How to use sound recognition on iphone

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Introduced with iOS 14, Sound recognition has been carried over to iOS 15. This accessibility setting allows your iPhone to continuously listen for specific sounds and notify you when it detects them.

It is beneficial for those with hearing impairments but can also help other uses. So, let’s learn how to use sound recognition on iPhone and iPad.

What does sound recognition do?

As the name suggests, sound recognition enables your iPhone to detect certain sounds and notify you when it hears them. You can choose to be notified about a range of sounds, including everything from fire and smoke alarms to the dings of household appliances and the sounds of pets and babies.

2 new sounds, namely glass breaking and kettle, have been added to iOS 15. This enables your iPhone to recognize fifteen sounds, compared to iOS 14’s thirteen sounds. By toggling on the essential sound recognitions, you can stay well-informed in any given situation by receiving the notification on your iPhone.

How to turn on iPhone sound recognition

  1. Go to SettingsAccessibility.
  2. Scroll down and tap Sound Recognition.
  3. Toggle on Sound Recognition.

How to add sound recognition to iPhone Control Center

  1. Go to SettingsControl Center.
  2. Under More Controls, find and tap the green plusicon next to Sound Recognition.
    This will add it to the list of Included Controls. You can rearrange the items on the list using the hamburger handles on each control’s right.

Get instant sound recognition notification on iPhone and iPad

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Once you’ve turned on sound recognition, you will receive an instant notification when your iPhone detects the selected sounds. We tested this feature, and it worked pretty well. However, you must remember that it’s not foolproof. So, you should still be cautious about your environment and not rely on this feature in critical situations.

What do you think of sound recognition on iPhone? Leave us a comment with your thoughts below.

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How to use sound recognition on iphone

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How to use sound recognition on iphone

Source: iMore

Apple’s Accessibility features allow people who have a variety of different needs to interact with technology in ways that are more accommodating and, in lots of cases, necessary to be able to do everyday tasks. Apple has been putting a ton of work into Accessibility features in recent years to make its technology more accessible for everyone. Last year, iOS 13 introduced Voice Control, which allows you to command your iPhone, iPad, or Mac to open flies, type documents, search for photos, anything you can imagine all with just the power of your voice. This year, Apple is releasing a Sound Recognition feature that is bound to be insanely useful to those with hearing impairments, but also to anyone who thinks it will help them.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas. While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That’s why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

What is Sound Recognition?

In iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, users can set up Sound Recognition, which will alert you (with an on-screen notification) to certain sounds, like a smoke alarm, siren, or even doorbell. Therefore, if you didn’t hear the noise, you’ll still be able to react.

When you turn on Sound Recognition, you’re permitting your Phone or iPad to listen to the environment around you with the microphone to catch any relevant sounds. You can choose what sounds you want from a list, and Apple is working on adding more common sounds in the future.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll repeat it — when technology becomes more accessible, it benefits everyone. Just think of how many uses Sound Recognition can have to the average person. With more of us working from home lately, we may often find ourselves in video conferencing meetings with headphones on. If someone rings the doorbell, we may not hear, but with Sound Recognition on, you’d get a notification so you could know to answer the door.

Sounds currently available for Sound Recognition

Here’s a quick list of the sounds you can choose in the Sound Recognition menu right now.

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

How to turn on Sound Recognition in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

Before you can choose what sounds you’d like to be notified of, you’ll need to turn on Sound Recognition. As stated by Apple, Sound Recognition should not be relied upon in high-risk or emergency situations, and should not be used as a navigation tool.

  1. Launch Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Tap Sound Recognition.
  4. Tap the Sound Recognition On/Off Switch. When the switch is green, the feature will be enabled.

How to choose sounds for Sound Recognition in iOS 14 and iPadOS 14

You can have Sound Recognition listen for as many or as few sounds from the list as you want, and if you ever turn off the Sound Recognition feature, it will remember what sounds you had chosen, so you don’t have to pick them all again.

With every new software update, Apple has been making its smartphones more inclusive. The brand has been adding features and functions that aim to make the iPhone experience more accommodating, making it easier for people with different needs to interact with technology. Because smartphone experience, in general, depends very heavily on a couple of senses, these diverse features turn out to be game-changers. Not just for many with impaired senses, but also for general users – remember how the “Live Listen” feature on the AirPods was designed to be a hearing aid but was also used by people in noisy areas?

