White HomePod sitting on a tv standSource: iMore

With the release of iOS 13.2.1, Apple quietly introduced the ability to play seven unique ambient sleep sounds on your HomePod, making the smart speaker an awesome sound machine. The best part? They are absolutely free and can be used even without an Apple Music subscription.

How to play ambient sounds on your HomePod

Getting your HomePod to play ambient sleep sounds is really quite easy. The fastest way to do it is to say, "Hey Siri, play sounds." This will play a random ambient sound that will repeat over and over until you tell Siri to stop. You can also ask Siri to play a specific ambient sound by using one of the following phrases:

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  • "Hey Siri, play white noise."
  • "Hey Siri, play ocean sounds."
  • "Hey Siri, play fireplace."
  • "Hey Siri, play night sounds."
  • "Hey Siri, play forest sounds."
  • "Hey Siri, play stream sounds."
  • "Hey Siri, play rain sounds."

Want to play a sound but forgot the specific name? No problem! Simply say, "Hey Siri, what sounds can you play?" and the friendly voice assistant will give you some examples.

How to set a sleep timer with ambient sounds on your HomePod

Now that you know the ambient sounds that the HomePod can play, you can combine them with a sleep timer to have them stop playing after a certain duration. All you have to do is ask Siri to play your desired sound first, then ask Siri something along the lines of the following:

  • "Hey Siri, set a sleep timer for 8 hours."
  • "Hey Siri, create a sleep timer for 5 hours."
  • "Hey Siri, start a sleep timer for 2 hours."
  • "Hey Siri, set a 30-minute sleep timer."

Using one of these phrases will play the ambient sound for the duration that you request, perfect for setting it to only play for a little while until you fall asleep, or for the entire night.

Change it up

Even though there is only seven ambient sleep sounds provided by Apple, you can tap into the enormous library of tracks available on Apple Music through your HomePod to switch things up. Using a different track pretty much follows the same process, ask Siri to play the track of your choice, and you are good to go.

Want the track to play all night long? Say "Hey Siri, turn on repeat" while it is playing. You can also use the handy sleep timer function as well to have it turn off after a set period.

Ambient sounds

Apple Music Subscription

Peaceful sleep

An Apple Music subscription is essential for the full-blown HomePod experience. In addition to its massive library of songs, Apple Music is also home to tons of sleep sounds that can help your sleep routine.

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