How To Increase Alexa Microphone Sensitivity on Your Echo [Make Her Hear Better]

In Blog, How Tosby "Tec Timmy"2 Comments

Increase Microphone Sensitivity Echo

Currently, there is no setting in the Alexa app that lets you can increase Alexa microphone sensitivity of your Echo devices. However, in this post, I explain a few things you can try to help Alexa hear and understand you better.

I‘ve got a bunch of Echo devices. Eight is the last count, I believe. Some I bought purely for testing reasons, but they are all hooked up in my little apartment.

They sound great with my multi-room music configuration.

But sometimes, they trip over each other.

Also, it seems that Alexa isn’t hearing me as good as she did before.

Maybe I’m just being a little sensitive. But hey…

I’m a Sensitive Guy

increase alexa microphone sensitivitySo I started wondering—is there a way to increase the microphone sensitivity of my Echo devices to make Alexa listen better.

If you are here, chances are you are wondering this too.

Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news.

Oh, so you want the bad news first? Me too. Always give me the bad news first then make it better.

The bad news is there is no sensitivity adjustment in the Alexa app just yet.

Bummer.

The good news is there a few things you can do to help Alexa hear you ‘mo better.

The first way is a bit obvious but the second two ways not so much.

I’ll explain all three ways in this post.

📚Related: How to Troubleshoot and Fix Alexa Multi-Room Music


3 Ways to Make Alexa Listen Better

While it really is a bummer that you can’t adjust Alexa’s sensitivity, I do know from monitoring the forums that this is a widely requested feature.

I’ll bet Amazon is working on it.

So, in the meantime, what can you do?

Speak louder!

What?? I said, SPEAK LOUDER!

Just kidding, stopping short of yelling at Alexa [like I need to do with my elderly mom] what follows are a few simple things you can try to make Alexa hear you better.


Way 1: Make Sure You Ain’t Blocking Alexa’s Mics

increase alexa sensitivity

Random pic of a microphone

Don’t say ain’t. Your sister will fall in a bucket of paint. Then your father will die. And your mother will cry. So don’t say ain’t.

I digress, sorry……

The first way is to simply ensure that your Alexa devices are free and clear from any obstruction that might be blocking the microphone.

For example, if you have an Echo Dot on a shelf, make sure there is plenty of clearance above the device as the microphones sit up on top. For the Echo Show, the mics are on the front and top, so pull her out a little bit on your kitchen counter and that should make a difference too.

📚You Might Like: 19 Best Amazon Echo Show, Dot & Spot Accessories for 2019


Way 2: Optimize Your Echo Configuration

how to make alexa hear you better

Do you think this woman gets paid to do this?

Ok, this is going to seem a bit nerdy. BUT I know enough about my Echo devices to know that some are more sensitive than others. For example, the 1st and 2nd Gen Echo Dots are actually more sensitive than the 3rd gen. Sensitivity on the 2nd Gen Echo is excellent and better than 3rd gen. On the Echo Show, 2ND gen is better than 1st gen.

Heck, here’s a table of the most popular ones along with sensitivity based on my testing.

Increase Alexa Microphone Sensitivity: Device Voice Sensitivity Table

Echo DeviceSensitivity [Based on my very unscientific testing]
Echo Dot 1st GenGood
Echo Dot 2nd GenStellar
Echo Dot 3rd GenMeh
Echo 1st GenGood
Echo 2nd GenMeh
Echo Show 1Good
Echo Show 2:Meh
Echo Show 5Good
Echo Spot:Meh

I did some testing to confirm the above. The idea is to optimize your Echo configuration by placing the devices you use most in your nearest proximity. I had a 2nd Gen Echo Dot in my kitchen that would trump my Echo Show in the living room. So I swapped it with the Echo Dot 3rd Gen that was in my bedroom, and now my Echo Show takes the lead, which is what I wanted.


Way 3: Help Alexa Understand Your Unique, Beautiful Voice

While you can’t adjust the sensitivity directly [yet], you can teach Alexa how to understand “you” better and recognize your voice using the Alexa app.

Here’s how you do it:

Important: Mute your other Echo devices first and make sure you are within a few feet of the Echo device that you want to recognize your voice.

Step1From your smartphone or tablet, open the Alexa app. 

 

Step2Click on the little “hamburger” button in the top-left corner of the Alexa app.

adjust alexa voice sensitivity

It doesn’t really look like a hamburger 🍔, but that’s what it’s called. Dang it, now I’m hungry.

Step3Tap the Settings tab alllll the way at the bottom left.

how to increase alexa sensitivity

Step4Tap Alexa Account.

Step5Tap Recognized Voices.

make alexa listen better

Step6Tap Your Voice.

how to increase alexa sensitivity

Step7Tap Begin.

how to increase alexa sensitivity

This fires up a “tutorial” that will step you through the process of talking with Alexa so she can hear you better. She will ask you a series of phrases to read aloud.

how to increase alexa sensitivity

There is some back and forth between the device and the Alexa app. Just follow along with Alexa and she will know your name in no time.

Then say,

“Alexa, who am I ”

If your name is Fred, she will now know it’s you, Fred.

Creepy? Nah!! Cool. Ya.

This will help your Alexa better understand your own unique voice. You will need to create a voice profile if one is not already set up for you.

Here’s a video from the Wall Street Journal that steps you through the process.

What’s crazy about this is MY Alexa device actually recognized Joanne’s voice too!


How To Increase Alexa Microphone Sensitivity – What Do You Think?

So what do you think about these ways of getting Alexa to hear and understand you better?

Do you agree that sensitivity adjustment would be a great feature for Amazon to add to the Alexa app?

Which Alexa devices do you own?  Do you have more than one?

Are you a sensitive guy or gal like me?

Please leave me a comment below and let us know. I would love to hear from you.

Enjoy your Alexa multi-room music commands and music!!


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About the Author

make alexa hear you better

Tim “Tec Timmy” Brennan is a senior technical writer and serial entrepreneur, currently spending his nights and weekends blogging about all things technology. His primary areas of interest include smart homes, smart speakers, and universal remote controls like Logitech Harmony and Neeo. He is a father of two, gadget nerd, Star Wars nut, Walking Dead superfan, and loves a good taco. He might also have a crush on Alexa. Brennan is founder at Writeinteractive, Inc., a blogger at oneSmartcrib.com and a regular contributor to UniveralRemoteReviews.com. He holds a B.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University. For more than two decades, Brennan has worked as a technical writer in the Greater Boston area for organizations that have included General Electric and MIT.

Comments

  1. I have an echo dot 1 and echo show 1. The dot can hear great – never have an issues. The show is deaf. I’ve named the dot Alexa and the show Echo so there is no cross conversation between the devices. Maybe I’ll try your recommendation about training the show to recognize my voice; or maybe I’ll keep yelling and repeating myself…… thanks for the info!

    1. Author

      You’re welcome, Pat. The voice training should help her at least recognize it’s your voice she is hearing. Another thing that you can try is pairing an Alexa voice remote with the Show. Just curious is it the 1st or 2nd Gen Show? My 2nd Gen Show hears pretty well, so curious if the issue is with the older version. You can pick up the Alexa voice remote on Amazon here for cheap (affiliate link):
      https://www.amazon.com/Alexa-Voice-Remote-Amazon-Echo/dp/B01E9AHU8Q/ref=as_li_ss_tl?keywords=alexa+voice+remote+for+echo+show&qid=1568235293&s=gateway&sr=8-3&linkCode=ll1&tag=onesmartcrib-20&linkId=324a80761596c2a5bc3b45c3ff3e8d04&language=en_US

      Cheers!
      Tec Timmy

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