Why do all my apps have the same notification sound Samsung?

Many Samsung device users have noticed that the default notification sound is the same across all the pre-installed apps. This familiar “ding” tone can be heard whenever you get an alert from apps like Messages, Email, Calendar, Samsung Health, and more. While some may find it convenient to have a consistent notification audio cue, others wish they could customize each app’s alert sound for a more personalized experience.

Samsung’s Default Notification Sound

Most Samsung Galaxy devices come with a default notification sound pre-installed that is used for notifications from system apps and any other third-party apps that don’t have customized sounds. This default notification chime is part of Samsung’s user interface and brand identity. According to Samsung’s support community posts, this common notification sound across apps is simply Samsung’s own default sound that comes with their Android skin and version.

For example, one Samsung Community forum user asked why all their apps have the same notification sound after upgrading to a new Samsung phone, and another responder explained it’s because the default sound is installed with Samsung’s Android OS so any apps that don’t customize their notification sounds will use Samsung’s default [1].

Preinstalled Apps Use the Default

One of the main reasons why so many apps on a Samsung device use the same default notification sound is because most of Samsung’s preinstalled apps are preset to use this notification tone. Apps like Messages, Phone, Contacts, Email, Calculator, Clock, and more that come preloaded on Samsung Galaxy devices will play the default notification chime when a new alert comes in (Samsung). This helps provide familiarity and consistency across the core user experience. Even though the option exists to customize each app’s notification sound, the default sound acts as a signature Samsung cue that most of their proprietary apps adopt out of the box.

Developer Settings for Notifications

Developers have granular control over setting custom notification sounds in their Android apps through the Android notification system. When sending a notification from their app code, developers can specify a custom sound file to play instead of the system default. This allows them to brand their app with unique sounds that users will come to recognize.

The notification builder API in Android allows developers to set the sound to play by calling setSound() and passing in a URI to their custom audio file. This sound file can be included in the app resources and referenced from there. Developers also have the option to fall back to the system default sound if needed.

For example, the popular messaging app WhatsApp uses custom sounds for new message notifications. When a WhatsApp notification is triggered in code, it likely references a WhatsApp sound file in their resources so that users can instantly recognize a WhatsApp alert. This creates a strong brand association with the custom sound.

Overall, Android developers have the ability to customize notification sounds in their apps however they want. This allows them to stand out and brand their app through unique audio alerts tailored to their users.

But Most Don’t Customize

The default notification sound is often left unchanged by app developers. There are a few reasons for this:

Convenience – It takes extra work for developers to include custom notification sounds in their apps. Using the system default is simpler.

Familiarity – People are used to hearing the same notification sound across all their apps. A custom sound could confuse users.

Branding – The default sound has become part of the Android brand identity. Custom sounds may detract from brand familiarity.

User preference – Surveys indicate most users prefer having the same notification sound across apps. They find it less jarring than a variety of custom sounds.

So while it is easy for developers to customize sounds, sticking to the default notification noise is often seen as the better choice for both app makers and users.

User Preference for Familiarity

Many users actually prefer to keep the default notification sound on their Samsung devices, even though customization options are available. According to a Reddit thread on notification sounds, one user stated, “Easily my favorite. I made every notification sound on every app Tethys. Now I can’t tell them apart.” [1] This indicates a preference for familiarity, where the default sound has become recognizable and users don’t want to change it.

There is a comfort in the familiar default sound that users have grown accustomed to. Changing to unique notification sounds for different apps can become confusing and overwhelming. As one article notes, “Most people don’t bother tweaking these options and just stick with the default noise.” [2] Therefore, Samsung’s uniform notification sound across apps caters to this user preference for familiarity.

Exceptions to the Default

While most preinstalled Samsung apps stick with the default notification sound, there are a few popular exceptions that utilize their own custom sounds:

  • The Samsung Calendar app has unique sounds for event reminders, invite responses, and alerts.

  • The Samsung Messages app uses distinct sounds for SMS, MMS, and Samsung Messages notifications.

  • The Samsung Pay app has a custom sound effect when payments are approved.

  • The Bixby voice assistant app has unique sounds tailored for Bixby’s notifications.

These custom sounds allow users to identify notifications from these apps without even having to look at their phone. The unique sounds have become associated with the individual apps over time.

How to Customize Notification Sounds

You can customize notification sounds for individual apps on your Samsung device by following these steps:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Sounds and Vibration > Notification Sounds.

  2. Tap on the app you want to customize the notification sound for. This will open a menu showing the available notification sounds.

  3. Select the desired notification sound. You can listen to the options by tapping on each one.

  4. Once you’ve selected the notification sound, tap Apply to set it for that app.

  5. Repeat these steps for any other apps you want to customize notification sounds for.

You can also set a global default notification sound that will be used for any apps that don’t have a custom sound set. To do this, tap on the Default notification sound option at the top of the Notification Sounds menu in Settings.

Now your Samsung device will use your customized notification sounds for each app! If you ever want to revert an app back to the default, just select Default notification sound again in that app’s notification sound menu.

Benefits of Customized Sounds

Using different notification sounds for different apps provides several advantages for users. The main benefit is that customized sounds make it easier to identify which app is sending a notification without having to look at your phone.

For example, you could set a bird chirping sound for Twitter notifications, a cash register sound for payment apps like Venmo, or a robotic sound for productivity apps. Having distinct sounds tailored to each app trains your brain to recognize them.

Additionally, studies show that custom sounds lead to higher user engagement because they make notifications more intriguing and noticeable. If you receive a lot of notifications, unique sounds prevent alert fatigue from repetitive, generic dings and buzzes.

Custom sounds also allow you to prioritize certain apps. For instance, you could set a more urgent or louder sound for messages from close friends and family. Or use calmer noises for apps you don’t need to check as frequently.

Overall, taking the time to personalize notification sounds improves the mobile experience and functionality. It helps cut through notification overload and gives users more control over their devices.


In summary, Samsung’s default notification sound is prevalent across all the preinstalled apps on Galaxy devices. While developer settings do allow customizing notification sounds for each app, most users stick with the default as it provides a sense of familiarity. The default sound has become ubiquitous on Samsung devices, though some apps like messaging may use their own custom sounds. If desired, users can customize notification sounds in the sound settings for a more personalized experience. But for many, the default chime has become part of the Samsung identity.

While custom notification sounds allow personalization, the familiar Samsung chime offers continuity across apps. For most Galaxy users, this default sound has become as recognizable as their ringtone.

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