Is Alexa not listening if you don’t scream out the commands loud? You surely cannot command high pitch at all times. You cannot command out loud if your baby is sleeping by your side or when you don’t want all the family members to listen to your conversations with Alexa and in many other circumstances.
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For this reason, Alexa has launched ‘Whisper Mode.’ Turning it on allows Alexa to hear in a low voice and also reply back in low pitched voice. This makes it convenient to talk to Alexa at night.
It’s super easy to activate it. However, even after activating it, users sometimes find their whisper mode is not working. This article covers the fixes for such an issue. It also covers ways to improve your experience with Alexa’s Whisper Mode.
Further reading: What Is Alexa And What Does Alexa Do?
What is Alexa Whisper Mode?
The Whisper Mode makes it possible for Alexa to understand voice commands even when they are whispered instead of spoken at a normal volume. Alexa, in turn, answers in the same whispering tone. Both Amazon Echo Dot smart speakers and Echo Show smart displays have this feature.
How does Alexa Whisper Mode work?
Once you’ve turned on the feature, use your quiet indoor voice to ask Alexa a question. Alexa will answer you the same way. We think this will help parents who want to use Alexa without waking up their baby or anyone who doesn’t want to wake up their partner.
How to activate Whisper Mode in Alexa?
Whisper Mode on your Alexa device can be activated through the Alexa app. If you want your Alexa device to whisper while answering, there are two ways to activate it – manually or via voice command.
Enabling Whisper Mode manually:
- Open the Alexa app on the mobile device (updated to the latest version)
- Tap on More in the bottom right corner
- Tap on Settings
- Scroll down to find Voice Responses
- Toggle on beside the Whisper Mode
Whisper Mode is now on.
Enabling Whisper Mode via voice command:
Just command, “Alexa, turn on Whisper Mode”. The Alexa will give confirmation “Whisper Mode is enabled” to tell it’s activated.
Ways to improve Alexa Whisper Mode not working
If even after activating Whisper Mode, Alexa replies in a normal tone, your Whisper Mode is probably not working.
Here are some of the basic troubleshooting tricks that can get it working out of luck:
Keep the system firmware updated
Updating your firmware to the latest update can fix the issue. If Whisper Mode isn’t working, go to the Alexa app and select the Echo device on which Whisper Mode isn’t working. Note the device software version and compare it with the latest version.
If it’s outdated, you can follow the steps to update depending on your Echo device. To check for updates, you can also command “Alexa, check for software updates” to update it to the latest version.
To update an Echo device, firstly, press the mute button. Once the LED ring lights up, wait for around a few minutes, maybe half an hour, until Alexa announces the update is in progress. Once started, the device will automatically restart after the update is completed.
Reset wi-fi connection
Is the Whisper Mode not working on any of your Alexa devices? If Alexa isn’t replying back at all after turning on the whisper Mode, the problem could be in the wi-fi connection.
There is no harm in checking your wi-fi connection once. You can restart your router or choose to forget the network and connect it again before connecting your Alexa device to wi-fi.
To restart the router, disconnect the adapter from the power source, and wait for a few minutes before connecting it again. This can fix the issue if your Alexa device does not respond in a normal voice.
Talk to her in a low voice
Sometimes even after the Whisper Mode is activated, if you talk to Alexa in a normal voice, she responds back in a normal voice. At times, the whispering voice of a user can be so strong Alexa considers it a normal voice.
Try to talk in a very low voice for Alexa to answer back in whispers. You can double-check by asking another of your family member to talk in whispers to Alexa. If Alexa responds back in whispers to such a person’s voice, maybe you need to lower your pitch more.
Avoid loud noises in the background
We found some users discussing loud noises in the background. One of the users specifies that if Alexa hears loud noises in the background, it considers it a sign to answer in a loud voice.
Thus, even if you are commanding in whispers, Alexa will still yell back at you if there are loud background noises. One solution for this can be to lower your device volume. This may be helpful for Alexa to sound low even when it’s talking loudly.
Deactivate the Do not disturb feature
One of the users on the forums also points out that when the Do Not Disturb feature is activated, Alexa tends to disregard the Whisper Mode, while the opposite should be true.
