I am looking for a single word alternative to "whispered". I am already using whispering for emotional, scared or caring dialogue and so the odd time when I try to use it for a neutral (unaffected) whisper it still feels to me like the character is being emotional, scarred or caring which gives of the wrong vibe. The closest I have found is "murmur" but that (to me at least) feels too much like "mumble", and "hiss" is usually used for aggressive whispering. Any suggestions at all?
I could go with something like "he/she said softly/gently/quietly etc" but I'm hoping there's a better alternative?