Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - Alexa now has a Whisper Mode in the US and UK which allows the voice assistant to hear whispered commands. It's also able to whisper back when it responds.

Since Alexa launched on Echo devices, you've had to speak loud and clear enough for it to understand you, making it difficult to use the assistant without waking people nearby or being a nuisance. 

Imagine it is midnight, you're in bed next to your partner who is already sleeping, and you forgot to set an alarm for the morning on your Alexa device sitting across the room.

In this situation, you'd previously have to get up, turn down the device's volume, and speak a command loud enough so that Alexa hears you - all while not disrupting your snoozing partner. Spoiler alert: it's nearly impossible to do.


What is Alexa Whisper Mode?

Whisper Mode is one of many features Amazon has been developing to make Alexa more contextually aware.

Alexa lead scientist Rohit Prasad said it allows Alexa to “automatically learn the features of audio signals useful for detecting sound events or whispered speech".

Whisper Mode uses the same machine learning network that’s being used for Alexa Guard, another feature that enables Alexa to recognise “smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and glass breaking”. 

How to turn on Alexa Whisper Mode

Enable Whisper Mode with a voice command

Whisper Mode can also be enabled by voice.

  • Say, “Alexa, turn on Whisper Mode.”

Enable Whisper Mode in the Alexa app

You can enable Whisper Mode in the Alexa App under Settings.

Koru offers a gorgeous smart plant pot that's also an air purifier

  1. Open the Alexa app
  2. Go to Settings
  3. Select Voice Responses
  4. Turn on Whisper Mode.

How does Alexa Whisper Mode work?

Once you've enabled the feature, ask Alexa a question using your quiet indoor voice. Alexa will reply back in the same manner. We suspect this will come in handy for parents who want to use Alexa without waking a baby or for anybody who doesn't want to disturb a partner. 

Writing by Maggie Tillman. Editing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 18 October 2018.