Virtual assistants have traditionally been given feminine personalities, for reasons that pertain to the way we perceive voices. We’re more likely to trust and accept directions from a woman, according to studies, and a feminine voice is more likely to be perceived as helpful, while masculine voices tend to sound more authoritative.
But not everyone wants their assistant to be a “girl,” so companies have been slowly adding male voice options to their repertoire.
The new feature seems to be rolling out widely, though from our experience, it’s a bit flaky for now. We were able to activate the new male voice on several devices, but when we tried to use it, we still heard the female voice in many cases. This is probably a temporary problem, as the feature propagates through Google’s vast infrastructure.
How to change the Google Assistant voice on your phone
1) Open the Google Assistant app from the launcher
2) Tap on the three-dot menu button and open Settings
3) Open Preferences and then Assistant Voice
4) Switch from Voice I (female) to Voice II (male)
Note that we tested the feature with US English as the system language. You may not be able to change the voice on other languages. You can also make your Google Home use the new male voice from the Preferences section of the Google Home app. The same limitations may apply.
It’s likely that Google will have an official announcement about this feature, and a whole lot more, at the Pixel launch event in just a few hours.
Will you change your Assistant’s voice?