Since the introduction of voice control via Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri in smart speakers and other devices, the general trend has been to attempt to use your hands as little as possible. For owners of certain Alexa-powered devices, this has gone even further, as a new feature lets you use the virtual assistant to make EQ adjustments.
Alexa has already been able to control volume, so with this new addition, you can control the vast majority of your listening experience using only your voice, depending on which service you’re using to play music. You can cut and boost both bass and treble by up to 6 decibels in either direction for a total adjustable range of 12dB, letting you fine-tune the sound to your exact liking.
The commands themselves are as simple as you’d expect from Alexa. Simply use phrases like “Alexa, turn up the treble,” or “Alexa, turn down the bass.” If you’d rather get more specific, you can use phrases like “Alexa, set the bass to minus three” or “Alexa, set treble to maximum.” If you find that you’ve ended up with a sound you don’t like, it’s easy to start over by saying “Alexa, reset the equalizer.”
For the time being, this feature is only available in the U.S. Supported devices include the first- and second-generation Amazon Echo, the first and second-generation Echo Dot, the Echo Plus, Echo Show, and Echo Spot. In the case of the Echo Show and Echo Spot, you can also make adjustments to the EQ using the device’s on-screen control. For all of these devices, you can also make EQ adjustments via the Alexa app.
Amazon isn’t limiting this feature to its own devices. The company has made it open to developers, and so far both the Sonos Beam and the Polk Audio Command Bar have made use of it. In the case of the Command Bar, both band and mode controls are available, while only mode controls are available on the Sonos Beam. More devices will likely add support for the features exposed via this API in the future.
For more information on Amazon’s virtual assistant, see our guide to all the things Alexa can do.