If you’re not familiar with white noise, it is essentially background noise. You can think of white noise as the static that comes from an untuned radio, or sounds like a running fan or falling rain.
The Sleep Foundation describes it as, “noise that contains all frequencies across the spectrum of audible sound in equal measure.”
The Sleep Foundation says researchers have studied the effect of white noise on humans for many years and have discovered it can reduce crying in infants, improve work performance and maybe even help counteract symptoms of ADHD. It can also help children and adults relax and drift off to sleep.
While you can buy white noise machines or download apps that create a number of built-in sounds aimed at helping you sleep, if you have an iPhone and keep it next to your bed at night, you already have everything you need.
To use the built-in white noise feature on your iPhone, first go to Settings (the little gear icon), then go into Accessibility, Audio/Visual and into Background Sounds. You can also access the white noise feature by swiping down from the upper right-hand corner of your iPhone and clicking on the Ear icon that shows up among the various buttons.
Once you’re inside the Background Sounds menu, choose from a handful of sounds that include Balanced Noise, Bright Noise and Dark Noise, all which sound like static, or Ocean, Rain or Stream. You can then turn the volume up or down and even use it in the background while you play other sounds, like music, podcasts or audio books.
All iPhones running on iOS 15 or later all have the feature included, so, as long as your software is up to date, the model number you have does not matter.