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4 Amazon Echo settings that make it easier to talk to Alexa

Change these settings to help make your frustrations with Alexa vanish.

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You can change Alexa's communication skills.

Ian Knighton/CNET

Alexa performs dozens of tasks for you throughout the day, from turning on the lights to playing music on your Amazon Echo speaker. But did you know you can change the way Alexa communicates with you, too? We'll tell you how to enable these settings and more so that you have a better experience with your Amazon Echo

Read on to learn how to fix Alexa's problem communications skills on your Amazon Echo.

Change Alexa's speaking speed

If your Amazon Echo is talking too fast or too slow for you, you can tell it to speed up or slow down. Just say "Alexa, speak faster" or "Alexa, speak slower." You can also reset it to its default speed by saying "Alexa, speak at your default rate." Alexa has seven talking speeds -- four faster, two slower and the default speed.

Echo can play a sound when Alexa is triggered

Once you've got your Amazon Echo up to speed, there's another feature that's especially useful for when you're not in the same room as your Echo. It's called Request Sounds and it plays a sound at the start of your request and the end. For example, when you say "Alexa" it'll play a noise to let you know you triggered the device. 

To enable this feature, open the Alexa app and tap Devices > All Devices > select your Echo > tap Sounds > and toggle on the switch for Start of Request and End of Request.

Hear shorter responses from Alexa

If you don't like it when Alexa repeats everything you say, you can turn on a setting called Brief Mode for shorter responses. So instead of Alexa saying "OK, turning on the lights," it'll just say "OK." 

To turn the setting on, open the Alexa app menu and select Settings. Under the Alexa Preferences section, tap Voice Responses, then toggle the switch on for Brief Mode.


Turn on Brief Mode to hear shorter responses from Alexa.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Whisper to Alexa

Another setting you'll appreciate in the middle of the night is Alexa's Whisper Mode. This setting allows Alexa to whisper back to you. You don't even have to open the Alexa app for this one, just whisper to the voice assistant and it'll automatically activate the low tone. 

Now that you've got Alexa's communication settings updated, here's four top Amazon Echo features to perfect and improve now, three irritating Amazon Echo pet peeves and how to fix them and six Amazon Echo settings you won't regret changing.

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