‘Creepy’ little-known Apple AirPods feature allows people to spy on you

“If you’ve ever wanted to channel your inner James Bond and try your hand at a spot of spying, it appears Apple has accidentally come up with a way for you to do just that,” Courtney Pochin writes for The Daily Mirror. “And honestly, it’s a little bit creepy.”

“It turns out, if you’ve got an iPhone, a pair of Apple AirPods and are using the latest operating system, then you possess all you need to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations,” Pochin writes. “All you have to do is set up Live Listen in your settings and turn up the volume on the phone’s microphone and you’ll be good to go.”

“According to news.com.au those who use Live Listen can leave their phone in different locations around their house and be able to hear everything that’s going on through the AirPods,” Pochin writes. “Reportedly this works up to a distance of around 15m away.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Wait, if you leave a live microphone in a room, you can listen to it using Bluetooth earphones?!

What a shockingly creepy discovery!

Thanks, Mirror, when it comes to hard-hitting investigative journalism, you never disappoint!

Wait unit they find out what people are doing with baby monitors and webcams!

Using Apple’s revolutionary AirPods as hearing aids – October 29, 2018
How to use Live Listen with Apple’s AirPods – July 10, 2018
Apple’s AirPods to get ‘Live Listen’ feature in iOS 12 – June 6, 2018
Apple files for ‘Live Listen’ trademark – August 12, 2013
Apple and GN ReSound team up for ‘smartest hearing aid in the world’ – May 7, 2014
Can Apple help make hearing aids cool? – March 10, 2014
Following GN Store Nord, hearing aid maker William Demant to join Apple’s ‘Made for iPhone’ program this spring – February 27, 2014
Apple co-developed next-gen iPhone-compatible hearing aid to debut early next year – November 25, 2013
With ‘Live Listen,’ Apple iPhones could be remote mic for Bluetooth hearing aids and more – August 12, 2013

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Think” for the heads up.]


  1. So you can use your iPhone and AirPods as a hearing aid! For much less than the cost of a hearing aid.
    With the right app you might even be able to rebalance frequencies just like a real hearing aid.

    But as usual, someone contorts the facts to try and make it a negative for Apple.

    1. As someone who has hearing damage, this is an intriguing idea for me. A hearing aid costs between $2, 500 – $5,000. The AirPods could be very useful around the house or especially for watching TV. They’re definitely not a substiture for a hearing aid but this feature could definitely make your life a bit more enjoyable under some conditions.

  2. How is this different from using a phone with a voice recorder app and leaving it near whoever you want to eavesdrop?

    Either way you leave your phone close to whoever you want to spy on, which sounds like a good way of putting your phone in peril.

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