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Another such feature from Apple is sound recognition which was released with iOS 14 – Sound Recognition(not to be confused with iPhone song recognition aka Shazam). As the name suggests, the feature basically listens for certain sounds, identifies them, and then notifies the user. The function is not only useful for people with compromised hearing but can also be useful for those who like to isolate themselves from different noises while in certain circumstances. For instance, it is handy to let your iPhone inform you that the doorbell is ringing or that water is overflowing if you have put on your headphones for some peace and quiet!

Table of Contents

How to use sound recognition on iPhone?

Apple has insisted that users should not rely on sound recognition in high-risk situations to keep them safe, but all said and done, it can be really handy for those who have hearing issues, and for others as well. Setting up and using the feature is pretty easy and here is how you can do it:

Step 1: Update to iOS 14

How to use sound recognition on iphone

To use this feature you need an iPhone that can support iOS 14 or above. If you have an iPhone that supports the version of the iOS , all you need to do is go to the Settings and download the OS from Software Updates under the General option. Many of you would have updated to not just iOS 14, but even the recently-released iOS 14.6 but just in case you have not, please do so.

Step 2: Find Accessibility

How to use sound recognition on iphone

After your iPhone is all up to date, you have to open the Settings app and find the Accessibility option in the list. It will require minimal scrolling – you will find it under Home Screen in the list.

Step 3: Find and select Sound Recognition

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Tapping on Accessibility will offer you an array of features that can prove to be very helpful in making your smartphone experience more inclusive. The list is divided into different sections– Vision, Physical and Motor, Hearing and General. Head to Heating, and you will find the one we are looking for at the moment, Sound Recognition under the Hearing segment. Tap on it.

Step 4: Turn on Sound Recognition

How to use sound recognition on iphone

The feature is turned off by default. To turn it on, all you have to do is tap on the toggle and when it goes green you will know the feature is on. You will get a pop-up box telling you that you will not be able to use the Hey Siri option when you use this feature. If that is something you cannot do without, then this feature is not for you. We think it is worth forsaking Hey Siri for a while because you actually do not want any sound!

Step 5: Select sounds

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Once you tap to turn on Sound Recognition, you will see a new option appear on your iPhone’s screen, Sounds. Tap on it and a list of sounds will pop up on your phone. These are divided into four different categories– Alarms, Animals, Household and People. The list carries 13 very specific sounds that your iPhone can listen for and recognize ranging from the doorbell and car horn to shouting and sirens and cats and dogs. Depending on your environment and situation, you can tap on the sounds you want the phone to recognize and toggle them on. Before you ask: no, you cannot add your own specific sounds to this list (like your mother’s voice under “mum”) although we hear that work is underway in this regard. That’s it. You have just given your iPhone a new pair of ears. Sort of.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

iPhone Sound recognition actually works

Once you have selected the sounds you want your device to listen for, your iPhone will buzz and notify you every time it hears that particular sound. For instance, if you have selected the sound of a doorbell, you will get a notification on your iPhone saying that the iPhone has detected a sound which may be a doorbell. The same will happen for a baby crying or a cat meowing if you have selected those options. You will also get the option to “Snooze” the sound for a specific period of time (5 minutes, 30 minutes, or two hours). You can opt for these options if you wish or let things be.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

The feature works well and manages to detect sound as long as the phone is within a reasonable distance to detect the sound, generally 6-10 feet. Beyond that, the sound would have to be really loud to be noted. And yes, there were times when the phone just did not pick up the sound – so if someone rang the doorbell only once, or coughed very gently, the phone sometimes did not detect it, But for the most part, it worked, and is definitely very useful, both for those who have hearing problems and for those who want to keep sound out of their lives for a short while.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

The Apple iOS 14 version comes with new incredibly amazing features! And one of them is the Sound Recognition accessibility feature that enables iPhones and iPad to hear sounds like that of a doorbell, a crying baby, smoke alarms, running water, and lots more. This feature happens to be very beneficial for all users of the iPhone/iPad, especially those with hearing challenges. Because it gives them a cue for varieties of sounds transpiring in their environment.

What is Sound Recognition?

