Home How-To-Guides How to Change Default Sounds on iOS 17 and Their Previous Versions

How to Change Default Sounds on iOS 17 and Their Previous Versions

Posted: October 25, 2023

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Changing Default Sounds on iOS 17

With the release of iOS 17, several default sounds for notifications, alarms, and timers were updated. While some might enjoy the new serenades, others might want to revert to the old noises for a sense of familiarity. You can manually revert most of these sounds to their previous versions.

Opening Settings and go to Sounds & Haptics

Start by accessing the 'Settings' menu on your iPhone. Once in the settings menu, navigate to and select the 'Sounds & Haptics' option. This is where you'll find all your sound effect options configured on your device.

Understanding New Default Sounds

The default sounds set in iOS 17 comes with a completely fresh palette of audio cues. The new 'Ringtone' is known as 'Reflection,' replacing 'Opening iOS,' (which had earlier replaced 'Classic > Marimba (iPhone OS ).' Similarly, 'Text Tone' is now 'Note', and 'New Voicemail' is set to 'Classic > Tri-tone'. The sound for 'New Mail' is turned off by default while 'Sent Mail' is set to 'Classic > Swish'. 'Calendar Alerts' and 'Reminder Alerts' have a new sound called 'Chord'.

Specific Default Sound Changes and their Old Versions

In iOS 17, each notification sound was updated, bringing a different feel to your device's alerts. Here's a closer look at the changes and how you can revert them to their classic versions.

Ringtone: Reflection (formally Marimba)

While the ringtone in older iOS versions was the Classic > Marimba iPhone OS sound, iOS 17 has replaced it with Reflection. However, you can easily revert this change if you feel nostalgic about the Marimba tune or prefer it over Reflection. Navigate to the ringtone setting in the 'Sounds & Haptics', look for Marimba in the list, and select it.

Text Tone: Note

The default SMS alert tone on iOS 17 has changed to 'Note.' If you wish to switch back to the old alert tone, navigate to the 'Text Tone' option within the Sounds & Haptics settings. Among the list of options, 'Tri-tone' is the classic sound you might recall. Select it to apply as your default text tone.

New Voicemail: Tri-tone

'New Voicemail' on iOS 17 maintains the classic 'Tri-tone' sound. Therefore, no changes are required for this sound unless you would like to explore and select a new one from the list.

New Mail: None

The 'New Mail' sound notification is turned off by default in iOS 17. But if you prefer an audio cue when a new email arrives, scroll through the sound options in the list and select your preferred one. There's no old version for this per se, but you can choose any sound that appeals to your preferences.

Sent Mail: Swish

The 'Sent Mail' sound, defined as 'Swish' in iOS 17, gives a different sonic feedback when you send an email. If you want the previous sound back, you'd have to manually go to the 'Sent Mail' setting, select the familiar sound from the list, and change it.

Calendar Alerts: Chord

'Calendar Alerts' in iOS 17 are heralded by a sound called 'Chord'. To return the old notification tone, navigate to the Calendar Alerts setting and select the old sound from the list.

Reminder Alerts: Chord

The 'Reminder Alerts' sound has also been changed to 'Chord.' However, if you prefer the previous sound, go to the 'Reminder Alerts' setting, look for the old tone in the options provided, and select it. It's important to note that third-party apps that don't define their sound will use whatever the system default sound is, which can't be changed.

Limitations with Third-Party Apps

Even though iOS 17 allows you to change most default sounds back to their older versions, the operating system presents limitations when it comes to third-party applications. Some apps have created unique sonic identifiers designed to stand out or are tied to the system's default tone.

Inability to Change Default Notification Sound for Apps like Snapchat and Instagram

Third-party applications such as Snapchat and Instagram that use the default sound for their notifications cannot change the notification sound. Unfortunately, the new default notification sound, 'Rebound,' cannot be switched to the older 'Tri-tone' sound. This change has led to some criticism among users because the muffled noise of 'Rebound' is harder to hear when a phone is inside a pocket or bag. Furthermore, the new haptic vibration associated with this sound is also reported to be weaker and harder to recognize.

Apps Without Defined Sounds Cannot be Altered

Despite the flexibility to customize other parts of the user experience, Apple's settings options do not allow for changes to alter the sounds of alerts from third-party apps that do not supply their custom sound. These apps are largely dependent on the system's default sound. With the update to iOS 17, apps that previously relied on 'Tri-tone' will now use 'Rebound,' with no option for you to interrupt this.

While third-party apps with their custom sounds for push notifications will continue to use them, many others, including social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, do not house unique custom sounds and are, therefore, reliant on the system default. This lack of control over notification sounds for third-party apps can be limiting for users who prefer a customary audio interaction on their devices.

Changing the Default Timer Sound

Just like the notification sounds, the default timer noise on the iPhone has also changed in iOS 17. The new default sound, 'Radial', replaces the old one. However, if you prefer the classic timer sound, you can change it back. Here's how.

Opening the Clock App

The first step to revert to the old timer sound is to open the 'Clock' app on your iPhone. The clock app's interface has been designed for easy navigation, allowing you to access and make changes to alarms, world clocks, bedtime settings, and most importantly for our context, timers.

Going to Timers Tab and Selecting When Timer Ends

Next, tap the 'Timers' tab to access the settings specific to timers. Here, you would find an option labeled 'When Timer Ends'. Tapping this option will display a list of available timer sounds.

Choosing the Old Option: Radar

The new timer sound, 'Radial', is set by default. But if you prefer the old 'Radar' sound, you can easily make this switch. Scroll through the list under 'When Timer Ends', and find the 'Classic' section. Under 'Classic', you should find 'Radar'. Just tap on it to select it.

Setting the New Timer Sound

Once you have selected 'Radar,' finalize it by tapping 'Set' at the top right corner of your screen. The classic 'Radar' sound will now replace the default 'Radial' sound and be activated whenever the timer ends. With this simple tweak in the 'Clock' app, you can enjoy the familiar sound on your device while taking advantage of the new features iOS 17 has to offer.