Alexa’s adaptive volume feature solves a major problem with smart speakers

Alexa’s adaptive volume feature solves a major problem with smart speakers

In February last year, Google rolled out a new feature for its Nest lineup of smart speakers. The feature, called Ambient IQ, intelligently adjusts the volume of compatible Nest smart speakers and displays based on the noise in the surroundings. It essentially eliminates the need to manually adjust the volume every time outside noise drowns out whatever you’re listening to. Amazon is now rolling out a similar feature for its Alexa-enabled smart speakers. However, it automatically adjusts Alexa’s volume instead of the media volume.

The new feature, called Adaptive Volume, makes Alexa speak louder if it detects a noisy environment. According to Amazon (via The Verge), the feature makes it easy for you to listen to Alexa’s responses without increasing the volume manually. At the moment, the feature is available for Echo users in the US, and you can enable it by saying, “Alexa, turn on adaptive volume.” The company hasn’t shared any details about a wider rollout.

If you’re based outside the US and wish to try this new feature, you can change your location in the Alexa app and try the voice command mentioned above. It should work as intended since we’ve previously had success trying region-specific features in this manner. For instance, you can enable Alexa’s male voice, Ziggy, on your Echo speaker by changing your location to the US in the Alexa app.

It’s worth noting that the Adaptive Volume feature doesn’t automatically decrease Alexa’s volume in quiet environments. But Amazon already offers a feature called Whisper Mode, in which Alexa whispers its responses. You can activate this feature by saying, “Alexa, turn on whisper mode.”

The Verge notes that the Adaptive Volume feature is slightly inconsistent at the moment, but your mileage may vary. If you happen to give it a go, let us know how it worked out for you in the comments section below.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.