Updated to reflect that the new masculine voice option and "Ziggy" wake word are separate features.
What you need to know
- Amazon has finally rolled out a male voice option for its digital assistant.
- Alexa also has a new wake word, allowing you to summon the assistant by calling it "Ziggy."
- The new voice option was added alongside new celebrity voices last week.
Nearly seven years after its introduction, Amazon's virtual assistant has finally gained a male voice option. First spotted by The Ambient, the new voice option is named can be heard here. The update also introduces the new "Ziggy" wake word for Alexa.
You can get the new voice by saying, "Alexa, change your voice." Alternatively, you can make the change by opening the Alexa app on the best Android phones and heading over to Device Settings > Alexa's Voice. Choose the "New" option to set the masculine voice as the default on your Alexa device.
To change the wake word, say, "Alexa, change your wake word." In case you have multiple Alexa devices in your home, you'll have to repeat the process for each device.
Ever since Alexa was first introduced in 2013, Amazon has only offered a feminine-sounding voice for the virtual assistant. Unlike Amazon, Google and Apple have already offered both feminine and masculine-sounding voice options for their virtual assistants.
The option was apparently added along with new celebrity voices, including Shaq and Melissa McCarthy, last week. You can get started with the new celebrity voices by saying, "Alexa, introduce me to Shaq," or "Alexa, introduce me to Melissa." Like other celebrity voices, however, you will have to pay extra to access the new voices. Both the new Shaq and Melissa McCarthy personalities are priced at $4.99.
The new male voice option and Ziggy wake word are only available to users in the U.S. right now, but they will likely begin making their way to other countries sometime later this year.
Amazon Echo (4th Gen)
The fourth-generation Echo is the best Alexa speaker for most people. It has an attractive design, a built-in Zigbee smart hub, and improved speakers over the previous-gen model.
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