as per the title, I go away from, and come back to alex time and time again, as it is the best at inflections, and just in general, even when speeded up, the performance is outstanding. I have not found another voice to rival it whatsoever
However, I do wish we had a female equivalent, as sometimes I would like to change to a female voice. Does anyone else feel similar?
By Kerie, 14 May, 2022
iOS and iPadOS
This would be amazing! I prefer female voices, so one using the same technology that powers Alex would be outstanding! I'm going to send this suggestion to Apple Accessibility.
i should do the same. I do love alex
Yeah, they're hoping they…
Yeah, they're hoping they can make the Siri voices that. And it's possible, try having Alexa read a book. But Apple are going to have to put a lot of people, linguists and writers and readers and such, on that, not just ML experts.
It's almost like you've read my mind. I feel exactly the same way and have had exactly the same thoughts more times than I can count. I've been longing for a female equivelent of Alex for many years now. While I'm dreaming, I'd like it to be a pleasant, sweet voice, not like most female TTS voices out there. Maybe something similar in sound to Ivona Salli or Acapella Tracy. The female siri voice currently known as siri voice 4 sounds pleasant enough, but she has too many pronunciation quirks and just can't compare to good old Alex. I wonder if apple will ever develop Alex's female counterpart.
The Siri voices are decent, but not as good as the Alex technology. I agree, a voice similar to the quality of IVONA Salli or Neo Speech Kate would be amazing! I use Salli daily in Windows with NVDA and love it!
Would prefer more quality voices similar to Vocalizes like the one in jaws. However I prefer that apple focus on updating voiceover and fix bugs. I do not think any majorupdate had been made since it was releasse. I do not want features but upgrate within VO. For $1000 for a phone, I want it to work well.
Of course we all want bug fixes, particularly on the Mac. However, Apple is ultimately in charge of what happens, and as we should all know by now, Apple does whatever they want, and if you don't like it, you can go pound sand.
I didn't mean this to turn into a complaints fest
this thread was about how good the alex voice is, not the bugs in IOS? my goodness sometimes I forget how whiny blind people are. Makes me annoyed I am one when I read so much complaining. If you don't like apple, do what I did, and take a walk on the Android side of life, I guarantee you'll be back
More voices with Alex's technology would be fine
I've also thought about that more times than I can count.
I think not only a female voice but more voices would be awesome.
As a matter of fact, I will also email Apple about this.
Localized Siri voices don't sound pleasing
My two cents.
Currently Apple develops Siri voices which sound really good when used with Siri as they utilize a newer machine-learning/deep-learning based technology. However, they lose their vigor and accuracy once their so-called localized versions are downloaded and installed for use with VoiceOver. As such, for instance, while I like the older American (Voice 4) female Siri voice when used for Siri responses, I've never been able to tolerate its mispronunciations and odd intonation changes with VoiceOver. Now that newer iDevices have the capability to handle machine-learning tasks on-device as evidenced by Siri's offline capabilities in iOS 15, I think Apple should allow VoiceOver to leverage the same technology with speech production -- at least for tasks involving continuous reading of books/articles. If things don't go awry, Windows 11 22 H2, slated for release later this year, will offer such voices for Narrator -- at least for US English in the first rollout phase. Guess interesting times are ahead of us, but sending requests to Apple in order to shift priorities in this arena wouldn't hurt at all. And, for whatever it's worth, lets not add extra Vocalizer voices if these newer technologies can be utilized -- unless adding a Vocalizer voice can result in supporting a new language -- Persian in my case, which isn't supported on iOS although its Vocalizer voice is available and JAWS for Windows now offers it, too.