Sound Recognition is a technology initiated into the iPadOS14 and iPhone iOS 14 version which allows users to set up an alert (with on-screen notification) to sounds like a fire alarm, door knock, shouting, and many more. Which allows you to react to noise even if you can’t hear them.

If you enable Sound Recognition on your device, you’re giving your iPhone or iPad ultimate access to listen to your surroundings with a microphone to catch any pertinent sound. You’ll also be able to select sounds from the few sounds currently available. The next section explains better the sounds currently available in sound recognition.

Sounds Currently Available for Sound Recognition

As of this moment, Not all sounds are currently available for sound recognition. However, we made a shortlist of the sounds you can select in the Sound recognition menu.

  • Fire signal
  • Smoke Alarm
  • Siren
  • Cat
  • Dog barks
  • Appliances
  • Car Horn
  • Doorbell
  • Doorknock
  • Water Running
  • Crying Baby
  • Screaming

How to Turn On Sound Recognition in iOS 14?

To select the sound you’d like to get notified of, you’ll need to enable Sound Recognition in iPadOS14 and iOS 14. Nevertheless, it’s advisable not to rely on the Sound Recognition notifications for emergency or high-risk situations. Besides, the features shouldn’t be used as a navigation means.

The steps below would put you through on how to enable and customize sound recognition in iOS 14.

Step 1: Open the ‘Settings’ app from the home button

Step 2: In the settings page, select ‘Accessibility’

Step 3: Beneath the Hearing option, tap ‘Sound Recognition’

Step 4: Click on the Sound Recognition switch to turn it ON. After that, wait for some moment while the feature downloads.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Simple right? Yes! Fortunately, that’s all about the steps involved in the process of enabling the Sound Recognition accessibility feature on iOS 14.

How to Choose Sound for Sound Recognition in iOS 14?

Like I said before, there are currently only a few sounds available for Sound Recognition, which has been listed above. Still, you can choose from the few sounds which one you’re willing to listen to.

Utilize the steps outlined below to execute the process quickly.

Step 1: Open Settings from your home screen

Step 2: Tap on ‘Accessibility’

Step 3: In the accessibility section tap on ‘Sound Recognition’ once again

Step 4: Under the Sound Recognition option, tap on ‘Sounds’ to select which sounds you want your device to listen to. After that, you will be able to use iOS 14 Sound Recognition to identify the sounds.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

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How to use sound recognition on iphone

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Although the iOS version of this software app lacks the convert options, it has vast advanced features that will help to enhance your productivity in all you do on your PDF document.

In our everyday life, we come across stuff we like to read but what if it’s in a PDF format? Then you’ll need not just an ordinary PDF editor, that’s why we’ve created this tool to ensure every individual globally enjoys whatever operation they execute on their PDF documents. Thus, download now to learn more about this extraordinary PDF tool.


Apple is known for their mind-blowing innovations and the Sound Recognition accessibility feature in the iOS 14 is just a perfect one for every individual. However, I hope this guide would be of great benefit to put you through on how you can easily turn on Sound Recognition in iOS 14.

In addition, don’t hesitate to install PDFelement for iOS and let all your projects concerning PDFs be carried out conveniently.

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.

alt=”ios 14 sound recognition notification” width=”1600″ height=”899″ />
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.
    alt=”settings” width=”2710″ height=”2616″ />

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.
    alt=”settings” width=”4095″ height=”2616″ />

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.

The iPhone has many features most users probably take for granted. Yet Apple has always made sure to empower iOS with numerous accessibility features so users who have physical challenges can enjoy the iPhone experience just like everyone else. The latest accessibility feature is called Sound Recognition–and it’s something ALL users might be interested in.

What Is Accessibility On The iPhone?

When it comes to ensuring technology can be enjoyed by all, Apple is to be commended for the fact that it has always built-in accessibility options into the iPhone from day one–and continues to expand on them every year.

But just what is “Accessibility”? As it relates to technology, Accessibility refers to tools and features that allow users who may have a physical disability to use the device regardless. Longtime Accessibility tools on the iPhone include technology including VoiceOver, Reading Support, Magnifier, Zoom, Live Listen, Mono Audio, Vibrating Alerts, and many, many more.

