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Alexa is an AI-based smart virtual assistant that turns words into real actions. Believe it or not, Amazon launched Alexa over half a decade ago, back when virtual assistants were limited to Apple’s Siri.
After a slow start, Alexa has grown in to one of the most popular smart assistants across the world and is now found in common household devices, primarily Amazon’s own Echo smart hubs and speakers.
But as with all tech products and services, she doesn’t always play nicely. Alexa is prone to making strange sounds and causing unwanted attention, in this guide we’ll address why this might be happening and what you can do about it.
How to Stop Alexa Making Random Noises
Alexa can make all kinds of unwanted noises, common issues including ringing like a telephone or a bing bong sound like a doorbell.
If you’re Alexa is making a strange sound, but you don’t have any notifications or incoming calls, here are some things you can do:
- Ask Alexa directly – “Alexa, why did you say that?”
- Check which skills are installed and if they could be causing the noise
- Unpair and re-connect Bluetooth connections
The March update of Alexa in the UK added a feature that allows users to ask directly, “Alexa, what just happened?” or “Alexa, why did you say that?” She will most likely tell you why it made that noise or did something.
Skills are the third-party add-ons that can be installed on your Alexa enabled device.
Most of them provide an extra bit of utility that may be useful for you. They can be the culprit behind the ringing noise.
To find out which skills you have enabled, you can ask “Alexa, what skills do I have enabled?” or navigate to the ‘skills and games’ section within the Alexa app.
Look for any skills you don’t recognise or ones that could be causing the issues. Common skills that create strange noises include White Noise, Ambient Noise, Sound FX or others.
If Alexa is making random noises while you have Bluetooth devices connected, this could be the source of your problems.
The reasons may be:
- Outdated Bluetooth drivers on your phone
- Interference in Bluetooth connection because of other wireless devices
- Bug in Bluetooth of your Alexa enabled Device.
To fix this, try unpairing and re-pairing any Bluetooth devices, or completely restarting your Alexa in order to restart the Bluetooth connection.
The yellow ring can be an indicator of an issue:
Pulsing: Slowly pulsing yellow light means a notification or a message is waiting for you on the Device. It can also mean a missed reminder. Ask Alexa to read out the messages, reminders or notifications that have been in the queue for long.
Spinning: A spinning yellow light means that your Echo is connecting to the WiFi network. If the light does spin for long, then check in your Alexa app for problems with the network connection. Alternatively, check your WiFi router for more information on the attempted connection, which is not being established automatically like in normal circumstances.
At the risk of sounding like an IT helpline, this is genuinely the best piece of advice you can follow. There is never any harm in giving an innocent reboot to your Device. It can sometimes help to fix the issues like certain temporary bugs in the software or hardware.
Why is Alexa Making Static Noise?
If you start to hear hissing or crackling sounds through an Echo device (usually whilst playing music), there are a handful of reasons that could be the culprit. Here are a few things to check:
Your device has poor WiFi reception
Interference with WiFi network reception can cause static noise in the speakers for several seconds. It’s generally recommended to keep your WiFi router in a place that is central to internet-dependent devices.
Sustained usage at high volume
Some speakers can get damaged after sustained maximum volume levels, especially some of the smaller Echo devices that have a lower power output. Whilst this is uncommon, one support representative who looks after Echo devices advised that reducing the volume can help with this in the long term.
Problems with the sound equalizer
A sound equalizer is used to change frequencies of the output according to the music, sound’s demand. If these have been manually changed or a skill has automatically adjusted the settings, it’s best to reset them back to factory settings.
To reset your Echo’s equalizer, say “Alexa, reset equalizer”
Over to You
We hope that some of these recommendations have been helpful. If you continue to experience issues with your Echo devices, or with Alexa in general, we recommend heading over to the dedicated support pages on Amazon.
Remember that Echo devices come with a one-year warranty (provided you haven’t purchased a refurbished device), this will cover all defects so if you believe the device to be faulty, we recommend you reach out to Amazon as soon as possible.