With the Galaxy S6, Samsung has finally eliminated the widely-hated Whistle notification

Daniel Bader

March 13, 2015 2:37pm

The Galaxy S6 is improved in many ways over its predecessor, but when the company promised a ground-up rebuild of its flagship smartphone, we weren’t sure whether that meant a reevaluation of divisive system sounds that debuted on the Galaxy S III.

In 2012, when Samsung debuted a new version of TouchWIZ dubbed Nature UX, the company introduced “pleasant sounds from nature,” including a reproduction of a water ripple for touch screen events and a whistle for incoming notifications.

Over the past three years, through two subsequent phone iterations and countless visual improvements, the ripple and whistle sounds have remained, a vestige of a more skeumorphic age.

gs6sounds

To say that these sounds have, the whistle especially, overstayed their welcome would be an understatement. Most people I speak to about the whistle, which could be heard on streetcars, Starbucks and street corners, hate it. Even people who own the devices despise the sound, for ages causing Pavlovian responses of outrage — though buried in the settings menu they were not inclined to change it.

Thankfully, Samsung has meted a swift death to the aural palate of previous Galaxy devices, excising the ripple and whistle from the Galaxy S6 completely. In their place are more generic, more artificial-sounding bleeps and bloops (though there was nothing natural about Nature UX) that blend better into the maturity of Samsung’s new design ethic.

Unfortunately, there are millions of Galaxy S3, S4 and S5 models still pumping out that poison. It will take years before they are eliminated from the market. In the meantime, though, gently encourage friends and family members who haven’t yet switched over to head into Settings/Sounds and quiet the dissonance.

For our sake, and yours.

  • IAM✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

    Samsung never really had any good ringtones/notification tones… for default selection anyway…

  • EveryonesOpinion

    I enjoy the whistle, thank you very much.

    • dannyR

      Because you know what it is, and can pull out your phone and talk, or read the msg, or whatever. Then it’s no longer a mystery.

    • FNALSOLUTION

      I don’t use it but never had a problem hearing it on my wife’s phone

    • Apatt

      I quite like it too, I think it’s quite pleasant.

  • Trek S

    LOL

    I like this article

    • Anthony Roberts

      LOL same here 🙂

  • Anthony Roberts

    LOL I had no idea it was hated so much….but good for Samsung it means they are listening to their customers.

    • Ulysses Grant

      Hi Anthony. I think “hate” is not the right word to describe it. People just want to say stupid stuff about Samsung just because they love Apple so much. I wonder what these tough guys behind the keyboard would actually do in public if they see someone holding a Samsung Galaxy device.

    • Anthony Roberts

      LOL well even though I am a BB10 user, I am extremely happy that the S6 and S6 edge is here. Such a premium looking device makes the iPhone look like garbage and cheaply made lol. If I was to go android I would get this phone. I love the edge so beautiful. Did you watch the Unpacked event when they announced??? Man they dissed the iPhone so bad and holy just made it look horrible LOL.

    • Guest

      Huh? Some people can turn anything into a childish Apple versus Android argument, can’t they?

    • KiwiBri

      Yep. Just surprised they haven’t harped on liberals vs Conservatives etc here.

    • Ulysses Grant

      I don’t think Anthony is making an argument between two products. He is just saying how amazing Samsung made the S6 (if you compared it to S5). Of course, I must admit that it has made Apple a little bit boring but I wouldn’t say its a bad product.

    • fmradio68

      +1

    • KiwiBri

      S6 kills anything put out from Waterloo.. There’s water in that loo…

    • fmradio68

      Me too Anthony. This just fosters more competition. And other Android devices have to step up their game.

    • Seriously? Some people can turn anything into a childish Apple versus Android argument, can’t they?

    • “This article is exclusively about Samsung but I hate Apple and EVERYONE MUST KNOW IT!”

    • himmaway

      please forgive anthony he has a low IQ.

    • KiwiBri

      I hate the Apple whistle

    • dannyR

      I don’t have an iPhone. I have a Galaxy Discover. It’s quite satisfactory, but the first few weeks of that mysterious whistle was a nightmare. It’s bad enough forgetting to turn off a phone in the middle of a lecture hall.

