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Here's how to change Alexa's name and voice

You don't need to stick with Alexa's stock name and voice!
By
April 26, 2022

Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, is meant to offer a personal way of interacting with your smart home. However, Alexa’s default settings can occasionally cause problems, especially if you have a family member with the same name or even casually mention the assistant in conversation. You might also tire of the same voice day in and day out. If so, here’s how to change Alexa’s name and voice.

See also: The best Alexa speakers

QUICK ANSWER

Using the Alexa app on your Android or iOS device, go to the Devices tab, then Echo & Alexa. Choose the speaker you want to change. Tap the Settings gear icon. Next, tap on Wake Word to pick one of Alexa's alternate names or Language to pick an alternate language or dialect.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

How to change Alexa’s name

Changing Alexa’s name is simple, but at the moment, you only have a few Amazon-sanctioned alternatives: Computer, Echo, Amazon, or sometimes Ziggy. Ziggy is probably the least likely to cause accidental triggers, although Computer is no doubt tempting for Star Trek fans. 

Here are the steps to switch names.

  • Open the Alexa app on your Android or iOS device.
  • Tap on the Devices tab.
  • Go to Echo & Alexa.
  • Choose the device you want to change the name of.
  • Tap on the Settings gear icon.
  • Tap on the Wake Word button.
  • Select your new name.

There you go, you’ve successfully renamed a robot. Remember that you can only change words on a speaker-by-speaker basis. This can be time-consuming if you have several devices and want to make changes across the board, but you can also exploit the arrangement to trigger a specific speaker or let family members use names they prefer.

More: Our guide to Amazon Alexa commands


How to change Alexa’s voice

If you’re tired of the same voice answering your every beck and call, it’s time to give Alexa a new one. You can tap into several different languages and regional variations. In the US, you can also swap from female to male.

Here are the steps for switching built-in voice options.

  • Open the Alexa app and select the More tab.
  • Tap the Settings button and head to Device Settings.
  • Select the Alexa speaker you want to change.
  • Hit the Settings gear icon.
  • Tap on Language.
  • Choose your new language or languages (Alexa can sometimes be bilingual!). This includes different dialects and accents — changing to “English (United Kingdom),” for example, will give Alexa a British accent.
  • To flip between male and female voices, go back to the gear icon menu, and tap on Alexa’s VoiceNew is the male option.

Note that only some languages are fully supported in each region, so features may be lost if you go outside those boundaries.

Related: The best smart displays the market has to offer


How to add a celebrity voice for Alexa

Samuel L. Jackson Alexa Voice

Want to have some fun? A few celebrity voices are available for Alexa, although you’re pretty limited in terms of options. One of the funniest is Samuel L. Jackson, known for movies like Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. You’ll have to pay Amazon $5 to hear Samuel L. answer your questions and curse at you.

If you decide to add Nick Fury’s voice to your Echo speaker, you can kick things off with the command, “Alexa, introduce me to Samuel L. Jackson.” From there, you can talk to Samuel directly with the new wake phrase, “Hey, Samuel.” You can control his explicit language settings from your Alexa app, and we highly recommend asking his opinion of snakes. Be aware that his voice won’t work with shopping, lists, reminders, or skills.

Free third-party voices out there include the likes of Gordon Ramsay, R2-D2, and ex-President Trump. As with Samuel, you can enable them as skills, but these others are even more limited — they’re meant as self-contained entertainment. Still, it’s a way of eking a little more personality out of your smart home tech.

Read more: How to use Amazon Alexa