DND feature is sometimes scheduled to work for a specific time. Using Whisper mode at those times may not sometimes work. So, if your device is not ready to consider Whisper Mode and you are do not disturb mode is on, turn the DND Mode to make the Whisper Mode work. This should solve your issue.
Know Whisper Mode works
Sometimes going into the technicalities can help you find the root of the problem. For this, it’s important to know how WhisperMode works.
For Alexa’s device to catch whispers, Alexa uses long short-term memory neural networks. As whispered speech does not actually use your original voice but vocal cords, Amazon uses silence to recognize whispers. Alexa is made to respond to commands at all volumes.
For this reason, you will find that some speakers are better at recognizing whispers than others. For instance, the Amazon Echo dot is better at recognizing whispers than Echo Look. The response time also depends on the microphone’s sensitivity. It is considered that different Echo devices respond to voice differently.
Maybe training your Echo device to recognize your voice better can help Alexa to respond back in whispers.
How to turn off the Do Not Disturb feature in Alexa?
To turn off Do Not Disturb on Alexa, just say, “Alexa, turn off Do Not Disturb,” or follow the steps on the Alexa app:
- Open the Alexa app on the mobile device
- Go to Devices > Echo & Alexa
- Select the device you want the Do Not Disturb feature turned off on
- Tap on Do Not Disturb
- Toggle off turn the Do Not Disturb feature off
Ensure that the Do Not Disturb feature is off at all times.
For surety, turn on Whisper Mode once again after turning it off. Now, try to interact with the Alexa device in whispers. Alexa device should now talk back in whispers too.
Turnaround to fix Whisper Mode not working
These turnarounds work for a few but may not work for many. However, there is no harm in trying them out.
Toggle off Whisper Mode
Turning off and on the Whisper Mode can solve the issue if you are luckier. Just go to Alexa settings> Voice Responses and turn off Whisper Mode. Wait for a few seconds and turn it back on.
Reset Alexa device
If the problem is with the Alexa device and not the Alexa app, resetting the Alexa device should fix the issue. However, resetting your Alexa device will reset it to factory settings. You may lose all your settings and will be restored to default settings.
To reset your Alexa device,
- Open the Alexa app on your mobile device.
- Go to Devices> Echo and Alexa.
- Select the Alexa device you want to factory reset.
- Scroll down to find the Factory Reset option.
- Tap on Factory Reset to reset the particular device.
If the light ring turns off and on, it means the device is resetting. After the factory reset, you may not need to set up your Alexa device again. Just ask Alexa something to ensure it is working. If not, you may have to set it up with the Alexa app again.
This means you need to go to Devices under the Alexa app and try to discover new devices. When the Alexa app finds your device, just add it again under your Devices section.
Now, go to the Alexa app and turn off/on Whisper Mode again before trying it on the Alexa device. This should certainly fix the issue.
Ask Amazon customer care
Amazon hasn’t solved this query of Whisper Mode not working yet. It hasn’t released any official troubleshooting solution to the Whisper Mode not working in certain Alexa devices.
The best way to solve your query would be to just call Amazon customer support, open a support ticket and resolve your issue.
When talking to the customer care executive, tell them about your device name and that it’s updated to the latest firmware too. Follow the instructions given by them and you may able to fix the Whisper Mode not working in no time.
Does Alexa Whisper Mode work well?
Alexa can tell the difference between normal voices and whispers, but not between whispers and normal voices. So Alexa can understand what you’re saying when you whisper, you have to be close to the speaker. This is especially true if there are other sounds in the background.
If Alexa doesn’t quite catch what you whisper to her, she’ll let you know by whispering back, “Sorry, I didn’t get that.”
Alexa’s whisper doesn’t sound scary or robotic because her voice sounds like a person’s.
If your Alexa’s Whisper Mode is not working, you should make sure you are using the same Alexa device on which you activated the Whisper Mode. Sometimes, users can mess up between different Echo devices due to different Amazon accounts.
Other fixes include removing loud noises near the device, commanding in whispers only, resetting the device and app, and more.