Have You Changed Your Phone’s Default Ring Tone?

Have You Changed Your Phone’s Default Ring Tone?

A recent survey suggests that only one-third of Australians have altered the default ring tone on their phone, leading to repeated instances of multiple people diving for their device in public places. I would hope Lifehacker readers were ahead of the curve on this trend, but am I right?

Phone user picture from Shutterstock

A survey of 11,000 Australians suggests that one in three people have not changed their default ring tone (yes, Nina from Offspring, we judge you). Android users are more likely to do so than iPhone owners. Are you guilty of this minor but annoying crime?

[polldaddy poll=7287395]

As always, we’re happy to hear your reasoning in the comments.


  • I’ve seen people reach for their iPhones when the default ring tone rang on a TV show they were watching. Huge sigh.

  • I believe I am the only person [sad enough] to have my ringtone – I manually cut some music from Civilization 3 into a 30 second snippet. I like having a unique ringtone so I know immediately when it is my phone that is ringing.

    Additionally, I use the “declare war” sound from Civilization IV for SMS. It was a sound I was tuned to react to, and I think it’s catchier that “dit dit dit dah dah dit dit dit”

    • I believe it is properly transcribed as ‘dot-dot-dot dash-dash dot-dot-dot’ (SMS in morse code).

      Who doesn’t love morse code!!!

  • RingPod on Android does the job for me.
    Lets you make a ringtone from any mp3 on your phone, really quickly and easily.

  • I didn’t change it to “avoid confusion” but I eventually did decide to change my ringtone. I tend to have my phone mostly on silent. But, one day I did decide to use some Chrono Trigger ringtones.
    Gato’s Song – Default tone
    Delightful Spekkio – Selected contacts
    Huh!? – Message tone

  • Every phone I’ve owned where you have the capacity to add customised ringtones to it, I’ve done so.
    the main thing that I look for in a phone is the ability to use full MP3s as tones as well as having a loud enough speaker that they aren’t drowned out by background noise or the music becomes distorted if encoded at a higher bitrate.

    On my current HTC smartphone, I change the phone ringtone every few months to what ever song will get my attention the most as well as being enjoyable to listen to but have keep the customised message tone the same as when I added it because it’s unique compared to my contemporaries’ selections.

  • I’ve had the same ring tone for 13 years, Blink-182: Dammit. First thing i do when i get a new phone.

  • I’m not really into “current” music, so my ringtone is a snippet from Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind, and my message tone is GIR from Invader Zim. I also have personalised ringtones for people I speak to often – my partner’s ringtone is the song about Gaston from Beauty & The Beast.

  • My phone is usually silent and I rarely receive phonecalls but when the planets are in alignment I certainly know my phone is ringing as I get a very loud screaming goat. Makes me giggle every time!

  • I did change it, but then changed it back to default because the “Nokia Tune” is nostalgic for me – plus it’s rare enough these days that it’s unlikely to be anybody else’s phone! XD

  • The ‘obvious answer’ klaxon from QI is my message tone. It gets a much more regular workout than my ringtone.

  • Yep changing tone is the first thing I did.

    ring tone is cage the elephants: ain’t no rest for the wicked
    and msg tone is the codec sound from metal gear solid game.

    • Yes you are wrong (as long as you have iOS5+ and an iPhone 4 or later), you have to add the ringtone file and it has to be under 30seconds i believe ( i have some ringtones that are >30 and some that dont show up as message tones so im assuming they are the same ones).

  • I used to have the Buffy the Vampire Slayer as my ringtone on all my previous phones, so about 10 years. Now it is the Mannummanna muppets theme for ringtone and ‘woohoo text message’ from the minions in despicable me. My partner has had ‘thats a lot of nuts’ from Kung Pow as his ringtone for some years now. so far we remain unique in crowds !

  • I customize the default ringtone (the buffy theme, though back in black is another fav, but i use that as my alarm tone now), and when my wife calls its my girl (yeah i know). I haven’t customized any other contacts ring tones.

    I use the inbuilt but not default Bell for messages since its short and not too annoying (yet my wife asks if its my phone or hers even though she uses the awful Anticipate tone) and the default Ding for mail (which she also asks even though she doesn’t have push or timed fetch mail).

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