Troubleshoot issues with Kinect voice commands


You can control your Xbox One console by using voice commands via a Kinect sensor. For example, you can pause a film or invite a friend to chat using voice commands.

The Xbox One Kinect sensor uses a microphone to hear your voice commands. Making sure that your Kinect sensor can hear your voice commands is a key to a great experience. This article describes how to troubleshoot issues with the Kinect microphone when you try to use voice commands.

Things to know

Consider the following points when you try to adjust the Kinect microphone or configure your play space:

  • The Kinect microphone is designed to hear everything in your play space. However, things like appliances, speakers and fans, or lots of people can interfere with the Kinect microphone. In these scenarios, Kinect may not recognise precise voice commands.
  • Make sure that Kinect is plugged in and turned on. The Xbox logo will be lit when the sensor is on. If your sensor won’t turn on, try the troubleshooting steps in Kinect sensor won’t turn on.
  • If you are having trouble with a specific game or app, view the tutorial or try to calibrate the Kinect sensor from within the game or app.
  • If you want to learn the available voice commands, please see Xbox One Kinect voice commands.
  • Voice commands only work with a Kinect sensor. You can’t use an Xbox One headset to give voice commands.
  • You can only use the “Xbox on” command if your console is set to use the Instant-On power mode. For information, see About energy-saving and Instant-On power modes.

Troubleshooting Kinect voice commands

If you are having trouble getting your Kinect sensor to recognise voice commands, try the following.

Verify that your Kinect sensor is on

Press the Menu button on your controller, select Settings, then select Kinect.

Verify that the Kinect on setting is selected. If it isn’t, select Kinect on to turn the sensor on.

Power cycle your console

Follow these steps:

  1. While the console is on, press and hold the console’s Xbox button for 5 seconds. The console will turn off.
  2. Wait 30 seconds, and then turn your console on again by pressing the Xbox button on your controller or on your console.

Note If your console is in Instant-On power mode, the steps above will shut the console completely off. (Instant-On mode, or the ability to turn on your console by saying “Xbox On”, won’t be enabled until you restart the console.)

Calibrate the Kinect microphone

To calibrate the microphone, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Menu button on your controller, select Settings, then select Kinect.
  2. Select Kinect doesn’t hear me.
  3. On the Let’s check your audio screen, select Start audio check.

    Before you start the audio check:

    • Make sure that our speakers are turned on and the volume is louder than normal.
    • Make sure that the room is quiet.
    • If you use a home cinema system, make sure that the system is on and set louder than normal.

  4. During the audio check, the sensor checks the background noise in your play space. If there is not too much background noise, the system automatically goes to the next step. If there is too much background noise, minimise the background noise and then run the audio check again.
  5. During the audio check, the sensor plays several tones to determine speaker placement. The system displays a screen when it calibrates the microphone. This may take a few seconds.
  6. Verify that a success screen appears that indicates that the audio is set up correctly.

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