Every AirPods user should try this crazy hidden feature

iPhone users who also have Apple AirPods have lots of iPhone tricks to discover once they have received their first pair. But most of them relate to the usual audio experience, whether it’s listening to audio content or talking on the phone. However, there is a great iPhone accessibility called Sound Recognition which could serve AirPods users in addition to the target audience.

As we have already explained, sound recognition is a hidden feature of the iPhone that can help people who are deaf or have hearing problems to keep an eye on the important sounds around them. Maybe it’s a smoke alarm going off at home or a certain noise made by an animal. iPhone can listen for these sounds and send a notification to let you know about the event.

The same accessibility feature works well with people who don’t have hearing problems. But they may be wearing AirPods or other headphones that might block them from hearing the various background sounds around them.

How to Enable Sound Recognition on iPhone

Sound recognition is a feature that Apple has integrated into iOS since iOS 14. You can find it in the Accessibility menu after loading the Settings application.

Activate the function, then press the Sounds menu to customize the type of sounds for which you want to receive alerts. Select all the sounds you want your iPhone to pay attention to and send notifications.

iOS 16 sound recognition feature. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Again, this feature is great if you have hearing problems. But it works just as well if you wear a lot of AirPods at home. Especially models that support noise cancellation. You won’t have to worry about missing specific sounds around you, like crying babies, alarms, appliances, or pets.

How to Add Sound Recognition to Control Center

For easier access to the sound recognition feature, you need to add it to Control center on iPhone.

Go back to Settings the application, choose the Control center menu, and press the + sign next to Sound recognition.

Added sound recognition to Control Center in iOS 16.
Added sound recognition to Control Center in iOS 16. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

This will place a sound recognition shortcut in the control center, which will be helpful for your AirPods sound recognition experience.

Tap the shortcut to quickly turn on or off all the sounds you want iPhone to listen to while going about your business. Rinse and repeat whenever you’re home and wearing AirPods.

As handy as this feature may be, you may not always want to use it. If you’re not wearing your AirPods, you’ll probably hear most of these sounds. And you won’t want a constant barrage of notifications. That’s why the Control Center shortcut is useful for quickly managing the sound recognition experience.

Sound recognition shortcut in Control Center on iPhone.
Sound recognition shortcut in Control Center on iPhone. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Also, remember that functionality is only as good as your iPhone’s ability to pick up those sounds. You can use the sound recognition tool to train the iPhone for custom sounds and improve its reliability if you are using iOS 16. We have covered this in detail. on this link.

Once you’ve set up your iPhone, you’ll be one click away from making sure you’re aware of all the noises happening around the house. Although we’re focusing on AirPods in this guide, the feature works just as well whether you’re using other wired or wireless headphones with your iPhone.

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