- Matt Oliva
iPhone Health - Hearing & Sleep
Traffic, Music, Movies, Construction, Sporting Events; what do all these have in common? They can be loud. iOS devices has some tools to help you better monitor your hearing, both what you’re listening to in your headphones and your environment.
After setup, you’ll be able to monitor your active headphone volume quickly in pulling down from the top right of your phone. If you don’t see the ear icon, you’ll need to add it as an option. Once setup, you’ll see the feedback monitor in green. If your audio is too loud based on your exposure allowance, you will see a yellow exclamation triangle icon. To view more in-depth detail and your environmental sound exposure, open the health app and locate the hearing option under browse. You can then view your exposure by hour, day, week, month and year. Scrolling down, there are highlights giving you a spotlight view of your average exposure, giving you data to be actionable on if you choose. There is an option to have the phone alert you if you’re way over your set limit and not checking. For example, if your limit is 100 dB, but you're listening at 105 dB, you will be alerted after 10 minutes of consistent listening.
A consistent sleep pattern helps stay energized, focused and able to function for the day. Our phones and other devices are consistently with us, with the consistent nagging of notifications. If you’re like me, I use my phone for an alarm each morning. This makes it hard for you not to consistently check your phone for what's going on or thinking you heard it vibrate; enter my personal favorite feature on iPhone; sleep mode!
Sleep mode introduces a new feature called wind down, with the purpose of exactly that - to wind down at the end of the day. When wind down starts, you’ll get a notification letting you know your bedtime is coming up, your phone darkens the Lock Screen and reduces the backlight and turns on do not disturb You won't be shown notifications when you initially pick up your phone, instead seeing your alarm is set to your preferred time, and a shortcuts button to select apps/actions you‘d like to quickly access without having to see notifications. You also have an option to hide the date/time if you don’t want to have a panic attack waking up to see it’s 3am and you need to wake up at 5am; the worst feeling!
Bonus: Spatial Audio (AirPod Pro, AirPod Max Only)
If you’ve ever been to an IMAX theater, you’ve experienced spatial audio. If you’ve ever had a plane fly over you, this is an example of spatial audio easy to explain. Even closing your eyes, you can physically identify when the plane is; As it flies over, you physically feel the bass of the engines and the speed of the aircraft going quickly from one side to the other.
With spatial audio working in select apps such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV+, etc. You’re able to experience the same "3D" all around audio experience very similar to what you’d experience in an IMAX theater. It’s quite unique when experienced during your favorite movie or TV show! Works with iPhone and iPad.