Echo Not Hearing You Clearly?

Many Echo owners are reporting problems with their Echo sometimes not hearing them correctly, and sometimes not hearing them at all.

 

Location, Location, Location
Very often, it’s simply a matter of where your Echo is located in the room. Walls near the Echo can cause audio bounceback (aka, echo in the literal sense) that confuses the Echo’s speech recognition software, and it may be that your Echo’s current location is subject to interference from electronic sources that wouldn’t affect it in a different spot.

Note: I can’t take credit for this tip on how to find your Echo’s placement “sweet spot”. The idea was originally shared by user mikev on the EchoTalk discussion board.

You know how the Echo mobile app records what the Echo heard you say, and gives you a chance to indicate whether or not it heard you correctly (red arrow in screenshot below – click or tap on image to see an enlarged version in a new tab or window)? You can use this feature to zero in on the ideal location for your Echo.

EchoAppHomeScnFeedback

 

1. Look around the room and make a mental list of possible locations for the Echo.
Remember that the location must be near enough to an electrical outlet. Also be sure to avoid locations with an unstable surface, locations where the Echo may be at risk of being knocked over, and any locations that are close to vents or other sources of direct heat or cold.

 

2. For each possible location, follow these steps:
a) Place the Echo in the location, plug it in and wait for it to say it’s ready.

b) Standing or sitting in a place that’s typical at times when you use the Echo, say, “[wake word]: you are now [location].”

For example, “Alexa: you are now on the computer desk.” If you’re in the habit of interacting with the Echo from various locations, try each one in turn and add your own location to the statement you make to the Echo (e.g., “Alexa: you are now on the computer desk and I’m in the foyer.”

As you’re speaking, note whether or not the light blue highlight on the LED ring at the top of the Echo is properly oriented toward your location. It’s supposed to provide a visual indication of where the Echo “thinks” the sound it hears is coming from. For example, in the image below the highlight is oriented due South.

 

 

Note that you’ll most likely get a default error response from the Echo, like, “I can’t find the answer to the question I heard.” Don’t worry about that, you’re not trying to get a valid reply.

d) Check the mobile app to see if the Echo heard you properly.

 

3. When you’re done, review the placement test results.
You should now have a very good idea of where the Echo hears you best when you speak to it from the places that are most typical for you.

 

Move the Echo to its new location, and enjoy much better conversations with Alexa!

 

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And now…

The Amazon Instant Video Store August Comedy Sale includes a BUNCH of movies I’ve been wanting to add to my digital collection for years, but that have never before been offered at discount prices. Titles in the sale are being offered at the same purchase price in SD or HD, too! There are some great classics available to own at $4.99, and lots more at $7.99. It’s definitely worth a browse if you, like me, are in the process of migrating to an all-digital video library. Here are just a few examples of what’s on sale at the $8 price point:

 

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