How to use the Apple Watch Noise app

Understand the details behind those decibel notifications
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Not content to just look after your heart, the Apple Watch and the Noise app is now aiming to take care of your ears, too.

Introduced through watchOS 6, the Noise app works in the background to detect any sound levels in your environment that could be damaging to your hearing.

Read more: Top Apple Watch tips for beginners

This means the Apple Watch will measure sound levels throughout the day when in use, with notifications being sent when the microphone picks up higher-than-average sound for over three minutes or when a specific decibel level is passed.

Below, we'll be giving you instructions on exactly how to use the Apple Watch Noise app - and giving you a little context regarding what decibel figures you should be looking out for.

How to turn on Apple Watch noise notifications

1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

2. Tap the 'My Watch' tab on the bottom, then 'Noise'.

3. Tap Noise Threshold, then choose the decibel level.

To adjust notifications from the Apple Watch, instead, go to 'Settings > Noise'.

How to turn off Apple Watch noise notifications

1. Open the Watch app on your iPhone.

2. Tap the 'My Watch' tab on the bottom, then 'Noise'.

3. Tap Noise Threshold, then 'Off'.

Again, you can adjust notifications from the Apple Watch by going to 'Settings > Noise'.

Understanding decibels


It's fair to assume the average person doesn't have a firm grasp on what decibel levels are dangerous, and this is what makes Noise such a neat tool to use - particularly for those routinely exposed to high-noise environments.

However, though you may get notifications when you reach a certain level of sound, you also need to understand what the long-term effects of this could be.

As Apple itself details, exposure to sound below 80 decibels (which is essentially sound levels you could expect from a busy restaurant or heavy traffic), but those who are faced by consistent sound above this threshold are at risk of permanent damage.

Apple advises that around 40 hours per week of sound at 80 decibels can cause temporary hearing loss, 12 hours and 30 minutes for 85 decibels, 4 hours at 90 decibels, 1 hour and 15 minutes at 95 decibels and just 20 minutes of sound around 100 decibels.

TAGGED Apple Watch

Conor Allison


Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 

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