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How to use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to detect sounds in iOS 15

How to use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to detect sounds in iOS 15

Short guide:

  1. Open the Settings app. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.
  2. Under Hearing, tap Sound Recognition.
  3. Tap the toggle switch for Sound Recognition to switch it on. If you get an alert warning you that the ‘Hey Siri’ feature will no longer work, tap Turn On Sound Recognition to continue.
  4. Tap Sounds, then tap any sound you would like to receive a notification for.
  5. Tap the toggle switch next to the sound to turn notifications on. Tap Alert Tone to change the tone for that sound. Different sounds can have different alert tones.

Before and after

The iOS 15 Home page and the iOS 15 Home Page showing a Sound Recognition notification

This section gives you step by step instructions on how to enable and use the Sound Recognition feature in iOS 15, with pictures of the screens to help. 

Open the Accessibility settings

1. Tap the Settings icon to launch the Settings app. Scroll down and tap Accessibility.

Open Settings and tap Accessibility

Find Sound Recognition

2. Look under Hearing and tap Sound Recognition.

Scroll down to the Hearing section and tap Sound Recognition

Enable Sound Recognition

3. Tap the toggle switch next to Sound Recognition to switch it to On. If you use “Hey Siri” to launch the Siri voice assistant, an alert will inform you that it will not be available while using Sound Recognition. Tap Turn On Sound Recognition to continue.

Tap the Toggle switch next to Sound Recognition to turn it on

Tap Sounds

4. Tap Sounds to start selecting the sounds that your device will listen out for.

Tap Sounds

Select a sound

5. iOS has a comprehensive list of sounds your device can recognise, but the more sounds you choose the more storage space and memory the app will use. Tap any sound you would like to receive a notification for.

Tap any sound you want your device to listen out for

Turn on notifications and alerts

6. Tap the toggle switch next to the sound to turn notifications on. Tap Alert Tone to change the tone for that sound. Different sounds can have different alerts. 

Tap the toggle switch next to the sound to turn it on or Alert Tone to change the audio tone for that sound

Using Sound Recognition

7. When your device recognises one of the sounds you have set it to listen for you will receive an on-screen notification. If your device is asleep, it will wake up to show a notification on the Lock screen. On iPhones, you will also receive an audio alert and your device will vibrate briefly.

A Sound Recognition notification

Snoozing alerts

8. If you long press on the notification, you can choose to snooze alerts for that sound for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours. This only works when your device is active, so you can’t do this from the Lock screen.

Long press on a notification to snooze the alert

Note: Sound Recognition can also be accessed from the Control Centre. For more information about using the Control Centre, see our article: How to use the Control Centre in iOS 15 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch

Created on: September-30-2021

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