Despite the popularity of voice assistants, they’re not always the easiest to communicate with and Alexa is no exception. If you’re having Amazon Alexa communication problems, they’re usually easy to fix with a few troubleshooting steps or changed settings.
Check Internet Connection
As with any Internet-connected device, Alexa might not be responding simply because she’s not connected to the Internet. Even if you do have a connection, it may be too weak to allow Alexa to search for an answer quickly enough to respond. This can result in frustrating delays in responses or Alexa saying she can’t complete your request.
Check to see if you’re connected at all by opening your Alexa app. Open the menu and choose Settings. Choose your device and select “Update Wi-Fi”. You’ll see which networks are available and if you’re connected to any of them.
For weak signals, try to move your device closer to your router for a stronger connection.
Keep Alexa Away From Background Noise
One of the most common Alexa communication problems is Alexa not understanding you. Often, this is due to background noise. For instance, you might have your TV on, a family member talking, and a neighbor mowing their lawn loudly.
Alexa can’t hear you clearly if there’s too much background noise. Move your device away from common noises. For example, it’s best not to keep Alexa right next to your TV.
Trouble Understanding Alexa
Do you have trouble understanding Alexa? Alexa actually has seven different speaking speeds to help you understand her better. All you have to say is “Alexa, speak slower.” Or, say “Alexa, speak faster.” She has two slower speeds and four faster speeds along with the default.
Ensure Device Isn’t Muted
While it might sound silly, sometimes the problem is as simple as your Alexa device is muted. You might have muted it and forgot to unmute it. Or, someone accidentally muted it.
This is an easy one to check. The light on your device turns red when it’s muted. Press the mute button to unmute it and go back to normal.
Disconnect and Reconnect
Much like many devices, some Alexa communication problems can be solved just by disconnecting and reconnecting your device. Disconnect your device by unplugging the power source. Plug it back in to restart it. For battery-operated devices, remove the batteries and reinsert them.
It may take several minutes before Alexa is ready to talk to you again.
Train Alexa to Understand You
Since every has a different way of speaking, Alexa might just have trouble understanding you. Even with dictation apps, you often have to go through a training mode to adjust the AI to your voice and dialect. Alexa allows you to do the same thing.
Open your Alexa app and open the menu. Go to Settings and choose “Voice Training”. Choose your device by using the arrow at the top of the screen. Then, follow the prompts to train Alexa.
Activate Whisper Mode
What if you want to interact with Alexa at night after everyone else has gone to bed? She can be a little loud. The good news is you can still have fun with Alexa without waking everyone up. Simply activate “Whisper Mode”.
All you have to do is whisper to Alexa and she’ll whisper back. You’ll probably want to get closer to your device to ensure you both hear each other well.
Be Specific With Commands
The more complex your command, the more likely it is for Alexa to tell you she doesn’t understand. Even though the voice assistant might seem more like a person, she’s simply a voice powered by artificial intelligence. This means you’ll need to use specific or concise commands.
For example, instead of saying “Alexa, I want pizza. Do you know of any pizza places that have ham and pineapple pizza that’s maybe light on cheese and sauce?“, try “Alexa, find restaurants that serve ham and pineapple pizza.” She’s more likely to respond to a less complex question.
Speak as Clearly as Possible
You can prevent many Alexa communication problems by speaking as clearly as possible. For instance, if you’re in a hurry, you might say something so fast that even your own mother wouldn’t understand you. For Alexa, you just spoke gibberish instead of a recognizable command.
Speak at a normal speed and as clearly as you can. It is worth noting that AI still struggles with understanding people who have speech impediments. The good news is there are companies working on ensuring voice assistants are far more accessible to everyone, including Voiceitt, which is working on translating non-standard speech to a more standard speech pattern AI recognizes.
At first, you’ll likely have a little trouble communicating with Alexa, but be patient as you learn to communicate with each other and you’ll soon enjoy the convenience.
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