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Alexa, meet Ziggy: How to mix and match Amazon Echo’s new name and voice options

Chris Monroe/CNET

What is actually in a name? That which we call Alexa by any other title would seem as sweet. So, Alexa would, were being Amazon’s voice assistant not Alexa named, rather be summoned with a new wake term — Ziggy.

Without the need of substantially ado, Amazon recently extra Ziggy to the list of phrases you can use to get the interest of your Amazon Echo speaker or screen. You can only opt for just one wake phrase per Echo gadget, but each Echo can be established to its have wake phrase, indicating you can now have an Alexa, a Ziggy, an Amazon, an Echo or a Pc all at your beck and call.

If you’ve got developed weary of Alexa’s hitherto female-sounding voice, which up until finally now was the only decision you experienced, Amazon also unveiled a new masculine-sounding voice, which can — but won’t have to be — paired with Ziggy or any other wake word. 

In other terms, the overall look of Ziggy concurrent with a masculine voice possibility really should not be taken to suggest that just one belongs particularly with the other. Alternatively, you’re cost-free to mix and match wake terms with possibly of the two voices, and if you’ve obtained a bunch of Amazon Echos in your home, which is at minimum one truly good rationale to do so.

Nevertheless, that still will not handle the authentic query at the coronary heart of Amazon’s current clever speaker update: Who is Ziggy? For me, it can be evocative of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona — an alien androgyne from the long run, sent to assistance Earth. Tends to make perception, ideal?

Oh boy, was I wrong. Ziggy, as a pair of Twitter denizens pointed out to me, is also the title of the laptop on the Television set exhibit Quantum Leap. Curiously, though people referred to Ziggy in the course of the collection making use of masculine pronouns, when this fictional Ziggy was last but not least supplied a voice, it was voiced by a lady.

If you like, you can ask Alexa’s gender, and the voice assistant will make clear, “As an AI, I never have a gender.”

Now, just before any one tweets about the three celebrity voice choices you can pay out to set on your Amazon Echo unit — Samuel L. Jackson, Melissa McCarthy and Shaquille O’Neal — these incorporate-ons you should not replace almost everything Alexa suggests (the way the new voice choice does), just a several decide on responses — like weather, timers and some goofy, temperament-unique thoughts. 

Whether you assume a masculine-sounding voice and the identify Ziggy are a quantum leap forward in gender equity or you are just genuinely into cha-cha-cha-improvements, here is how to swap voices and wake phrases on your Amazon Echo speaker or screen.


Amazon’s voice assistant lives on all sorts of Echo sensible speakers, displays and even earbuds.

David Carnoy/CNET

Change your Echo’s wake term to Ziggy like this

The wake phrase is the identify you say to activate Amazon’s digital voice assistant the default wake word is Alexa. The techniques are the similar regardless of which solution you want to improve it to. There is the quick way — say, “Alexa [or whatever your current wake word is], change your wake term” and then reply to just one of the possibilities the voice assistant offers you. Then you can find the slower way:

1. Open up the Alexa application, then tap Units on the base menu bar, tap Echo & Alexa at the major, then tap the identify of the unit that you want to adjust the wake term for.

2. Faucet the Options (gear) icon in the higher appropriate corner, then scroll down and tap Wake Term, then tap the a single you’d like to use.

3. A popup will warn you it could get a couple of minutes to choose result — tap Alright.

Swap your Echo’s voice (using any wake term) like this

Just like with the wake word, there is certainly a voice command to modify Alexa’s voice — “Alexa, improve your voice.” Your Echo device will affirm that it is really using the new voice. If you alter to the masculine-sounding voice, you will be advised how to change the wake word as properly. Or you can do it in Settings:

1. Repeat actions 1 and 2 from higher than, but alternatively of Wake Term, tap Alexa’s Voice.

2. Select among Primary (feminine-sounding) and New (masculine-sounding), then simply again out of that location.

There you have it — you continue to you should not have a ton of alternatives (Google Assistant, for instance, has many voices to select from, while only 1 feasible wake phrase), but you’ve bought much more now than at any time just before.

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