And iOS 14 is adding even more Accessibility features to the iPhone – the best of which is Sound Recognition. But Sound Recognition might be one Accessibility feature ALL users might want to take advantage of.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Understanding iOS 14’s New Sound Recognition Feature

The idea behind Sound Recognition is it’s a feature that allows your iPhone to listen to sounds you might not be able to hear if you are hearing impaired, and alert you of those sounds when your iPhone detects them. As Apple describes the feature: “Sound Recognition uses on-device intelligence to notify users who might otherwise miss audible environmental alerts around them. On iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, users receive a notification when a particular type of sound or alert, such as a fire alarm or doorbell, is detected.”

Sound Recognition can detect a number of different types of sounds including: cat and dogs, appliances, car honks, doorbells, door knocks, running water, babies crying, people shouting, fire alarms, police and ambulance sirens, and smoke alarms.

When Sound Recognition is enabled, your iPhone will send you a push notification alerting you to the event–so you can be alerted it has occurred even if you lack the ability to hear it. And while Sound Recognition is designed for the hard of hearing and hearing impaired, users who don’t have hearing problems can benefit from the feature as well.

Another important note about Sound Recognition is that the feature is run entirely locally on your iPhone. When the iPhone’s AI detects a sound, it does so and identifies it right on your device–no uploading to the Internet needed to process the sound. This means Sound Recognition works without an Internet connection and keeps your alerts and Sound Recognition events completely private.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

How To Use Sound Recognition In iOS 14

Sound Recognition sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it? It’s not enabled on the iPhone by default, but it’s simple to turn it on. Keep in mind you’ll need an iPhone running iOS 14 or later to use Sound Recognition. Here’s how to enable it:

  1. Open the Settings app.
  2. Tap Accessibility.
  3. Under the Hearing header, tap Sound Recognition.
  4. On the Sound Recognition screen, toggle the switch to green (ON). You’ll need to wait a moment and Sound Recognition downloads the required files to recognize sounds on your iPhone.
  5. Once the sound files download, tap the Sounds button.
  6. One the Sounds screen, toggle the switch to green (ON) next to the types of sounds you want your iPhone to listen for.

Once you’ve done the above, your iPhone will continually listen for the types of sounds you’ve selected and you’ll get a notification when your iPhone detects those sounds.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.

iOS 14 added a new accessibility feature that recognizes and alerts users about important sounds in their environment, such as emergencies and alarms.

With Apple‘s newest version of iOS, users can now use their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to get notifications about specific sounds in their environment. While this feature was developed with users that have hearing loss in mind, it’s actually a setting that most owners of iOS 14 compatible devices can benefit from.

When Apple made iOS 14 available, the company added a fair amount of features that aimed to improve the accessibility and connectivity of its devices. In fact, the entire update centered its focus on making Apple products easier to use and customize to match the individual user’s preferences. With many of the features included in iOS 14, it looks like Apple may be considering giving the user a bit more control over how their device functions, much like the diverse options available for Android smartphones.

One of their newest accessibility options is Sound Recognition. According to Apple, Sound Recognition uses “on-device intelligence” to listen to the noises in an environment and notify users who may have the potential to miss these sounds. This comes in the form of an on-screen notification that details what sound the device believes it detects. While this tech was developed for users that are deaf or hard of hearing, it’s something that could be useful for many users that might want to avoid missing certain important noises in their environment. For those that are hard of hearing, this feature can pair well with the enhanced environmental sound boost added to AirPods in iOS 14.

Why Most iPhone Users Should Enable Sound Recognition

Sound Recognition works by listening to the user’s environment for important sounds that the user may not have heard. This setting is completely customizable, meaning that users can enable detection for specific sounds that they want to be notified about. Sound Recognition can alert the user to a variety of important sounds and emergencies, so it’s worth turning on even if the user doesn’t experience any hearing troubles. The notifications can be beneficial when the device is left by itself or when the user is focused on something that could distract them from certain environmental noises. This setting is similar to a feature recently introduced in the latest version of Android that does much of the same thing.

To enable Sound Recognition, the user needs to open their settings app and navigate to the accessibility menu. Under “Hearing” users should see an option for Sound Recognition. Once this setting is enabled, users can choose from a wide variety of sounds for the device to listen for. The setting can be used to alert about alarms, sirens, animals, doorbells or knocks, running water, babies crying, appliance sounds, and more. After these sounds are toggled on, the device will notify the user with an on-screen priority notification when it detects the noise. If the user ever wants to disable the feature, they can do so quickly by using the iOS control center.

