Amazon has seemingly rolled out a new voice option for Alexa-powered devices and speakers. Unlike Alexa’s feminine-sounding voice, Echo speakers can now offer a new masculine-sounding voice option that has its own name, ‘Ziggy.’ It appears that name-scheming is chosen to fit Amazon’s “A to Z”-style of branding. Similarly, users can trigger Amazon’s virtual assistant by a new Ziggy wake-up command instead of the existing prefixes such as Alexa, Computer, Echo, and Amazon. Unfortunately, Amazon has not yet officially shared the development, and the feature appears to be limited to select regions. Folks at The Verge were able to change Amazon virtual assistant’s voice and use the new wake command Ziggy.
As pointed out by the publication, there are two ways users can change the voice of Alexa on Echo devices: through the device itself or via the Alexa mobile app. Additionally, it is said that Alexa’s voice’s on the Amazon Alexa app cannot be changed yet. To change the voice option on Echo or Echo Show, say the command “Alexa change your voice.” As reported by The Verge, Alexa will respond with the new voice and confirm that is how it will sound going forward if the method is successful (and available). On the other hand, to change the voice through the app, head to the Devices tab at the bottom > Tap on the Echo & Alexa button in the top left > Select device > Look for Settings cog wheel button at the upper right corner > Scroll down and look for the option Alexa’s Voice. If available, users can choose either Original (the feminine voice) or new (the masculine voice).
Amazon has only offered its feminine-sounding voice option since the Echo speaker debuted in 2013. Interestingly, if you ask Alexa’s gender, it replies saying “I am female in character,” as opposed to the previous response, “I am not a woman or a man, I am an AI.”