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Can Daredevil Hear Heartbeats? Daredevil's Super Hearing Powers Explained

Daredevil recently grabbed headlines with the news of a brand new series called Daredevil: Born Again slated for release on Disney+ in 2024.

Although it’s a new MCU show, it will be bringing back two main cast members from the previous Daredevil series, which ran for three seasons on Netflix from 2015 to 2018. So you can expect Charlie Cox (as the title character) and Vincent D’Onofrio (as the Kingpin) on Hell’s Kitchen again.

In honor of Daredevil’s return to the MCU (after making a delightful cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home), let’s take a deep dive into the powers of our favorite superhero attorney (but a big shout-out to She-Hulk), especially his super hearing and radar sense. Let’s do this!

How Did Daredevil Get His Powers?

Matt Murdock loses his sight.
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Young boy Matt Murdock saves a life, loses his sight, but gains powers in return.

Matt Murdock got his super hearing powers when he was still a young boy. But he didn’t become the Vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen until his adult years.

While out on the street as a kid, he saved a blind old man from getting hit by a speeding out-of-control truck. He managed to push the old man in time, but a container fell off the truck right in front of Matt. It broke open and spilled radioactive material into his eyes.

Though blinded by the incident, he soon gained enhanced senses, including super hearing abilities.

Thanks to intense training from a blind martial arts master named Stick, Matt continued to hone his heightened senses in the ensuing years.

By the time he reached adulthood, his super hearing and other remaining senses (smell, touch, taste, and balance, further enhanced via years of training) turned him into the lawyer-by-day, masked vigilante-by-night superhero called Daredevil. The combination of all his super senses is referred to as his radar sense.

Can Daredevil Hear Heartbeats?

Daredevil hears heartbeats
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Daredevil can recognize people through their heartbeat.

Yes, Daredevil can hear heartbeats. In fact, his sense of hearing is so acute that he can hear another person’s heartbeat from more than five meters away.

Having honed his super hearing abilities for several decades, the man without fear can even identify people by listening to their specific heartbeat signatures.

He has mastered this skill so well that even in a crowd, he can pinpoint a person’s exact location by tracking their heartbeat, while also blocking out other people’s heartbeats at the same time. Plus, he can hear the heartbeat of somebody he’s talking to over the phone.

Can Daredevil Hear Thoughts?

Daredevil versus telepaths
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Daredevil has had telepathy training.

Technically speaking, Daredevil can hear thoughts, thanks to having minor telepathic abilities.

No, he’s not as good as Professor X is at reading or conveying thoughts telepathically. But he did undergo telepathy training under Stick several years back.

To be clear, Daredevil rarely uses his telepathic abilities in the comics. When he uses it, though, it’s mainly for defensive purposes (blocking telepathic attacks) or when trying to get information from an opponent’s mind.

Can Daredevil Hear Lies?

Daredevil is a lie detector
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Daredevil listens to a person's heartbeat to detect lies.

Yes, Daredevil can hear lies. He can leverage his ability to hear heartbeats to act as a walking lie detector.

He does this by detecting irregularities in their heartbeat during interrogations, similar to how a polygraph test works.

Coupled with his smarts as an attorney, he can use his lie-detecting skills to great effect during trials, hearings, and interviews.

Bonus Fact: Because he can hear someone’s heartbeat over the phone, he can also tell if they’re lying or not during phone conversations.

Is Daredevil’s Lie-Detecting Powers Similar to Toph Beifong’s?

Toph detecting lies
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Like Daredevil, blind Toph can detect lies.

Yes, Daredevil’s lie-detecting powers have similarities with Toph Beifong’s. Both blind, they use people’s heartbeats to do it, but the difference is in the technique.

Daredevil uses his super hearing to listen to sudden irregularities in heartbeat signatures. Earthbending genius Toph, on the other hand, senses the vibrations, including minute changes in heartbeats, that travel through the ground. She doesn’t have super hearing like Daredevil, but she’s super sensitive to vibrations.

Both can be fooled too. A pacemaker will definitely make lie detection trickier for Matt. While expert liars with coldly calm heartbeats (like that of firebending maven Azula) can render Toph’s special skill moot.

Can Daredevil Hear Sign Language?

Daredevil discerns Spidey's hand shape
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"Hey, Spidey! Are you signing 'I love you' or shooting web?"

Technically, Daredevil can’t hear sign language, well sort of. Allow us to explain.

Daredevil’s radar sense is so powerful that he can actually discern shapes. It is worth mentioning, however, that the level of detail of the shapes he can discern varies from writer to writer. For example, in the comics, he can detect the shapes of firearms and weapons. But when it comes to faces, his radar sense can only perceive faceless heads at times (and sometimes, basic placements of eyes, ears, and nose features).

There’s not much basis yet in the comics for Daredevil’s proficiency in perceiving sign language. But we think Daredevil can manage.

So for those of you who can’t wait to see Matt Murdock meet Echo in the MCU – well, he can always ask her politely to sign a bit slower, at least until he can get the hang of it.

Can Daredevil Hear Color?

Daredevil detects colors
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Daredevil uses his sense of touch to discern color.

He can’t hear color, technically speaking, but he can detect different colors by touching the object’s surface.

The comics’ explanation has something to do with how different colors have various levels of heat absorption. Because Matt’s sense of touch is out of this world, he can tell an object’s color by gauging how much heat it absorbs on its surface.

Is there any scientific basis for this? Frankly, we don’t want to know, because how awesome is detecting colors through your fingertips? No word yet on how Daredevil will fare against polka dot patterns.

Why Can't Daredevil Hear the Hand?

Daredevil vs the Hand
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Daredevil encounters ninjas from the Hand.

Daredevil can actually hear the Hand – you know, those pesky ninja guys who are not your usual silent assassins – but his senses have to work really hard to do so.

Matt’s hearing is so good that he can almost always hear any type of movement. Plus, he uses his other senses too to feel the air or smell the surroundings.

But as we hinted earlier, the Hand aren’t your usual friendly neighborhood ninjas. For one, they’ve been augmented with supernatural powers.

And some of them have been trained to go into a state of near undeath, which sometimes hides or even removes the sound of their heartbeats and breathing.

daredevil charlie cox
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Charlie Cox as the Devil in Hell's Kitchen.

Daredevil: Born Again is coming to Disney+ in 2024. For more news about the new Daredevil series, check out our comprehensive guide, which gets updated regularly.

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