Skip to content

Meditative audio – the 10 most relaxing interactive music apps for iPhone and iPad

Interactive sound toys to chill you out, serenade your ears, and give your thumbs and eyes something to do

You might like to relax to meditative music, or by fiddling with your iPhone or iPad. Why not combine the two?

This round-up presents our favorite interactive audio experiences from the App Store. These are all about creating personalized soundscapes, in a natural, intuitive, and engaging manner.

If you’ve never made music on your device before, don’t worry – these apps are easy to use. And once you’ve dipped your toe in, you’ll want to stay in their blissful waters for hours.

Bloom: 10 Worlds ($7.99/£7.99)

Shortly after the dawn of the App Store, ambient music pioneer Brian Eno and software designer and musician Peter Chilvers created Bloom, a beautiful mix of instrument, composition, and art. As you tapped the screen, sounds played, and circles expanded from your fingertips – like ripples in a pond. These sounds looped, evolved, and eventually faded.

Bloom: 10 Worlds

10 Worlds serves as the ‘album’ to Bloom’s ‘single’, with a wider range of mesmerizing sound toys to explore. Each has its own feel, visuals, and style; some echo Bloom, others slash color across the screen like an energized abstract painter, or bleed watercolor-like curtains into background haze. It’s immediate, intuitive, and often achingly beautiful.

Download Bloom: 10 Worlds

Scape ($11.99/£11.99)

This iPad-only Eno/Chilvers collaboration makes use of the tablet’s extra screen area. The premise is to combine musical layers and objects. These can be endlessly rearranged and react to each other, to fashion new sonic spaces. There’s a very distinct, tactile, otherworldly feel as you drag pyramids and ‘E’ shapes to a canvas, burying yourself in Scape’s inventive musical world.


Favorite scapes can be saved to a gallery, and transformed into a playlist of sorts. And should you find scape creation too much like hard work, the app includes 15 pre-made examples – giving you a full Eno/Chilvers album alongside a superb sound toy.

Download Scape

Zen Studio (free or $2.99/£2.99)

This finger-painting app is aimed at children. It invites you to select a color and tap to fill triangles on a grid-based canvas. Each time you tap, a note plays. This combination of calming coloring and audio feedback is a great way for kids to unwind – and, frankly, adults too.

Zen Studio

Although there are no additional sound sets, there’s plenty of visual variety, whether you want to go free-form or complete existing templates. For free, you can create up to four drawings, but a one-off IAP removes all limits, opens up new templates, and gives you white paint for removing mistakes.

Download Zen Studio

Mini Metro ($3.99/£3.99)

This game about designing a subway map for a growing city is compelling – but intense and stress-inducing in its standard mode. At which point you might question its inclusion in this round-up of meditative apps. However, two modes are designed for relaxation: Endless and Creative.

Mini Metro

In the former, the game doesn’t end when a station becomes overcrowded. Instead, you build for efficiency. And with Creative, you get full control over station placement. And we’ve not forgotten the ‘meditative audio’ bit. An ambient soundtrack plays throughout, augmented by sounds triggered by in-game actions. The combination is intoxicating.

Download Mini Metro / also available on Apple Arcade

TaoMix 2 (free + IAP)

This app enters crossover territory with sleep aids. But since it’s designed to block distractions, that makes it useful for relaxation. The interactive component further cements its claim to a space on your device, by giving you the means to create unique, always-evolving compositions.

Tao Mix 2

Each sound is represented by a brightly colored disc. You determine each one’s size and color, and then nudge a playback ring, which endlessly roams your display, adjusting the mix as it goes. All of which is great – unlike the ludicrous $7.99/£7.49 weekly IAP. So avoid that and stick with the free sounds – or use the app to record your own.

Download TaoMix 2

White Noise+ (free or $11.99/£11.99)

There’s minimal interaction here – but you still gain a degree of control over bespoke meditative soundscapes. Sounds are dragged to a four-by-four grid. Those dropped towards the top play more loudly. Horizontal placement then determines the complexity of the sound loop – those towards the left being simpler.

White Noise+

This isn’t true composition, then – more like freeform mixing. But you can at least save your grids for later playback, along with checking out those bundled with the app. For free, available sounds are limited, and so we recommend the one-off IAP, which also removes the ads.

Download White Noise+

Melodist (free)

This one squeaks into this round-up due to only barely offering interactivity. But its unique method of building meditative visuals and custom audio is really clever. In short, you load a photo. It’s transformed into a blurred background that defines the melodies that play above it, which are depicted as minimalist animations.


Interaction is limited to adjusting playback speed, tone types and effects. Nonetheless, Melodist is compelling and relaxing – and unique for every image. Also, you can export favorites as audio or video – the latter combines a recording of on-screen playback with an inset thumbnail of your original image. It’s ideal for personal reflection or sharing with family and friends.

Download Melodist

The Geography ($7.99/£7.99)

This app’s ambient soundscapes draw on landscapes – specifically those of Svalbard in Norway. Every time the app is launched, it builds a unique composition. And on the screen, real-world terrain data is used to render abstract takes on mountains, providing a scene on which to focus as you relax.

The Geography

Interaction is simple but effective. You can tap towards the top of the display to cycle the vista and towards the bottom to change its color. Tap to the right and five dots appear – each of which triggers a note, so you can add your personal touch to the composition.

Download The Geography

musicLabe (free + IAP)

Playing an instrument can be a great way to unwind, but people often fret about getting things wrong. This app argues “there are no wrong notes” – mostly because its colorful keyboards limit the notes you can access, restricting them to scales that sound great no matter what key is pressed.


Where musicLabe heads into more meditative territory is via the Loop tool, which lets you gradually build a multi-layered chill-out four-bar loop that you can play endlessly or jam over the top of. IAP adds editing and sharing, although even for free you can record and save a mix of your current creation.

Download musicLabe

Fugue Machine ($19.99/£19.99)

This final entry is a sequencer, but don’t let that put you off. Fugue Machine is accessible, letting you compose calming, looping music with a few taps. And it’s unique too, since the app provides up to four playheads that can bounce back and forth across your loop.

Fugue Machine

The resulting music recalls composition techniques used in Baroque music and Serialism, and speed, direction, and pitch control provide plenty of scope. Wisely, the app includes dozens of preset patterns to experiment with. Still unconvinced? Creator Alexandernaut’s wonderful free album, Songs for Fugue Machine is based on audio exported from his app.

Download Fugue Machine