How to set up and use the hearing health features on Apple Watch

In watchOS 6, Apple's adding a hearing health feature to Apple Watch. The tool alerts you when the noise around you reaches levels that could negatively impact your hearing. Here's how to use it.

Setting the noise tool in watchOS 6 on iPhone

The hearing health feature is automatically turned on in watchOS 6. However, you can turn it off and make adjustments using the Watch app on iPhone.

  1. Tap on the Watch app on your iPhone.
  2. Select the My Watch tab.
  3. Scroll down and tap Noise.

    noise feature on Apple Watch

  4. Tap the toggle to turn off Environmental Sound Measurements.
  5. Tap Noise Thresold to make a change.
  6. Change the thresold from the list of choices, as applicable.

    Apple Watch change noise decibels

By default, the Apple Watch is set to alert you when the sound reaches 90 decibels. The World Health Organization says that people shouldn't experience this sound level for more than 30 minutes per day or else risk having hearing loss. You can adjust this number to 80, 85, 95, and 100 decibels. You can also turn the noise threshold off.

Each time your Apple Watch detects noises exceeding the threshold, you'll receive an alert. The watch doesn't record or save sounds to measure these levels.

Check your noise level in real time

To see what the current noise level is around you:

  1. On Apple Watch, tap the Digital Crown once to enter the Home screen.
  2. Tap the yellow and black Noise icon.
  3. Review the current noise level.

    review noise level

  4. Scroll down to read about the current noise level.
  5. Tap Learn More to see information on each level.

    noise levels Apple Watch

Apple breaks down noise into two primary levels: OK and Loud. From there, it breaks down noise levels even further by decimal ranges and the effects of each. For example, at a level of 90 to 95 dB, exposure for just 30 minutes a day, could cause temporary hearing loss. Meanwhile, at a level between 95 and 100 dB you could temporarily have hearing loss after only 10 minutes.

Try some new bands

Are you looking for a new Apple Watch band? Check out these two great options:

Admaster sport band ($10 at Amazon)

This inexpensive band looks nearly identical to Apple's official Nike band, except it's available in many more colors.

Fullmosa metal band ($16 at Amazon)

Get the metal band look for a lot less than Apple's first-party option with this band that's available in multiple colors. It includes extra connectors.

Final questions and comments

Apple will release watchOS 6 later this year. Until then, there's a chance the functionality of the Noise app on Apple Watch could change. If that happens, we'll update this post. In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions about watchOS 6.

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