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Easy Ways To Install And Change Waze Voices

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The average driver these days uses some kind of navigation program, and at the top of many people’s list is Waze, a community-driven navigation aid that lives on your smartphone.

Like other personal assistants— Siri, Alexa, the Google Assistant, and the like— Waze offers some options for the voice that tells you what to do and where and when to turn.

Where Waze differs in this customizable vein is the variety of voices Waze users can choose— from celebrities to fictional characters from Sesame Street.

Let’s take a closer look at what options you have for customizing this Waze feature and improving your experience as a Waze user for your next road trip.

What are Waze Voices?

Waze Voices are, honestly, one of the things that Wazers (users, fans, and devotees of the smartphone app) love most about the navigation app.

In fact, in the eternal Waze vs. Google Maps debate, many people cite the voice feature as the thing that puts Waze over the top.

Since Waze gives turn-by-turn directions, and since people who like smartphone apps lean toward being gadgets, it should come as no surprise that, at some point, someone said, “Wouldn’t it be cool if Morgan Freeman or Darth Vader tell me what direction to go?”

And customization of the navigation voice was born.

Before that happened, though, Waze offered a selection of different voices so users could customize their Waze experience.

These options remain, and while they’re not celebrity voices, they offer some variety, including:

  • Regular old American English speakers Sarah, Ben, Jane, and Amy.
  • Fictional characters like the pups from Paw Patrol and Halo’s Master Cheif.
  • German speakers Kathi and Sofie.
  • Nederlanders Femke, Bram, and Thomas.
  • British and Australian English voices.
  • Nearly a dozen Spanish-speaking voices.
  • A grab bag of other languages.

Haven’t we all experimented with changing Siri’s voice?

My Siri speaks with a South African accent to remind me of Linda, my high school girlfriend (who’s probably lost her accent by now).

Waze Voices also allows you to record yourself or someone you know to live inside your Waze app and tell you what to do and when to do it.

And these days, you have a slew of celebrities to choose from in addition to other customization features.

Do All Waze Voices Include Street Names?

Not all Waze Voices include street names, and this seems to be the one hangup some Waze users have about the app’s customizability.

After all, some people depend on hearing the street name they’re looking for, and without the spoken street name, some Waze users may feel the need to look at their phone while driving, which we all know is a bad idea (3,142 people died in 2019 due to distracted driving of this very sort).

Finding which voices have street names is simple, though it involves clicking a few times to get to it.

We’ll discuss that process in a bit, but for now, just know that the list of Waze Voices in the app will list some of those voices as “Including street names.”

Without that indicator, you won’t have street names with the voice you choose.

How Many Options Are There for Waze Voices?

The number of options for Waze Voice is something of a moving target.

You’ll have more than 100 voices to choose from when you download the app.

That doesn’t include the Waze Voices the app adds from time to time to coincide with a project a celebrity might be hawking— you might find an Arnold Schwarzenegger option when the Governator has a new movie coming out.

Sometimes, a celebrity voice gets featured within the Waze app, at which time you have the option of activating it from the “My Waze” screen, where you might find an entry like “Drive with Christina Aguilera.”

Tapping this option lets you choose Xtina Baby Jane’s voice to guide you on your travels without having to scroll through all the voice options.

Waze Voice Packs

As Waze updates its available voices, they’ll populate the list of voices you can choose from to help with your navigation.

The celebrity voices often appear for a limited time, so if you’ve chosen Stephen Colbert as the one you want telling you where you’re headed, there may come a time when he stops talking to you, and you have to choose someone else.

Waze Celebrity Voices

The list changes from time to time, but celebrity voices past and present include:

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Boy George
  • Christina Aguilera (in English or Spanish)
  • Ed Helms
  • Elvis Presley
  • Jay Leno
  • Kevin Conroy
  • Kevin Hart
  • Liam Neeson
  • Morgan Freeman
  • Mr T
  • Neil Patrick Harris
  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Roberts Lejasmeijers (a Latvian DJ who offers directions in his native language)
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Stephen Colbert
  • T-Pain
  • Terry Crews

Waze Voices Personalities

Perhaps you have a favorite fictional character, athlete, or television presenter.

