The Eight Voices Of Android

The Eight Voices Of Android

You might not know but your Android phone has eight different sounding
voices you can pick from for use with Talkback or other Accessibility
services. They are free and are likely already a part of your phone.

There are voices still available for purchase on the Play Store from
third party sources. The problem is they are older & haven't been
updated in over two years. That is related to when Android started to
require apps be created in a 64 bit programming mode which left some of
these third party sources behind as they didn't or couldn't make the
move to change how their app was written.
While many of these third party text to speech engines still work on
Android 12 they are buggy and don't provide a great experience these
days as they once did.

Thankfully Google has developed what is currently called Speech Services
By Google which does just more than Text To Speech.
They have eight very clear sounding voices that you can select from for
use with TalkBack. I change the voice on a regular basis, to fit my mood
or just for something different coming out of my phone.

So lets take a trip through Android and learn how to change these voices.
First, just for reference I'm currently using a Pixel 5 running Android 12.

There are a few ways to get to these settings. You could open Settings,
then Accessibility, & go to Text To Speech Output.
You can also open the TalkBack menu with the swipe down then right
gesture and go to Text To Speech Settings, either way you'll end up at
the same place.

The first thing you'll hear is "Text To Speech Output" you'll know you
are at the right place when you hear that.
Move down to
Preferred Engine & unless you have some other Text To Speech app
installed & active you should hear
Preferred Engine Speech Services By Google. If you swipe to the right
from there you will be on Settings.

Double Tap on Settings to open it.
You will find things in this Settings menu such as
Install Voice Data
Amplify Speech Volume
Language Detection.
Double Tap on Install Voice Data.
Just a note, all eight of these voices are always on your phone, this is
just where we need to go to select one.

You are now presented with a list of languages that Speech Services By
Google can speak.
Swipe left or right to move through the list until you find your language,
English United States for me, and Double Tap on it.

You'll hear "English United States Voices."
There are eight options on this screen, those are the voices you can
select to use.  Just move to Voice1, Voice2, etc... & double tap on one
of them. You'll hear a different voice each time you select one.

After selecting one, anything you do in this list of voices will be in
that newly selected voice.
There is a button to play sample text for each voice but you can simply
just select a voice & hear a sample of that voice with anything you
navigate to on this screen. You can just Double Tap on Voice4 after
trying out Voice8 or Voice1 etc.. it doesn't have to be done in order.

Once you find a voice you want to use, you only have to navigate out of
this screen. You can use the Back gesture of Down then Left, or just
Double Tap the Navigate Up button in the upper left corner. Keep doing
this to get out of the settings.

This is something fun to explore & you can make TalkBack or other
services sound the way you want. After all, that is what Android is all


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