This is why your iPhone alarm sounds so annoying

Greg Evans
Monday 30 October 2017 15:45
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Picture:(iStock/Getty Images)

Whether you like it or not, iPhones have infiltrated our lives and they are doing everything for us.

You can do your banking on an iPhone now. Find dates. Check stocks. Get a job. Communicate on many different platforms.

You might not use your phone for all of those reasons but we can almost guarantee that you do use it for your alarm clock every morning.

If you do, you have probably been unfortunate enough to wake up to the infernal racket that is default alarm tone "Radar".

You know, the really annoying one that sounds like sounds like a really loud cricket has gotten into your room and won't shut up.

Yeah, this one.

Now, you can change it in settings but there is a strong chance that you just can't be bothered.

Apart from it being the noise that wakes you from your slumber everyday to remind you that it is time to go to work there is actually a scientific reason as to why you probably hate this noise.

Speaking to UniLad Toby Saville, the chief technical officer of Quiet Mark explained that Radar uses ''a short, sharp, rapidly occurring tonal sound'' to alert you.

The tone also has ''a short delay time'' which is the frequency that human ears are the most sensitive to.

Saville further elaborated:

The sound characteristics, time and frequency help indicate whether a ringtone is perceived as pleasant or unpleasant by most people.

Non-acoustic factors are also just as important, and it can’t be ignored that the Radar ringtone is the default wake-up alarm tone on the iPhone.

To expand upon this, Andrew Stafford, Co-funder and Executive Creative Director of Big Sync Music breaks down the three reasons why Radar is the most annoying tone that you are every likely to encounter.

He lists them as "the actual tone itself" and the "unnecessary repetition" and the third being a "Pavlovian response."

At this point we can't really avoid the fact that the alarm sound is associated with something that most of us detest, which would play into the Pavlovian theory.

While some people might enjoy the rev of a car engine the same cannot be said for an alarm clock.

The same line of thinking applies to the sound of the dentists or a school bell. They are just things that you don't want to be reminded of.

Is there any to make waking up in the mornings a little nicer then?

There are some solutions to this problem, for instance Toby Saville recommends that you try Cosmic as an alternative tone.

He says:

Most people have negative associations with having to wake up in the morning.

If you wanted to choose an iPhone ringtone that should be perceived as much more pleasant, Cosmic has more mid-frequency (circa 1 kHz) content, is generally broadband in its frequency content (even frequency distribution) and has a soft, long decay time.

HT Uni Lad

More: You need to stop charging your phone overnight

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