Help! My Amazon Echo Is Making Random Noises/Beeps/Chimes?! (How To Fix) – New Video

This is a video guide to go alongside my blog post last year which walks you through everything to investigate if your amazon echo makes random noise, beeps, chimes – or even weird train-like sounds!

Echo devices are very useful, but they have been known to make “creepy” noises at times, which can be confusing or even scary. Thankfully Amazon make it fairly easy to find out why your Echo device made certain sounds, as I explore in this video:

The video timestamps are:

  • 0:00 Intro
  • 1:25 Why did you say that?
  • 2:10 Disconnect from Bluetooth
  • 2:52 Review Voice History
  • 4:30 View app Activity
  • 5:19 Check brief & whisper modes
  • 7:11 Review your skills
  • 7:37 Check the light ring
  • 8:09 Is it an electrical fault?!
  • 8:41 One-off software bugs
  • 9:15 Radio wave interference
  • 9:55 Factory reset
  • 10:23 Wrapping up

Useful links mentioned in my video are:

Video Transcript

Hello, I’m Tristan from Smart Home Point. Amazon’s Echo devices are awesome – I have six in fact. Whether you use them for weather updates, managing your smart home, food recipes (or anything else), they can do loads. But sometimes there’s a bit of a scary side to them: when they make strange noises. This might be a beep or chime, in some cases it’s a “creepy laugh”, and one guy on Reddit says his Echo makes a train-like sound every single evening!

Now, sometimes it’s obvious that your Echo device simply mis-heard you…

(cut away to an Echo)

Whilst sometimes it’s completely creepy:

(cut away to an Echo)

Yikes. Thankfully the ‘fix’ is often simple, so I wanted to shoot this video and walk through all the things to check if your Echo is also making weird noises and sounds.

(Echo says “I watch you whilst you sleep”)

*Looks scared* What? Uhm, it’s not even plugged in! Creepy! But joking aside, when your Echo device makes a random noise, beep, chime or something else, the first thing to do is ask your Echo why it said that. This is a really useful feature that many people don’t know about. You can just say “Alexa, why did you say that?”, and the Echo device might respond with something useful. For example…

(cut away to an Echo)

This is useful, especially in the case where a routine or timer was triggered because you might not remember that it was set to go off. Of course, sometimes your Echo just replies that it didn’t do (or say) anything – which can be a bit worrying – in which case you need to dig a bit deeper.

If you have a Bluetooth devices (such as your phone) connected to your Echo, any video or audio sample from your phone will play on your Echo. To see if this is the cause, you can say “Alexa, disconnect” to your Echo device and this will either disconnect from Bluetooth (and maybe solve your problem):

(cut away to an Echo)

Or it will tell you that it’s not connected to any other device:

(cut away to an Echo)

Either way, this is worth trying since it may fix the issue, or it will rule out a common cause of ‘random noise’.

If you’re still not having any luck, the next thing to do is launch the Amazon Alexa app. This is because everything you say to your Echo devices are stored away for future analysis and playback! Ignoring the slightly creeping side of this for a second, if you go to “More” in the menu and then click “Alexa Privacy”, before finally clicking “Review Voice History”, you can see exactly what Alexa app thinks you said – including allowing you to play back what you said.

Yes this is creepy, but it’s worth checking this screen if your Echo device made a random sound because it might help you work out exactly why that sound was made. I have a 2 month old baby and her crying sometimes sets off Alexa, weirdly – so your Echo device can certainly pick up on random background noises and get confused.

Now it’s worth pointing out that when the app says “Audio was not intended for this device”, the Echo heard its name but decided it didn’t need to carry out an action. For example, if you said “We may need to mute Alexa app before our friends come over”, even though you said “Alexa”, your Echo didn’t need to do anything, you weren’t speaking to it. But if you see this message a lot, it could mean that there’s a lot of background noise that is confusing your Echo device – and sometimes it might then play a random noise or sound if it mishears something. So that’s worth checking for sure.

Next up, within the app, if you click on “More” and then “Activity”, you can see a list of everything that your Echo devices have done (or said). If you click on “More”, you can again see what Alexa thought you said to trigger this activity. This is really useful for working out why your Echo device said something random. In one case, my Echo randomly said “Bye for now”. My wife and I were confused by this, but this screen helped us to see that our Echo – incorrectly – thought that we said “I’ve gotta go now” to Alexa. In-fact my wife was saying this to our baby, so our Echo device was completely wrong to think that we were telling it a joke and then reply with “Bye for now”!

