How to Use Sound Check on iPhone and Other Apple Devices

Set all your music to play at the same volume

What to Know

  • iPhone and iPad: Go to Settings > Music. Move the Sound Check slider to the on/green position.
  • Apple Music on a computer: Choose Music > Preferences > Playback. Turn on Sound Check.
  • Apple TV: Go to Settings > Apps > Music. Turn on Sound Check.

This article explains how to turn on the Sound Check feature on iOS devices, the Apple Music app on computers, and the Apple TV, in addition to other devices. Information applies to iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices running iOS 10 and up.

How to Turn on Sound Check on iPhone and Other iOS Devices

Sound Check is a feature of the iPhone and other Apple devices. With Sound Check turned on, not only do you have a better music-listening experience, but you also protect your hearing.

To turn on Sound Check on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Settings app.

  2. Tap Music.

  3. Scroll down to the Playback section and move the Sound Check slider to On/Green.

    Music settings showing Sound Check option

How to Turn on Sound Check on iPod Classic and iPod nano

For iPods like the original iPod line, iPod Classic, or iPod nano that don't run the iOS, the instructions are slightly different. These steps apply to an iPod with a Clickwheel. If your iPod has a touch screen, like some later models of the iPod nano, adapting these instructions is easy.

  1. Use the Clickwheel to navigate to the Settings menu.

  2. Click the center button to select Settings.

  3. Scroll about halfway down the Settings menu until you find Sound Check. Highlight it.

  4. Click the iPod's center button to turn on Sound Check.

How to Use Sound Check in Apple Music, iTunes and on iPod Shuffle

Sound Check also works with Apple Music and iTunes, and levels out your playback volume in those apps. If you have an iPod Shuffle, you use iTunes to turn on Sound Check on the Shuffle.

  1. Launch Apple Music or iTunes on your Mac or PC.

  2. Click the Music or iTunes menu on a Mac and select Preferences. On Windows, select Edit > Preferences.

    iTunes Preferences on macOS
  3. Select the Playback tab at the top of the Preference window.

    General settings screen in iPhone
  4. Click the Sound Check box.

    Playback settings screen showing Sound Check option.
  5. Select OK to save the change.

How to Turn on Sound Check on Apple TV 4K and 4th Generation Apple TV

The Apple TV can be the center of a home stereo system with its support for playing an iCloud Music Library or Apple Music collection. The Apple TV 4K and the 4th generation Apple TV also support Sound Check. To turn on Sound Check on those models of the Apple TV, follow these steps:

  1. Using the remote control, select the Settings app on the Apple TV.

  2. Choose Apps.

  3. Select Music.

  4. Go to the Sound Check option and click the remote control to toggle the menu to On.

What Is Sound Check?

Sound Check is a feature of the iPhone, iPod, and other devices that plays all of your songs at roughly the same volume, no matter their original volume. It's designed to make listening to music a consistent, comfortable experience no matter what song is playing.

Songs are recorded at different volumes and with different technologies. This is especially true of older recordings, which are often quieter than modern ones. Because of this, the default volume of songs on your iPhone or iPod differs. This can be annoying, especially if you turned up the volume to hear a quiet song, and the next one is so loud that it hurts your ears. Sound Check is designed to fix that.

How Sound Check Works

The way Sound Check works is really smart. It doesn't edit music files or actually change their real volume. Instead, Sound Check scans all of your music to understand its basic volume information.

Sound Check then calculates the average volume level of all of your music. With that information, it tweaks the ID3 tag of each song to create a roughly even volume ​for all songs. The ID3 tag contains metadata, or information, about the song and its volume level. Sound Check changes the ID3 tag to adjust the playback volume, but the music file itself isn't changed. You can return to the song's original volume by turning off Sound Check.

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