Some people find that white noise helps them focus or sleep, and in macOS Ventura, Apple gives users a variety of sounds to choose from. It’s not an obvious feature, but if you know how to turn on Background Sounds, you can set your Mac to play from a set of soothing sounds such as rain or dark noise. Here’s how to set it up.
At a glance
Time to complete: 5 minutes
Tools required: macOS Ventura
Accessibility System Settings
Open System Settings (Apple menu > System Settings), and in the left column, select Accessibility. Scroll down to the Hearing section and click on Audio. Scroll down until you spot the Background Sounds section, where you’ll find these settings:
Background Sounds: Flip the switch to turn it on/off.
Background Sound: Click the Choose button to select the sound you want. There are six choices included in macOS Ventura:
Balanced Noise: similar to low static
Bright Noise: static with a lighter amount of bass
Dark Noise: static with heavier bass
Ocean: sounds heard while walking on a beach
Rain: moderate to heavy downpour
Stream: a babbling brook
Background Sounds Volume: a slider to adjust the level.
Turn off background sounds when your Mac is not in use: Flip the switch on if you want the sound to shut off when the lock screen or screen saver kicks in.
Activate the Control Center or Menu Bar access
Background Sounds continue to play if you play other media, such as Apple Music or YouTube. You can turn off Background Sounds through the Menu Bar or Control Center, but you have to activate that access first.
In System Settings, click on Control Center in the left column. Scroll to the Hearing section, and then flip the switch for either Show in Menu Bar,Show in Control Center, or both.
Turn off Background Sounds
After doing step 2, you should find a Hearing icon (an ear) in the menu bar and/or in Control Center. Click on the icon to control Background Sounds–turn it on/off, change the sound, or adjust the volume.