How to set up and use Alexa sound detection: soothe crying babies, barking dogs and noisy snorers

Smart Home WeekThis article is part of TechRadar’s Smart Home Week 2024, where we’re giving you all the latest news, tips and tricks to help you make the smart home of your dreams. We all know Amazon’s Alexa is smart, more so perhaps than we give it credit for. Every time we ask the voice assistant to “set a timer for 12 minutes” or play our favorite radio station, there’s a momentary existential crisis as we remember it can do

This is where your routines live, if you’ve made some already, and where they can easily be enabled, disabled, and modified. This is also where new routines are created, with a tap on the + icon in the top-right corner. Here you’ll see the basic structure of any Alexa routine, and how they are made up of two parts – the ‘when’ and the ‘will’.Tap ‘add an event’ in the ‘when’ section, then tap on ‘Sound Detection’. Here you’ll see all six sounds Alexa can respond to. As of writing, these are the sounds of a baby crying, water, coughing, beeping appliances, snoring, and barking dogs. All pretty self-explanatory.The routine I’ll build here will see Alexa turn a hallway light on when baby crying is heard, thus helping you find your way from your room to the baby’s in the middle of the night. I have already named a smart light ‘hallway’ to make this as logical as possible. Tap on Baby Crying, then pick which of your Amazon Echo devices you want to detect the sound. Sonos speakers aren’t compatible, so only Amazon’s own Echo products show up in this list. Pick the device then tap

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