Alex differences between standard and enhanced quality

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Hi all, in OS X Yosemite when one downloads the Alex voice, he comes in two flavours. Standard and Enhanced quality.

I was just wondering, in terms of the sound, can anyone explain the differences between these two quality versions besides the file size of the enhanced quality being larger than standard.

Thank you




Submitted by Ekaj on Monday, December 29, 2014

Hi. I'm not sure about the difference in voice quality for the Alex Standard and the enhanced quality one, but I did get to sample him over the Christmas break. My sister upgraded to OS X Yosemite last month, and I was helping her out with something on her Mac. Alex sounds a bit more bubbly and energetic than he does in Mavericks, but I didn't want to do too much on my sister's Mac because she's got some important stuff saved on there for her volunteer job. I haven't yet been able to upgrade to Yosemite, but this morning I emailed Apple accessibility about the issue I've been experiencing. I did notice, however, that the Accessibility portion of Apple's website has been updated to reflect the Yosemite upgrade and other stuff.

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, January 1, 2015


Well, Alex enhanced is 911.6 mb, just like the version on iOS. Yes, Alex on iOS is 911.6 or 911.7 mb, not 869 like it says in the voice settings. I am talking about the actual file size.
As far as I can tell, the enhanced version of Alex has cleaner sounding voice samples and seems to read a little better. I've also noticed that the inflection has been majorly increased over versions of Alex from Lion all the way to Mavericks.
I still miss Leopard or Snow Leopard Alex, but the new Alex in Yosemite does sound better, at least in my opinion.

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, January 1, 2015

Is there a compact Alex? I can only find just the one Alex in system prefs.

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, January 1, 2015


No, there is not a compact Alex, thank god! It would sound horrible, I'm sure. You only have the standard 422 mb Alex that has always been there and ships with newly installed copies of Yosemite. You also have the option to download the enhanced version which is more than double the size of standard quality.

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, January 1, 2015

How does one go about download said enhanced Alex? I only see the regular Alex in my list of voices.

Submitted by Chris on Thursday, January 1, 2015

In order to download enhanced Alex, make sure that the chedkbox in the table row for Alex is checked and says upgrade to enhanced quality. It could also be possible that you've already downloaded enhanced Alex since it downloads it automatically the first time you install Yosemite. If that is the case, it just says Alex checked checkbox in the ovices table.

The other way to check is to go to /system/library/speech/voices and look for Alex.SpeechVOice.
Press command i and if it says 911 MB under the size, you have the enhanced quality version. If it says 422 MB, you have the standard version.
I hope this helps.

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Well, I finally managed to get Yosemite on here and I really like it thus far. I've been using the enhanced-quality Alex. I definitely notice a difference and he sounds even better than before. I also noticed we now have a Hebrew voice, both standard and compact sizes. I haven't tried her out yet much but I did get to sample her.

Submitted by Daniel on Thursday, January 15, 2015

So, is it just enhanced quality you get on the iphone 6 or can you download standard quality too.

Submitted by Usman on Thursday, January 15, 2015

It sounds more compact than the one on the mac but there is only one.

Submitted by Daniel on Friday, February 13, 2015

So I'm now the proud owner of an iPad Mini 2nd generation and have been playing around with the Alex voice on it. My question is, Is this the enhanced version that I'm using on the iPad? (not the standard version) that you can also get on the Mac.

Also, I'd like to try and adjust the speaking rate for him so that they match the same pace of which he speaks. Would you guys say that 40% on the Mac and 30% on iPad would fit? If that is the defaults, I then may slow him down a bit as that's a touch too fast for me personally. This is why I'm asking because once I can determine the defaults between iPad and Mac, I can then adjust on both devices occordenly by 5% increments. .

Hope these two questions makes sense.

Thank you

Submitted by Chris on Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What do you mean when you say Alex sounds more compact on iOS than OS X? It sounds the same to me, though it could just be that I'm not paying close enough attention. Still, it sounds exactly the same, down to the breathing.

TO answer the previous poster's question, I believe the version of Alex is the enhanced version, since it is using 911.7 MB