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3 Easy Steps To Get Alexa To Whisper In 2022

How To Get Alexa To Whisper

Let’s say you’re a night owl…

Or tonight, you’ve decided to stay up late.

And you’ll still be using your Alexa device.

However, you don’t wanna wake anyone up.

Well, there’s an answer to this:  

whisper mode. 

The first step of getting Alexa to whisper? Keep your voice down and…

Read quietly to find out: 

  • 3 easy steps to get Alexa to whisper. 
  • How to use whisper mode the right way. 
  • Alternative ways to get Alexa to whisper. 
  • How long whisper mode works and how to turn it off.
  • 3 reasons why whisper mode isn’t working and how to fix it.
  • And so much more…

Can Alexa whisper?

Alexa can whisper. It’s an update that Amazon launched back in 2018 along with Alexa Guard. To get Alexa to whisper, you have to turn on Whisper mode through your Alexa app. You can also activate Whisper mode through voice command. Lastly, make sure your Alexa app is updated.


How to get Alexa to whisper? 3 steps


#1: Update Alexa app

Alexa’s Whisper mode feature was released back in 2018. So, if you had the Alexa app before that, make sure to update your Alexa app first. 

Don’t worry. Updating your Alexa app takes less than a minute. Here’s how to do it:

Step 1: Open your App Store or Google Play Store.

Step 2: Search for the Alexa app in the search bar.

Step 3: Download the update and wait for the installation to finish.

#2: Tap Voice Responses 

Once you’ve updated your Alexa app, let’s get down to business. 

But shhhh. Remember. Light whispers only. 

Here’s what you should do:

Step 1: Open your Alexa app.

Step 2: Tap “More”. (three horizontal lines icon located at the bottom-right of your screen).

Step 3: Tap “Settings.”

Step 4: Under Alexa preferences, tap “Voice Responses”.

Step 5: You should see a list of options to choose from. 

#3: Toggle on Whisper Mode

Toggle On Whisper Mode

In the Voice Responses menu, you should see the following options:

  • Brief mode.
  • Whisper mode.
  • Adaptive volume.
  • Celebrity Personalities.

Besides Whisper mode, you should see a toggle switch. Tap the switch to turn on Whisper mode. 

Now, let’s quickly run through the basics of Whisper mode. You might accidentally switch Alexa back to Normal mode if you’re not careful. 

For how long does “whisper mode” work?

Whisper mode works as long as the toggle switch is turned on. When you activate Whisper mode, treat this as your default communication setting. 

That means Alexa will continue to whisper unless you turn off Whisper mode. 


How does whisper mode work? 


Whisper mode works a little differently from normal speech. When you speak normally, there are vocal cord vibrations to produce sound. 

But with whispering, there’s no vocal vibration. In addition, whispering has less energy in lower frequency bands than normal speech. 

So, how does Alexa interpret a whisper then? Amazon fine-tuned the relationships between the following: 

  • Silence levels.
  • Sound direction.
  • Vocal sound frequencies.
  • Speech pattern recognition.

As a result, Alexa is able to differentiate between normal speech and a whispered voice. 

How to use whisper mode on Alexa?

For starters, you have to whisper when talking to Alexa. If you talk in your normal voice, Alexa will also respond with a normal voice. 

There’s also one thing worth mentioning the first time you use Whisper mode. The first time you whisper to Alexa, Alexa will say: 

“I think you just whispered to me.” 

After, Alexa will explain what Whisper mode is and then lower her voice. 

Finally, take note of these pointers when using Whisper mode: 

#1: Playing music in Whisper mode

If you use Whisper mode to play music, Alexa will whisper back. However, the music will play at its normal volume. 

#2: Saying commands in Whisper mode

You can still use the same commands in Whisper mode. 

Asking about the weather, time, and traffic or reading a recipe all work. But Alexa will respond back in a whisper voice. 

#3: Interference and background noise 

In Whisper mode, your Alexa device is more sensitive to background noise. 

If there’s a lot of background noise, Alexa won’t be able to hear your whisper voice. You have to move closer to your Alexa device for Alexa to hear you whisper.

#4: Not all Echo devices work as well with Whisper mode

Some Alexa devices can interpret whispered commands better than others. 

If you own multiple Alexa devices, test Whisper mode on all devices. This should help you find which Alexa device works best with Whisper mode.


Is there another way to turn on whisper mode? 


There is another way to turn on Whisper mode. You can do so with a voice command. 

In your normal voice, say to Alexa:

“Alexa, turn on Whisper mode.”

Alexa will confirm your command and respond, saying:

“Whispered response is on.”

How to turn off whisper mode?

To turn off whisper mode, you can simply say: 

“Alexa, turn off Whisper mode.”

