Is Alexa Having Trouble Understanding You? Solve These Common Amazon Echo Issues

If you will have an Amazon Echo device, you’ve got most likely heard this phrase quite a bit — “I’m having bother understanding proper now.” It’s Alexa’s method of letting you understand that it can’t comply with your voice commands for some specific motive. And generally, it’ll even perform a different action than what you requested. For occasion, my Echo Show ($34 at Amazon) will play the most recent information as an alternative of lullabies. 

You may anticipate Alexa to carry out your voice instructions with none hiccups, however that is not all the time the case on the planet of sensible tech and voice assistants, like Alexa. But we’re right here to assist save time and vitality — and complications — determining what’s fallacious. 

So do not reset your Amazon Echo speaker but. We’ll inform you what the completely different ring gentle colours imply, why your music randomly stops and different widespread issues we have seen. We even discovered some fast and simple fixes to the commonest Amazon Echo issues.

Read additionally: The Real Cost of Setting Up an Amazon Alexa Smart Home

What Echo’s gentle ring colours imply

Alexa sometimes sits round utterly dormant till referred to as upon with the wake word (Alexa, Echo, Amazon, Computer). But generally the LED ring around the top of the Echo and Echo Dot, or a lightweight bar in your Echo Show display, lights up even once you’re not actively utilizing the sensible speaker. 

In this case, the coloured gentle might provide you with a warning to an issue. Here are a couple of of the colours you will have encountered for those who’re having points along with your speaker.

  • Spinning violet. Indicates that there was an issue throughout Wi-Fi setup (addressed beneath). 
  • Spinning orange. The gadget is at present connecting to your community.
  • Solid pink. The microphone has been turned off and Alexa will not be actively listening in your instructions. Push the microphone button to show it again on.

The gentle ring can even inform you if somebody is looking you, in case your Amazon order is out for supply, the amount of the speaker and extra.

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The music randomly cuts out on your Amazon Echo speaker

When you’re listening to music on your Amazon Echo, it can be frustrating when the song cuts out for a few seconds at a time. If this happens, the issue could be Wi-Fi related. Try unplugging your Amazon Echo from the wall and rebooting your router. Wait 20 seconds and plug both devices back into the wall. For better results, connect your Echo device to your router’s 5GHz channel. 

Amazon also suggests keeping your smart speaker away from metal objects, microwaves, baby monitors and anything else that could cause interference with your Wi-Fi connection.

Alexa can’t connect to your smart home devices

Amazon Echos support a long list of smart home appliances. The growing list includes devices like the Ecobee3 and lines from companies such as Honeywell, Insteon, Lifx, Nest, Philips Hue and Wink. Even more devices and services have added official Alexa support by way of skills that help make that service or device take your verbal commands (e.g., “Alexa, tell Philips Hue to turn on the kitchen light”).

To add a new device, open the Alexa app and tap Devices > Add Device > select the device you’d like to add (like a smart switch or plug) and follow the instructions in the app. 

Even if the devices aren’t natively supported and don’t have skills, you’re not entirely out of luck. Alexa has an official IFTTT channel and also integrates with Yonomi, both of which have an extensive list of supported smart home devices.

If you’ve already added your devices but Alexa can’t seem to connect to them, there are a couple of solutions. Check the command you’re using, aka your invocation. The commands vary between different devices, skills and connected services, like IFTTT. They can be oddly specific commands, and small differences in the phrasing or names of the devices can throw Alexa for a loop.

A smart blub and an Amazon Echo device next to each other

If Alexa can’t find your smart home device, try powering down the devices.


Chris Monroe/CNET

Some smart home devices have trouble staying connected due to software problems, crowded networks, being always on or other issues. Powering down the connected devices and turning them back on again will usually fix any connectivity problems you’re having.

If that doesn’t fix the issue, try rebooting the speaker by unplugging it and removing the device that’s acting up and adding it back once more.

Alexa is disconnected from your Wi-Fi

If your Echo speaker isn’t staying connected to your network consistently enough, there are a few ways to fix connection issues.

