April 14, 2023

How to Finally Lower the Ringtone Volume on Your AirPods

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Person wearing AirPods

Photo: Framesira (Shutterstock)

You’re blasting your favorite music on your AirPods, when someone decides to call you. The ringtone, matching the volume of the music, plays so loudly you wonder if it’s damaged your hearing. Alas, you have no choice but to prepare your ears whenever you use your AirPods. After all, there’s no way to separately control the tone volume of your wireless earbuds when listening on your iPhone, right? There wasn’t—until now.

Update your iPhone first

Before you can use this feature, you should update your iPhone to iOS 16.4. It added the ability to control how loud alert tones sound on your AirPods, along with several other useful improvements. This new AirPods feature will show up only after you’ve installed the update.

How to lower the alert tone volume on AirPods

After you install iOS 16.4, connect your AirPods to your iPhone. (You can do this simply by wearing your AirPods.) Now, open Settings on your iPhone, and the settings page for your AirPods will appear in between your name and Airplane Mode.

Tap the name of your AirPods, then select Accessibility. Scroll to the bottom and move the Tone Volume slider towards the left to lower the volume of sound effects played on your AirPods.

What changes when you adjust the tone volume

At the moment, this setting does a few things very well, but there are still a few limitations that you’ll have to live with. When you wear the AirPods, a sound plays to tell you that it’s connected to your iPhone. Lowering the tone volume will reduce the volume of this sound effect. When you receive phone calls or calls from other apps such as WhatsApp, the ringtone volume is lowered too.

However, at the time of writing, this setting does not lower the sound of alerts for messages. It also doesn’t lower the key click sound effect, which plays when you’re typing on your iPhone.

These limitations are frustrating, but hopefully Apple addresses these shortcomings in a future update. Until then, keep your iPhone in silent mode to mute alert sounds for texts and key click sounds. You’ll still hear the connection sound effect and the ringtone for phone calls.

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