iPhones have a built-in white noise feature that no one knows about

There is no need to buy a white noise machine if you have the latest iPhone.

There is no need to buy a white noise machine if you have the latest iPhone.

There is no need to buy a white noise machine if you have the latest iPhone.

While many people shop online to find a white noise machine that can range from $20 to over $100, there may not be a need. You probably already have it – maybe you’re even holding it in your hand right now.

iPhones with iOS 15 or later have built-in white noise as long as it’s an iPhone X or later and the software is up to date. (By comparison, iPhone X models were first available in 2017, so newer iPhones – iPhone 11, 12, 13, 14, and models in every line – will have this feature.)

But first: what do these white noise devices actually do?

“The key feature of audio devices is continuous sound, as opposed to changing sounds such as music, radio and television,” said Dr. David Neubauer, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “Our brains pay attention to changing sound, but a comfortable, steady sound can help rock us to sleep.”

Various sounds in your home can also block out ambient noise, but the constant sounds emitted by these machines help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Here’s how to use your iPhone’s white noise sounds.

This setting is not labeled “white noise” but instead is called “background sounds” on the iPhone.

To access this feature, go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Video > Background Sounds.

Once here, turn on background sounds and you’ll be greeted by a relaxing sound to help you fall asleep or focus.

You can choose from many sounds: rain, stream, ocean, balanced noise, bright noise and dark noise. You can also adjust the audio volume.

That’s all you need to do to select your preferred background sound and volume level.

Note that you can’t set a timer for this background sound to go off after a certain number of hours, but you can enable a setting that will turn off background sounds when your phone is locked.

Here is a video with a step by step visual explanation of how to enable the white noise feature on your phone.

You can add a shortcut to quickly access this feature.

If you want to use this feature frequently, but don’t want to do the steps above every time, you can set up an accessibility shortcut.

By creating an accessibility shortcut for background sounds, you’ll be able to turn your preferred background sound on or off by triple-clicking the iPhone’s side power button.

To set up Accessibility Shortcut, go to Settings > Accessibility > Accessibility Shortcut and select Background Sounds. From there, you’ll be able to use the triple tap trick to turn on white noise.

Background sound for sleeping can be helpful for several reasons.

There’s a reason a lot of people – from parents of infants to people living in busy neighborhoods – swear by these white noise sounds.

“I think there are two ways sound devices are helpful. Apparently, they can block out other sudden sounds that can wake us up during the complete silence of the night,” Neubauer said.

These noises can include car horns, dogs barking or loud neighbors – all things that have probably woken you up at some point in your life.

The devices also “create a sound cocoon that can provide a sense of security,” Neubauer said. “Sometimes absolute silence can make people listen intently and keep them awake.”

In other words, you won’t be listening for beats at night because the sound device blocks the noise and puts you to sleep, but you’ll still be able to hear important sounds like your house alarm.

These machines often emit calming sounds such as rain or a buzzing fan, or calming static sounds that are officially known as brown or pink noise. (While “white noise” is often used as a general term, true white noise can be quite harsh – these alternatives are much more conducive to falling asleep, Neubauer said.)

While a recent systematic review of sound devices found no evidence of their benefits, Neubauer said that’s because there isn’t much serious research on the subject. He said sound devices are still worth trying – he uses them himself.

And if you have the latest iPhone, you can try sleeping with relaxing background sounds without even buying a sound device.

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