How to know what the different AirTag sounds mean

Learn the meaning of all the AirTag sounds your shiny personal tracker can make, from setup to locating it with Find My to critical warnings and more.

Apple's AirTag personal tracker laid facedown on a Magic Trackpad with the rainbow light pattern reflecting off of its shiny rear surface
AirTag sounds reflect various device statuses | Image: Nikita Ognev / Unsplash

The AirTag has some pretty cool status tones

Apple Support on YouTube published a tutorial video explaining the meaning of all the different tones that the AirTag can emit. We can’t reproduce each and every AirTag sound for this article so you’re recommended to watch the video and listen to every tone to learn what it means. The wireless item tracker emits sounds when you set it up and locate it with the Find My app, plus when the battery is low and more.

How to know what the different AirTag sounds mean

Here’s a quick guide to these five sounds your AirTag can make:

  • Welcome and Battery Connected: This sound plays when you first set up your AirTag and when you connect a battery.
  • Setup Complete: This sound plays when your AirTag is set up and ready to use.
  • Find My: This sound plays when you’re locating AirTag in the Find My app.
  • Moving With You: This sound plays autonomously when an unknown AirTag has been moving with you over time.
  • Locate AirTag Moving With You: This sound plays when you’re locating an unknown AirTag moving with you in the Find My app.

Your iPhone stores an internal list of all the audio files that are used by the AirTag. Apple can easily update this list and tweak the AirTag sounds with an over-the-air firmware update. And that’s precisely what happened earlier in 2022 when the company updated the unwanted AirTag tracking sound to make it more prominent.

Ways AirTag sounds are useful

The AirTag uses sound to communicate its various states and modes of operation to the user. Of course, you can easily decipher the status of your AirTag using the Find My app on your iPhone, iPad and Mac. You’ll also see a notification on your iPhone for important AirTag changes. Of course, this only works with your own AirTags. An AirTag that hasn’t been registered with your Apple ID won’t send status notifications and you won’t be able to manage it under the Items tab in the Find My app. Read: How to find and know your Apple ID on iPhone, iPad and Mac

But thanks to auditory feedback, you’ll not only be informed of the presence of an AirTag in your vicinity but also get to know what it’s been up to. One of the sounds emitted, for example, warns you that an unknown AirTag may be moving with you. With warnings like this, you’ll be aware of any nearby AirTags that may potentially be usurping your privacy. So if you hear this warning, use your iPhone or any NFC-enabled phone to see information about the owner and get in touch with them.