But if that doesn’t work, you can manually turn Whisper mode off on your Alexa app:

Step 1: Open your Alexa app.

Step 2: Tap “More”. (three horizontal lines icon located at the bottom-right of your screen).

Step 3: Tap “Settings.”

Step 4: Under Alexa preferences, tap “Voice Responses”.

Step 5: Tap Whisper mode to turn it off. 

Should I activate brief mode? 

In the Voice Responses menu of your Alexa app, you might’ve seen Brief mode on top of Whisper mode. 

What is Brief mode? And should you activate it? 

Well…

Brief mode can be handy. 

Why? Brief mode shortens Alexa’s responses to certain commands. 

Sometimes, Alexa will also respond with a tone instead of a voice. 

For example. Let’s say you tell Alexa to turn off your smart bedroom light. If Brief mode is turned on, Alexa won’t respond with a voice. 

Instead, Alexa will respond with a “ding-dong” tone to confirm your request. 

If you want to activate Brief mode, all it takes is a couple of steps:

Step 1: Open your Alexa app.

Step 2: Tap “More”. (three horizontal lines icon located at the bottom-right of your screen).

Step 3: Tap “Settings.”

Step 4: Under Alexa preferences, tap “Voice Responses”.

Step 5: Tap the switch beside Brief mode to turn it on. 


Alexa whisper mode not working on Echo device: 3 causes and fixes


#1: Your Echo device’s firmware isn’t updated

If you’ve had your Echo device for a while, then it’s likely that it’s due for a firmware update. 

App updates are different from your device’s firmware update. Without updated firmware, some features don’t run or become glitchy. 

Take iOS phones, for example. When you don’t update your iOS to the latest version, you start noticing problems on your phone, right?

Echo devices are the same. In fact, Amazon has a complete list of firmware updates for each Echo device.

How to fix it:

To update your Echo device’s firmware update, follow these steps:

Step 1: Mute the microphone on your Echo device.

Step 2: Make sure the light ring turns red. This means your Echo device is muted.

Step 3: Wait for a few minutes. 

Step 4: Alexa will mention if there’s a new update available.

Step 5: If there is, Alexa will proceed with the update.

Step 6: After the update, Alexa will automatically restart.

Step 7: Check your current device’s version.

To check your Echo device’s current version…

Step 1: Open your Alexa app. 

Step 2: Tap “More.” (three horizontal lines icon located at the bottom-right of your screen).

Step 3: Tap “Settings.”

Step 4: Tap “Device Settings”.

Step 5: Choose your Echo device.

Step 6: Scroll all the way down. 

Step 7: Tap “About”.

#2: Microphone issue

This isn’t the first time I’ve used an Echo device. I currently have an Echo Dot 3rd gen and Echo Dot 4th gen. 

Believe me, the Echo Dot 3rd gen’s microphone can be glitchy at times. Thankfully, all I need to do is to repeat what I said, and Alexa will respond normally. 

When I talk about microphone issues, I’m referring to the sensitivity of the microphone. Some are sensitive enough to pick up commands accurately. 

And some aren’t as sensitive. That means it partially picks up what you said. 

As a result, you have to repeat your command. I review the voice history in my Alexa app to make sure Alexa heard the right command. 

Now, with whisper mode, you have to whisper to Alexa for Alexa to respond in a whisper voice. 

However…

This doesn’t happen perfectly 100% of the time. But I’ve found a small little hack to get through this glitch. 

How to fix it

Apparently, you can train Alexa to understand your voice using guided lessons in the app. 

The result? 

Alexa will learn how to differentiate your voice from other background sounds/voices. 

How is this possible? 

Through Alexa’s voice profile feature. You can access the voice profile feature in the “Recognized Voices” section of your Alexa app. 

This way, Alexa should be able to hear you a lot clearer. Especially in whisper mode. Here’s a video on how to set up your voice profile:

#3: Background noise

Whisper mode has one main drawback: 

Your Alexa device becomes more sensitive to background noise. 

In other words, Alexa won’t hear your whisper voice if there’s a lot of chatter in the background.

How to fix it

Move closer to your Alexa device and whisper your command to Alexa. However, don’t move too close either.

If you move too close, your whisper might end up sounding like normal speech. Why? 

Think of it this way. 

When someone whispers to you in a quiet room, you can hear it clearly, right? 

But if you whisper close to someone’s ear, the whisper is loud enough to even startle you. Or, it ends up sounding close to a normal voice.

Alexa can differentiate between a whisper and normal speech. However, it’s still a robot. 

The way you perceive a whisper compared to how Alexa perceives it is different. So again…

  1. Update your firmware.
  2. Make sure there’s not a lot of background noise.  
  3. Whisper closer to Alexa. Don’t whisper too close to Alexa’s microphone.