You could always turn up the volume, but that will be rather jarring late if you forgot that you made the change. It could also wake up everybody else in the house, and you’ll be left awkwardly listening to her answer while everyone stares at you.

Here’s the backstory

The smart speakers will keep an ear out for any above-normal noise or loud sounds when you enable Adaptive Volume. When asked a question or issued a command, Alexa will increase her reply volume to compensate for the additional background interference. The Adaptive Volume feature is currently only available in the U.S. and is rather simple to enable. If it’s something that you want to use, you only have to say, “Alexa, turn on the adaptive volume.” If you want to increase the volume permanently, ask her to do so. Note: Adaptive Volume doesn’t appear to be supported by all Echo devices. We tested it on a first-generation Echo, and Alexa responded that “this device does not support Adaptive Volume.”

Alexa listening for other sounds

To set up Sound Detection mode:

Open the Alexa app and tap the More menu.Select Routines.Tap on the plus sign near the top of the screen.Tap the plus sign next to Enter routine name to create a name. Let’s use baby crying as an example.Tap the plus next to When this happens, tap Sound Detection, then Baby Crying.Select which Alexa-enabled device should listen. Select Next.To select what happens, tap Add action, then tap Messaging, then Notification.Enter what message should be sent when the sound is triggered. The message will be sent to your phone when Alexa hears this sound.

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