Although the feature includes notifications for emergency sounds, Apple does warn users not to rely on this feature to fully recognize sounds during an emergency. Like many of Apple’s other features, this should be used alongside other devices or services to ensure that the user is completely protected.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

What if we told you that your iPhone or iPad can listen for sounds such as doorbells, fire alarms, car horns, dogs, cats, sirens, door knocks, water running, babies crying, and more? Whether you have any sort of hearing impairment, or perhaps just a device sitting in another room or part of the house, you may have trouble listening to the sounds around the home.

With the iOS 14 / iPadOS 14 update, Apple has introduced an all-new accessibility feature called Sound Recognition to assist people who are deaf or hard of hearing, but it’s obviously useful for other purposes too. As the name suggests, the iPhone can listen and recognize certain sounds using its microphone and send notifications letting you know exactly what it has heard. More importantly, you can choose what sounds you want alerts for, based on your priorities or what sounds you want to be notified of.

Interested in setting up this feature on your iOS device? We’re here to help. In this article, we’ll be discussing exactly how you can use sound recognition alerts on both your iPhone and iPad.

How to Use Sound Recognition Alerts on iPhone & iPad

It goes without saying that your device must be running iOS 14/iPadOS 14 or later, since this accessibility feature isn’t available on older versions. Now, without further ado, let’s get started.

    Head over to “Settings” from the home screen of your iPhone or iPad.

That’s pretty much all there is to it. Your iPhone or iPad is now ready to listen and alert you for the selected sounds.

It’s worth pointing out that all this listening and sound recognition happens on-device and requires no internet connectivity. So if you’re a privacy buff, you don’t need to worry about sending any of the listening data to Apple’s servers.

Notifications for Sound Recognition will be delivered to the lock screen, home screen, or top of your screen as a banner if you’re actively using an app or navigating through the menu.

Apple has however warned its users not to rely on Sound Recognition alerts in circumstances where they may be injured or harmed, in high-risk or emergency situations, or for navigation. The feature is targeted towards people who’re likely staying home and have trouble listening to what’s going around in the house.

Sound Recognition isn’t the only new accessibility feature that Apple has introduced with iOS 14. Back Tap is another accessibility feature that allows you to quickly perform certain actions on your iPhone by simply double-tapping or triple-tapping on its back. You can use this to access app switcher, run shortcuts, activate other accessibility features, and more. And of course there are many other great tips for iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, you can check out just a few here to get started if you’re interested.

We hope you were able to put the Sound Recognition feature to good use on your iPhone and iPad. Did the notifications show up accurately so far? Have you been enjoying the other changes in the iOS 14 update? Do share your valuable thoughts and opinions in the comments section down below.

Chris Hoffman
How to use sound recognition on iphoneChris Hoffman

Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek. Read more.

How to use sound recognition on iphone


Hey, what’s that song? Your iPhone can listen to any song playing nearby and tell you. You don’t need any apps—multiple song identification tools are built right into your iPhone. Apple even purchased Shazam, a popular music recognition app.

Here’s how music recognition features work: When you tell your iPhone to listen for a song, it uses its microphone to record the audio around you. That audio data is uploaded to a server and analyzed, matching it to a known song in a database.

Ask Siri What Song Is Playing

You can ask Siri what song is playing by saying something like “What’s that song?” or “What’s playing?”.

To activate Siri, long-press the iPhone’s Power button. Say “What’s that song?”. If you have Hey Siri set up, you can also say “Hey Siri, what’s that song?” without pressing any buttons.

Siri will pop up and say something like “Let me listen” or “Naming that tune.” Be sure your iPhone can hear the music properly. If you’re in a noisy location or someone is talking loudly over the music, it might not hear the song well enough. If you have a problem, try moving your iPhone closer to the sound source playing the music, reducing noise in the area, or turning the volume up on the speaker playing the song.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

If your iPhone hears the song well enough, it will show you the song. You can even go into the iTunes Store app and see a list of songs you’ve identified using Siri.

Use the Shazam Control Center Button

As of the iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2 updates, there’s now a quick Control Center button you can use to start identifying a song. However, it’s not enabled by default.

