How to: Enable “Hey Siri” Hands-Free Functionality

Published On December 4, 2015 | How To

Siri CarPlay

Not all manufactures and OEM CarPlay systems have a dedicated Siri button. Without a physical button, you need to hold down on the CarPlay’s Home button in order to call Siri into action, but there is a more easier way than that…introducing ‘Hey Siri’ hands-free functionality. It is already on your iPhone, you just need to switch it on. Here’s how…

What is ‘Hey Siri’ ?

The ‘Hey Siri’ hands-free function allows you to speak to Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri, without pressing the Home button or pressing any button on the wheel, dash, or headunit. Simply saying ‘Hey Siri’ will wake him/her up and you can continue to command Siri immediately after.

‘Hey Siri’ works great with CarPlay and allows you to keep your hands firmly on the wheel and your eyes on the road. Allowing ‘Hey Siri’ is off by default, so to turn it on you must do the following.

How to turn ‘Hey Siri’ On

  1. Enter the Settings AppIMG_0798
  2. Select General SettingsIMG_0788
  3. Select Siri SettingsIMG_0789
  4. Turn ‘Allow Hey Siri‘ switch to the On (green) positionSiri Settings
  5. You will then be asked to Set Up ‘Hey Siri’. Press the ‘Set Up Now‘ button to continueSetup Hey Siri 
  6. You will next be asked to call out the words ‘Hey Siri‘ a few times for Siri to understand your voiceHey Siri
  7. Once this is complete, you are all finished, select ‘Done‘ to continue.Siri Ready

‘Hey Siri’ and Apple CarPlay

Done? Good. Now, make sure your iPhone is connected to a power source. This isn’t a problem with CarPlay as your only option (until wireless CarPlay comes along) is to be connected to the CarPlay enabled headunit via a USB Lightning cable.

If you’re not using CarPlay you can still use ‘Hey Siri’, however you still have to have your iPhone connected to a power source, unless you have the latest iPhone.

Use ‘Hey Siri’ wirelessly if you have an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S+

If you have a 2015 iPhone 6S or iPhone 6S+, then you can use ‘Hey Siri’ without being connected to a power source. This is because Apple’s 2015 device has a low power mode that can still listen out for your voice command without the need for the device to be powered, unlike older models.

Troubleshooting & Tips:

  • Depending on your environment, such as car noise for example, you might have problems with Siri detecting your voice. If so, make sure your vehicle windows are up, to reduce wind and outside noise, and set the stereo volume low enough for Siri to hear you say the words ‘Hey Siri’. If you have a mute button, use it for the best performance.
  • You don’t have to wait with your command after saying ‘Hey Siri’. You can continue speaking, like ‘Hey Siri, where is the nearest pizza place?’ Your iPhone will wake up, Siri will activate and automatically continue with your request.
  • Make sure your iPhone is being charging for Siri to work with ‘Hey Siri’. Look for the charging icon at the top of your iPhone’s display. Without the iPhone being powered, it simply will not work, unless you have the latest iPhone, which doesn’t require the need for connected power to function, due to a better low power mode than older iPhone models.