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How to Use the Hidden iPhone White Noise Machine to Help You Sleep Better

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Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

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It is certainly no secret that iPhones are loaded with more features than one user can ever really utilize.

The iPhone is fantastic at keeping its users on schedule, connected with their loved ones, and getting them to places they want to go most easily and efficiently.

Nevertheless, many people do not realize that the iPhone can do much more, such as help you sleep by turning it into a white noise machine.

Leveraging white noise has been one of the most highly adapted methods of helping people sleep for decades, but within the last seven years, the iPhone has gained the ability to function as such.

To find out how to use your iPhone as a white noise machine, read on.

What Exactly Is “White Noise”

Those unfamiliar with “white noise” might be interested to learn that it is a heterogeneous sound wave mix run through a wide frequency.

Sleep experts point to the reason most people have trouble sleeping is due to external noises like road traffic, animal sounds, and ambient noise from outside or inside the sleeping area.

White noise produces a sound that absorbs other sound ways, masking many common responses by the human brain to external noises.

With the sounds “drowned out” by the white noise, a person can stay asleep with fewer disturbances for longer periods.

Who Benefits From “White Noise” On iPhones

Those plagued by sleeping troubles often struggle to function effectively in their daily lives.

These individuals would gladly seek out any refuge in the last land of slumber in order to reduce their lethargic state. So white noise is a common tool used to achieve such means.

White noise provides exactly this sort of help, which is why having it accessible through one’s iPhone device is so convenient, especially since standalone white noise machines can run in the triple figures in cost. 

A group that especially benefits from the iPhone’s white noise function is travelers. Those with long commutes on trains or those flying for work often lack sleep and use the time to catch up on it.

However, noises, including conversation, loudspeaker announcements, and screaming children, can certainly get in the way of that.

But white noise pumping through headphones can make those frustrating noises blend into the white noise and not be as much of a bother.

Note: This feature requires an iPhone 6S or newer running iOS 15 or later.

How to Use Your iPhone’s White Woise Sounds

On your iPhone, the setting isn’t called “white noise”. It’s labeled as “background sounds” instead.

Activate Background Sounds on iPhone

Here’s how to get this feature:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Accessibility.
  • Scroll down and select Audio/Visual located in the Hearing section.
  • Select Background Sounds.
  • Then, turn Background Sounds on.

You’ll notice a rain sound will start playing immediately. If you tap the Sound option, you’ll find a range of background noises you can choose from, such as:

  • Balanced Noise
  • Bright Noise
  • Dark Noise
  • Ocean
  • Rain
  • Stream
Background Sounds iPhone settings

Just select your preferred background sound and volume level, and you’ll be on your way to sleeping like a baby.

Background Sounds also play while you watch videos, listen to music, or play other media. If you don’t want them to play with media, you can simply turn this feature off.

Other Ways to Activate the White Noise Feature on Your iPhone

If you’re going to use the background sound options frequently, it might be more convenient to create a shortcut instead of navigating through the settings every time.

Accessibility Shortcut for white noise on iPhone

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Scroll down and tap Accessibility Shortcut at the bottom of the page.
  4. Tap Background Sounds.

Depending on your iPhone’s model, you might need to hit your side or home button three times to activate and deactivate the feature.

You can also access Background Sounds from the Control Center. But you’ll first need to add it there.

Background Sounds icon in Control Center

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Control Center.
  3. Add the Hearing option to your list of Control Center shortcuts.

To use the feature, swipe down from the top right corner of your iPhone. Tap the Hearing icon, then tap the Background Sound switch button on the left to turn it on and off.

Another option is launching the Backgrounds Sound with the new Action button.

Action Button to launch background sounds on iPhone

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap Action Button.
  3. Swipe to the right to Accessibility.
  4. Select Choose a feature…
  5. Scroll down and select Background Sounds under the Hearing section.

Now, you can long-press the Action button whenever you want to play your iPhone’s white noise feature.

Wrap Up

The perfect solution to the woes of tired light sleepers is the white noise function on their iPhones.

Every iPhone operating iOS 15 or above has access to this functionality, so users of those devices can easily activate the white noise and sleep soundly as the noisy world around them fades away.

Have any questions? Share them in the comments!

Founder & Editor-in-Chief

Herby has a healthy obsession with all things technology, especially smartphones. He loves to rip things apart to see how they work. He is responsible for the editorial direction, strategy, and growth of Gotechtor.

Herby Jasmin

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