      But people looking around ilke, “OK, what’s with the douchebaggery whistling game, guy?”

  • Max Fireman

    Thank god. Considering the amount of people who didn’t know how to change the whistle notification ringtones and water touch sounds… It was so easy and people so lazy.

    • Ulysses Grant

      I think “lazy” is just an excuse for stupid people who don’t know what they are doing. LOL

    • dannyR

      it wasn’t about ‘how’ to change it. I had to start with what it was doing and why.

      Neither Apple nor Android nor Samsung are/were interested in immediate contextual help, like:

      “You’ve had this phone for a few days and that’s the first time you’ve gotten this sound (flash, blink). That was a notification. You have a text message (or whatever). Click here to read it. Click here2 to modify notification settings.”

    • Dissidence

      Do you REALLY think that we need to dumb things down to that level? If you’re incapable of noticing that you have an app called “Settings” and that might just be the place to change settings that bother you, then you should probably just go and get yourself a Tracfone.

  • Jim D

    But it’s still TouchWiz… Leave us with the Google overlay with the features of the TouchWiz camera and maybe I’ll look at another Samsung

    • pr0grammer1

      There’s a theme engine this time around, though. If it’s any good (and it looks like it probably is), it’ll be able to make TW look and feel a lot closer to stock. Combine that with their optimizations that make it as fast as stock, and TW actually looks pretty darn good this time around. I’ll reserve final judgement until I can play with it in person, but it really looks like Samsung’s dealt with all the big issues.

  • Z A

    In a couple of years, everyone will have the new default sound and the same thing will repeat?

    • Tmack

      Lol yes just like Apple did it with the iPhone a couple yrs ago and BlackBerry did with BB10. My phone is almost always on vibrate only since all the tones become annoying over time (although the ghost vibrates I sometimes get have me reaching for my phone occasionally for nothing more then to check the time lol) so maybe I’m not sure which is the lesser evil? Lol

    • Waqqas Khokhar

      BB did it twice. v6 and then BB10.

    • Tmack

      Oooo right lol back in the “good ol’ days” haha when there was like 6 smartphones to choose from and 3 were BlackBerry lol

  • Elias Chiddicks

    I like how long and detailed this article is, given the subject.

    I have an S5 and am proud to say that I have never once allowed that horrific drivel to belch forth from my speakers.

  • Waqqas Khokhar

    And was also heard by me in the Labor Assessment Unit. All. Night. Long!

    (I wouldn’t have been surprised if some babies sped up the delivery process to just get out and run away from those constant whistles–just kidding)

  • himmaway

    whistle while you twerk

  • McNucklefuts

    I had the S3 from launch day, and though I hated the device and traded it for a N4, I actually missed that whistle sound!

  • Jayce

    Jayce despises the previous notification sounds. Whose idea was it to make a phone sound like a dripping faucet?

  • If only the people who didn’t need the ringer would set their phones to vibrate…

  • Rawrrr

    That notification was quite annoying.. But I think I’ll miss it now that it’s gone. Zedge will have it.. LOL

  • Stuntman06

    This is the first time I’ve ever heard about people not liking this particular sound. I use my own custom notification sounds, so no one ever heard that whistle from my phone.

    • dannyR

      I went from a dumb-phone straight into the Samsung with no understanding about ‘notifications’. I took me weeks to figure out what it was doing, and why it was doing it. Fortunately making it sttfu doing it didn’t take so long. And I didn’t even need a hammer.

  • Jonavin

    Did they get rid of the water dial tones that makes you want to pee?

  • Tminusg

    If they only removed their bloatware…

  • ShaunTheSheep

    They should change it. Don’t blame it for being “buried in the menu”. Everything is in the menu somewhere – is everything buried? If you don’t want to change it, don’t change it – that’s cool, but be aware that you’re that guy who doesn’t change his notification sounds from the stock ones.

  • Stan

    I have no problem with the whistle. Anyone can change the ringtone as they wish.

