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Here's how to change Alexa's name and voice
Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa, is supposed to personalize controlling your smart home. Alexa’s default identity can occasionally cause problems however, 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
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. Tap on Wake Word to pick one of Alexa's alternate names, Language to pick an alternate language or dialect, or Alexa's Voice (where available) to switch between male and female.
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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.
- Select 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 Wake Word.
- Select your new name.
Remember that you can only change names 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.
How to change Alexa’s voice
If you’re tired of the same voice answering commands, 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 Settings, then Device Settings.
- Select the Alexa speaker you want to change.
- Hit the Settings gear icon.
- Tap 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 Voice. New 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.
How to add a celebrity voice for Alexa
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 (if you’re in the US) is Samuel L. Jackson, known for movies like Pulp Fiction and The Avengers. You’ll have to pay Amazon $2.99 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 a new wake phrase, “Hey, Samuel.” You can control 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