Activate the HomePod version of Alexa’s Whisper mode

One cool feature that Amazon has capitalized on to bring its Echo smart speakers to market is Whisper Mode. It quiets Alexa’s response to a whisper, great for when you want to interact with the voice assistant when others are sleeping. It might not be called the same thing, but there’s a HomePod version of Alexa’s Whisper Mode.

The History of Amazon’s Whisper Mode

Alexa first got Whisper Mode in October 2018, and the feature was available for all locales in November 2019. The feature allows the virtual assistant to whisper to you, if you speak softly to your device.

The feature, according to Amazon, uses a neural network to distinguish between normal and whispered words. It’s a feature that Amazon likes to insist that only Alexa has, but that’s not entirely true.

Apple gave us a HomePod version of Whisper Mode

In fact, your HomePod has a setting buried in it. Accessibility it’s very close to Alexa’s Whisper mode. This makes Siri “speak at a volume based on how loud you speak” while accounting for background noise and any music you might be playing.

There are two ways to activate or deactivate this function. The easiest way is to just tell Siri to turn it on or off. If you say to your HomePod, “Hey Siri, turn on Siri Auto Volume,” the feature is enabled. If you want to turn it off, just say “Hey Siri, turn off Siri Auto Volume”.

You can also access the toggle switch from your HomePod settings. Just run the Homepage app, long press on your HomePod and scroll down until you see its settings. Then press Accessibility > Automatically adjust Siri volume.

When this feature is enabled, you should notice that Siri’s volume closely matches yours. If for some reason the change doesn’t seem to have an effect, Apple’s only real advice is to reset your HomePod to its factory presets. Frustratingly, but the feature seems to work pretty flawlessly, you shouldn’t need to resort to such extreme measures.

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