To add the Music Recognition button to your Control Center, head to Settings > Control Center. Add the “Music Recognition” button to your Control Center by tapping the plus sign to its left. (If you don’t see this option on the Settings screen, you haven’t updated your iPhone or iPad to iOS 14.2 yet.) You can then drag it up or down in the list to rearrange the Control Center layout.

With the button added, you can now swipe down from the top-right corner of your iPhone or iPad’s screen. (On an older iPhone without a notch, you’ll have to swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead.)

Tap the button with the Shazam logo. The button will light up and pulse while it listens to the audio around you. Ensure your iPhone can hear the audio source properly.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

When the process is complete, you’ll see a “Music Recognition” notification banner showing you what song is playing. This notification appears along with all your other apps’ notifications in your notification center.

Your iPhone will only listen for 10 to 15 seconds after you tap the button. If it can’t identify a song in that period of time, you’ll see a notification saying a song wasn’t detected.

Use an App Like Shazam for More Features

If you want more features, you’ll need a separate music recognition app on your iPhone or iPad. The integrated music recognition features rely on Shazam, the music recognition app Apple purchased.

Shazam still has an iPhone and iPad app you can install, and it has more features. For example, the Shazam app supports “Auto Shazam.” In this mode, Shazam will stay in the background on your iPhone or iPad, listen to everything around you, and store a history of songs it’s heard. For example, let’s say you’re at a party and you love the playlist: You can enable Auto Shazam mode and your phone or tablet will automatically remember all the songs that played. You can even keep using other apps on your device while Shazam listens.

To use this feature, install the Shazam app, launch it, and long-press the big Shazam button, it will enable Auto Shazam mode.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Or Try Humming With Google!

If a song you’re trying to identify is trapped in your head and all you can remember is the song’s melody, there’s still something you can do. With the Google app, you can hum or whistle a song’s tune to identify it.

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How to use sound recognition on iphone Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He’s written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami’s NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read nearly one billion times—and that’s just here at How-To Geek.
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iOS 14 brings a ton of new features. Frankly, I was caught off guard by this release as I thought this will be a mild year for Apple. Seeing how Coronavirus has forced us to work from home, I was expecting WWDC 2020 to be a smaller event. But Apple surprised us with a ton of new iOS 14 features announcement. And as always, there are way more hidden iOS 14 features than the ones that Apple mentioned in its keynote.

One feature that caught my fancy is the ability to identify sounds. It’s a new accessibility feature that recognizes certain sounds and sends you a notification. This is super-handy for hearing impaired users. And even people with good hearing can use it to their advantage. In this article, I am going to show you how you can use iOS 14 Sound Recognition to identify sounds on your iPhone.

Use iOS 14 Sound Recognition to Identify Sounds

We will first see how you can enable the new Sound Recognition in iOS 14, and then discuss a little bit about its usage:

1. To enable Sound Recognition, launch Settings, and go to Accessibility.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

2. Here, scroll down to find “Sound Recognition” and tap on it. Enable the toggle next to “Sound Recognition”.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

3. A new “Sounds” option will show. Tap on it, and then enable the toggles for all the sounds that you want your iPhone to recognize.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

4. As you can see in the screenshot, the sounds are neatly categorized, and there are many sounds available. Once your iPhone identifies a sound, you will receive a notification on your iPhone, as shown below.

How to use sound recognition on iphone

Use of Sound Recognition

Sound Recognition is incredibly helpful for hearing impaired iPhone users. It can notify them of fire alarms or a baby crying, and they will know exactly what is happening. In extreme cases, it can even save their lives. I think this single feature will be as helpful for hearing impaired users as Apple Watch’s fall detection feature has been for older people.

For normal users too, this feature can be handy. Suppose you work listening to music all the time. With this feature turned on, you will receive a notification when a fire alarm goes off, or someone is shouting, or your baby’s crying. It even recognizes doorbells and door knocks. You will never miss it when someone’s at the door.

Even if we don’t find it useful daily, it will be enough to give us peace of mind when listening to loud music or using noise cancellation headphones while working. We can be sure that we won’t miss any important sounds.

Enable Sound Recognition to Get Instant Notification

I tested this feature with a couple of sounds playing on YouTube, and it recognized all of them. Of course, long-term real-life testing is needed to see how well it performs in real-life situations. But if what my tests show is any sign, this can be a handy tool for not just hearing impaired users but for every one of us.