iPhone and Apple Watch include a wide range of valuable health features and a couple of them that don’t get much attention include measuring ambient and headphone noise levels. Read along for a look at how to protect from hearing loss by checking decibel levels on iPhone and Apple Watch.
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In the US, an estimated 37.5 million adults have trouble hearing, and men are believed to be twice as likely to experience hearing loss as women (via the National Institute for Deafness and Other Communication Disorders).
Thankfully, iPhone and Apple Watch feature both ambient (environmental) and headphone decibel monitoring that are quick and easy to use, including noise threshold warnings. That makes it much easier to prevent hearing damage and loss by knowing when to turn down the volume, use ear protection, or leave a loud environment.
So what’s a harmful decibel level? That depends on the amount of time you’re exposed along with the level of noise. Here’s what Apple says:
Repeated, long-term exposure to sounds above 80 dB can lead to permanent damage. Consider using hearing protection or moving to a quieter area.
Apple Watch also shares examples of noise levels/time exposure that can lead to temporary hearing loss:
How to check decibel levels with iPhone and Apple Watch
Interestingly, Apple doesn’t make its watchOS Noise app available on iPhone and iPad, so here’s how to check decibel levels:
You can measure both ambient and headphone decibel levels with Apple Watch and the former works with the dedicated Noise app. One neat option with the wearable to have quick-access readings is with the Noise app complication.
And here’s a look at how Noise warnings look on Apple Watch:
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Apple Watch is Apple's wearable is designed to help you stay active, motivated, and connected. It runs watchOS, and it comes in 40mm and 44mm size options.
Introduced in 2007 by Steve Jobs, iPhone is Apple's flagship iOS device and easily its most popular product around the world. The iPhone runs iOS and includes a large collection of mobile apps through the App Store.How-to
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Michael is an editor for 9to5Mac. Since joining in 2016 he has written more than 3,000 articles including breaking news, reviews, and detailed comparisons and tutorials.Really useful USB-C + USB-A charger for home/work and travel.My slim wallet of choice for iPhone 12