If you’re looking to take charge of Spotify with your voice minus the hassle of Alexa or Google Assistant, you can now ask the Spotify mobile app to tee up your favorite tunes without lifting a finger.
Once enabled, you can simply say the “Hey Spotify” wake word to search for artists, songs, playlists, and podcasts. You can also ask Spotify to pause your tunes, skip tracks, or add a song as a favorite.
Spotify’s new voice assistant only works when your phone is unlocked and the Spotify app is open, so it’s not entirely hands-free, but we’ll let it slide.
Native voice search has been a Spotify Premium perk for years, but until now, you had to press and hold a microphone button to control Spotify with your voice.
Word began leaking out about a month ago that Spotify was tinkering with using “Hey Spotify” as a wake word for voice commands.
The new “Hey Spotify” feature is opt-in, and if the feature has rolled out to your phone, you can enable it via a splash screen. Another option is to dig into the Settings screen, tap Voice Interactions, and switch on the “Hey Spotify” option.
On its “Voice on Spotify” terms and conditions page, Spotify says it will begin recording your voice after you say the wake word or tap the microphone icon, and that it will keep listening “until Spotify has processed your question or request”—in other words, the typical voice assistant privacy boilerplate.
If you’re uncomfortable with Spotify having control of your phone’s mic, you can always disable Android or iOS microphone access for the app, or simply turn off “Hey Spotify” functionality.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.