Since iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, your iPhone and iPad protects your hearing with the help of the smart health option: headphone safety. Reducing loud noises automatically limits the volume.
In addition, your iPhone or iPad automatically measures the sound levels in the headphones. If you exceed the recommended 7-day limit, a notification will be sent and the volume will be automatically reduced. We explain how this option protects your hearing and how you can adjust it.
Protect hearing through headphone safety
When you listen to music through headphones, AirPods, or in-ears, it is important that you do not set the volume too high. Your hearing is extremely vulnerable and listening to loud music for too long can cause irreversible damage. Fortunately, since iOS 14 and iPadOS 14, your iPhone and iPad helps you to protect your hearing. Important addition is the reduction of loud noises. You can set a volume limit so that your headphones cannot play louder than a certain volume.
A second addition is the automatic lowering of the maximum volume when you exceed the recommended seven-day limit.
Reduce loud noises (volume limit)
- Open Settings on your iPhone or iPad
- Navigate to ‘Hear and feel’ or ‘Sounds’
- Tap ‘Headphone Safety’
- Enable the option ‘Reduce loud noises’
Now use the slider to set a maximum volume and automatically limit the sound. Under the number of decibels, Apple reports with which you can compare the volume. Exposure to 80 decibels for more than 40 hours a week increases your risk of hearing loss. The higher the number of decibels, the less long you can safely listen to music.
By reducing loud noises, your iPhone or iPad can analyze the headphone noise and reduce noise that is above the set decibel level.
Volume is automatically reduced
To protect your hearing, measure your iPhone, iPad, or iPod sound levels in the headphones. If the recommended 7-day limit is exceeded, a notification is sent and the volume automatically reduced. These exposure limits are based on the World Health Organization guidelines for safe listening.
Noise is measured over a seven-day period and limits are based on a combination of loudness and time. The louder the sound, the less time you get to listen safely and the faster you reach the limit.
If the sound is always set to 80 decibels, you can listen safely for 40 hours a week. If the volume is set to 90 decibels, four hours a week is already a maximum.
When you reach your seven-day limit, you will receive a notification and the volume will be automatically reduced. This notification and automatic volume adjustment can not be turned off. However, you can adjust the reduction of loud noises again via the above steps for volume limitation.
Noise Levels in Health
You can easily view the statistics of the seven-day limit via Health. Open the Health app and open the ‘Data’ tab. Tap Hearing and select Sound Levels (Headphones) . You can then view the measured values including an overview of the 7-day limit.
View real-time audio level measurements
Since iOS 14, you can measure the audio level of the headphones in real-time with a handy option available from the control panel. This way you immediately know exactly how loud your headphones or AirPods are so that you get a better insight. You can read more about how viewing audio levels in real-time works in the article below.