Sleep, meditate and relax with these soothing soundscapes for iOS and iPad

A screenshot of the Sound Machine 3D-SpatialBliss app from the Apple App Store
The Sound Machine 3D-SpatialBliss app has a simple interface that makes it easy to 'mix' new soundscapes. (Image credit: Apple)
Sound Machine 3D-SpatialBliss

A logo of the Sound Machine 3D-SpatialBliss app from the Apple App Store

(Image credit: Apple)

iOS / iPad iOS Free

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White noise machines are a great investment if you don’t want to rely on your phone for soothing sounds as you sleep. But if you want more choice and flexibility, an app tends to be a much easier option. There are plenty of sound machine apps on the Apple App Store, but I’ve been using Sound Machine 3D-SpatialBliss

What I love about this app is you can pick a ready-made, preset sound, like ‘wet weather’. But you can also mix up your own soundscape, toggling sounds like ‘light rain’, ‘stream’, ‘breeze’, and ‘cat purring’ on and off to create your perfect audio recipe. You can then save your favorite ‘mixes’ to revisit later.

Some people will love these remixed soundscapes for relaxation, but others might find certain sounds help them to feel more energized and focused as they work. If you do choose to use them for sleeping, there’s a timer function so you don’t have to worry about music playing all night. 

If you want to use these sounds for background noise as you meditate, there’s also a newly added section of the app filled with mindful breathing exercises. All of these sync with the Health app on your iPhone, and count as logged mindful minutes. 

Step into a world of immersive soundscapes

I like that all of the soundscapes within the app sound realistic and are created with spatial audio. This will be more or less effective depending on which iPhone you’re listening with and whether you have a decent pair of headphones – the developers recommend using your AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.

But the basic gist is that the Sound Machine 3D-SpatialBliss app creates the illusion that sounds are coming from all around you a little more than just from your phone’s speaker. With head-tracking tech integrated into the app, you can even move around and notice that certain sounds linger as if you were really in that rainforest or standing in front of those big waves.

Of course, the underlying tech here pales in comparison to high-end surround sound audio tech, but I think I can notice the difference as I drift off to the sound of rain hitting the ground and bouncing off an umbrella every evening.


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Becca Caddy

Becca Caddy is a contributor to iMore, as well as a freelance journalist and author. She’s been writing about consumer tech and popular science for more than a decade, covering all kinds of topics, including why robots have eyes and whether we’ll experience the overview effect one day. She’s particularly interested in VR/AR, wearables, digital health, space tech and chatting to experts and academics about the future. She’s contributed to TechRadar, T3, Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, Inverse and many more. Her first book, Screen Time, came out in January 2021 with Bonnier Books. She loves science-fiction, brutalist architecture, and spending too much time floating through space in virtual reality. Last time she checked, she still holds a Guinness World Record alongside iMore Editor in Chief Gerald Lynch for playing the largest game of Tetris ever made, too.