In iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, Apple has added an accessibility feature called Sound Recognition that enables iPhones and iPads to listen for certain sounds, like a doorbell or a baby crying, and alert the user if they're detected.

ios 14 sound recognition notification
The feature is designed to help people that are hard of hearing, but Apple cautions that it shouldn't be relied upon in circumstances where the user may be harmed or injured, in high-risk or emergency situations, or for navigation.

With that caveat in mind, here's how to enable Sound Recognition on a device running ‌iOS 14‌ or ‌iPadOS 14‌.

How to Enable Sound Recognition on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Settings app on your device.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Under Hearing, select Sound Recognition.
    settings

  4. Toggle the switch for Sound Recognition to the green ON position and wait a moment for the feature to download. Note that enabling the option requires 5.5MB of on-device storage.
  5. Tap Sounds.
  6. Select which sounds you want your device to listen for by toggling the switch next to each option.
    settings

Once the feature is enabled, your iPhone or iPad will continuously listen for the sounds you selected, and using on-device intelligence, will notify you when those sounds are recognized.

How to Add Sound Recognition to the Control Center

Once you've enabled Sound Recognition, you can add it to your device's Control Center to make it easier to switch on and off.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your ‌iPhone‌ or ‌iPad‌.
  2. Tap Control Center
  3. Under More Controls, tap the green plus (+) button beside Sound Recognition to add it to the list of Included Controls above. You can use the hamburger handles on the far right of the controls list to arrange them in the order you want.
    settings

Once that's done you can access the Sound Recognition button by launching Control Center on your iOS device: On an ‌‌iPad‌‌ or with a Home button, double-tap the Home button; on ‌‌iPhone‌‌ 8 or earlier, swipe up from the bottom of the screen; and on a 2018 iPad Pro or ‌‌iPhone‌‌ X and later, swipe down from the upper right of the screen.

Tap the Sound Recognition button to turn it on or off. You can also long press the button and change which sounds your device should listen for.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

BootsWalking Avatar
9 months ago
They need to add a sound recognition for me cursing when I can't find my phone. That'll be much faster than using Find My Phone on the computer.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarlJ Avatar
9 months ago

They need to add a sound recognition for me cursing when I can't find my phone. That'll be much faster than using Find My Phone on the computer.
This is one of the less often mentioned awesome bits in the Apple Watch: swipe up on the face, tap the "Ping iPhone" button, iPhone immediately makes noise.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scemn Avatar
9 months ago
Would the notifications also show up on an Apple Watch? May be nice to have iPhone "listening" for the door when I am stuck in my temporary office in basement and I know a package is coming.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keithdoc Avatar
9 months ago

This is one of the less often mentioned awesome bits in the Apple Watch: swipe up on the face, tap the "Ping iPhone" button, iPhone immediately makes noise.
And . . my most USED feature.

The Apple Watch. . . Raison d'etre!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
hortod1 Avatar
9 months ago
Seat behind you on an airliner - baby crying.

Siri - hey there’s a baby crying
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iStorm Avatar
9 months ago

So how does the alert work? Is it a vibration? Can it be setup to use the camera flash like a phone call can? Will it repeat the notification until it's addressed? We've been talking about this over on Reddit but there's a lot of unknowns still.
I'm curious about this as well. As a deaf person who cannot hear at night, it would be great if this can alert me if my dog is barking or having a fit while I am asleep. I would imagine (hope) that the notifications go to the watch too, but does it notify until dismissed (similar to the timer or alarm clock) or is it just a one time notification? Ideally, this should be configurable as I can see people would want it either way depending on the situation.


This is one of the less often mentioned awesome bits in the Apple Watch: swipe up on the face, tap the "Ping iPhone" button, iPhone immediately makes noise.
I agree, and you can hold the button in to make the LED light on the phone flash.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 6 in hand

Apple Faces Another iPhone Lawsuit Over 'Programmed Obsolescence'

Monday March 1, 2021 6:44 am PST by
Apple faces a new class-action lawsuit that accuses it of deliberately releasing iOS updates that slowly reduce the performance of an iPhone, forcing customers to upgrade their devices. The lawsuit comes from the Portuguese Consumer Protection Agency, Deco Proteste (via Marketeer), which in a statement says that it will proceed with a case against the Cupertino tech giant because it...
PIA23764 RoverNamePlateonMars web

