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Amazon unleashed a whole new, convenient way to control smart devices and automation when it first launched the Echo. Finally, we had a futuristic product that only needed a simple voice command to play us music, switch our lights on, search the internet or check the weather. Despite it feeling futuristic, however, it still relies on a relatively old-fashioned piece of technology to work: a microphone. And sometimes those microphones don't always work properly.

Microphone issues with the Echo have been common, especially on older models, so if you've had problems with getting your Echo or Echo Show to wake up, you're not alone. We've developed this guide to help you troubleshoot and fix those.

My Echo/Alexa microphone is not working

Sometimes Alexa can't hear you, or it seems that way. If you've ever found yourself yelling "Alexa, why can't you hear me unless I shout?!" then we have a few basic solutions worth trying. First and most obvious: switch it off and on again.

Reboot or reset your Echo

Reboot your Echo. Seriously. Unplug it from the wall, wait for ten seconds, and plug it back in again to see if that fixes your issue. If you still can’t get your Amazon Echo/Alexa device to listen well, try resetting it. This will take it back to factory settings, however, so you'll need to set it up again through the Amazon Alexa app on your smartphone or tablet.

With a number of different models, there are different reset options for devices - and you can find them all detailed here. Alternatively, to reset any Echo, you can just open the Amazon Alexa app, go to Devices, Echo & Alexa and select your Echo, and scroll to and select Factory Reset. Simple.

Temporarily disable the mic

With any Echo - be it Echo Show, Echo Dot or any other Echo with a microphone not working - there's a manual microphone mute button right on top of the device. So, try clearing the lines of communication by turning off the microphone for a minute. You can quickly disable the mic of an Echo, by pushing the mic on/off button on the top of the device (it's the circle with the diagonal line through). When the mic on/off button or light ring turns red, the microphone is off.

Your device will not respond until you reactivate the mic by pushing the mic on/off button again.

Move your Echo

It may seem obvious, but you should try moving your Amazon Echo to a different spot in your house. It could be too close to an A/C unit, an open window, or something else that's emitting just enough ambient noise to make it difficult for Alexa to pick up your voice. We recommend solving this issue by moving your Amazon Echo somewhere quieter. Amazon itself suggests moving it to the middle of a room.

Turn your Echo

You can try physically turning your Echo, so it’s less likely to use a particular mic that seems fixated on someone or something other than you. Remember, the original Echo and most other Echo models come with a microphone array - or several mics - as well as "beam forming technology" so that it can pinpoint and hone in on who's talking. As you're well aware, sometimes this works, and sometimes it doesn't.

Test which direction Alexa is listening

A good way to tell if something or someone around your Amazon Echo is making too much noise is to pay attention to its blue light. When you say your Amazon Echo's wake word ("Alexa", "Echo", or "Amazon"), the blue light around the brim of the speaker will light up a solid blue with cyan pointing in the direction of whatever or whomever it heard. If it's not pointing toward you, it's listening to something else.

Teach Alexa to hear you better

There's a way to teach your Alexa-compatible devices to understand you better. Open the Amazon Alexa app on your mobile device, then tap on the menu button, and tap on Settings. Under Alexa Devices, there's an option called Voice Training. Tap it, and then you'll be walked through a tutorial in which you need to read 25 phrases aloud. This will help your Echo to better understand your particular voice.

Just make sure you select the correct Alexa-compatible device from the dropdown menu under Voice Training. Also, you need to be in the same room, talking to that specific speaker, for it to work. Pocket-lint also has an in-depth guide on how to set up Alexa voice profiles:

Check if your Echo is updating

All Alexa-compatible devices auto-receive software updates over Wi-Fi. These usually improve performance and add new Alexa features. However, if something is wrong with your device, it may not be properly updating, and, conceivably, that could be causing issues with your mic.

This Amazon page tells consumers about the latest software updates it has rolled out to Echo devices. Check it to see which update was last rolled out to a particular Echo, and then confirm your Echo device has received it by opening the Alexa app on your mobile device. You'll need to go to Settings, then select your Echo, and scroll to Device software version. Make sure the software versions match up.

If not, contact Amazon for help (once again, open the Alexa app on your mobile device, then go to Help & Feedback, and scroll to Contact Us).

Reboot your router

Amazon Alexa cannot work without a solid internet connection. If you’re experiencing intermittent connectivity or non-existent Wi-Fi connectivity with your Amazon Echo, reboot your router, and then turn your Amazon Echo off and on again.

Return your dud Echo

If all else fails, return your Echo for repairs or one that works better. You can return many items sold on Go here for more details about how to initiate a return and whether you're even eligible. If you bought your Echo elsewhere, check the store's return policies.