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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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