It’s pretty unlikely that the noise level in your home is consistent. At any given time, there’s a mix of people talking and appliances running and sounds from outside drifting in, and it can be difficult to set your smart speaker’s volume appropriately so it stands out above the fray but doesn’t shout at you when it’s actually quiet.
If you’re an Amazon Echo user, Alexa has a new feature that adjusts speaking volume automatically in noisy environments. Adaptive Volume is supposed to eliminate the need to manually change how loudly Alexa responds, instead interpreting background sound and selecting the appropriate level. To enable this mode, all you need to do is say “Alexa, turn on adaptive volume.”
This feature seems to do an OK, if somewhat inconsistent, job at interpreting noise and adjusting Alexa’s speaking volume. If you still want manual control over volume levels, you can simply say “Alexa, set the volume to [1–10],” use the on-device controls or adjust the audio slider in your app under Menu > Settings > Device Settings.
If Alexa is too loud for your liking and you’re in a very quiet space, you can also enable the perpetually creepy Whisper Mode. If you whisper to your device, it will whisper back in response. Just say “Alexa, turn on Whisper Mode,” or go to Settings > Voice Responses in the app, and then proceed to be creeped out by the dystopian robot voice whispering in your home.
We’ve covered a handful of other ways to manage how much and how loudly Alexa speaks. Another option for automating volume is to set certain levels within Alexa Routines, so she’ll speak quietly at night and louder during busy mealtimes, for example. Routines are found in the app under the navigation panel > Routines.