An essential part of any smart home is a reliable hub for all of your devices to connect with, providing the infrastructure for one class of hardware to handshake with another. One of the more notable smart control systems is Amazon Alexa.
Built into a number of Amazon’s smart speakers and displays, along with a host of third-party devices, the Alexa voice assistant responds to voice and Alexa app commands to execute your every smart home need. Want to remotely dim the smart lights? Alexa can do it. Want to blast your favorite music? You got it. Did you order something on Amazon? Alexa will tell you when the package is at your front door by way of flashing lights on the device, along with a notification from your Alexa app. Looking for a quick dinner recipe? Ask away. Want to make phone calls without your phone? Your Alexa speaker can do that, too.
With developers adding and tweaking Alexa functions and skills daily, the sky is truly the limit for Amazon’s virtual assistant. But let’s be frank: Alexa’s default speaking voice sounds pretty monotone. Fortunately, you can change Alexa’s settings and have her speak in another language or regional accent. There’s even a skill for adding celebrity voices to the mix, although these add-ons are more for entertainment and less for day-to-day Alexa commands.
Want to change Amazon Alexa’s voice? Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Alexa app
Grab the device you use to control Alexa’s settings, whether it’s your smartphone or tablet. Tap on the Alexa app icon to open up the app (available for both iOS and Android devices). Tap the three-barred menu icon at the top left of the home page, then tap Settings > Device Settings. Wait until the list of connected devices pops up on the screen, then choose the device for which you’d like to change Alexa’s voice.
Step 2: Select your language
Once you’ve chosen the device you want to configure, scroll down until you see Language, and give that word a tap. You’ll see a drop-down box featuring a mixed list of English accent options, including Canadian, United Kingdom, Australian, French, and a few others.
If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, or you’re learning a second language and want to practice it, you can change Alexa’s default language to German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, or French.
Do note that not all language choices will support all of Alexa’s capabilities. Things like music streaming and other skills may not be compatible with every newly designated language.
Step 3: Confirm changes
When you’ve made your accent or language choice, the app will ask you to confirm your selection. Now, go ahead and ask Alexa a whole bunch of questions to test your device’s new language preferences.
In addition to language and dialect switch-ups, Alexa users can now choose between female- and male-speaking voices. The new masculine assistant was introduced in mid-2021, along with a new wake word — Ziggy. While you can change between female and male assistants using the Alexa app by selecting an Echo device and tapping Device Settings > Alexa’s Voice and selecting either Original (female) or New (male), you can also change these preferences by speaking to your Echo speaker or display.
Step 1: Change your voice
Get within earshot of the Echo speaker or display you want to change the spoken voice of and say, “Alexa, change your voice.” For homes running more than one Echo device on the same network, Alexa will ask you to specify which Echo.
Step 2: Confirm your changes
Once you’ve clarified the Echo device, Alexa will respond (from the indicated device) in her/his new voice. If the device was originally set to the default female voice, it will now be male, and vice versa.
Did you know you can converse with celebrities using Alexa? Thanks to Alexa Skills, you can have folks like Gordon Ramsay, the famously foul-mouthed TV chef, speak to you from your Alexa device.
Do note that Ramsay’s voice won’t be *replacing *your Alexa’s default voice. Instead, there will be predetermined phrases spoken by the chef, featuring his penchant for harshly criticizing perfectly edible food. You can use these steps to enable skills for other celebrities, too, including Samuel L. Jackson, Shaquille O’ Neal, and Melissa McCarthy (each of these additional voices costs $5), as well as Deadpool and Pikachu (both free).
For today, let’s stick with the angry chef. Here’s how to get Ramsay to criticize your cooking skills.
Step 1: Open the Alexa app
Once again, open up the Alexa app, and select Menu.
Step 2: Add the skill in the Alexa app
Select the Skills button. From there, type in Gordon Ramsay to search for his voice. Select the first skill that pops up. The top result should be from Ground Control; otherwise, it’s probably not the one you want. Then, sit back and enjoy being mocked by one of the most famous chefs on the planet. Ask him what he thinks of your scrambled eggs or to try your french toast.
Step 3: Add the skill with voice commands
You also have the option to add specific skills to your Alexa by asking for her to enable them. When you issue the command, say the exact name of the skill you want to enable. Being specific with the skill names will ensure that Alexa can program what you request.
In the case of Gordon Ramsay, you can say, “Alexa, enable Gordon Ramsay skill.” Your device should respond with “Here’s the skill, Gordon Ramsay, from Ground Control.” This is the reply you should get any time Alexa adds a new skill to the app. After this step, your self-deprecating yet oddly satisfying conversation with Chef Ramsay can begin.
It’s handy to understand how to make changes to the tone and language even though Alexa’s abilities extend much further than her voice range. You can have some fun by using celebrity voices or enabling a new dialect so Alexa can understand your voice. Either way, there’s an easy way to achieve your voice-control goals through the app or via a conversation with your go-to voice assistant.
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