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Ungathered Thoughts

Fixing the Element notification sound

If you use Element you might have noticed that the default notification sound is ... jarring? janky? It's loud, and it's sharp, and it's honestly kind of agitating to me.

First, a restful tone

I mean, you can use anything you like. Bon Jovi. Go wild. Me, I wanted something restful to hear during the day - these are challenging times.

Like the Tokyo Train Dream Sound set, created by Zeethrogise, originally released circa 2004 as an Adium soundset. I picked CSnd.mp3.

Get a room

Element doesn't let you set a global notification via the UI yet (vector-im/element-web#20286: Add interface for setting a global notififcation sound). We need to assign the sound to a single room, then apply that sound to the global configuration.

Pick any room you're in. I picked a PM I have with a bot I run.

In the room, locate the "Room Info" button (top right corner for me), and then select "Notifications". Upload your sound here.

Room settings > Notifications > Custom sound


  1. Say /devtools in that room
  2. Click "Explore Account Data"
  3. Click the "Account Data" button
  4. Click im.vector.web.settings
  5. Copy the notificationSound block, e.g.
    "notificationSound": {
        "name": "Tokyo Train Dream Ringtones - CSnd.mp3",
        "type": "audio/mpeg",
        "size": 18560,
        "url": "mxc://"
  6. Click "Back"
  7. Click "Room Data"
  8. Click im.vector.web.settings
  9. Click "Edit"
  10. Insert the copied json object into this object somewhere, ensuring that the result is valid JSON. (Each entry should be followed by a comma, except the last one.)
  11. Click "Send"

Sounds should now change globally. To test, you'll need someone to message you (only, in a room which you're not watching).

Enjoy! This small change may vastly improve my Matrix experience.