Amazon’s famous family of Echo speakers are loaded to the brim with amazing lifestyle features and automation skills. Now, if only we could only liven up Alexa’s monotone way of speaking — a perfectly firm female companion to Space Odyssey’s HAL 9000. Well lucky for you, there are a few ways to change Alexa’s voice. You can change the voice of Alexa to one with a regional accent, a celebrity, and even a different language altogether.
Want to give Alexa a British accent? You can make that happen. But here’s a fair warning: Changing Alexa’s voice will also make it harder for the device to understand your voice if you don’t speak in the particular accent in question. So, unless you can do a perfect U.K. accent that would make Benedict Cumberbatch and the Queen of England proud, Alexa may be confused by your voice.
Still want to change Amazon Alexa’s voice? Here’s how.
How to change Alexa’s accent or language
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. 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.
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 more), as well as new default language options.
If you live in a country where English is not the primary language, or you’re learning a second language and want to get all the practice you can get, you can change Alexa’s default language to German, Spanish, Japanese, Italian, Portuguese, or French.
Do note that not all language choices will fully support all of your Alexa’s normal capabilities, including music streaming, assigned skills, and some other types of content.
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 dialect capabilities.
How to enable skills to get celebrity voices to talk to you
What if you want to have a famous celebrity speaking to you from Alexa? Thanks to Alexa Skills, you can have people like Gordon Ramsay, the famously foul-mouthed TV chef, speaking to you from the device.
Note that Ramsay’s famous voice won’t be replacing the default voice altogether. Instead, there will be predetermined phrases spoken by the chef, featuring his penchant for harshly criticizing perfectly edible food. Here’s how to get Ramsay to criticize your cooking skills. You can use these steps to enable skills with other celebrities as well.
1. Open the Alexa app
Once again, open up the Alexa app, and tap Menu.
2. Select the skill
Select the Skills button. From there, type in Gordon Ramsay to search for his voice. Select the first skill that pops up (it 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.
Many skills you can also activate simply by asking Alexa to enable them, although you’ll first need to know which one you want in order to make the request.