Tinnitus Sound Masking with iOS Background Sounds


Are you looking for sound masking apps, devices, or machines, hoping for anything that can drown out the ringing of tinnitus? The simplest, most effective relief may already be in your pocket or purse. If you’re an iPhone user, iOS’s built-in Background Sounds feature is exactly what you’re looking for.

What Is Tinnitus Sound Masking?

Before we delve into the solution, let’s define the challenge. Tinnitus sound masking is a strategy used to provide a sonic reprieve from the ringing, buzzing, or hissing sounds caused by tinnitus. It involves playing an external, more pleasant sound that can distract your brain from the tinnitus.

iOS’s Secret Weapon: Background Sounds

With the release of iOS 15, Apple introduced a game-changing feature: Background Sounds. It’s a simple, built-in tool that can play a variety of sounds to mask unwanted ambient noise or, in your case, the sounds of tinnitus.

How to Enable Background Sounds for Tinnitus Relief

Enabling Background Sounds is straightforward:

  1. Go to Settings on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Accessibility:
    Tinnitus Sound Masking - Accessibility
  3. Scroll down to the subsection Hearing and select Audio/Visual:
    Tinnitus Sound Masking - Audio/Visual
  4. Select Background Sounds:
    Tinnitus Sound Masking - Background Sounds
  5. Tap on Sound:
    Tinnitus Sound Masking - Select Sounds
  6. You can now select any of the options such as:
    • Balanced Noise
    • Bright Noise
    • Dark Noise
    • Ocean
    • Rain
    • Stream
  7. Go back and switch Background Sounds ON at the top:
    Tinnitus Sound Masking - Background Sounds. ON

Choosing Your Sound Mask

The list of sound options is carefully designed to mask a range of tinnitus frequencies. For example, the gentle rush of a stream can blur the sharpness of tinnitus, while the consistent pattern of rain can help your mind relax and push tinnitus into the background.

Fine-Tuning Your Relief

An added benefit of iOS’s Background Sounds is the ability to fine-tune the volume. This ensures the masking sound blends smoothly with the level of your tinnitus without overwhelming it. Plus, you can set Background Sounds to play even while you’re listening to other media, so your relief doesn’t have to pause when you answer a call or watch a video.

Advantages Over Traditional Sound Masking Devices

Traditional sound masking devices can be clunky, expensive, and one more thing to remember. With iOS’s Background Sounds, your tinnitus masker is as accessible as your phone. No extra cost, no extra space in your bag, just instant access to relief.

It literally turns your iPhone into a personal, discreet sound therapy device, ready to help you find your moment of zen whenever tinnitus strikes.

So, there’s nothing more to say than: Give iOS’s Background Sounds a try – it’s free, easy to use and probably one of the best sound masking devices out there.

Pro tip: If you want to evaluate if iOS’s background masking is even improving your overall tinnitus, try our app Tinnilog. It’s the easiest way to find out what softens or triggers your tinnitus.