Apple's Version of ASMR Is Like Nails on a Chalkboard to Me

Screenshot: Apple

Once again, Apple has made shivers run down my spine—but not in a good way. Today, as part of its “Shot on iPhone” campaign, Apple released a series of four ASMR videos to its YouTube channel. There’s some lady whispering about weird shit, a dude carving wood, crunching noises on a hike, and what’s supposed to be soothing rainfall.

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ASMR is big on YouTube, with categories ranging from nerdy cosplay to glamorous baking channels. Some fans say the amplified sounds give them relaxing, tingling sensations—a sort of eargasm if you will. For me, ASMR feels like I’m a ghost and someone’s poured ice-cold gasoline over my grave. I listened to each of Apple’s four videos, and now I feel like I’ve died and some Baba Yaga has lightly run her crusty nails over my spine over and over again. (The most egregious is the whispering video, followed by the crunchy trail noises video.)

For those of you who want to subject yourself to this nightmarish racket, here you go:

I guess you could say my reaction means Apple’s done a pretty good job with these videos, even if the intense reaction it invokes in me is cringing instead of pleasure. The video descriptions say they were shot by Anson Fogel, who’s done other Apple ads. Each was shot on iPhone XS and XS Max, but it’s a bit misleading to think you’ll get the same results with just an iPhone. The video descriptions note that additional software and professional hardware were used.

The videos were also described as “Season 1", meaning it’s possible we’ll see more from Apple in the future. But for the love of god, Apple, please, please, please don’t do a cooking one. If my editors ask me to listen to wet ingredients squelching as they mix with dry, I may just have to chuck my computer out a window.

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About the author

Victoria Song

Consumer tech reporter by day, danger noodle by night. No, I'm not the K-Pop star.