Tips for improving Voice Search with the Fire TV

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Voice search is one of the killer features of the Amazon Fire TV. If you’re not in love with the feature, these tips should help improve your experience.

Tip 1 – Reset your voice search profile
voice-search-tips-resetIf you’re like us, you love showing off your Fire TV. No Fire TV demonstration is complete without having everyone try the voice search. Letting a lot of different people try the voice search on your Fire TV may be having detrimental effects on your Fire TV’s ability to recognize your own voice. Amazon maintains a voice search profile for each Fire TV to better recognize your specific voice. Your voice search profile may not be a good representation of your voice if many different people have tried out the voice search feature on your Fire TV. If your Fire TV is having trouble understanding your voice, it may be a good idea to delete your voice recordings from Amazon and start over from a blank slate. To do so, visit your devices management page on Amazon, select your Fire TV, click the “Manage voice recordings” link in the bottom left, and then click “Delete” to delete your voice recordings.

Tip 2 – Hold the remote/microphone at the right distance
voice-search-tips-distanceWhen using the Fire TV’s voice search, it’s important not to hold the remote/microphone too far from your mouth. Just as important is not to hold the microphone too close. The microphone in the Fire TV remote is the exact same part found in the Kindle Fire tablets. Just like you wouldn’t hold a tablet right up to your mouth when having a conversation via Skype, you shouldn’t hold the Fire TV remote right up to your mouth when using voice search. Amazon’s official Fire TV documentation says to hold the remote 1 to 8 inches away. We’ve found the sweat spot to be around 4 or 5 inches from your mouth, or about as far away from your mouth as the remote is long.

Tip 3 – Give it a second
voice-search-tips-waitHave you noticed that your first voice search tends to fail more often than subsequent voice searches? This is probably because you’re jumping the gun and starting to speak too soon after pressing the voice search button. When you press and hold the voice search button, the Fire TV needs to launch the voice recognition application. If it has been a while since you launched voice search, the voice recognition application is likely no longer stored in the Fire TV’s memory (RAM). When an application is not in memory, it takes just a hair longer to launch. That small delay could mean it misses the first syllable or two of your voice search, resulting in a failed voice recognition. On your second attempt, the voice recognition application is primed and ready (in memory), so the second you press the voice search button it will instantly start recording without missing any of your query. When launching voice search for the first time in a while, wait an extra second between being prompted to speak and actually starting to speak.

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