First, power-cycle everything — the router, modem and Alexa speaker. After that, try streaming audio for a few minutes to see if the issue arises again. If so, attempt to move the speaker away from other devices, preferably closer to the router, and try switching the speaker to a 5GHz channel to decrease interference.

Alexa doesn’t understand your voice commands

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that” is a phrase often spoken by Alexa. It happens when the voice assistant didn’t comprehend what you said. Fortunately, Amazon added a feature last year that allows you to ask Alexa what it just heard. You can say “Alexa, tell me what you heard” to find out what it thought you said.

You’ll also want to make sure the Echo is positioned in an open space away from noisy household items like the TV, washer, dryer and dishwasher. It may hear you better, then.

You can also use Voice Training, a tool in the Your Profile settings in the Alexa app. You’ll read 25 phrases aloud in a “typical voice from a typical distance” so Alexa can get a baseline understanding of your pronunciation and cadence. This helps you to customize your Alexa experience.

Echo Dot with Clock

“I’m sorry, I didn’t quite get that” is a phrase often spoken by Alexa.


Dale Smith/CNET

Accidental Amazon Alexa activation

Whether it’s commercials or shows talking about Alexa on TV or you said a word that sounded similar to “Alexa,” your speaker just activated and you’re confused. Luckily, there are four things you can do to minimize this:

  • Say “Alexa, why did you do that?” — This feature gives you more insight as to why Alexa performed an action.
  • Move the speaker farther from the television.
  • Press the mute button on top while watching TV.
  • Change the wake word from the default “Alexa” to either “Computer” or “Amazon.”
Front view of an Amazon Echo Show 15

Alarms and timers too loud? Here’s how to fix that. 


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Alarms and notifications are too loud

You may have noticed when timers or alarms go off, the sound is much louder (or maybe quieter) than the playback volume of Alexa. That’s because alarm and timer volume is controlled separately within the Alexa app.

To set the alarm, timer and notification volume, open the Alexa app on Android or iOS and go to Devices > [your device name] > Sounds and drag the slider to the amount degree you need.

Issues streaming music with Spotify

Amazon’s Alexa audio system are able to streaming music from third-party providers like Spotify, iHeartRadio, TuneIn and Pandora. Of these, Spotify appears to have extra hiccups than the opposite providers, with music randomly stopping midstream for no good motive and generally not enjoying in any respect.

There is not any definitive repair for the errors, however a great begin to troubleshooting the issue is to reboot the speaker. Then unlink your Spotify account and register once more. 

To unlink Spotify, open the Amazon Alexa app and go to Settings > Music > Spotify. Tap Disable Skill and make sure by tapping Disable. Next, faucet Enable to make use of and comply with the directions to log in to your account once more.

Aerial shot of an Amazon Echo Plus

If you are having bother streaming Spotify by means of your Echo, attempt unlinking the Skill within the Alexa app.


Chris Monroe/CNET

Trouble enjoying music on the correct speaker

Using Multi-Room Audio, you possibly can management music playback on Echo audio system with a unique Echo. The characteristic works with the Echo, Echo Dot and Echo Show, and it enables you to play music all through the home.

However, if you do not have your Echo units correctly named, you may run into a difficulty when making an attempt to play music on different audio system. While you possibly can title the audio system no matter you want, will probably be simpler to queue up music and keep in mind which speaker is the place for those who title every speaker after the room it is in or its location in the home.

For instance, you probably have one Echo speaker named Katie’s Echo Dot, you may should say, “Alexa, play Queen on Katie’s Echo Dot.” While that is not very troublesome to say, it is definitely simpler and extra pure to say, “Alexa, play Queen within the kitchen.”

Having different points along with your Amazon Echo that we did not tackle? Let us know within the feedback. Also, try these three irritating Amazon Echo pet peeves and how to fix themsix Amazon Echo settings you won’t regret changing and four top Amazon Echo features to perfect and improve now.

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