It is something that happens from time to time that typically requires you to have to reset power to them so they can start functioning again. You may find that your Echo speaker may stop responding, lagging by a handful of seconds to respond to a command or even light up from the initial trigger word.
This can cause a muddy experience with the speaker until it is working again. Something that is tolerable once in a while, but it appears that it has been happening more than usual. Some electronics (ie, smartphones, tablets, etc) can sometimes receive so many updates to their firmware that the hardware inside is no longer modern enough to keep up with things. However, in the case of an Echo speaker, which relies on the cloud for all of its processing, this shouldn’t be the case. This brings to question why latency and errors in interpretation of commands have been more present as of recent.
We ourselves have seen this in many scenarios. For example, You say “Alexa, set a timer for 5 minutes” and it may take 3 seconds for the ring to even light up. Then, it might even mess up the command because, at that point, it is all confused by how much of your command actually makes it through. Sometimes you ask it to play a certain channel on Pandora, and it plays something else that doesn’t sound anything like your request. The other day, we asked one to play something on SiriusXM and it replied with “If you are having an emergency, just say, call for help”. Again, a reset to its power and it is back to understanding you just fine. Thankfully, as we don’t want the fire department or 911 called because we tried to play Coffee House on SiriusXM.
So the answer is still the same. Reset the power to the speaker if you are having issues like this. However, we haven’t been able to get an answer to why this has been happening far more often for some users. Amazon has not commented on this outside of generic responses, so this continues to be a mystery. Maybe they secretly enabled “bugs: on” mode to help motivate people to upgrade to their new gen4 units. Either way, we have witnessed it ourselves, as we have multiple units throughout the office and have found ourselves resetting power to them far more often recently. So know that you aren’t alone.
In the meantime, it has led to some funny experiences, like our soffering to call for help as mentioned above. Have you run into this as well? Feel free to share your funny experiences below in the comments.