Ocean and More: Play Background Noise on Mac without an app

Background noises such as ocean noise, rain, running water, certain noise frequencies and the like have a relaxing effect on some people. Others can concentrate better when listening to these soundscapes than with absolute silence or music. Apple also seems to know this, because under macOS 13 Adventure and newer, you can play ambient sounds on the Mac without having to use a special one App or website needed. While the range of available sounds is limited, it's worth a look for anyone interested. If you are looking for the whole thing on the iPhone: This way please. 

On the Apple Mac you can play various background and ambient noises directly via the macOS system settings. You can choose between rain, the sound of waves and more.
On the Apple Mac you can play various background and ambient noises directly via the macOS system settings. You can choose between rain, the sound of waves and more.

Play Background and Ambient Sounds via Mac Preferences

As of macOS Ventura, you can play certain ambient and background noises directly in the Mac operating system macOS and adjust their volume. The individual audio files are downloaded when the respective sound is selected, which is why an internet connection is required when setting up the feature. You can also set whether the sounds should continue when the screen saver or lock screen is displayed.

For all these things, you simply call up the system settings on your Apple Mac. This works e.g. B. on the far left of the menu bar at the top of the screen – by clicking on that Apple logo (). In the menu that opens up, click on System settings ..., so that the corresponding overview opens. In their list on the left, click on Accessibility. Then you choose on the right side Audio out of. Now activate the controller at Background noise, then the first sound is played directly. Which it is is written directly below. 

You can select the ambient sounds for background playback via Apple menu -> System Preferences... -> Accessibility -> Audio. You can choose the sound, volume and other options.
You can select the ambient sounds for background playback via Apple menu -> System Preferences... -> Accessibility -> Audio. You can choose the sound, volume and other options.

To select a different soundscape, click on the "Select..." button next to the name of the current sound in the window that appears. This displays the overview of available effects. Sounds that have not yet been downloaded will have a circle with an arrow pointing down to the right of their row. Audio files that have already been downloaded have "(Used ..,. MB)" next to them, with numbers instead of dots, of course. If you want to remove them, click on the garbage can symbol on the right of their line. Incidentally, during the download, a ring is displayed instead of the symbols, which fills up depending on the download progress.

To download a sound that is not yet available, simply click on it. Downloaded ambient sounds are shown with the size of their audio files. When playback is activated, the sound changes directly by clicking on it.
To download a sound that is not yet available, simply click on it. Downloaded ambient sounds are shown with the size of their audio files. When playback is activated, the sound changes directly by clicking on it.

More information and instructions on the subject

In the introduction to this guide you will find the link to the iPhone instructions if you also want to listen to ambient noise on the mobile Apple device. If at some point the iPhone guide or the Mac guide presented here is outdated and we haven't updated it to the latest approach, then the Apple support document will likely help HT212775 most likely further. For the current instructions, Apple also has a Video tutorial published on YouTube:

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In the Sir Apfelot Blog you will find advice, instructions and reviews on Apple products such as the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, AirPods, iMac, Mac Pro, Mac Mini and Mac Studio.

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