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 Forum: iOS 15

Top Rated Comments

yahlover Avatar
22 months 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
22 months 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: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ghanwani Avatar
22 months 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
22 months ago
I like this, but I don’t see as an accessibility feature. Dark noise helps me sleep.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
22 months ago
MR is one big daily distraction. :P
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fivenotrump Avatar
22 months 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 16

iOS 16.3 Now Available for Your iPhone With These 4 New Features

Friday February 3, 2023 1:13 pm PST by
Apple released iOS 16.3 in late January following nearly six weeks of beta testing. The software update is available for the iPhone 8 and newer, and while it is a relatively minor update, it still includes a handful of new features, changes, and bug fixes. Below, we've recapped new features in iOS 16.3, including support for physical security keys as a two-factor authentication option for...
ipad air purple

Deals: M1 iPad Air Hits Record-Low Prices at TigerDirect, Starting at $313.99 (48% Off)

Saturday February 4, 2023 10:05 am PST by
Online retailer TigerDirect has slashed pricing on the M1 iPad Air in several colors, offering the base 64GB configuration for just $313.99 in Purple and Pink. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with TigerDirect. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. That's a savings of 48% compared to Apple's normal $599.00...
Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Side Perspective Feature Purple

Gurman: Apple Considering New High-End iPhone Alongside Pro and Pro Max

Sunday February 5, 2023 6:07 am PST by
Apple has discussed selling a new top-of-the-line iPhone alongside the Pro and Pro Max models in 2024 at the earliest, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Based on this timeframe, the device would be part of the iPhone 16 lineup or later. In a September 2022 edition of his weekly "Power On" newsletter, Gurman said there was "potential" for an iPhone 15 Ultra to replace the iPhone 15 Pro...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
webkit vs chromium feature

Google Working on Browser for iOS That Would Break Apple's App Store Rules

Saturday February 4, 2023 1:30 am PST by
Google's Chromium developers are working on an experimental web browser for iOS that would break Apple's browser engine restrictions, The Register reports. The experimental browser, which is being actively pursued by developers, uses Google's Blink engine. Yet if Google attempted to release it on the App Store, it would not pass Apple's App Review process. Apple's App Store rules dictate...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Friday February 3, 2023 1:28 pm PST by
Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original HomePod that Apple discontinued in 2021. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, the second-generation HomePod looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh...