A quick Google search of AirPods will provide you with results that point to the tiny devices being rather expensive. It’s not necessarily uncommon to pay that kind of money—$120 (USD) or more—on a pair of headphones, especially if they are of high quality. However, compared to other headphones, their gimmick is the missing cables.

But what if you don’t want to spend that kind of money? What if you like the Bluetooth headphones you already have? Well, your favorite pair of Bluetooth headphones might be your next choice when using Live Listen.

Can it be done without AirPods? Absolutely, and here’s how.

How to Use Live Listen Without AirPods

Another quick Google search will reveal confusion around the question. Some say it doesn’t work and others say it does. So, which is it? A bit of both, actually.

You see, you can use Live Listen without AirPods—you use Bluetooth—but it’s hit or miss. The Bluetooth headphones you’re using instead of AirPods will determine if it works or not. Some headphones are supported, and others aren’t. It’s hard to pinpoint where the line is. If you want proof, Jeremy Judkins—a YouTuber—uploaded a video showcasing its legitimacy.

With that said, let’s get started:

1. First, you need to enable Live Listen on your iOS device. To do that, start by locating and selecting your Settings application. It’s the gear icon.

2. Scroll down your Settings menu until you come to Control Center. Go ahead and tap on it.

3. Under Control Center’s settings, choose Customize Controls. This will reveal the quick icons currently enabled and disabled on your Control Center.

4. There’s two sections: Include and More Controls. ‘Include’ lists all currently enabled quick icons. To enable Live Listen, locate Hearing under ‘More Controls.’ Tap the addition sign to add it. In doing so, it will move over to ‘Include.’

5. Go back to your Settings’ main menu. This time select Bluetooth.

6. Turn Bluetooth on by moving the slider on the right, to the right. Now your iOS device will search for nearby Bluetooth devices.

7. Turn your Bluetooth headphones on and press the Pairing button. Hold it in until your headphones are listed in the Bluetooth menu.

8. Select the Bluetooth headphones from the menu. They are now paired.

9. Close the Settings application.

10. Reveal your Control Center by swiping down from the top of the screen. You will now notice a new icon has been added—an ear icon. That’s Live Listen. Tap on Live Listen.

11. Turn your Bluetooth headphones on. Because a pairing was made, your iOS should recognize them.

Note: In the event that your iOS device does not recognize them, try a different pair. Aside from that, be sure to give your iOS device a restart and double-check that it’s up to date.

12. Tap on Live Listen to turn it on. If they work, you will see the dots on the right rise and fall, indicating that sound is being picked up.

Bottom Line

Now that the jig is up, you can use an inexpensive pair of Bluetooth headphones for Live Listen. In other words, you don’t have to drop a large sum on a pair of Apple AirPods. Save your wallet a trip to the hospital.

With that said, it could be hit or miss. It doesn’t appear to work for all Bluetooth headphones. The reason why is entirely up in the air. It could depend on the age of the headphones or support, or even the technology. After all, not all Bluetooth headphones are created equally. You could ask to borrow a pair of your friend’s Bluetooth headphones and test different brands.