have just emailed apple
emailed apple asking for more voices using alex technology, not to replace, but as well as
Here's hoping if enough of us do it, they will listen
Agree 100 percent with folks discussing siri voices. They're awesome as Siri, but usually fall apart when used with VO. The way Siri voice 4 says button right now, and the way she says window drive me nuts to the point where I can't even think about using her. I wonder why no additional voices using Alex's technology were developed. He's been around since I first got my mac in 2011, so it's not like it's brand new tech that is still in its infantsy. Perhaps I should join those of you who have emailed Apple Accessibility requesting additional voices with Alex's responsiveness and quality. Although, sadly, if Apple hasn't done anything new with this tech since 2011, or whenever Alex was first introduced, it doesn't seem as though he'll have any piers any time soon, if ever. I also agree that adding additional Vocalizer voices wouldn't accomplish anything meaningful. I use Vocalizer Nathan with JAWS, only because he's the best option for my hearing, but that doesn't mean I think he's even remotely as good as Alex. Anyway, I guess that all we can do is make our desire known to Apple and hope for the best.
Alex has been around since Mac OS X Leopard came out in 2007, so the technology is definitely not new. I still think the best version of the voice was in Snow Leopard from 2009, and there was a period of time where the inflection was awful and sounded extremely robotic.
I don't expect this to ever happen, but it would be interesting if we ever found out who created the voice samples and got more insight as to how the voice was generated. Sadly, this will never happen, as Apple is extremely secretive.
Think the siri voices are…
Think the siri voices are designed for a specific use case, they end up being a square peg in a round hole when it comes to a screen reader. they also don't scale well when it comes to speed.
I think this is a great idea.
Though, would some of you not agree that you stop listening to the voice after a whle and just parse the information its relaying?
Also, for that person who said blind people are whiny, don't generalise. It's a dick thing to do.
English version of Alex
This would be really nice. Alex is a good voice but i'm afraid I can't really tolerate an american bloke reading about cricket, rugby or the State Opening of parliament - Alex simply doesn't accord the gentleman usher of the black Rod the dignity he (or as is the case at present, she) deserves. To put it another way, I'm english and like my iPhone to be English too. bet that's really going to kick things off around here, isn't it? Well the upshot is that I'd like an English Alex; and I'd also be very supportive of a Welsh, Scottish etc. Alex.
another thought on this one
CereProc I believe have a Donald Trump voice and a Barack Obama voice, while Acapela has one for Her Majesty queen Elizabeth II (though that one's not great). So perhaps Apple could go down that route? I'd be very happy for Boris Johnson to voice my iPhone, or Margaret Thatcher. Tony Blair would also be good, or George Galloway. For clarity of expression, John Bercow I think would be exceptional.
"Though, would some of you not agree that you stop listening to the voice after a whle and just parse the information its relaying?"
Yes, with a few exceptions. I trained on the horrible computer voices back in the 80s, so I can tolerate a lot. Pauses and inflections that are too long/emphasized distract me. A few computer voices are so low quality that it's nearly impossible to distinguish between several consonants necessary to understand English. And some natural sounding voices have something about them that sounds off at high speech rates and becomes distracting to me.
I use Espeak a lot, and at very high rates. Other than a conflict between American and British schwa, I don't have any issue with understanding it or enjoying a novel with it. Fred on IOS sounds just fine to me. *clarification: I listen to Fred because of another comment, and I should have written acceptably understandable rather than "just fine." It sounds like the voice from the 80s on the Apple IIe bakc in the 80s, and isn't a jarring experience to me, but I would rather listen to Samantha.*
On the other hand, sighted people not used to that kind of voice are often annoyed by it, and sometimes feel the need to make comments. I keep my phone on the default Samantha that sounds a little like SIRI #4 because it is the most natural, small-sized voice that doesn't sound distracting at high rates. Keeps all the feathers smoothed back in any situation, and my brain can still lock in on the information flow, rather than voice quality.
Alex use to be my go to…
Alex use to be my go to voice but I started finding him too soft spoken at times so yes I'd like a female alex or at least do something to the soft spokenness of the current Alex voice.
Fred and Victoria voices are similar to Alex, they use the same speech engine and I have to agree that the Alex voice sounds much better than the two previous mentioned voices.
