhone:
- place the iPhone as close as possible to the person or sound source you want to listen to, to reduce the effect of surrounding noise;
- point the bottom edge of your iPhone, which has the main mic, in the direction you want to listen;
- adjust the volume on your iPhone, but keep in mind that increasing the volume amplifies surrounding noise. Sometimes you need to lower the volume slightly to get a clearer sound. The Live Listening widget has a mock VU meter that should help you find the optimal level.
Real-time listening isn’t just for AirPods Pro: it works with other AirPods, and more broadly any wireless headphones. It is not even reserved for iPhone: it also allows you to “borrow” the microphone of an iPad. This function allows you to spy on a conversation by “forgetting” your phone in the next room… but the screen clearly indicates that the microphone is active.
In addition, the Accessibility section of Settings has an AirPods section. The first two settings are intended for people with a motor disability, and allow you to modify the duration of the pressure sensors being pressed and held. The third and final is for those who can only wear one earpiece.
Noise reduction requires wearing both AirPods Pro. If you are wearing only one headset, you can only use Transparency mode, or completely mute the active system. By activating the Noise cancellation option with an AirPod, you will be able to use noise reduction with a single earphone, in principle without any particular degradation of its efficiency.
Turning your AirPods into a hearing aid system
By launching Real-Time Listening Mode, Apple believed it was offering discreet and effective help to the millions of people with hearing problems. But that was without counting on the boundless imagination of millions of iPhone users. Indeed, clever kids have managed to divert AirPods from their initial use and turn the iPhone into a microphone to remotely spy on what is happening in a neighboring room.
Use your Apple AirPods as a hearing aid
Due to the aging of the population, sales of hearing aids continue to grow. In less than 20 years, they have more than doubled. But the price of these hearing aids remains the main obstacle to buying.
However, some brands like Apple are trying to change the situation. Since the appearance of iOS 12, AirPods have benefited from the new Real-Time Listening mode initially developed with major hearing aid manufacturers.
This feature allows you to transform the iPhone into a micro sound amplifier. To use it, just place your phone close to your interlocutor. The sound is then transmitted automatically to the AirPods wireless audio earphones.
This device is particularly useful in very noisy places such as for example a restaurant. Obviously, the performance of the Realtime Listening function does not equal that of a high-end hearing system. But it makes it possible to amplify the voice of an interlocutor and improve the lives of users at a lower cost. Here is the procedure to follow to activate the Listening mode in real time.
- Open your iPhone’s Settings window
- Click on the Control Centers option
- Tap the Customize Controls button
- Click on the + button to the left of the Audition function
- Then connect your Airpods to your iPhone
- Open Control Center by placing your finger on the upper right corner of the screen and then swiping down.
- On older iPhones (versions prior to iPhone X), slide your finger from the bottom to the top of the screen
- Tap the Hearing icon in the shape of an ear then tap live listening
- A red bar is automatically displayed at the top of the screen as soon as the function is activated
Here you just have to place your phone on a table or near the mouth of your interlocutor. You will hear the conversation directly in your AirPods. Note that it is possible to adjust the amplification of sounds by increasing the volume of the iPhone.
Secretly listen to the conversations of your loved ones
Listening in real time is not just for the hearing impaired. Some smart people use it to spy on those around them. To do this, all you have to do is activate the Listening mode in real time and place your phone on a table.
The sound of the room is picked up by the iPhone’s microphone and then routed directly to an adjoining room via your wireless headphones. Obviously, care must be taken to respect the maximum range of the Bluetooth connection, namely around ten meters.
Notice to amateur spies. If the trick revealed makes it possible to discreetly spy on loved ones, the system is not completely invisible. Indeed as soon as the listening mode in real time is launched, a small red icon in the shape of a microphone automatically appears on the lock screen of the iPhone. In addition, it is not very safe to leave a phone with more than 1000 euros lying around on a desk.
IPhone and AirPods let you listen to what’s going on in a room from a distance
Did you know that it is possible to bug a room with an iPhone and a pair of AirPods? Sunday spies alert.
Are you a fan of Mission: Impossible or James Bond? You too will be able to put on the costume of a spy. To do this, all you need to do is get an iPhone and a pair of AirPods. Then leave the phone in a room and press a shortcut to listen to everything going on there remotely, through the headphones.
Obviously, this is a misappropriation of technologies present in Apple products to strengthen the accessibility of smartphones to people with hearing loss. Normally, they are used to improve listening – not to watch others.
THE PHONE’S JAMES BOND
In its desire to improve the daily lives of those who suffer from a hearing disability, Apple has approached device manufacturers to integrate them into the iOS ecosystem. This partnership allows those concerned to be able to more easily control their accessories from the iPhone or iPad (by pressing the home button three times). Thus, they have very quick access to the state of the battery or to the volume adjustment (by headset).
Just recently, Apple added AirPods to the list of items that improve what the Cupertino company calls real-time listening. On the official page, it is written that the headphones “can give you more comfort when chatting in loud places”. To activate the Real-time listening feature, you have to go through the Control Center and the shortcut simply called Audition, making sure to place the phone near the person with whom you are conversing. The AirPods then use the iPhone’s microphones to pick up outside sounds.
And it turns out that this feature is deep enough to allow a few spying sessions. Numerama has tested and can confirm that it works as long as the maximum Bluetooth connection distance between the iPhone and the AirPods is respected (about fifteen meters). The point is that there really is that feeling of being next to the people in the room where the smartphone is located, which proves that the amplification is successful. Note that listening only works one way: you won’t hear what you’re saying if you’re talking into AirPods.
BECOME A SPY WITH APPLE AIRPODS
Have you always had the soul of becoming a James Bond? Always wanted to eavesdrop on conversations in the next room? If you own an iPhone and Apple AirPods, be aware that it is possible to listen to the conversations of your loved ones using the hijacking of an accessibility option.…
Indeed, it is an Internet user who has just discovered that he was possible to listen to the conversations of people who are in another room thanks to AirPods, headphones developed by Apple. The apple brand also offers hearing-impaired people to use it as hearing aids in order toamplify the sound picked up by the smartphone in the room via the headset.
A DIVERSE ACCESSIBILITY OPTION
This accessibility option is called “Listening in real time” and she is available since iOS 12, the latest update offered by the brand. To activate it, nothing could be simpler, you just have to go to Settings> Control Center> Customize Controls> Hearing.
Then you just need to leave your smartphone in a room then, thanks to Bluetooth, the AirPods will be able to pick up the conversation in the room where your phone is located.
If the trick unveiled by this user has been a great success on social media, some point out that it was already possible to use your iPhone to play the spy apprentice. Indeed, with the Dictaphone tool, it was possible to record discreetly. Of course, listening cannot be done live, but nothing new in itself.
Forbes magazine, meanwhile, estimates that leaving a $ 1000 smartphone lying around in a room might not be the best thing to do. If you think the development of technology can be taken to extremes, remember what Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “technology is neither good nor bad, it is the uses that are made of it that define it ”.