Alexa’s soothing voice has been echoing through smart homes since 2015, and we’ve become used to the assistant’s feminine tone. While both Google and Apple offer a choice of voices, including a male tone and even some celebrity vocals, for their assistants, Amazon has lagged behind - with just one other choice, Samuel L. Jackson, which was released in 2019. Until recently that is.
Amazon recently introduced a masculine voice for its smart speakers and smart display, known as Ziggy, along with the option to have Alexa adopt the voice of Melissa McCarthy or Shaquille O’Neal (although those do come at a cost of $4.99).
So whether you’ve got an Amazon Echo Dot (2020) or the Amazon Echo Show 10, you can change how the voice assistant sounds…. if you’re in the US, that is.
Like many great Amazon Echo features including being able to make zoom calls on its smart displays, and Alexa Guard, which sees the voice assistant notify your smartphone if it hears an unusual noise in your home, Ziggy and Alexa’s celebrity personalities are not currently available in the UK or Australia.
We spoke to Amazon and a representative confirmed that the ability to change Alexa’s voice is restricted to the US at present. Amazon told TechRadar it wasn’t able to reveal if this will change in the future.
Fancy grabbing yourself one of Amazon’s smart speakers or smart displays? Check out the best prices on offer right now.
How to change Alexa’s voice
There are two ways to change Alexa’s voice on Amazon Echo devices. You can either say “Alexa, change your voice” or you can use the Alexa app.
When asking Alexa directly, the voice assistant will ask you to confirm which Echo speaker you want to change the voice on, if you have more than one in the house. Tell Alexa which device you want the voice to change on, and if successful Alexa will respond in the new masculine tone.
If using the Alexa app, select the Devices tab from the bottom of the screen followed by Echo & Alexa. From the list of Echo devices displayed, select the speaker on which you want to change Alexa’s voice, and choose the cog in the top right-hand corner to access the settings menu.
Scroll down to Alexa’s voice and choose between either Original (the feminine tone) and New, which is Ziggy.
You can also change the smart speaker’s wake word to Ziggy if you want your device to fully embrace its new personality. This can also be accessed from the same settings menu, under the section marked Wake Word.
- Discover every Alexa privacy setting and how to change them
- What is Amazon Kids on Alexa, and how do I turn it on?
- Find out which voice assistant is better with Alexa vs Google Assistant
How to change Alexa’s voice to a celebrity
If you prefer Alexa can also take on a celebrity’s voice, although as we’ve mentioned this will cost $4.99 per voice. Say “Alexa introduce me to…” followed by the name of one of the three celebrities.
Alexa will respond in the celebrity’s voice and give you a rundown of the different things that voice can do, and then ask you to confirm you’re happy for your Amazon account to be charged for the voice.
Once you agree, you’ll then be able to say “Hey, …” followed by the celebrity’s name to wake up Amazon’s voice assistant. If you accidentally use Alexa, or the other wake words, if you have them selected, the voice assistant will respond in its usual tone.
- Check out these great cheap Echo deals
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Carrie-Ann Skinner was formerly Homes Editor at TechRadar, and has more than two decades of experience in both online and print journalism, with 13 years of that spent covering all-things tech. Carrie specializes in smart home devices such as smart plugs and smart lights, as well as large and small appliances including vacuum cleaners, air fryers, stand mixers, and coffee machines. Carrie is now a copy editor at PWC.