I wish Apple could make the ability to use third-party speech engines
Yes, I think that an idea of a voice like acapela Traicy and Ivona Salli would be great! Also, implementing the voices that already exist for ages on MAC like Vikie would be also a great idea! And of course updating Vocalizer voices for English and Spanish languages and adding already new existing voices for languages that aren't available at the moment would be highly appreciated.
I like how soft spoken alex is
in response to a comment above about how soft spoken alex is, I like it, and very often other tts just seems really harsh to my ears after a while, so I wouldn't want any changes to how softly Alex speaks, but the same voice technology, but with different accents, and male and female variants would be great
To add to my list of politician voices above, those who like the softly spoken Alex might enjoy Iain Duncan Smith. The quiet man is here to stay and he's turning up the volume, as the man himself once said.
In response to a point made above I, too, grew up on the computer voices of the 80s and 90s. I actually would be quite happy with the Dolphin Orpheus voice were it available. I'd use that for high speed reading and use something like Ivona Brian, which i think is by far and away the best voice out there, for reading the paper.
Having Boris Jonson speak…
Having Boris Jonson speak coherently would be an interesting experience...
The one I'd love, however, would be David Attenborough.
I think the whole idea is quite interesting because we do, as experience screenreader users, tend to jack the speed to the point where it sounds inhuman. The question is then, do we want intelligibility or do we want realism? I used to like eloquence, not because it sounded real in the slightest, but it worked well at speed.
It would be nice to have a greater range of voices though. Thinking I'd like a super realistic one for reading back my fiction writing, a rapid yet clear one for parsing websites and other wordy and data sparse media, and then something super precise for engineering projects such as programming or 3d printing where, as they say, the devil is in the detail.
Thoughts About This
A female counterpart to Apple Alex would be great, and perhaps TruVoice Alex could join them, lol. Anyone ever heard him? Julie from NeoSpeech would also be fabulous. All righty then, these are just my quick thoughts before going back downstairs to check on my laundry. Have a good one everybody.
had a follow up email from apple
they say they will pass my comments on to the appropriate team, so here's hoping.
From years of using System Access, I loved listening to NeoSpeech Paul and would love to see the whole suite of voices come to IOS and Mac OS.
Hi all. I agree a female version of Alex would be nice as I also prefer female voices for voiceover. I also agree with comments mentioned above that Siri voices can't compare to voiceover voices. They work well as Siri and in my opinion that's about it. I am currently using Ava as she is very clear to understand. We will see what happens with IOs 16 and WWDC.
Taylor Swift voice
I would love if Taylor Swift was a text-to-speech voice on my iPhone!
I don't use Alex much because he sounds too robotic for my hearing aids. I also prefer female voices. I don't even use Victoria and Fred. They're worse than Alex! I will say that the American Siri Voice 5 is tolerable. Otherwise, my go-to voice is Karen Enhanced from Australia. I also agree that the bug fixes for both VoiceOver and braille displays should be fixed.
Forthcoming new voices
Didn't Apple announce some new VoiceOver voices at the last Global Accessibility Day event? Does anyone know what these are? Are they just new languages?
I'm just trying out Alex based on this post. Is it my imagination or is it much, much faster than other voices? On my iPhone, I use UK Siri voice 1 and it's fine except for the annoying intonations. I had been using Kate (terrible!) on the Mac before discovering Karen which is pretty good. I'm still a relative amateur compared to most of you on here, and I'd just about made it to 73 rate with Karen. Alex just seems crazy fast. I'll see if I can get used to him. But I also prefer female voices.
Has anyone heard the new Windows Narrator natural voices that I think are still in insider builds? I heard a couple of them on a podcast and they sound incredible. I'm not too keen on robot voices, so the more natural the better.
I do get Alexa to read Kindle books to me on my Echo and I'm always amazed by how good it is. It's never going to be as good as a human, but my mind is always blown by how natural it is.
