How do I change the notification sound on my wear OS?

Wear OS is a smartwatch operating system developed by Google that allows users to customize various settings like notification sounds. With the release of the new Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 series running Wear OS, the platform has seen tremendous growth in market share, now capturing over 17% of the smartwatch market as of Q3 2021 according to research from Counterpoint.

One of the advantages of Wear OS is the ability to customize notifications, including changing the notification sound to suit your preferences. Whether you want a louder sound to ensure you don’t miss alerts or something more pleasant and subtle, Wear OS makes it easy to find and select a sound that fits your needs.

Access Notification Settings

To access the notification settings on your Wear OS watch, first open the Settings app directly on the watch itself. This can be done by swiping down from the top of the watch face to access the quick settings menu, then tapping the settings icon (shaped like a gear).

You can also open the Settings app by pressing the side/power button on the watch to see the apps menu, then scrolling to and tapping the Settings app icon.

According to the Wear OS by Google Help article “Get started using your watch,” you can access settings by pressing the side button and selecting the Settings app [1].

Tap Sound & Vibration

To change the notification sound on your Wear OS watch, you’ll first need to access the Sound & Vibration settings. To do this:

On your watch, open the Settings app and tap Sound & vibration (for Wear OS 2.0) or Sounds and notifications (for Wear OS 3.0 and newer). This is where you can manage all sound and vibration settings for your watch. 1

Alternatively, if you have the Wear OS app installed on your phone, you can access these sound settings through that app as well. Open the Wear OS app and tap Settings, then Sound & vibration or Sounds and notifications. Any changes made here will sync to your watch.

This menu is where you’ll find the option to change your notification sounds in the next steps.

Select Notifications

To choose which app notifications come through on your Wear OS watch, open the Wear OS app on your Android phone and tap ‘Notifications’. This will bring you to the notifications settings screen where you can enable or disable notifications for each app on your phone.

Under the ‘Notifications’ section, tap on ‘Choose notifications’ to select which apps can push notifications to your Wear OS watch. You’ll see a list of all apps installed on your phone. For each app, toggle the switch on or off depending on if you want notifications from that app to display on your watch.

For example, you may want notifications from messaging apps but not from social media apps. Customize these settings to your preferences.

Once you’ve finished selecting which apps can send notifications to your watch, those changes will sync and take effect on your Wear OS device. You’ll only get notifications from the selected apps moving forward.

Tap Notification Sound

To change the notification sound on your Wear OS watch, start by tapping the ‘Notification Sound’ option. This can be done by following these steps:

Open the Settings app on your Wear OS watch by swiping down from the top of the screen and tapping the settings icon (it looks like a gear). Then scroll down and tap ‘Sound & vibration’.

On the Sound & vibration screen, tap ‘Notifications’ to view the notification sound options. Here you will see ‘Notification Sound’ – tap this option to proceed.

According to Google’s Wear OS help documentation, the ‘Notification Sound’ option allows you to select a sound for app notifications. Tapping it will let you browse and select a new notification sound.

Browse Sound Options

Once you have tapped on Notification Sound, you will be presented with a list of different sound options to choose from for your notification alert. Simply scroll through the list to preview what each sound option sounds like. The options include:

  • A variety of ringtones and alert tones
  • MP3 audio files stored on your phone that can be used as notification sounds
  • Default notification sounds from Wear OS like “Billiards” and “Blues”

You can tap on any sound option to hear a preview of what it will sound like when used for your notifications. This allows you to scroll through and listen to the different choices until you find the notification sound that you prefer.

Select New Notification Sound

Once you have accessed the Notification Sound menu, you will see a list of available sounds to choose from. The sounds available will depend on your watch model and Wear OS version. Most devices come preloaded with a set of default notification sounds like Chimes, Alarm, and Timber that you can scroll through and select.

However, you may want to set a custom sound for your notifications. To do this, tap the “+” icon at the top of the sound selection screen. This will allow you to browse notification sounds you have downloaded on your mobile device. Wear OS will sync compatible audio files for use as notification sounds. Look for .mp3 or .ogg files.

After selecting your desired custom notification sound, tap “OK” to set it. You will see the sound displayed under Notification Sound indicating it is now active. Make sure to tap “Save” in the Sound & Vibration menu to keep this new notification sound.

According to users on Reddit (, some of the best custom notification sounds for Wear OS are short with very simple melodies, such as chimes or bell tones. Test out a few options to find one you like.

Save Selection

Once you have browsed the sound options and found the notification sound you want to use, tap on it to select it. This will open a confirmation popup ensuring you want to set this as the new notification sound. Tap “OK” or “Apply” to confirm the selection.

According to a Reddit user, after selecting a new notification sound, a pop-up will appear saying “Set as notification sound?” Tap OK to confirm and set the new sound.

As noted in Google’s Wear OS help documentation, after choosing the desired sound, tap OK to confirm the selection and set the new notification sound.

Test Notification

Once you have selected a new notification sound, it’s a good idea to test it out. Send yourself a test notification from your phone to your Wear OS watch. This will allow you to verify that the new notification sound is working as expected.

If you don’t hear the new notification sound, double check that the sound was properly selected in the notification sound settings on your watch. You may need to go back and re-select the sound.

After verifying the new notification sound, you can customize your notification settings even further if desired. For example, you can set different notification sounds for different apps or contacts.

Customize Further

There are additional ways to customize notifications beyond just setting a notification sound for all apps. For example, you can set contact-specific notification sounds so a text from a specific contact has a unique sound. To do this:

  1. Open the Wear OS app on your phone and go to Notifications.
  2. Tap “Advanced settings.”
  3. Tap “Contacts with custom notifications.”
  4. Select a contact and tap “Custom sound.”
  5. Choose a notification sound just for that contact.

You can also customize notifications based on the app. To set custom sounds for specific apps:

  1. Go to Notifications in the Wear OS app.
  2. Tap “Advanced settings.”
  3. Tap “Apps with custom notifications.”
  4. Select an app and tap “Custom sound.”
  5. Pick a unique notification sound for that app.

Other advanced customizations include adjusting notification vibration intensity, toggling notification indicators, and more. See the Wear OS help documentation for additional options.

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