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This documentation was last modified: Sunday, June 16th, 2019 at 7:12 pm


Precise is a Wake Word Listener. Like its name suggests, a Wake Word Listener‘s job is to continually listen to sounds and speech around the Device, and activate when the sounds or speech match a Wake Word.

Precise has been the default Wake Word Listener for each Mycroft Device since mid-March 2018. Prior to this date, PocketSphinx was the default. PocketSphinx is an alternative to Precise.

How do I install Precise as my Wake Word Listener?

To install Precise instead of PocketSphinx as your Wake Word, Speak to your Device:

Hey Mycroft, set the Listener to Precise

Mycroft will respond

"Downloading the new listener, this will take a bit and you won't be able to use me until it completes. Give me a minute before attempting to activate me again."

NOTE: As Precise is installing, it will download a 40Mb file to your Device. During this initial download period, your Device will not be able to respond to a Wake Word.

How do I change the Wake Word Listener back to PocketSphinx

To change the Wake Word Listener back to PocketSphinx if it has been set to Precise, Speak:

Hey Mycroft, set the Listener to default


Hey Mycroft, set the listener to PocketSphinx

Mycroft will respond

"I've set the Listener to PocketSphinx"

How do I tell which Wake Word Listener my Mycroft Device is using?

To find out which Wake Word Listener is active for the Mycroft Device you are using, simply Speak:

Hey Mycroft, what is the Listener?


Hey Mycroft, tell me what Listener you are using

If you are using Precise, Mycroft will respond:

"The current Listener is Precise"

What’s the difference between PocketSphinx and Precise?

PocketSphinx recognizes Wake Words based on the CMU Flite dictionary of sounds. In contrast, Precise is based on a neural network that is trained on sound patterns rather than word patterns. This reduces the dependence it has on particular languages or accents.

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