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How to use voice recognition on iPhone

Sound recognition provides text-based notifications when a recognized sound is playing nearby, which can be useful for those who are hearing impaired.


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  • How to use voice recognition on iPhone
  • How to set up custom audio recognitions

With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be easy to miss important sounds, whether it’s your baby crying upstairs or even a siren blaring in the distance. For those who are hearing impaired, these everyday challenges are common. One of many new accessibility features that Apple added to iOS 16 is called Sound Recognition. The feature allows the phone to continuously listen for specific sounds you request, such as those mentioned above. If it recognizes any of these sounds, it will alert you so you can take the necessary action. It could be rushing upstairs to check on your newborn or hesitating before crossing the road to make sure an ambulance doesn’t drive by.


It only takes a few simple taps to set up voice recognition on one of the best iPhones running iOS 16. Here’s how.


How to use voice recognition on iPhone

  1. Go to Settings and pressure Availability.

  2. choose Sound recognition during Hearing and move the slider to the right to turn it on. It will turn green to confirm.
  3. Go to Sounds to choose which sounds you want the phone to recognize. You can choose from different sounds in the categories Alarms, Animals, Households and People. You can also set custom sounds, such as your specific home alarm, a unique appliance or a distinct doorbell. (See next section.)
  4. Browse the list and select each sound you want to enable audio recognition for.
  5. You can choose the preferred one alarm tone every time a sound is detected. The default is Classic Tri-tone, but you can choose anything from Keys to Popcorn, Aurora to Twinkle. You can also set it to Vibration, either alone or with sound. There is also a Tone Store for downloading additional sounds.

  6. Once it is turned on, you can hear each time one of the recognized sounds the phone gives a notification says as such.
    iPhone audio recognition 10

How to set up custom audio recognitions

  1. To add a customized sound, click the type of custom sound you want to add so iPhone can learn, recall, and detect it. There are two options: Custom alarm under Alarms or Custom device or Doorbell under Housekeeping.
  2. Press on Continueadd a name to the custom sound and press Continue again.
  3. To learn the iPhone sound, make it play five times in a row. Play the audio and tap Start Listening. When the sound ends, the sound is recorded and you can start again and so on.
  4. When iPhone confirms that an appliance, alarm, or doorbell was detected, select Save sound. Repeat this five times.

  5. You’ll see a pop-up message noting that Sound Recognition would like to send you notifications. choose Allow. You will immediately receive a notification that the newly added sound is ready to use.
  6. choose done.

  7. The custom sound recognition will now appear in the list of options in the relevant category and you will receive the custom notification whenever the sound is detected.

Voice recognition on the latest iPhones, including the iPhone 14 series, is useful not only for those who may be hearing impaired, but also for new parents, multitaskers, and others whose attention is elsewhere. There are times, for example, when you might not hear the stove timer go off while you’re working in the office downstairs because you’re wearing headphones. Maybe your cat is meowing violently and you can’t hear your feline friend over the loud movie you’re watching.

Of course, voice recognition has its limitations. iPhone must be close enough to the sound source to detect it, and you must be close enough to iPhone to see the notification. It can also sometimes mishear sounds, like if a sound on a TV show is similar to one in your home. Nevertheless, it’s easy to be focused on a task and not hear someone knocking on the door or get distracted when you’re out of the house, especially when you’re wearing noise-canceling headphones.

Like other similar features in iOS 16, such as Music Recognition, which can identify any song playing without the need for an app, Audio Recognition’s primary focus is to help those who are hearing impaired. These individuals may rely on text-based notifications for sounds they cannot hear as clearly as others, or even at all. It’s a neat feature that could be a literal lifesaver.

iPhone 14 in blue color

Apple iPhone 14

The iPhone 14 is the entry-level model in the 2022 iPhone lineup, offering a balanced set of features for the average user.

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