How to Use iOS 14 Sound Recognition Feature to Identify Sounds

iOS 14 brings a ton of new features. Frankly, I was caught off guard by this release as I thought this will be a mild year for Apple. Seeing how Coronavirus has forced us to work from home, I was expecting WWDC 2020 to be a smaller event. But Apple surprised us with a ton of new iOS 14 features announcement. And as always, there are way more hidden iOS 14 features than the ones that Apple mentioned in its keynote.

One feature that caught my fancy is the ability to identify sounds. It’s a new accessibility feature that recognizes certain sounds and sends you a notification. This is super-handy for hearing impaired users. And even people with good hearing can use it to their advantage. In this article, I am going to show you how you can use iOS 14 Sound Recognition to identify sounds on your iPhone.

Use iOS 14 Sound Recognition to Identify Sounds

We will first see how you can enable the new Sound Recognition in iOS 14, and then discuss a little bit about its usage:

1. To enable Sound Recognition, launch Settings, and go to Accessibility.

Use iOS 14 Sound Recognition to Identify Sounds 1

2. Here, scroll down to find “Sound Recognition” and tap on it. Enable the toggle next to “Sound Recognition”.

Use iOS 14 Sound Recognition to Identify Sounds 2

3. A new “Sounds” option will show. Tap on it, and then enable the toggles for all the sounds that you want your iPhone to recognize.

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4. As you can see in the screenshot, the sounds are neatly categorized, and there are many sounds available. Once your iPhone identifies a sound, you will receive a notification on your iPhone, as shown below.

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Use of Sound Recognition

Sound Recognition is incredibly helpful for hearing impaired iPhone users. It can notify them of fire alarms or a baby crying, and they will know exactly what is happening. In extreme cases, it can even save their lives. I think this single feature will be as helpful for hearing impaired users as Apple Watch’s fall detection feature has been for older people.

For normal users too, this feature can be handy. Suppose you work listening to music all the time. With this feature turned on, you will receive a notification when a fire alarm goes off, or someone is shouting, or your baby’s crying. It even recognizes doorbells and door knocks. You will never miss it when someone’s at the door.

Even if we don’t find it useful daily, it will be enough to give us peace of mind when listening to loud music or using noise cancellation headphones while working. We can be sure that we won’t miss any important sounds.

Enable Sound Recognition to Get Instant Notification

I tested this feature with a couple of sounds playing on YouTube, and it recognized all of them. Of course, long-term real-life testing is needed to see how well it performs in real-life situations. But if what my tests show is any sign, this can be a handy tool for not just hearing impaired users but for every one of us.

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