watchOS 6: This is how the Apple Watch decibel meter protects your hearing

With watchOS 6, Apple focuses even more on health. Not only your movement and your heart rate are measured, but also the health of your ears. This is how the watchOS 6 decibel meter works for your Apple Watch.

Apple Watch decibel meter protects your hearing

The Apple Watch is the device with which Apple wants to make you move more in all kinds of smart ways. This will give you a tap on your wrist if you have not been standing for a while, or the watch will encourage you when you have completed a workout. In watchOS 6 you also receive a warning if your hearing is at risk.

Apple Watch decibel meter

A new Sound app will take care of this. This app has a built-in decibel meter, which continuously measures whether the sound in your area is not too loud. Are you in front of the speakers at a concert, between screaming supporters at a football match or in a loud factory hall? If the volume is too high, the Apple Watch will warn you in such a situation.

This way you know when your hearing is in danger, and you can find a quieter place to prevent hearing damage. Furthermore, you can easily check before a party whether your music is not too loud.

The decibel meter always measures the sound realtime. The noise limit is 90 decibels. You will only receive a notification at a higher volume. Research from the World Health Organization shows that if you are exposed to volumes higher than that for four hours a week, it will already cause permanent damage to your ears.

Hearing info on your watch face and iPhone

As a handy addition, Apple has also made this Sound app available as a complication for various watchOS 6 watch faces. This allows you to immediately see how loud the sound in your environment is with every look at your wrist.

All hearing data that the Sound app collects can be found in the Health app on the iPhone. From now on, under the heading ‘Hearing’, you will find an overview of the noise levels of your environment, but also of your headphones. If you tap on one of these blocks, a graph will appear with the volume spread over the days of the week. You can also see the moments when the volume became dangerously high, and what the average is.

Privacy not in question

An app that continuously records sound to determine how fast things are going in your environment, isn’t that disastrous for your privacy? It wouldn’t be Apple if this wasn’t thought of. The decibel meter never stores audio. Coded samples are continuously created to measure the sound level. No regular sound recordings are made, so your Apple Watch cannot just listen in.

For example, do you regularly work in noisy environments with protective earplugs? It is of course possible to turn off the notifications from the Sound app later. Then you can simply activate them as soon as you go out for a night, or have forgotten those earplugs.

More about watchOS 6

If you want to know what else Apple has in store for us with watchOS 6, check out our watchOS 6 overview.

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