NASA Mars Perseverance Rover Uses Same PowerPC Chipset Found in 1998 G3 iMac

Tuesday March 2, 2021 3:21 am PST by
NASA's Perseverance rover, which recently made history landing on the surface of Mars, is powered by the same processor used in an iMac more than 23 years old. Image Credit: NASA As reported by NewScientist (via Gizmodo), the rover includes the PowerPC 750 processor, the same chip used in the G3 iMac in 1998. The main chipset is the same; however, there are differences between the...
magsafe charging brick feature

Prosser: iPhone 12 MagSafe Battery Pack to Feature Reverse Charging

Monday March 1, 2021 1:18 pm PST by
Apple is working on MagSafe-compatible battery packs that will be compatible with the iPhone 12 models, and leaker Jon Prosser today said on the Genius Bar podcast that one version of the battery pack will feature "reverse charging." According to Prosser, Apple is working on two versions of the battery packs, one that's a standard version and one that's a premium version with reverse...
iphone 12 pro display video

iPhone 13 to Include 1TB Storage Option and LiDAR Across the Board, Says Wedbush Analyst

Monday March 1, 2021 4:00 am PST by
Apple's forthcoming iPhone 13 could include a 1TB storage option for some models and LiDAR Scanners across the entire lineup, according to a report from Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said that initial Asian supply chain checks gave the firm "increased confidence" that Apple's 5G-driven product cycle would extend well into 2022,...
Top Stories 47 Feature copy

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, and AirPods Rumors, macOS 11.2.2, MagSafe Wallet Revisited

Saturday February 27, 2021 6:00 am PST by
March is right around the corner, and that means our first good opportunity for Apple product launches in 2021 as the company frequently has significant launches in March or April each year. We're hearing rumors about MacBook Pro, iMac, AirPods, and more, although many of these will be coming out at different times over the course of the year. This week also saw a macOS update to address a ...
microsoft edge ios android

Bill Gates Says His Preference for Android Over iPhone is Due to Pre-Installed Software

Friday February 26, 2021 3:35 am PST by
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates this week participated in his first meeting on Clubhouse, the increasingly popular invite-only conversation app, where he fielded a range of questions as part of an ongoing book tour. Gates was interviewed by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, and given that the Clubhouse app is currently only available on iOS, naturally one of the questions that came up was...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

Kuo: iPhone 13 Lineup to Feature Smaller Notch and Larger Batteries, 120Hz Display for Pro Models, and More

Monday March 1, 2021 7:50 am PST by
iPhone 13 models will all feature a smaller notch, while the two Pro models will be equipped with low-power LTPO display technology for a 120Hz refresh rate, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a research note obtained by MacRumors. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Several other sources have previously claimed that some iPhone 13 models will support a 120Hz refresh...
maxresdefault

HomeKit Essentials Worth Checking Out

Saturday February 27, 2021 7:05 am PST by
HomeKit was slow to take off after its 2014 launch, but now that it's been around for seven years, there are hundreds of HomeKit products available, ranging from doorbells and speakers to TVs, lights, and cameras. In our latest YouTube video, we rounded up some of our favorite HomeKit products that we find most useful. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. HomePod...
First Look Big Sur Feature2

Apple Releases macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 to Prevent MacBooks From Being Damaged by Third-Party Non-Compliant Docks

Thursday February 25, 2021 10:07 am PST by
Apple today released macOS Big Sur 11.2.2, the fourth update to the macOS Big Sur operating system that launched in November. macOS Big Sur 11.2.2 comes two weeks after the release of macOS Big Sur 11.2.1, a bug fix update. The new ‌‌‌‌macOS Big Sur‌‌‌ 11.2.2‌ update can be downloaded for free on all eligible Macs using the Software Update section of System Preferences....
Apple Prefer Lightning Over USB C Feature

iPhone Sticking With Lightning Port Over USB-C for 'Foreseeable Future'

Tuesday March 2, 2021 9:32 am PST by
Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the "foreseeable future," with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In spite of much of the industry moving toward USB-C, Apple will not be using it to replace the Lightning connector on the iPhone 13, or indeed on any iPhone model for the time being. In a note seen by MacRumors yesterday,...