Got your earbuds in? iPhone hack can alert you to important noises like pets, babies, alarms.

Sound recognition feature was developed to help the deaf and hard of hearing

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The coronavirus pandemic has moved massive amounts of the workforce to work-from-home positions since the spring of 2020.

The mass exodus from office buildings has meant setting up workstations at home and many people have resorted to using headphones to help get work done without distractions. But what about important sounds you may be missing like the doorbell or your baby crying?

A little-known feature for Apple iPhone users has started popping up on social media recently and it could help alert you to those important sounds.

Sound Recognition was added to the iOS 14 update and, according to Apple Insider, the feature was developed to help alert the deaf and hard of hearing to important situations that they may normally miss out on. But the feature could also be good for people who use headphones for work or when they’re working out.

When activated, your iPhone will continuously listen for certain sounds using on-device intelligence and will notify you when those sounds may be recognized.

To turn on sound recognition, go first to settings, then to accessibility, then scroll down to sound recognition.

iPhone sound recognition (KSAT 12)

Toggle the sound recognition to “on” and then click the sounds list to choose which sound you want to be alerted to.

Sound recognition should not be relied upon in circumstances where you may be harmed or injured, in high-risk or emergency situations or for navigation, according to a user warning from Apple.

The sounds that you can receive notifications for are:

  • Siren
  • Smoke alarm
  • Fire alarm
  • Cat
  • Dog
  • Appliances
  • Car Horn
  • Door Bell
  • Door Knock
  • Water Running
  • Baby Crying
  • Shouting
  • Coughing

Important to note, if you utilize the “Hey Siri” feature, it is not available when sound recognition is on and will resume when sound recognition is turned back off.


About the Author:

Mary Claire Patton has been a journalist with KSAT 12 since 2015. She has reported on several high-profile stories during her career at KSAT and specializes in trending news and things to do around Texas and San Antonio.