Alexa Gets Adaptive Volume Feature in the US

Now you can hear Alexa over loud background noises

If you're in the US and have an Amazon Echo, Alexa now can increase the volume to be heard over loud background noises.

Separate from the 4th Gen Echo's adaptive audio, which adjusts sound output for music based on the layout of the room it's in, Adaptive Volume centers on Alexa's responses. The new feature is meant to automatically detect background noises, then adjust Alexa's volume accordingly.

Echo Dot 4th gen resting on a countertop in the kitchen


In theory, this makes Alexa automatically boost the volume for replies when your environment starts to get noisy. In practice, it seems a little spotty. When The Verge gave Alexa's new Adaptive Volume a try with an Echo Dot, sometimes the volume stayed level despite nearby ambient noises. Whether this was due to the location of the Echo Dot, the nature of the ambient noises, or the Adaptive Volume's performance remains to be seen.

Amazon Echo


The Verge also has noted that Adaptive Volume only works for projecting over loud ambient sounds, not lowering volume for quiet environments. If you're interested in less intense responses, Whisper Mode will have Alexa respond at a softer volume if you speak quietly. Though since we already have Whisper Mode, there isn't much of a reason to add a similar function to the Adaptive Volume feature.

At the moment, Amazon only has confirmed Adaptive Volume for the US. If your Echo is up-to-date, you can give the new feature a try by saying "Alexa, turn on adaptive volume."

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