(cut away to an Echo)

If you’re still not sure why your Echo is making random sounds, (starts whispering inaudibly).

What I just clearly said was “Have you tried seeing if whisper or brief modes are enabled”? Staying in the app, click on “More”, then click “Settings” and then scroll down to “Voice responses” which is somewhere in the middle.

This screen has two options: one is called Brief Mode, which basically stops your Echo devices from speaking quite so much. It will instead say less and sometimes reply with just a beep, before carrying out an action. Someone else in your house may have enabled this mode, causing you to think your Echo is beeping for no reason. So it’s worth checking this setting.

Secondly, Whisper Mode is really useful at night. You can whisper something like “Alexa, what is the time?” and it’ll whisper the time back.

(cut away to an Echo)

This is better than waking up the whole house! I have had this setting enabled for years, and overall it works fine, but around once a week I loudly ask my Echo device something – and it’ll whisper back to me. This is just a mistake of course, but it could make you think your Echo is making ‘random noises’ when in-fact it just mistakenly thought that it should whisper to you!

If you’ve tried everything I have said so far and you’re still getting random noises, worry not because there’s a few other things to check before you destroy your Echo with a hammer…

(legal disclaimer: please don’t destroy your Echo with a hammer. Thank you)

Firstly, you can activate third party skills on your Echo device. Whilst these don’t usually make random noises, it’s worth going through your skill list and removing any un-used ones in-case they are the cause. You can do this in the app or you can say “Alexa, what skills do I have enabled?” and then say “Alexa, disable Big Sky” (for example) to disable the “Big Sky” skill.

Secondly, if your Echo is making a noise, check to see if there’s a colored light ring on your Echo. If it’s pulsing yellow, that means you have a waiting notification or message. If it’s violet, there might be WiFi issues. Cnet has a useful guide on this (I’ve put a link in the description) so if your Echo is making a noise AND has a light ring, there might be something you genuinely do need to investigate.

Thirdly, if your Echo is making any sort of popping or crackling type noise, perhaps one that sounds ‘electrical’ or even dangerous, PANIC! Well, maybe not panic, but it might be a genuine defect with your Echo or even an issue with the power cable. Do naturally check that everything is plugged in securely, but then contact amazon customer support Services if it keeps doing this, because it might be a safety issue and not just a ‘weird noise’ that your Echo is making.

Fourthly, a random sound could actually be the result of a software bug within Amazon’s Alexa platform. This happened back in 2018, causing Echo devices around the world to randomly start laughing! Such an issue could always reoccur – it’s the nature of software bugs, unfortunately. So if the random noise is a one-off, perhaps do some Googling to see if other people are reporting this happening to them too. If so, hopefully it’ll be fixed by Amazon quickly and it won’t keep happening.

Fifthly, in very rare cases, radio wave interference can be picked up by ANY speaker system. Whilst this would be rare on an Echo (because it’s much more common when there’s a long audio cable between a speaker system, for example), it’s technically possible and it may explain why someone on Reddit actually heard whistling and then someone clearing their throat through their Echo devices! If this keeps happening, it could be a defect within the Echo due to some loose cables, so perhaps try contacting Amazon.

Sixthly, if nothing else has worked, try doing a factory reset of your Echo. This will allow you to set it all up again from scratch, and it may help remove any corrupted internal data that could lead to your Echo making random sounds. There’s various different methods of doing this based on your model of Echo, so I’ve put a link to Amazon’s help pages in the description that explains how to perform a factory reset.

Finally, if all else fails, hit your Echo with a hammer.

(legal disclaimer: please don’t destroy your Echo with a hammer. Thank you)

Joking aside, you may need to just replace your Echo. If it’s under warranty, contact the retailer or Amazon customer services. Otherwise, you can often pick up an Echo for really cheap in Amazon sales so perhaps wait for one of these.

That just about wraps up today’s video. There’s quite a few possible causes of your Alexa making random noises, but checking in the app will often help you track down the problem. I hope you found this video useful. If you did, please click the thumbs up button and don’t forget to subscribe. Thank you!

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

Leave a Comment