• Apple’s watchOS 6 update includes a new feature called Noise.
  • It can notify you if you’re in an area that’s too loud for an extended period of time that could be detrimental to your hearing.
  • Here’s how Noise works on the Apple Watch in the first watchOS 6 beta.

Apple will update the Apple Watch with its latest software, watchOS 6 in the fall. It’ll include a new feature called Noise that can be used to notify you if the environment you’re in is loud enough to damage your hearing. I tried it out using the watchOS 6 beta, and it’s pretty neat.

Noise is off by default. But you can turn it on inside the new watchOS 6 Apple Watch app on your iPhone.

CNBC Tech: Apple Watch watchOS 6 noise 4
You can turn on the option in the new Apple Watch app, which will be available in the fall. I’m using a beta version here to test and show you.
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I was able to set up notifications for when my Apple Watch detected a specific noise threshold. Apple recommended sound levels from the World Health Organization, which let you get notifications for when you hit certain decibel volumes. Per the recommendations, you shouldn’t exceed:

  • 80 decibels for longer than five hours per day.
  • 85 decibels for more than two hours per day.
  • 90 decibels for more than 30 minutes per day.
  • 95 decibels for 10 minutes per day.
  • 100 decibels for more than three minutes per day.

I set the controls right in the middle, at 90 decibels, but you can choose to get a notification when your watch notices the volume in your environment is more than any of those thresholds for longer than three minutes. Then, on my Apple Watch, I turned on one of the watch widgets (Apple calls these complications) to show me decibel readings in real time.

The watch showed the environment I was in was at a safe 34 decibels just sitting at the computer. It jumped to about 45 decibels when I was typing, but again that was still safe. I turned on Spotify and it jumped up a little bit more: …


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