Ahead of WWDC in June, Apple announced that background sounds would be coming to iOS to help users focus, calm down, and rest. Now in the new iOS version the feature is available. Read how to use iPhone background sounds in iOS 15, what you get, what you don’t, how it works while listening to music, and more.
Background sounds come with six options: balanced noise, light or dark, ocean, rain, and stream.
Instead of having its own app, the feature is hidden in the accessibility settings for iPhone and iPad. While Siri commands won’t work with the feature, you can set up an accessibility shortcut for background sounds or use Control Center to quickly access them as well.
Apple has some experience with ambient sounds as it brought seven different options to HomePod in 2019 with White Noise, Stream, Rain, Ocean, Night, Forest, and Chimney. While background sounds improve over time, this native iOS 15 feature doesn’t replace a robust option like the Dark Noise app.
And a popular option that people are discovering with the new iPhone background sounds in iOS 15 is that you can use them with music and other media for one. more immersive experience.
How to Use iPhone Background Sounds in iOS 15
- In iOS 15, open the Applying settings (works on iPhone and iPad)
- Swipe down and tap Accessibility
- Now swipe down and choose Audio-visual > Background sounds
- Tap the toggle at the top to enable the default rain sound
- The toggle acts as the play / pause button
- Siri commands don’t seem to work to turn background sounds on / off, but there is the option to use a triple click accessibility shortcut (detailed below)
- You can also use the Audition tile in Control Center to play / pause and change background sounds
- To use iPhone background sounds while listening to music or other media, make sure the toggle is on, then you can also set a volume
- Faucet Ring to test, download and modify your background sounds
- You can set a volume level when using background sounds alone as well as a separate volume level when used during media playback
- You can also turn off background sounds when media is playing
- The first time you change the background sounds, it will take a while for the entire download to download.
- You can use the physical volume buttons on your iPhone or iPad for background sounds after starting them
Background sounds in the control center
- The fastest way to play / pause and change background sounds is to use the Audition tile in Control Center
- Head to Settings> Control Center> tap the + next to Audition if it’s not already there
- After tapping on the ear icon, tap on Background sounds at the bottom of your screen
- Tap Background Sounds: Rain to change the sound
Siri Shortcut and Accessibility
- When you try to use Siri to play / pause background sounds, it shows random content in the Music app instead of the actual background sounds function.
- And if the background sounds are already playing and you ask Siri to turn them off, Siri says, “There is nothing playing. “
- However, you can set background sounds as an accessibility enabled shortcut by triple-clicking the iPhone side button (Settings> Accessibility> Accessibility shortcut> Background sounds
- It’s faster than using the Control Center because the triple-click instantly turns background sounds on and off
Abstract iPhone background sounds
Background sounds are definitely a handy addition to iOS 15. However, it’s relatively basic, so if you think you’ll enjoy more sounds and rich features, definitely take a look at Dark Noise for iOS / Mac.
My colleague Parker also came up with a specific concept of how Apple could push background sounds further with a dedicated app, sleep timer, etc.