Does the iPhone Alarm Go Off With Headphones?

By Tom Ianello

The iPhone alarm app is much more useful than a typical alarm clock.
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Apple's iPhone comes with an alarm clock app with customization options. You can set multiple alarms with different ringtones, adjust the length of the snooze duration and set up daily recurring alarms. As long as it is turned on, the iPhone alarm sounds no matter what, even if there are headphones plugged in to the audio jack.

Setting an Alarm

Tap on the Clock app icon on your iPhone's home screen and tap "Alarm." Tap on the plus sign button to go to the Add Alarm screen. Enter the time that you wish the alarm to go off. If you want, you can also set whether or not the alarm repeats, the ringtone it uses, the duration of its snooze or the alarm label. Tap on the "Save" button when you have the alarm set up the way you want. You can set up multiple alarms in the Clock app, as well as edit any of them after the fact by pressing the "Edit" button.

Testing the Alarm

If you are worried that the alarm might not be audible with headphones plugged in or just want to test it, set an alarm for one minute into the future. If it goes off one minute later and you can hear it, adjust the alarm time to whatever time in the future you wish it to go off and keep the rest of the settings the same. If you don't hear the alarm, there may be an issue with your iPhone. The alarm is designed to be audible even if headphones are plugged in or the phone set on silent mode. If you are unable to hear it, contact Apple Support.

Silencing the Alarm

When the alarm goes off, the iPhone's screen turns on and displays an alarm notification, as well as buttons for snoozing or disabling the alarm. If you are unable to view your screen and want to quickly silence your alarm, you can press either of the volume buttons on the side. This is useful if your phone is in your pocket or you need to quickly silence an alarm without using the screen. If you own a pair of headphones with a built-in microphone and call button, you may be able to silence the alarm by pressing the call button built into the headphone cord.

Alarm Courtesy

Before you unintentionally disrupt those around you with a forgotten alarm, check the status bar on your iPhone's screen for an alarm clock icon. This indicates you have an alarm set to go off sometime in the future. IPhone alarms are audible no matter what, so be sure to disable any alarms before going to class, eating at a restaurant or seeing a movie.


Information in this article applies to Apple's iOS version 6.0 operating system as of January 2013. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.