The Apple Watch’s spoken replies from Siri are very helpful, but sometimes the timing or volume can be an issue. Here’s how to silence Siri.
Apple‘s virtual assistant, Siri, can respond to questions and speak the answers aloud, even with an Apple Watch. It’s great that this powerful feature is available in such a tiny package and the Apple Watch’s built-in speaker is surprisingly powerful. However, there may be times when hearing a loud verbal response is not appropriate and changing Siri’s speaker volume takes longer than ideal.
The Apple Watch is a very capable device and for some, it is the best smartwatch on the market. It also has great fitness tracking features that can be extended further by installing any of the many workout apps available. In fact, the Apple Watch is so powerful, and loaded with so many features, that navigating them all can be a challenge. The App View can be simplified to show an alphabetical list and the Dock, which normally shows recent apps, can be changed to show a custom list of favorites for quicker access. Of course, this is a good use for Siri also, as simply asking Siri to open an app is the easiest way to access rarely used apps, as long as speaking to the Apple Watch is an option at the time.
Siri is a great addition to the Apple Watch, but sometimes reading Siri’s response is preferable. To turn off Siri’s spoken replies, open the Settings app on the Apple Watch and scroll down the list to find the settings for Siri. Tapping this will reveal options for adjusting how Siri interacts. One of the options will be Voice Feedback and tapping this, followed by Control With Silent Mode will allow Siri responses to be tied to the Silent Mode option found in the Control Center. An Apple Watch wearer can mute Siri, and all other sound output, by swiping up from the bottom edge and tapping the icon that looks like a bell. A message confirming Silent Mode will appear. Of course, the user does need to set this up in advance and remember to mute the sound using the bell icon. However, there are a few other options that might prove to be more convenient.
Alternatives To Apple’s Silent Mode
There are a few alternatives to switching to silent mode to mute Siri. One is to wear AirPods or other Bluetooth headphones and direct Siri to respond only through the headphones, using the ‘Headphones Only’ option. The user still has to speak the question, but the Apple Watch is very good at understanding voices even when whispering. Another option is to leave Siri in ‘Always On’ mode. In this default mode the answer will be spoken aloud, but one can simply lower Siri’s volume. The option to control Siri’s speaker output level is just below the ‘Voice Feedback’ choice. Tapping the muted speaker icon on the left lowers the volume, while tapping the speaker icon to the right increases volume. There are 16 levels, so there is a fair amount of refinement available with this option.
The third way to silence Siri is by clicking the crown or covering the face of the Apple Watch. This immediately mutes sound and turns of the display. Unfortunately, the on-screen information is cleared and the current watch face is shown after waking the Apple Watch back up. Therefore, this technique is only useful at times when the goal is to simply stop Siri from speaking as quickly as possible. For reference, Siri can’t speak at all on older Apple Watch models, considering the Series 3 was the first to gain the gift of speech.
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