A ring tone is the sound made by a telephone when ringing. The term is most often used to refer to the customisable sounds available on mobile phones. The facility was provided so that people would be able to determine when their phone was ringing when in the company of other mobile phone owners.
Ring tones, along with operator logos, have proven a popular method of personalising phones — an industry has popped up to tailor to the needs of people to customise their phones, and newer phones include features to allow users to create their own tones. Many people enjoy their personalization of the phones, but some find certain ringtones annoying in public and in certain public situations.
An alternative is a vibrating alert, especially:
- for noisy environments
- for places where ring tone noise would be disturbing
- for the hearing impaired