There’s nothing like flopping into a hotel room bed and falling asleep – only to be awakened by the sound of your neighbor in the next room trimming their nails to a hundred decibels or rearranging furniture late at night.
Only for occasions like this, seasoned travelers sometimes pack a white noise travel machine or use an app to get a little rest. But if you have an iPhone with iOS 15 with you, you already have a white noise feature built into your phone’s operating system. Here’s how to set it up. (For this article, I used an iPhone 11 with iOS 15.4.1.)
- Go to Settings > Accessibility > Audio/Visual (below to belong† > Background sounds (basically Apple’s term for white noise).
- Tap the on/off switch at the top of the page to start Background Sounds.
You can choose from a few different sounds. Just tap Sound and choose from the following options:
- Balanced noise
- Clear sound
- dark noise
On the Background Sounds main menu page, you can also adjust the white noise volume independently of other phone features. There are also options to turn on background sounds while playing other media on your phone and to stop playing sounds when the screen is locked.
There’s a quick way to access all of this if you’d rather not dive into menus every time you want to enable white noise. Once you’ve set your preferred sound from the options above, follow these steps:
- Navigate back to the Accessibility menu.
- Scroll down and tap Accessibility Shortcut (below General†
- Tap background noises to select it from the list.
This will set white noise as your accessibility shortcut, so your favorite background sound will play when you triple click the side button, even when the screen is locked. You can also assign this feature to Back Tap if you prefer.
Either way, you have instant access to relaxing sounds whenever you need them.