UK Echo users – Alexa is getting a new voice

UK Echo users – Alexa is getting a new voice

Users can make Alexa sound more masculine with this new option.

Amazon Echo users in the UK are finally able to change Alexa’s voice, Amazon has confirmed to TechRadar. The deeper-sounding alternative, which is already available to Echo owners in the US, is being rolled out to Amazon smart speakers and smart displays in the UK.

However, while in the US, Alexa’s name can be changed to Ziggy, Brits will have to wait until next year before they can assign this title to the voice assistant. For now, they’ll have to make do with the existing wake words – Alexa (the default), Computer, Amazon, or Echo – to summon the voice assistant.

Just say “Alexa, change your voice” to switch to the new more masculine voice; note, though, that an Amazon spokesperson told us the upgrade would land on devices “over the next few days”, so don’t be alarmed if Alexa is unable to do this immediately.

You can also use the Alexa app on your smartphone to switch between the two voices – read our article for in-depth instructions on how to change Alexa’s voice.

Amazon has lagged behind when it comes to offering a choice of voices for its virtual assistant, as both Google and Apple have offered an array of options for some time. While there are areas where Alexa trumps its rival voice assistants – such as the number of smart home devices it’s compatible with – the rollout of the deeper-voiced alternative in the UK shows that the brand is looking to square up to its rivals in all areas. However, it might not be enough to stop British Echo users from feeling a bit fed up.

While the masculine tone is a start, there’s still no sign of the celebrity voice alternatives that are available for Alexa in the US, which include Samuel L Jackson, Shaquille O’Neal, and Melissa McCarthy. When we asked Amazon about the possibility of celebrity voices heading to the UK, a spokesperson told TechRadar: “I’m afraid I can’t comment on our future roadmap.”

We also understand that Shaq may not be a big draw for those outside America, but both Samuel L Jackson and Melissa McCarthy are global superstars that resonate around the world – and a couple of British celeb options, such as Mary Berry or Daniel Craig, would be welcome too.

It’s not just the lack of voice choice that bothers us – from the ability to make zoom calls on the Amazon Echo range of smart displays, to using the handy Guard Plus feature to turn Alexa into a device that monitors your home for unusual noises, there are a wealth of features the UK users don’t have access to, and it’s starting to make us a little jealous.


Author Profile

Dan Dunn
Executive Managing editor

Editor and Admin at MarkMeets since Nov 2012. Columnist, reviewer and entertainment writer and oversees all of the section's news, features and interviews. During his career, he has written for numerous magazines.

Follow on Twitter

Leave a Reply