Oh wow I just heard Alex read back my post and it's just so crazy fast. If I drop him down to about 60 it still feels like it's pushing it. I guess I'll stick it out for a bit and see how it goes. But I was feeling quite pleased with myself when I got past 70 with Karen. I'm sure I can hear Alex taking a deep breath as he launches into each sentence.
I'm guessing that's why he's so popular.
the uk voices.
Hello everyone. I do love to have a female equivalent of the Alex; though, really hope that we get the novelty voices for the UK English since the current voices are, let's just say, awful. very robotic, not much inflection where it needed to bee and lower quality.
@beeing a little
Hello mate hope you are marvaless. I thought that I was the only bloke who was searching for the English voices since I love the use English United Kingdom. as an half englishman, the voices helps me to reconnect to my English harytage and gets me closer to my roots. hope we Englishmen will get what we desire in the voice quality perspective.
Re: Forthcoming new voices
@mr grieves Yes, Apple introduced new voices both for existing languages and for new languages, but it's rumored that they are Vocalizer voices which are already available to JAWS users or, via some add-ons, to NVDA users. So Apple is catching up with those which is, IMO, a good step forward especially for new languages like Persian (Farsi), Ukrainian, Croatian, etc. And extra US/UK voices are also welcome.
As for the new Windows Narrator natural voices, they sound awesome. In fact, I also have to agree that they are the most natural-sounding voices which I've worked with in terms of being available to a screen reader offline. Win 11 22H2 RTM offers 3 US English natural voices for Narrator, so they're not available for JAWS or NVDA - at least for now. Each voice requires about 12MB of space which is impressive, and all of them are really similar to their online counterparts as far as overall intonation is concerned. However, the online versions are more accurate in terms of pronunciation. For instance, the online voices pronounce "triskaidekaphobia" correctly whereas the offline counterparts don't, and the latter sound like Windows OneCore voices pronunciation-wise.
Finally, I also think that Alex speaks much faster compared with other voices or it may be because of the way it sort of cobbles together adjacent words. I use Alex at %60 - my comfort zone, but I can drive many other voices higher though not as high as, say, Eloquence on Windows. That said, I currently prefer Alex to all iOS voices as its intonation is much more natural and it speaks in a mostly low-frequency way.
Urgh! Really what is with the voices?
English SouthAfrica; one of the voices I just got addicted to. Sorry not a big fan of Alex but the one I like is Siri 3 a male voice that sounds like a rockstar. The English SouthAfrica voice is not available anymore I think because the last time I tried to set it up for a Siri Shortcut I was not able to get it. Which also left me with a bitter taste about the Shortcut apps. accessibility
Creating our own TTS voices?
I’d love the ability if us users could create our own text to speech voices, then use them with voiceover.
I’m not sure if this would actually ever come to fruition, but the idea came from an interaction I had in an Apple store once.
The story went something like this:
I went to the store, to get one of my devices fixed. The woman helping me, asked me the following, “Have you ever considered becoming a voice for either voiceover or Siri? “
At first, I wasn’t really sure how to respond. As I thought about it for a minute though, on second thought, it would be pretty cool.
What do you guys think?
You'd have to go to a professional studio and record hours of voice samples.
True, I’m using Nikki at the moment.
You’re right. You probably would have to go to some sort of professional studio to do that, but it would still be cool.
I’m using the Nikki voice at the moment.
Actually, these days it's relatively easy to create a custom text to speech voice on your own. No need for a professional studio, and all the tools required are free and open source. Most likely would not be too difficult for Apple to implement, and frankly I'm surprised they haven't done so already. Maybe one day. If you'd like to know more about this let me know and I would be happy to go into more details. I'm planning on doing a walk-through of my process for creating custom TTS voices soon on Mosen at large, so stay tuned for that.
Yes, I’d certainly be interested in what process you use. I will definitely be on the lookout for that episode of Mosen At Large. He does a great job with his podcast.
Love Alex voice & would certainly love to hear a female version
I agree. Alex is one of the best voices around, at least, to my ears. Don't know how feasible a female equivalent is, but let's hope and see!