Alexa’s pleasant, feminine voice has filled the homes of millions in recent years, but now Amazon has finally released a male counterpart for it. Amazon is late with this — both Apple and Google have been offering different voices, both female and male, in their virtual assistants for years. But late or not, it’s nice that Amazon is finally giving a choice for Alexa.
In addition to the two main Alexa voices, Amazon also has celebrity voices (now you can choose between Samuel L. Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Melissa McCarthy). These are programmed to work with certain phrases and answer certain questions – usually alarms and timers, jokes or weather reports. They also cost $5 each. Any question to an Echo device that is not supported by the chosen celebrity voice will get an answer from the native Alexa voice.
There are two ways you can change Alexa’s voice on your Echo devices: through the device itself or through the Alexa app. Note that it was less reliable for us to change the voice via the device – the surest way to do this is via the app.
Changing the voice only applies to the Echo device you’re currently using – if you want to switch to the male voice on multiple Echo speakers or displays in your home, you’ll need to do it one at a time. It is also not possible to change the Alexa voice used by the smartphone app itself; that remains the original, female voice. Hopefully in the future Amazon will add a way to change it globally for all Echo devices on an account.
Without further ado, here’s how to change Alexa’s voice on an Echo device:
On an Echo or Echo Show:
- Say the command “Alexa change your voice”.
- If you have more than one Echo, Alexa will ask you to specify the device.
- Say the name of the device on which you want to change the voice.
- If successful, Alexa will respond with the new voice and confirm that it will sound like that in the future.
- If it doesn’t work, Alexa will say something along the lines of “Sorry, [name of your device] does not support that.”
In the Alexa app for iOS or Android:
- Tap the Devices tab at the bottom.
- Tap the Echo & Alexa button in the top left corner.
- Tap the device you want to change Alexa’s voice on.
- Tap the Settings gear button in the top right.
- Scroll down to the option for Alexa’s Voice and tap it.
- Choose Original (the female voice) or New (the male voice).
How to use a celebrity voice:
- Say “Alexa introduce me” [name of celebrity].”
- Alexa switches to the celeb voice you selected and explains what you can do with it. To purchase the voice, you will be asked to confirm payment from your Amazon account.
- Once enabled, you can say “Hey” [celeb name]” to wake the Echo device. You can also enable the voice on any Echo you want to use it on. The default Alexa voice is still available if you use the Alexa wakeword.