Accidentally summoning an AI helper like Google Assistant by inadvertently speaking the wake word (or something that sounds enough like it to fool a computer) has become a fact of life ever since Siri was first introduced. It can be a chronic problem too, depending on your living situation and how you use your smart devices: Sometimes the things can be… overzealous in their desire to serve you and will assume any vocalisation means you’re trying to activate them. On the other hand, there are times when your devices can’t seem to hear you when you want them to.
Whatever the case, both accidental activations and inconsistent responses alike will hopefully soon be a thing of the past thanks to an upcoming Google Home update that adds a new “Hey/OK Google” sensitivity slider to the app’s settings.
The sensitivity slider gives you direct control over how easy it is for your Google Home and Nest speakers/hubs to recognise your commands, and can be adjusted individually for each connected device.
How to change the “Hey/OK Google” sensitivity in the Google Home app
Changing your Google Assistant-powered device’s voice sensitivity requires the latest Google Home app update. The update is gradually rolling out, so only some users may have it in their Google Home app right now. You can check for pending updates on the Google Play Store for Android devices, or on the Apple App Store for iOS users.
Here’s how to adjust the “Hey/OK Google” sensitivity in Google Home once you have to update installed:
Open the Google Home app.
Tap the device you wish to edit (or use this guide to connect a new device).
Tap the Settings icon, then go to Device Settings > “Hey/OK Google sensitivity.”
Drag the slider to your desired level of sensitivity. Higher sensitivity will make the device more likely to hear your voice.
Back out and repeat for any other devices you wish to edit.