Across Apple’s various device, using Siri is usually a cinch — it just takes a button press or a simple key phrase. Apple Watch users have longed for a raise to speak feature since the first Apple Watch launched with Siri! And now it’s finally here with watchOS 5–Series 3 users and above.
But invoking the digital assistant is going to get even easier and more seamless. You’ll no longer have to press the Digital Crown or say “Hey Siri” to activate it. Instead, thanks to a new feature in watchOS 5, you just need to make one simple gesture.
That feature is called Raise to Speak, and it pretty much does exactly what it says -you raise your wrist toward your face to invoke Siri.
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From there, you can just begin speaking your command. It doesn’t get much more frictionless than that. With that being said, there are a few other things you should know about the feature.
- How to Enable Siri Raise to Speak
- How to Use Raise to Speak
- Other Useful Things to Know
- Raise To Speak Not Working on Apple Watch, Here’s How To Fix
How to Enable Siri Raise to Speak
Raise to Speak for Siri is on by default in watchOS 5. But it might have gotten switched off inadvertently, so you may want to double-check the setting.
Raise to Speak works with Apple Watch Series 3 and above
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
- Tap on General.
- Scroll down and find Siri. Tap on it.
- Make sure that Raise to Speak is toggled on.
If it still isn’t working, you may be running an older beta version of watchOS 5 (several of the first betas didn’t contain the feature). Update your iOS to the current publically released version of watchOS.
How to Use Raise to Speak
The whole Raise to Speak feature is meant to be easy, so there’s not really a lot to explain.
Using Raise to Speak is literally a two-step process
- Raise your wrist with the Apple Watch.
- Begin speaking your command into the Apple Watch.
If the feature triggered correctly, then Siri should be automatically listening to your command. It’s that easy. Just takes a couple of seconds for Siri to come back with your sports updates.
No more ‘Hey Siri.’ Merely bring the watch close to your mouth and request information.
Additional Usage Tips
Of course, there are a couple of other things to keep in mind to ensure that your Raise to Speak experience is as smooth as possible.
Tip: If the Raise to Speak doesn’t work after the watchOS 5 update, try restarting your Apple Watch. It usually works after a restart.
The feature relies on a slightly different motion than simply raising the Apple Watch to view the time. The wearable can tell the difference between these two gestures and determine your intent, but sometimes it takes a little coaxing.
For example, to properly activate Raise to Speak, you may need to occasionally raise your wrist just a bit higher and closer to your face.
You’ll also need to use a normal speaking volume for Siri to comprehend your inquiry or request. Whispered voice commands doesn’t work as of watchOS 5.
Tip: After you ask Siri something, you can lower your wrist. You’ll feel a tap when Siri has a response.
On the other end of the spectrum, the feature uses proximity to the Apple Watch to determine intent. So Raise to Speak won’t be accidentally activated by other peoples’ voices.
Similarly, you’ll never have to worry about accidentally setting off your iPhone or HomePod device if you use Raise to Speak on your Apple Watch.
Other Useful Things to Know
There are a couple of other options in Settings that can affect your Raise to Speak experience. These aren’t essential tips, but they’re good to know if you use Siri a lot on your Apple wearable.
First off, you can actually change Siri’s speaking response volume. This is a handy feature, so the digital assistant doesn’t respond too loudly or quietly for your environment or circumstances.
Change Siri Response Volume
- Open the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
- Tap on General
- Scroll down and tap on Siri.
- Again, scroll all the way to the volume.
- You should see Voice Volume — Speaker.
- Tap and drag the slider, or use the Digital Crown to adjust the volume to your liking.
Note: This will only change Siri’s speaking volume through the Apple Watch’s speaker, not headphone volume.
You can also edit when Siri actually responds vocally to the Voice Feedback setting. Find it in the same Settings —> General —> Siri menu as the last Siri option.
There are three options
- Always On. Siri will always respond vocally to your commands.
- Control With Silent mode. Siri will respond vocally, but not if Silent Mode is activated.
- Headphones Only. Siri will only respond vocally if you’re wearing AirPods or other Bluetooth-enabled headphones.
Raise To Speak Not Working on Apple Watch, Here’s How To Fix
Is the new Raise to Speak feature not working correctly on your Apple Watch? Several users report that it’s a hit or miss and they can’t seem to find out what is causing the issue.
8 out of 10 times, its how you position the Apple Watch when using this feature that determines whether the feature will work or not.
As mentioned earlier, this feature does require Series 3 or later models running watchOS 5 and higher. The feature also doesn’t seem to work when you have your AirPods connected to your Apple Watch. Disconnect the AirPods and give it a try.
Here are a few guidelines that should help if you are facing this issue after upgrading to watchOS 5. Please try steps 1,2,3 and check. If that doesn’t work then you can try the steps 4 through 6 and test after each step.
- On your Apple Watch, Tap on Settings > General > Siri to make sure that Raise to Speak is ON. If it is ON, toggle it to OFF, wait for a few seconds and then switch it back to ON.
- Restart Your Apple Watch.
- The watch orientation is critical when using this feature. The Apple watch face should be sort of perpendicular to the floor. You will need to rotate your wrist so that the watch face is facing your mouth. It requires a medium to high volume when you speak into the unit.
- On your iPhone, go to Settings > Siri & Search and turn off Listen for “Hey Siri.” Then turn it on again.
- On your iPhone, check if Siri is turned on. Tap Settings > Siri & Search, then turn on Listen for “Hey Siri”. On iPhone X, turn on Press Side Button for Siri. On iPhone 8 or earlier, turn on Press Home for Siri. Your Apple Watch mirrors your iPhone, so you don’t need to check your watch.
- Try removing any screen covers or other protective devices and check in case these accessories may be blocking your microphone.
If you are still having issues, its time to reach out to Apple Support and check with them
We hope that you found this helpful!
Mike is a freelance journalist from San Diego, California.
While he primarily covers Apple and consumer technology, he has past experience writing about public safety, local government, and education for a variety of publications.
He’s worn quite a few hats in the journalism field, including writer, editor, and news designer.