Touch ID Sensor Clicking Sound

It’s odd to think about, but did you know that the Touch ID sensor on your iPhone makes noise? If you hold an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus up to your ear in a quiet room and touch the Touch ID sensor, then you will hear a very faint clicking sound emitting from the vicinity of the sensor. It’s just another weird fact gleaned from the /r/apple this morning.

When I stumbled upon this thread, I just had to verify it for myself. I took my Touch ID equipped iPhone 6 Plus into a quiet location, placed the device up to my ear close to the Touch ID sensor, and put my finger on the sensor while the phone was unlocked. At first I didn’t hear anything, because I expected it to be more audible than it actually is, but after a while—after some fine ear tuning—I was able to hear the sound.

The best way that I can describe the sound is that it’s a clicking noise, a clicking noise that’s very repetitive until you release your finger from the sensor. It sounds very much like the noise that occurs when you turn on a gas stove’s pilot light.

The noise is extremely faint, and won’t be heard in a room with a lot of ambient noise. In fact, it’s so faint, that you’re just going to have to take my word for it, as there’s no way that any of my microphones are sensitive enough to pick up the sound.

But seriously, try it out, and let me know if you hear anything. I tried it on my iPhone 5s as well, but from what I gather on the Reddit thread, it only works on newer devices like the 6 and 6 Plus. I’m assuming this is because the iPhone 6 uses the Touch ID sensor all of the time for Reachability, but that’s just an assumption on my part.

It’s kind of a weird little fun fact, but nevertheless, tell me what do you think.

Update: @diogopires21 has recorded the sound and uploaded it to YouTube:

[/r/apple]

  • Keabsy

    I heard it the first time I tried, it’s like a repetition of clicks, could only hear it when unlocked.

    • That’s very true; it goes crazy when touching the ring.

      • TimeLoop

        Can anyone confirm on 6s/6splus that same sound on the back of the phone (ear sticked to the back of the phone) when you invoque 3d touch, or press harder on the screen. I get the same noise from the haptic mottor (not the vibration)

  • Jamessmooth

    Crazy! It took me a few times but you can definitely hear it. Pilot light from a gas stove is exactly what it sounds like. Have to have the phone unlocked to hear it.

  • Alex Ruski

    on the 5S you can hear…. just use the wrong finger on the locked screen!

    • Weird, still can’t hear it. Maybe it’s too faint or high pitched for my ears.

  • Modest

    Tried around 30 times on my 6+. No sound.

    • 9to5Slavery

      That means bad ears.

    • Franck Kamayou

      you need to put your ear right over the sensor. not like in the picture

      • Franck Kamayou

        or against the back of the phone also works

  • Glenn Gore

    I heard it when I pressed the Home button with the phone locked. 2 little clicks as it turned on the screen. Neat.

  • Mr.Adam

    So if you turn reachability off does it still make the noise? I keep mine off thinking it probably shuts down the sensor and saves a little battery.

    • kron1k 

      I heard this too after locking my phone. It is the speaker playing the lock sound. When I turned it off in settings the hissing stopped.

    • Toma Radu-Petrescu

      Yeah, same here. It’s been for some time.

  • Brian Brown

    Jeff, with the fresh tape !

  • Brian Brown

    And Jeff, I tend to believe that it’s easier to hear in the latest devices because of the size that gives more room for an echo. just a thought
    edit; the 6 and 6 plus are relatively bigger than any other iPhone. Say Jeff, try to listen if it happens on your iPad with TouchID. thats a big unit too

  • Diogo Pires

    Jeff just unlock your iPhone and then put the touch ID in your ear. It goes crazy and you can hear it much better!

  • Mike

    True innovation from #apple.

  • jack

    It is just your finger changing the acustics of your ear thereby changing what you hear from air. Try putting your finger at your ear w/o the phone

  • Bugs Bunnay

    here’s something interesting: hold it enough times and your phone will transform. try this on a full charge though.

  • milaliel

    I can definitely hear that and also usually my speaker makes strange straight noises too… (i6+ jailbroken)

    • Brandon Lee Robinson

      Mine makes kinda a static noise for a while, even with the screen turned off.

      • kron1k 

        It’s the lock sound being played

  • 0ʇılouɐɯ

    And in the total darkness you can see the light sensor “flickering” too, but that’s normal electronics buddies!!

  • Nitsud

    Yep just about pooped my pants cause I pressed in on the home button and I invoked Siri’s “doo doot” sound.

  • Snailpo

    My girlfriends fat ass won’t stop eating so I can try and hear it…

    • 9to5Slavery

      feed her the iPhone.

    • Me

      What’s her ass eating? Her underwear?

      • Snailpo

        My phone

  • daniel awde

    I heard a tick sound when i clicked on iP5 😀 kill me.

  • Brian Smith

    I already enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey, Jupiter Ascending, Seventh Son, Project Almanac, Black or White, American Sniper, The Boy Next Door, Blackhat, Mortdecai, The Wedding Ringer and Taken 3 on my iPhone 6 from
    l M O V l E S A P P(dot)C O M.

  • Sleetui

    Heard it on iPhone 5S connected to the car. Wish there wasn’t feedback. Shoud have a tweak to fix.

  • WiseBlasian

    Anyone also noticed that the speaker is kind of always on when the phone is unlocked? Like the constant “hssshh” sound you hear from speakers when they are turned on but nothing is being played.

  • Digz

    not even trying to be an asshole lol but why is this news? is there anything special that happens now that you can hear the clicking?

    • Mark Kramer

      Agreed. Some people have way too much free time on their hands.

  • Rafal Warachewicz

    Uhhhh soooo…. theres nothing interesting in the scene going? And u want us to listen to the button? Cool… cool… *deletes bookmark”

  • Ryan EWing

    Fingerprint sensor = overrated. #moto

  • I can hear the sound. But when I reboot and enter safe mode, it doesn’t happen.

  • Hussain Alsanona

    I can not here anything in my iPhone 6

  • MattCheetham

    Very audible on my phone. Was able to hear it in a noisy office environment and demonstrate it to colleagues easily!

  • Jared Floyd

    If you turn reachability off, it only clicks when unlocking the phone, for as long as you hold it down. But once you lift your finger and you’re on the home screen, it doesn’t click.

  • Netwerk Politie

    This is the wifi ic! Not the actual touch id button.

    I know it because i can hear the same thin o my brothers ad mini 2 and on my iPad mini 3 and iPhone 5c at the top. Exacly the same noise.

    This is the wifi cycling noise. And it also comes from the Baseband (qualcomm chip) ic wich also cycles.

    It can be heared on the iPod touch 4 to!

  • Netwerk Politie

    Turn on airplane mode with any network abilities turned OFF and you wont hear it. Its the wifi chip cyclyng causing this noise.

  • TimeLoop

    Can anyone confirm on 6s/6splus that same sound on the back of the phone (ear sticked to the back of the phone) when you invoque 3d touch, or press harder on the screen. I get the same noise from the haptic mottor (not the vibration)