Yes, you Apple Watch is able to measure how loud sounds are heard in your environment.
The audio levels are analyzed, in real time, with the help of the stock Noise app.
It uses your smartwatch’s microphone and also takes in account the duration of exposure, before issuing a notification.
The results are displayed in decibels on your Apple Watch screen.
The Apple Watch is also able to prompt you when the sounds are too loud and recommend that you reduce long-term exposure to high levels, to prevent hearing damage.
How To Turn On Apple Watch Decibel Meter
1. Wake your Apple Watch and press the Digital Crown to bring up the app bundle.
2. Tap On the Noise app icon. (yellow icon depicting a human ear)
3. Tap Enable to turn on environmental sound measurements.
Fact: Your Apple Watch will monitor the noise levels in the background and can notify you when the sounds exceed the safe limits.
How To Measure Noise Levels
If you want to measure audio levels of the environmental noise, in real time, simply open the Noise app on your Apple Watch.
Tip: You can also set Noise as a Watch Face complication for quicker one-tap access.
Results: Noises as loud as 80 decibels are considered safe and are displayed with a green color on the Apple Watch Noise app and marked with the ‘OK’ label.
Everything above 80 dB is displayed in yellow and marked ‘Loud’. Long-term exposure is considered unsafe and the Apple Watch informs that that you can get even experience temporary hearing loss if you don’t protect yourself.
Set Apple Watch Noise Notifications
If you want to get notified when environmental noise is louder than the accepted limits, proceed as follows:
1. Open the Apple Watch app on the paired iPhone.
2. Make sure that you browse the My Watch tab (bottom-left corner of the screen).
3. Select Noise.
4. In the Noise Notifications area, tap on ‘Noise Threshold’.
5. Choose the desired setting. You can choose from: Off, 80 decibels (Limit: 5 hours/day), 85 decibles (Limit: 2 hours/day), 90 decibels (Limit: 30 minutes/day), 95 decibels (Limit: 10 minutes/day) and 100 decibels (Limit: 3 minutes/day).
Fact: The Apple Watch will issue an alert when the average sound level over the specified time limit reaches or exceeds the chosen decibel limit
Important: The above daily noise limits are derived from the World Health Organization.
Apple Watch Noise App Battery Drain
As the case with any extra feature that runs in the background, the Apple Watch noise monitoring option causes additional battery drain of your smartwatch. You have to test it out and see if the impact is strong enough to affect your daily usage.
If you’re working in a loud environment it’s definitely worth using, because it helps you prevent hearing damage.
Apple Watch Decibel Meter Accuracy
The watchOS environmental noise monitoring feature has a tolerance of approximate 1% which easily fits inside the accepted 5% variation range.
Apple Watch Noise History
If you want to check the measurements made by your Apple Watch throughout the day you can check them in the Health app on the paired iPhone.
Open the Health app and tap on the Browse tab (bottom-right corner). Next, select Hearing and tap on Environmental Sound Levels.
Important: According to Apple.com, the watchOS Noise app doesn’t record or save any sounds when measuring the audio levels!
Apple Watch Noise App Not Available
Unfortunately the decibel meter feature is only available for Apple Watch Series 4 and later models. If you own Series 3 or earlier you won’t find the Noise app in the app bundle.
Your Apple smartwatch needs to run watchOS 6 or later to include the stock Noise app.
Do you plan to use your Apple Watch as a decibel meter? Let us know in the comments section available below.
Related: iOS 14 brings up real time headphone audio level measurements to the iPhone Control Center!