iOS 14: How to Check Headphone Audio Level on iPhone in Real Time

BY Parth Shah

Published 23 Aug 2020

iOS 14 update puts notable emphasis on safety and health features on the iPhone. Apart from getting the long-awaited Sleep tracker, iOS 14 is also bringing improvements to the hearing features in the Health app. The Hearing function was announced in iOS 13 and it informs users when they are being exposed to high levels of sound. And with the latest update, you can even measure the volume level of what you’re listening to in real-time. Sounds interesting, right? Let’s find how to check the headphone audio level on the iPhone in real-time.

According to industry experts, 80 decibels is the highest safe exposure level up to a maximum of just 8 hours. Tune-up to 90 dB and the damage can begin after only four hours a week. And at 100 dB, the sound is considered safe for just 15 minutes a day. So, if you have a habit of listening to songs on a higher volume for a long time, then Apple’s added measurements might prevent you from a permanent hearing loss.

With the new headphone measuring feature in iOS 14, you can check if the song you are listening over headphones or AirPods is being played at an acceptable level for ears or not. Go through the steps below to set them up on your iPhone.

Add Hearing Button to Control Center

First, you need to add the headphone level checker shortcut in the Control Center. iOS, by default, doesn’t integrate the toggle in the Control Centre so you will have to manually add it from the Settings menu. Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to add the Hearing button to Control Center on your iPhone.

Step 1: Open the Settings app on the iPhone.

Step 2: Navigate to Control Centre > More Controls, and add tap on the + icon next to Hearing.

The next time you’re listening to something on your iPhone over headphones or AirPods, head over to the Control Centre to see the live status of the audio level.

Check Headphone Audio Level on iPhone in Real-Time

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to check the Headphone audio level in real-time on your iPhone:

Step 1: For iPhone 8 or older models, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and on an iPhone X and later, swipe down from the upper right of the display to access Control Centre.

Step 2: Glance over the recently added Hearing button in the Control Centre. If it has a green tick, the audio output is at an acceptable volume level. If the system detects a risky high volume, then you will see a yellow exclamation mark.

Step 3: To get detailed information about the current decibel level, tap the Hearing button in the Control Centre.

The real-time headphone level feature works well with most headphones. It won’t work with other selected TWS (Total Wireless Stereo) and wireless earphones. I tried the Hearing function with OnePlus Wireless Z and Funcl TWS and it didn’t show the audio level in the Control Centre. As expected, the measurement is more accurate with AirPods and other Apple-certified headsets.

I appreciate Apple’s inclusion of headphones audio level checker on the iPhone. Many times, we have seen people advising against listening to a high volume over headphones. But what’s a safe level for music listening? Hearing function solves that problem for users. You can quickly glance over the decibel levels in the Control Centre and adjust the volume accordingly.

The advanced hearing function is one of the many features Apple announced at the online-only WWDC event. Don’t forget to check out the 100+ new iOS 14 features for iPhone that we have discovered so far. Have you installed the iOS 14 beta on your iPhone yet? How’s your experience so far? Sound off in the comments section below.

Learn how to use the cool new iOS 14 features with our step-by-step guide: