Skip to main content

How to play rain sounds in iOS 15 using the new Background Sounds feature

Do you just need a little distance from the world and the constant cacophony of noise? Relaxing sounds are a great way to get away from it all, and your iOS 15 iPhone can now play a collection of different noises to help you shut out the wider world. Hidden away under Accessibility in the Settings of your iOS 15 iPhone is an option called Background Sounds — and it contains a number of different relaxing sounds, including rainfall, white noise, and the sounds of ocean waves. These can play over other music or podcasts, truly making them background sounds. So, whether you’re looking to relax or just fancy listening to a different background sound, here’s how to use background sounds in iOS 15.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • An iPhone with iOS 15

Don’t have iOS 15 yet? We have the lowdown on how to download iOS 15. Or, if you’re using an older iPhone or an Android phone, check out our list of the best meditation apps, which often offer similar soundscape experiences.

How to use Background Sounds in iOS 15

Background Sounds is actually fairly well hidden away in iOS 15’s Settings menu, and you might not stumble upon it unless you’re checking out the Accessibility options. However, it’s still not hard to find once you know where it is.

Step 1: Open your Settings app and scroll down until you find Accessibility.

Step 2: Tap Accessibility > Audio/Visual > Background Sounds.

Step 3: Tap the Background Sounds slider to turn on a constant background sound.

Background sound options

You can choose from a few different noises to listen to in the background. Head to Sound to choose which sound you’d prefer to hear. The sounds you can pick from are as follows:

  • Balanced Noise: This is a mix of higher- and lower-frequency white noise, or your standard white noise.
  • Bright Noise: Higher-frequency white noise.
  • Dark Noise: Lower-frequency white noise.
  • Ocean: Ocean waves for that relaxing-on-a-sun-kissed-beach feel.
  • Rain: For whenever the constant drum of falling rain is what you need.
  • Stream: A burbling, happy stream of water, possibly running through some woods — or wherever you’d prefer.

Background sound controls

There are a few other options in the Background Sounds menu as well. These are largely self-explanatory, but just to summarize:

  • Volume: How loud you want your background sound to be. This is different from the volume when it’s playing over other media, which you can change below.
  • Use When Media is Playing: This setting decides if your background sound stops when other media starts playing. Turn this on if you’d rather have constant background noise, even while videos and music are playing.
  • Volume with Media: This controls the volume level of the background sound while other media is playing.
  • Stop Sounds When Locked: Oddly enough, this stops sounds from playing when you turn your iPhone’s screen off. This is off by default, largely because most people are going to want their iPhones to keep playing ambient sound in the background.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
How to use ChatGPT on your iPhone and Android phone
The ChatGPT website on an iPhone.

While it may not quite be an all-knowing, all-seeing companion, AI has advanced in leaps and bounds in the last few years. AI chatbots have recently come into the spotlight, thanks largely to the emergence of ChatGPT -- a chatbot from OpenAI, the creators of the incredible DALL-E 2 AI image generator.

Read more
5 things the iPhone 15 Pro Max needs to fix before I’ll buy it
iPhone 14 Pro Max in hand.

I’ve been using the top-of-the-line big iPhone for two years now. I shifted to the iPhone 13 Pro Max due to its amazing battery life – which inspired my favorite phone of 2022 article. I tried getting back to the non-Max iPhone 14 Pro, but I couldn’t stay long due to the weak battery life. Since then, I've shifted to the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

After using the Pro Max iPhones for over 18 months, here’s what I think the next big Pro iPhone — the iPhone 15 Pro Max — must improve on to deserve the best phone of the year tag again.
The design needs a lot of work
Flat edges make the iPhone 14 Pro Max uncomfortable to hold. Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Read more
Your iPhone could steal this Pixel Tablet feature when it gets iOS 17
iPhone 14 Pro with always on display no wallpaper or notifications

With iOS 17 coming in hot for its expected June reveal during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, iPhone owners are anxious to hear about any big features coming with the update. According to Bloomberg, a major change is coming in the form of a complete interface overhaul for locked devices that effectively turns your iPhone into a smart display.

The new interface will supposedly display a plethora of information like the weather, push notifications, upcoming significant calendar dates, and more. Per the report, this new interface displays automatically when your iPhone is locked and laying horizontally with its screen facing up.

Read more