In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, one of several new accessibility features that Apple has introduced is Background Sounds, which is designed to help you stay focused, stay calm, and minimize distractions with the help of your iPhone or iPad.

Background Sounds Water Feature
The Background Sounds on offer include balanced, bright, and dark noise, as well as natural sounds like ocean, rain, and stream. All of the sounds can be set to play in the background to mask unwanted environmental or external noise, and the sounds mix into or duck under other audio and system sounds.

The following steps explain how to enable Background Sounds on iOS devices running ‌iOS 15‌.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Under "Hearing," tap Audio/Visual.
    settings

  4. Tap Background Sounds.
  5. Tap the switch to turn on Background Sounds.
  6. Tap Sound to choose a sound effect.
  7. Choose from Balanced Noise, Bright Noise, Dark Noise, Ocean, Rain, and Stream.
    settings

Your device will need to download individual sound effects when you play them for the first time, so make sure you have an internet connection, but after that you can play the background sound whether or not you're online.

As noted by MacRumors reader yahlover, once you've downloaded the background sounds you can also add the Hearing item to Control Center for quicker access to them (Settings -> Control Center).

Related Roundups: iOS 15, iPadOS 15
Related Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

yahlover Avatar
6 weeks ago
It’s actually much simpler to access if you add the ‘Hearing’ shortcut to Control Center. From there, you can access it from within any app.

Attachment Image
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
EmotionalSnow Avatar
6 weeks ago
I'm pretty sure it's under Accessibility for a good reason.


I don’t see the point in it
Then you can count yourself lucky. Not everybody can say of themselves that they do not need the Accessibility settings. To be honest, I find your comment a bit tone deaf.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghanwani Avatar
6 weeks ago


In iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, one of several new accessibility features that Apple has introduced is Background Sounds, which is designed to minimize distractions and help you stay focused, stay calm, and minimize distractions with the help of your iPhone or iPad.
You're definitely going to need this feature when you see the pricing for the new iPhones in September.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iDento Avatar
6 weeks ago
I like this, but I don’t see as an accessibility feature. Dark noise helps me sleep.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
6 weeks ago
MR is one big daily distraction. :P
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fivenotrump Avatar
6 weeks ago

I like this, but I don’t see as an accessibility feature. Dark noise helps me sleep.
filing under Accessibility is odd
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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