The new IOS 17 notification sound is too quiet for some people

Complaints are mounting about iOS 17’s new notification sound for alerts in third-party apps being too quiet, causing some people to miss important alerts.

Gold iPhone 12 Pro under colorful lighting, set facedown on a wooden table
iOS 17 has a new default sound for notifications Image: Martin Sanchez/Unsplash

The new default app notification sound in iOS 17 cannot be changed back, and that’s a problem for some people who took to social media to vent their frustration with the new alert tone sounding too quiet and the inability to change its volume level.

This only affects notifications from third-party apps like Twitter and Facebook that don’t use custom alert sounds, but some folks dislike the change.

Is the new iOS 17 notification sound too quiet?

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

A lot of users are saying that the new “Rebound” sound is simply too quiet. Whereas “Tri-tone” was a relatively loud ding, Rebound is a more subtle combination of two quieter notes, with some reverb echo.

And this:

Especially when the phone is buried inside a pocket or purse, the muffled noise is harder to hear than “Tri-tone”. Users are saying they are missing incoming notifications as a result. The associated haptic vibration is also weaker, and harder to feel.

I did my own tests and I swear that the volume level of the new notification sound appears the same to my ear as before. Also, I haven’t yet missed any important notifications from apps because of this change. I doubt Apple would make the default alert sound quieter, but I could be wrong.

As Benjamin mentions, you can change volumes and set built-in sounds as the ringtone, text tone and alert sound for voicemail, mail and calendar alerts, and similar system features. But iOS 17 doesn’t offer a way to change the default tone that plays when a third-party app or service like Twitter sends you a notification.

Apps can still use custom sounds for notifications, and iOS 17 doesn’t override their choices. But considering the new notification sound cannot be replaced, switched back or made louder, Apple could soon rethink its decision.

The new notification sounds on iOS 17 are refreshing, but some people may prefer the old alert tones. The good news is, you can get them back if you want.

Apple still provides the classic sounds for ringtones, text notifications, email alerts and the such, all you need to do is visit Settings > Sounds & Haptics, choose a desired alert type like Text Tone or New Mail, scroll all the way down and hit Classic, then choose one of the classic alert sounds.

Apple listens to customer complaints

If more and more complaints begin piling up on social media and support forums, Apple will likely return to the old, louder alert tone for app notifications.

Apple did something similar during the iOS 17 beta phase as folks complained about the relocated End Call button in the Phone app in the bottom-right corner. Apple relented, returning the button to its default position at the bottom center.

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