How to enable Amazon Alexa Whisper Mode

August 8, 2020

If someone has fallen asleep, you would try to keep the room quiet and preferably speak with others in whisper mode to avoid undue noise. Like others, Alexa too can be requested to lower her voice to a whisper and respond in a very natural and intuitive way. See how to turn on Alexa Whisper mode.

What is Alexa Whisper Mode?

Alexa Whisper Mode is a feature that invokes a soft reply from the voice assistant upon hearing the whispered commands or receiving voice input in a gentle tone. It is very useful in situations where you want to avoid unexpectedly loud responses in quiet surroundings.

How to enable Whisper Mode on Alexa?

In addition to your regular speech, Alexa can be trained to understand and respond to your whispers. You can enable the setting that’ll automatically lower Alexa’s voice to a whisper. It might appear as a technology wonder but has apparently required years of research and technical expertise to pull off.

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  1. Open the Alexa mobile app on your iOS device.
  2. Tap the Menu button.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Scroll down to the Voice Responses section.
  5. Toggle on the Whisper Mode setting.

The Alexa Whisper Mode currently, works on Echo speakers, such as the Echo and Echo Dot only. However, it is not enabled by default. You'll need to change the default setting to activate it.

Alexa Mobile App
Alexa Mobile App

If you have the Alexa app installed on your iPhone or iPad, open the app.

Alexa App More Menu
Alexa App More Menu

Select More menu, visible at the bottom right corner of your mobile screen, and choose Settings from the list of options displayed.

Alexa App Voice Responses
Alexa App Voice Responses

Next, scroll down to Alexa Preferences section and choose the Voice Responses option under it.

Amazon Alexa Whisper Mode
Amazon Alexa Whisper Mode

Toggle ‘On’ the Whisper Mode. When you whisper to Alexa, responses will be whispered back.

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How does Alexa Whisper Mode work?

When you are whispering, you are using your breath rather than your throat, especially for the sake of secrecy. Alexa’s new whisper mode lets Alexa-enabled devices respond to whispered speech by whispering back. It relies on a sophisticated long short-term memory (LSTM) network.

Alexa Whisper Detector Graph
Alexa Whisper Detector Graph

The network learns which signal attributes are most useful for whisper detection by breaking down input utterances into overlapping 25-millisecond segments called “frames”. It then processes these input utterances in sequence and discriminates whispers from normal speech, successfully.

Also, Alexa detects whether a user has finished his query and expects a response by recognizing the short period of silence that follows the end of the speech. The brief moment of silence becomes a part of the input for the whisper detector in Alexa and it responds back in a whisper. This process is called ‘end pointing'.

For more information on Amazon Alexa Whisper Mode, visit this Amazon Science page.

Also read, How to delete or remove voice history from an Amazon account

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Hemant Saxena
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