WatchOS 6 and iOS 13 are only a few weeks away from being released to the public, and both updates contain new features you may not even have known you required. Apple is implementing a couple of fresh listening features with this year’s watchOS 6 release for Apple Watch and iOS 13 for iPhone, intended to assist you avoid exposure to noisy settings and headphone concentrations for prolonged periods of time.
Here’s how these two new features function.
In iOS 13, audio levels can now be viewed from the headphones you are using. Apple categorizes the volume of your headphone into two decibels levels: “OK” to “Loud.”
How can this information be found? Open the Health app and tap the “Search” button at the bottom of your iPhone running iOS 13. Then you should see a new “Hearing” option, tap it and search for “Headphone audio levels.”
Detailed information about your headphone audio levels over the last hour, day, week, month, and year can be found in this section of the Health app (when there is enough data available). Apple then categorizes your headphone volume level into “OK” or “Loud.” Long-term exposure below 80 decibels is regarded “OK,” while “repeated, long-term noise export at or above 80 decibels” could result in hearing harm and is deemed “Loud.”
You can also filter audio levels by type of headphone by pressing the “Show All Filters” button, seeing which headphones encourage the finest hearing practices and are often louder than others. This interface also displays your daily median, volume variety, and more.
Apple claims that with its Beats and AirPods products, Headphone Audio Level performs best, but that levels can be estimated using other headphones. This is how the function is explained by Apple:
In the meantime, Apple Watch adds its own new function to help protect your hearing. The new watchOS Noise app is intended to warn you when you’re in a loud environment with your Apple Watch that might harm your hearing.
You will want to open the Apple Watch companion app on your iPhone to set up this function. Look through the list of Apple-developed apps for the new “Noise” choice. The Noise app will warn you by default when the sound level of your surroundings exceeds 90 decibels. However, you can adjust this to your liking.
At 90dB, the World Health Organization claims that the quantity could harm your hearing after 30 minutes of daily exposure
- 80 decibels, Limit: About 5 hours / day
- 85 decibels, Limit: About 2 hours / day
- 90 decibels, Limit: About 30 minutes / day
- 95 decibels, Limit: About 10 minutes / day
- 100 decibels, Limit: About 3 minutes / day
The Noise app offers a live-updating bar graph on your Apple Watch itself, which displays your environment’s noise level with an explanation of the sound concentrations. The app will either notify you of noise concentrations that are not detrimental, or consider using hearing protection.
There is also a complication of the Noise app that provides live updates about your environment’s noise level. Either the complication indicates that the amount of noise is fine or too loud.
WatchOS 6 and iOS 13 have a few noteworthy features to assist protect your hearing. The Headphone Audio Level function is designed to assist you better protect your ears while using headphones, while the watchOS Noise app is designed to warn you when you’re in a loud environment.