young woman with caption 'Thinking about the time I turned on 'live listen' on my iPhone & left my phone on the table & walked away with my AirPods in so that I could listen to what everyone said without me being in the room' (l&r) apple phone on table (c)

pkproject/Shutterstock @woahguo/TikTok (Licensed)

‘Why did I not know this existed..’: Woman uses iPhone feature to hear what her friends are saying about her in viral TikTok

'What a wonderful little hack.'


Gisselle Hernandez


Posted on Mar 16, 2022   Updated on Apr 6, 2022, 1:25 pm CDT

A TikToker went viral after revealing a “hidden feature” on the iPhone that allows you to eavesdrop on conversations. User Michelle Guo (@woahguo) posted the video where she shared the lengths she went through to listen in on a conversation after she left the room. 

“Thinking about the time I turned on ‘live listen’ on my iPhone & left my phone on the table & walked away with my AirPods in so that I could listen to what everyone said without me being in the room,” the overlay text reads. Guo uploaded the TikTok to the current trending sound “Crazy” by Patsy Cline. 


A wonderful little tool

♬ Crazy – Patsy Cline

“What a wonderful little tool,” Guo added in the caption. 

The video has since garnered more than 280,000 views since being posted March 15, with many commenters asking Guo to teach them how to do this. 

“Settings > Control Center > add Hearing > connect AirPods > turn on Live Listen > place phone down & walk away & listen,” Guo replied to a handful of comments. Following these instructions, the Daily Dot was able to confirm the feature indeed works. 

“That’s smart,” a viewer commented on the video. 

“What a wonderful life hack!” another user wrote. 

Guo told the Daily Dot she found out about the “live listen” feature on Apple’s website and wanted to try it out. 

“So I tested it out with my friends,” she wrote via Instagram direct message. “That’s the instance in the video I was referring to.” 

Guo said she posted the video so other people could learn about the feature in case they were interested in using it.

This isn’t the first time a person has gone viral on social media for sharing the “snoop-friendly” feature. In 2019, Twitter user @arnoldcrndo shared how to use the feature sneakily and his tip went viral. 

Apple added the “live listen” functionality in the iOS 12 update in September 2018. According to Apple, with Live Listen, your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch can act like a microphone that sends sounds to your AirPods, Airpods Pro, AirPods Max, Powerbeats Pro, or Beats Fit Pro. According to an article by Forbes published in 2018, the feature has been around for four years for certain hearing aids. However, the iOS 12 update made the feature available for AirPods. 

Some commenters under Guo’s video were hesitant to use the feature in case they heard unsightly things being said about them. 

“I don’t wanna get my feelings hurt,” a viewer said. 

“I’m scared of what they will say!” another user replied. 

Apple claimed the aim of Live Listen was to help amplify conversation when in a busy or noisy room. Still, some TikTok users have been using it for arguably nefarious reasons ever since the feature dropped. 

“Been there, done that,” a viewer wrote. 

“I did this at my old job,” another user replied. “And it still amazes me how people are nice to your face and then do a 180 when you leave the room.”

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*First Published: Mar 16, 2022, 1:50 pm CDT