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Alexa hard to awaken

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Alexa hard to awaken
« on: July 22, 2015, 02:49:26 am »
I have a new echo and sometimes I say alexa like 5 times fairly loud and it does not awaken from 5 feet away..

Is my echo defective, do I need to yell at it, I can make a video to show you what I mean..


Re: Alexa hard to awaken
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2015, 03:42:55 am »
You may have a defective unit, but before you go and start the process of returning it try some voice training.  There is a section of the app called Voice Training, that while not required during set up you can go back later and do.  This will have you speak several words/phrases so that the Echo can learn to understand you better.  This may or may not help, but I would give it a try if I were having problems like you are having. 

Offline jwlv

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Re: Alexa hard to awaken
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2015, 08:59:49 am »
Here are some tips.

If there is noise near by, such as from a TV, radio, computer, or other people talking, you must say Alexa much louder than the background noise. It is not a good idea to put the Echo close to the TV or any device that makes sound. If there is noise from one side of the Echo, it would be difficult for the Echo to hear you from that same side.

Try not to place the Echo near a wall. Sound waves bouncing off the wall can confuse it.

When you speak to the Echo, you should face the Echo as you speak. If you are turned away from the Echo, it will have difficulty hearing you because it cannot accurately determine the direction you are speaking from.

Whenever you talk to the Echo, you should not be moving around the room. You should stand still when you speak. I believe there are 7 directional microphones on the Echo. It will turn off the other 6 and only listen to the one microphone pointed at you once it has determined the direction you are speaking from. The blue ring at the top of the Echo points to the direction where it thinks you are speaking from. The direction is indicated by a light blue color, while the other parts of the ring is a dark blue.

There must be a brief period of silence before you say "Alexa."  That is, you cannot be talking on the phone and then all of a sudden say something to the Echo. For example: "Hey Richard check this out. Listen to what happens when I say Alexa what time is it?" If you were actually asking for the time, you have to stop talking for one second and then say, "Alexa, what time is it?" If there is no brief silence before you say the wake word, Echo won't hear you.

If Echo doesn't respond well to Alexa, try changing wake word to Amazon to see if it works any better.

Once you can get Alexa to hear you, try the tips by some of other users here regarding finding the best location to place the Echo. Using the app, you can play back recordings of everything Alexa heard. With some trial and error, you should be able to find the best location for it.


Re: Alexa hard to awaken
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2015, 01:01:56 pm »
Thank You for the informative response, I think placement is my problem.  Its fairly close to the tv and even though the tv is not that loud I think it interferes with Alxa.  I will try moving it...

Thank You


Re: Alexa hard to awaken
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2015, 10:48:18 pm »

To see if there is interference, you can listen to your requests.
Under Settings go to 'History' then click an interaction. Click the play button.

@markv suggested here (,132.msg600.html#msg600) while moving Alexa to new locations, to say where she is was placed at: "Alexa, here's in the middle of the kitchen table", "Alexa, here's near the kitchen window", etc. 


Re: Alexa hard to awaken
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2015, 02:36:55 am »
The Echo needs a good wireless signal at its location.  An easy way to find one is to use a free app for Android devices called WiFi Analyzer.  I pretty much know where my best wireless locations are in the house; I even have range extenders for both 2.4G and 5G signals that boost the wireless coverage a bit.

Before placing the Echo in the chosen location, I checked location with WiFi Analyzer.  I found the 5G a bit too weak, but tried it anyway.  A day or so later the Echo had some wireless signal issues.  I changed the Echo's connection to the stronger 2.4G signal and all is well. Fortunately, the Echo (unlike a video device) does not require the 5G signal.