Alexa's Adaptive Volume: What It Is and How to Use It

This useful feature lets you hear Alexa’s responses even in very loud rooms

What to Know

  • In the Alexa app, tap More > Settings > Voice Responses > Adaptive Volume, or say, "Alexa, enable Adaptive Volume."
  • With Adaptive Volume enabled, Alexa's voice responses will automatically increase in volume when ambient noise is detected. 
  • Adaptive volume will always override your speaker volume settings unless you enable Whisper Mode and whisper to your Alexa.

This article explains how to use Alexa’s adaptive volume feature, change the volume on Alexa, and instructions for setting a custom volume for specific features.

Can Alexa Automatically Adjust Volume?

Alexa can automatically adjust volume, but just for its voice responses. When you enable Alexa’s Ambient Volume option, it will automatically change its voice response volume to match the amount of ambient noise. You can set this option in the Alexa app on your phone, and you can only enable it account-wide. That means when you enable this feature in the Alexa app, all of your Echo devices will use it.

You can also just say, "Alexa, enable Adaptive Volume."

Here’s how to enable Alexa’s Ambient Volume:

  1. Open the Alexa app on your phone and tap More.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Scroll down to Alexa Preferences and tap Voice Responses.

    More > Settings > Voice Responses in Alexa app
  4. Tap the Adaptive Volume toggle.

  5. Adaptive Volume is now enabled on all of your Echo devices.

    Adaptive Volume enabled in Alexa app

What Is Adaptive Volume?

Adaptive Volume is an Alexa feature that automatically adjusts the Volume of Alexa’s voice responses to match the ambient noise level. For example, if you ask Alexa a question in a loud room with this feature enabled, it will automatically increase its volume to a level where you can hear Alexa respond. If you ask a question later when there isn’t as much noise in the room, it will answer at a lower volume.

It automatically overrides the default volume on all of your Alexa devices when you enable adaptive Volume, but only for voice responses. That means this feature adjusts the Volume of Alexa’s voice when it replies to your questions, but it doesn’t change the volume of music and other content.

The one instance where Adaptive Volume doesn’t automatically adjust the volume of a voice response is if you have Whisper Mode enabled and whisper a question. In that situation, Alexa will whisper the answer regardless of the level of ambient noise.

If you want to use the Whisper Mode function, you can turn it on in the same menu where Adaptive Volume is activated.

How Do I Set the Default Volume on Alexa?

There is no such thing as a default volume on Alexa. When you set the volume of an Alexa device, it will stay there until you adjust it, a routine changes it, or an alarm or notification adjusts it. When Adaptive Volume adjusts the volume in a noisy room, it's returned to the original setting after Alexa replies to your question.

While there is no default volume on Alexa, each device can have a default volume for Alexa alarms, timers, and notifications different from the device's regular volume. If you want alarms, timers, and notifications on an Echo device to be louder than the volume used for music and voice responses, then you can set a separate default volume for those specific features.

This setting is adjusted on a per-device basis. That means you need to perform the following steps for each Echo device that you want to have an alarm, timer, and notification volume that’s different from its regular volume.

Here’s how to set the default alarm, timer, and notification volume on Alexa:

  1. Open the Alexa app and tap More.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Tap Device Settings.

    More > Settings > Device Settings in Alexa app.
  4. Tap your Echo device.

  5. Tap the gear icon.

  6. In the General section, tap Sounds.

    Device > gear icon > Sounds in Alexa app
  7. Adjust the Alarms, Timers, and Notifications slider.

    Adjusting the volume of the Echo in the future will not impact the alarm, timer, and notification volume.

How Do I Control the Volume on Amazon Alexa?

To control the volume of an Alexa device, you can ask Alexa to set a volume between one and ten. For example, if you say, “Alexa, volume 4,” Alexa will adjust to volume level four. Some Echo devices have physical + and - buttons that move the volume up and down, and some have a top section that you can twist left to turn the volume down and right to turn the volume up.

You can also adjust the volume of any Alexa device from the Alexa app by tapping More > Settings > Device Settings > Echo device > Volume and moving the slider to your desired volume.

  • Why does Alexa's volume keep changing?

    If you don't have Adaptive Volume enabled and the volume is fading in and out, it could be a Wi-Fi-related issue. Unplug the Echo from the outlet, reboot the router, and plug the Echo back in.

  • How many volume levels does Alexa have?

    Alexa's volume goes from 0 (mute) to 10 (loudest). Volume 1 is the softest volume at 10%; Volume 3 is 30%, and so on.

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