By default the iPhone alarm sounds both through the headphones and speakers (understandably), is there a setting somewhere to set the alarm to only go through the headphones?

(The use case is I want to wake up with the alarm but not wake everyone else in the house)

5 Answers 5


No, unfortunately there is no such setting. Your best bet is probably to use a 3rd party app with alarm clock functionality. That way it will only play the sound through the headphones and not the speakers. The main disadvantage is that you would need to remember to keep the app launched before you go to bed each time.


You could mute the voice before inserting the earphones and then put in the earphones and set the volume. This way the alarm sound will only come through the earphones because you have muted your phone, not the earphones.

  • 2
    This actually works great, no 3rd party app needed. Just lower the volume before plugging in headphones, and you only hear the alarm in your headphones, not out loud. This should be the correct answer imho :) Commented Jul 22, 2014 at 20:11
  • 1
    iOS 10 seems to bump the phone volume up as soon as I plug in earbuds. Perhaps this doesn't work anymore. 😥
    – clozach
    Commented Jan 24, 2017 at 7:27

I found a solution, albeit it might not be ideal for some.

Instead of using the alarm app, use the reminders app, as the reminder app plays only through your headphones while also letting you set a time for the alarm.

The only 2 downsides that I can see could cause issues are that it plays the set sound bite once, instead of looping it like the alarm app (solution is probably put multiple reminders back to back), as well as that the reminder app splits time into 5 min intervals, preventing you from say, setting an alarm at 6:48 for example.

  • Or use the timer app if you want control which ringtones plays as the alarm. Sadly timers don’t let you set songs as alarm sound which is what I wanted. Also, with timer app you have to do basic math each night and set the timer before going to bed. Commented Aug 2, 2020 at 12:28

I recorded a silent alarm and then used that as the sound and set the alarm to vibrate. This way, the vibration wakes me up but not everyone else. The vibration works really well if you put the phone next to or under your pillow. The phone can get warm if it is under the pillow though so I usually put it just to the side.


Use the built in clock app for your alarm and it will bypass the cable and come out the speaker. All third party alarm apps fail at this...

  • 6
    The question is the other way around - looking for sound only via the cable and no sound from the speaker.
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Mar 1, 2014 at 15:42

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