In that case, you have a few of those to choose from in the Waze app, too. Past and present choices include:

  • A cat
  • A dog
  • C-3PO
  • Colonel Sanders
  • Cookie Monster
  • DJ Khaled
  • James May
  • Jeremy Clarkson
  • Halos Master Chief (in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or French)
  • Richard Hammond
  • Tony Fernandes of AirAsia
  • Vlade Divac

How to Create Your Own Waze Voice

If Waze users become unhappy with or grow tired of Waze’s default voice but don’t find any available celebrity voices they want, they have the option of recording a new voice— their own or someone they know.

  1. From your Waze home screen, click “My Waze.”
  2. On the next screen, tap the cog in the upper left corner (Settings).
  3. In Settings, hit “Voice & sound.”
  4. On the next screen, tap “Waze voice.”
  5. At the top of the screen, find “Add a voice,” which will allow you to record a new voice.
  6. When you tap it, you’ll get a safety warning instructing you to make sure your recordings are clear and audible.
  7. Next, you have to name the voice.
  8. After that, tap on each phrase listed (43 of them) to record yourself or your chosen voice person speaking each one into the voice recorder.
  9. When you’re done, hit “Save” at the top of the screen.
  10. That will take you back to the “Voice directions” screen, where the voice you just recorded will appear as an option for you to choose.

How to Change Voices on Waze

With all the possible voices you can choose for your Waze voice (because who wants to use the default voice?), it would pay to know how to access them, so here’s the step-by-step.

  1. From your Waze home screen, click “My Waze.”
  2. On the next screen, tap the cog in the upper left corner (Settings). The button in the upper right corner is the Sleep button, so avoid that one.
  3. In Settings, hit “Voice & sound.”
  4. On the next screen, tap “Waze voice.”
  5. You’ll see a list you can scroll through with all your options. All the American English voices are up top, and then there’s a semi-alphabetical order to the rest of them. It’s hard, after all, to alphabetize Cyrillic letters.
  6. Touch the one you want, and a checkmark will appear.
  7. Hit the back arrow at the top left of the screen, and you’re all set.

Waze Voices FAQ

Some of your questions about a voice pack and the Waze app may as yet remain unanswered, so here are some of the more common ones.

Do Waze Voice Packs Cost Anything?

They don’t.

However, you can no longer download voice packs. Instead, when Waze offers a new voice option, it simply appears in the list of voices you can choose from.

Featured voices will appear as an option on the My Waze page.

Waze is free.

Are Waze Voices Available in All Languages?

Well, ALL languages, are a stretch.

No, Waze Voices are not available in all languages.

There is no Urdu, Basque, or Tagalog option.

Few African languages appear on the list (though Afrikaans is).

However, there are a lot of languages there— Hebrew, several Slavic tongues, French, Greek, Italian, to name a few, and a host of variations of English dialects.

What Happened To [Insert Celebrity Voice Here] on Waze?

Other than the non-celebrity voice options, Waze voices come and go.

You may have had Terry Crews on there for a time, but you had to choose another one when it went away.

Enterprising Waze users have backed up those voice files in the past so they had unfettered access to them, but changes to the app’s function and appearance in the recent past make it difficult to use those recordings these days.

Wrapping Up

The world of navigating apps has a lot of options, but Waze’s customization options propel it above a great deal of the field of competitors.

Choosing different voices and languages as your navigation voice allows for a wide variety of possible configurations to make your Waze app your own.

Add the cycling in and out of celebrity voices, and you’ve got an enjoyable way to get from point A to point B.

Download the Waze app for Android or iOS now and get directions from a famous person.

Who wouldn’t want C3PO navigating for them?

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