    • dannyR

      Ringtone is one thing. Of course it’s easy to change. When it’s for notification, and you don’t use notification audio—you’re starting off with this new phone—the whistle seems distinctly athropogenic. Like deliberately making surreptitious farrt-noises.

  • Once SIII upgraded to 4.2, the default notification sounds already changed from Whistle to Tickety-Tock.
    And it’s really easy to change, and you can add you own sounds with ease, not like iPhone that you need to sync it with iTune.

  • RagnarokNCC

    I don’t mind the whistle. You can troll an entire room by setting it* as your ringtone. It’s funny, until it backfires.

    *or the iPhone marimba

    • dannyR

      So you learned it backfires, and you don’t mind that.

      I learned the notification was not funny in a bus, or the middle of a lecture, and people looked around wondering who was razzing who, like, “what’s your problem, guy?”

      It took weeks of this embarassment because I wasn’t using notifications, so I had no idea what the thing was trying to prove, let alone how to shut it off.

  • The-Sailor-Man

    LOL
    No one Galaxy user hated the whistle. But the iboys like the author of this article hated it , because they hear Galaxy is everywhere, unique Galaxy ringtone. This drive them mad.
    The fact that this long article is here , just prove my point.
    Next year they will hate even more the ringtone of GS6 for sure.

    • FNALSOLUTION

      Yup

  • Matt

    What about the hugely hated no removable battery or no expandable SD cards on S6 and S6 edge ??? These two issues are why I did not wait to get the S6 and decided to just get a Galaxy Note 4 instead. I for one Don’t feel like taking apart my phone just to replace a broken battery and risk voiding my warranty. Or if the device breaks lose all my on board data cause no expandable SD card. It’s easier to replace my data if device breaks and just pop out SD card and then pop it into a new device. Then wammmo still got my data information and all my pictures and music.
    I strongly hate phones with no expandable SD cards. And strongly hate phones with no removable batteries.
    These two issues will be a big problem for Samsungs sales of the S6 and S6 edge.

  • blzd

    A step in the right direction for sure. I hope they got rid of the water droplet sound too cause that one is just as – if not even more so – annoying than the whistle.

    • The-Sailor-Man

      LOL
      Don’t you know that you could change it so far? And you could put whatever sound you want?(the whistle is so cute though but drives the iguys crazy seeing Samsung everywhere)
      You guys are pathetic helpless Samsung haters.

    • blzd

      I do. Unfortunately, 90% of Samsung users do not.

      You must be a die hard Samsung fanboy to think I’m attacking Samsung in any way by finding their default notification sound that they didn’t bother changing for years to be annoying.

  • Keith Sanmugathas

    I dunno the whistle was kinda of their trademark

  • This could have all been averted if people would, you know, change their damn ringtones.

    Also looking at you, Nokia owners.

    • Tmack

      Woah woah woah… you want people to know how to actually use their devices lol no no no… they get smartphones because the phone is supposed to be smart so they don’t have to be.

  • Denis Bergeron

    What… that just another reason not to buy the next Samsung : No sd, no removable battery, no removable back, and then no more the loved and so nice whistle notification. I keep my old one. I will initiate a petiton to have it back.

  • Jamie

    Getting a little low on things to report for the Galaxy S6 I see… Haha, don’t worry you can release the full review soon enough.

  • Pingback: Samsung elimina el silbido que indica nuevas notificaciones - TierraAndroid()

  • Lirodon

    Does it still make drip noises on every tap?

  • ianberg

    I turn off notification sounds for texts and emails and use an office phone ring as my ringtone for incoming calls. Others can bleepbloop and whistle all day long and I’ll just silently judge them as my technoinferiors.

  • ianberg

    But there’s no default ringtone or notification sounds worse than Skype’s whooshes, sighs and toilet bowl flushes. And Mivrosoft won’t let users change them.

  • Pingback: Samsung ha hecho un favor al mundo: retirar su infame silbido del S6 - Smart Systems()

  • JuanBastardo

    The whistle was widely hated??? I guess one person’s perception (the author of this article) is reality. I liked it. It was the only one that was loud enough to wake me up. Sad that it’s gone.

  • C.E. Mills

    It was the only one I could hear. Thanks for nothing self righteous ear police.