Relax, focus, sleep, and move to the background noise of soothing soundscapes with this unique iOS app
Subscription: $5 / £5 per month
Size: 167.6 MB
Seller: Endel Sound GmbH
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Update! The last time we looked at Endel, the app’s soundscapes, design, and features impressed us – and we gave it a decent score. But what’s Endel like now, over a year later, at a time when mindfulness apps are more common than ever? Is it still a cut above the rest, or has Endel fallen behind?
So what’s new? A big change to Endel is the price – a monthly subscription will now set you back $5 / £5, rather than $3 / £3. However, it’s worth noting that this has been offset with a number of new features. First and foremost, this includes support for Apple Shortcuts and Siri commands, a number of brand new, immersive soundscapes, and even sound-sync with your heart-rate (for owners of the Apple Watch), which aims to provide an immersive experience for users of the app. But even if you don’t have an Apple Watch, Endel’s soundscapes have improved – a revamped engine means you’ll likely never hear the same sound twice, and the app’s on-screen visualizations are now more fine-tuned and better complement the accompanying soundscapes. All of this means using Endel should more mindful, relaxing, and meditative than ever.
Revised rating: Endel has definitely received some impressive features, and it’s great to see the app continue to receive developer attention. But this has come at a price – an additional $2 / £2 per month for users. On the basis of this, we’re preserving Endel’s previous rating. It remains a great option for folks looking for a comprehensive mindfulness app on iOS or iPadOS, but like all good things, Endel comes at a price. ★★★★½
Our original review, written in January 2019, is presented in its entirety below.
Endel is an app that aims to give your mind exactly what it needs: soundscapes, fine-tuned and carefully calibrated to meet your exact needs across four areas — relax, focus, sleep, and move. This is an app that really aims to change your life. Let’s find out if it can.
The idea behind Endel is that your mind responds to ambient noise in different ways — sound can invigorate you, relax you, help you focus, or put you to sleep. We’ve all been there: uplifting music at the gym, a soothing piece to help us sleep or relax — this isn’t an outlandish idea by any means, but one that Endel builds upon to create something quite special.
When you launch Endel, it introduces you to its four core areas: Relax, Focus, Sleep, and On-the-Go. Each of these modes offers a “soundscape” — ambient noises which can’t quite be called music, but which nevertheless sound really nice. These soundscapes are designed to be called upon by users as and when they’re needed. About to start a project for school or work? Launch the Focus soundscape and get in the zone. Feeling stressed? Hit Relax. Heading on a run? Load up On-the-Go. Endel aims to offer your mind exactly what it needs to help you realize your potential.
You’ll find that the sounds on offer in Endel really do help towards relaxing or focusing your mind. Of course, while the app is best enjoyed with a decent pair of headphones, it’s easy to either AirPlay Endel’s soundscapes to a speaker or just listen to them on your iOS device.
On-the-Go, the Endel mode designed to help you in times of physical activity, deserves a special mention: it uses the motion co-processor in your iOS device to compose its soundscape based on your movements, matching its rhythm with the beat of your footsteps. But speaking more generally, Endel is, on the whole, beautifully designed and its four modes are genuinely a joy to use.
The app doesn’t provide users with the opportunity to customize any of its modes, which is a shame, though for an extra slice of zen users can tap the UI of individual soundscapes to manipulate the ambient music. In Focus, for instance, tapping the screen results in different notes chiming — the experience is relaxing, calming, and oddly satisfying.
As a final bonus feature, the app even offers weekly reports on how you’re using its soundscapes. All of this makes Endel well-worth its $3 (£2.79) monthly subscription — a yearly subscription is available for $25 (£23.49) and a lifetime one for $100 (£85), though in all cases, it’s possible to try the app free of charge before making a purchase.
This pricing model also means Endel is cheaper than Brain.fm, which charges $7 per month for access to a similar product. However, it is worth noting that other ambient noise generators offer similar sounds free of charge, albeit without Endel’s beautiful UI and bonus features.
So, to start fine-tuning your mind with beautiful ambient noise soundscapes, take Endel for a spin. You won’t be disappointed.
- Beautiful soundscapes
- Perfect design
- Fantastic bonus features, like insights, AirPlay, and the timer
- More modes could make this app even better — a mode for harder exercise would be a nice addition
- No customization options for individual modes.