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How to get all of Google Assistant’s new voices right now

Google Assistant is getting a new voice. In fact, it's getting six new voices. Here's how you can try them today.

Taylor Martin CNET Contributor
Taylor Martin has covered technology online for over six years. He has reviewed smartphones for Pocketnow and Android Authority and loves building stuff on his YouTube channel, MOD. He has a dangerous obsession with coffee and is afraid of free time.
Taylor Martin
2 min read
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Tuesday, at the I/O 2018 conference, Google announced that users would soon be able to choose among six new voices, including the voice of John Legend. These new voices are powered by WaveNet, an AI-based voice synthesizer created by DeepMind, a subsidiary of Google UK.

Watch this: Give Google Assistant a new voice

WaveNet lets Google simulate entire vocabularies without needing so many actual human recordings. This will let them more easily turn popular voices -- like John Legend's, and possibly others in the future -- into the voice that powers your Google Home speakers and Google Assistant interactions on your phone.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

If you've grown tired of Google Assistant's standard, robotic voice, you'll be happy to know that you can change it right now. Here's how.

Open the Google Assistant app on your Android or iOS device. Tap the three dots in the upper right corner of the screen and go to Settings > Preferences > Assistant Voice. There, you can choose from all eight voices currently available and you can preview each one by tapping the speaker icon to the right of each option.

The voice you select in this menu will be the voice that plays back to you when you use Assistant on your Android or iOS device, as well as on your Google Home speakers. And this voice selection works with multiple users, so each user in the household could select a different voice preference.

We tested this on an iPhone X, Galaxy S8+ and Pixel 2 XL and the voices were available on all three. If you do not see these voice selections available, make sure your Google Assistant app is up to date and try force-stopping the application, if possible. If that doesn't work, it may take some time for the new voices to become available to all; these updates sometimes roll out in phases.

Watch this: John Legend's voice is coming to Google Assistant

It's important to note that John Legend's voice is not yet available. Google tells us it will be rolling out separately later this year. Also, depending on your language settings, the additional voices may not be available on your devices.

Google I/O: All our coverage of this year's developer conference.

Google Assistant could become the most lifelike AI yet: Experimental technology called Duplex, rolling out soon in a limited release, makes you think you're talking to a real person.