How to turn your iPhone into a white noise machine

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By Dan Sears

The calming sound of the ocean or a steady rainfall can be easily accessed on Apple iPhones with a white noise feature that some users initially never knew existed.

For interested iPhone owners, they can go to settings, then accessibly and then audio/visual before finally clicking on background sounds, Apple instructs.

From there, users can choose from six options: balanced noise, bright noise, dark noise, ocean, rain or stream while also adjusting the volume.  

The background sound can also play while an iPhone user watches a video or plays music on their phone, Apple Support explains.

If iPhone users want a quicker way to reach those soothing sounds, it can set up a shortcut by clicking accessibility in settings and accessibility shortcut where background sound is an option. Then the user can triple-click the home button or side button to start playing the background noise.

The existence of the feature seems to have caught a number of iPhone owners off guard.

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“Just found out iPhone has a built in white noise setting? No one told me that,” one person wrote on X last month.

For interested iPhone owners, they can go to settings, then accessibly and then audio/visual before finally clicking on background sounds. prima91 – stock.adobe.com

“why did i not know there was an iphone setting to have white noise on in the background,” another X user posted over the summer.

A third social media user said: “tiktok just taught me that my iphone has a built in white noise setting.”

Deploying white noise around bedtime can have notable benefits, one John Hopkins University School of Medicine professor told HuffPost.

“The key feature of the sound devices is the constant sound in contrast to changing sounds like with music, radio and television,” Dr. David Neubauer, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, said.

“Our brains pay attention to changing sound, but a comfortable constant sound can help lull us to sleep.”

If iPhone users want a quicker way to reach those soothing sounds, it can set up a shortcut by clicking accessibility in settings and accessibility shortcut where background sound is an option.
Deploying white noise around bed time can have notable benefits, one John Hopkins University School of Medicine professor told HuffPost.

He also said the white noise can provide “a sound cocoon that might provide a sense of security” and can “block out other sudden noises that might awaken us during complete silence at night.”

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iPhones with at least the iOS 15 update and on an iPhone 6S or later can take advantage of the calming sounds, per HuffPost.

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