Meet Microsoft David, Hazel and Zira – Windows default voices

In Windows XP and Windows 2000 you had the TTS voice known as Microsoft SAM. In these earlier versions, Microsoft Mike and Microsoft Mary were the optional male and female voices respectively, which were available for download from the Microsoft website. But these did not work on the latter Windows versions.

Windows Vista and Windows 7 introduced us to Microsoft Anna, the new Text-To-Speech voice replacement. The Chinese releases of Windows 7 had Microsoft Lili. Now in Windows 8/10 you have Microsoft David, Microsoft Hazel or Microsoft Zira as the default voices of the operating system.

Microsoft David, Hazel and Zira

microsoft david hazel zira

Windows has further revamped this technology. These default voices in Windows 8/10 sound more natural. Microsoft David is a ‘US male’ voice, Microsoft Hazel is a ‘UK female’ voice, and Microsoft Zira is a ‘US female’ voice.

To hear these voices and configure them, open Control Panel > All Control Panel Items > Speech Recognition. In the LHS pane click Text to Speech. Here, you can control text to speech properties and hear each of the voices by selecting the voice from the drop-down menu and clicking on the Preview  Voice button.

You can also select the voice speed by moving the slider, the audio output and the preferred audio device by clicking on the Advanced button.

Want to hear how the old one’s ? I came across these samples on MSDN blog.

Microsoft Mary | Microsoft Mike | Microsoft Sam | Microsoft Anna.

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

18 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    The problem is these voices keep constantly changing. So if you used a voice in a particular product, say if you used a male character and used Sam voice, in Vista it gets replaced by female voice for male character as Anna is the only voice. Once again we use Anna and it gets replaced by different voices which is not like Anna. This is very bad compatibility. Anna should be available in Windows 8 and David/Zira/Hazel should be available on Windows 7.

  2. Random Anonymous

    Is it possible to install voices from Win8 to Win7?

  3. Graci Graci

    How do I download Zira (US female) on Windows XP? – she’s the only one sounding remotely intelligent and interesting to listen to. Craci! 😀

  4. Priscila Tavares

    Have a voice in Portuguese, how can I install it on windows 8?

  5. ?????

    ????? ????? Russian ???? ?

  6. phil

    Does anyon know how to make Hazel pronounce A as Aee when reading A1 01, she says Ahh. If you type ABC she says ABC.
    Tried full full stop, and space but can get her to pronouceit as Aee, zira pronouces A as Ae fine?

  7. Anonymous

    Where’s Microsoft Sam?

  8. Brian Stump

    Microsoft Hazel does not come with Windows 10 by default.

  9. Brian Stump

    Actually, you can install at least Microsoft Zira and Hazel on Windows 7 by downloading an application that uses the Microsoft Speech Platform and downloading ZiraPro and Hazel from the Microsoft Download Center, but of course it won’t even work without the Microsoft Speech Platform installed, which is also part of downloading through the Microsoft Download Center because the Microsoft Speech Platform doesn’t come with Windows. Unfortunately the downside is there is no male voices on the platform so Microsoft David cannot be installed.

  10. Brian Stump

    You need an application that uses the Microsoft Speech Platform (not SAPI 4 or SAPI 5, for speech server platform) and you can install a modified, and, in my opinion, better version of Microsoft Zira for Windows 7 and Microsoft Hazel for Windows 7. Unfortunately, the platform doesn’t come with male voices so you will not find Microsoft David in that list.

  11. Brian Stump

    I’m sorry, but the speech server platform is only supported on Windows Vista and later. I know Microsoft Sam is annoying. ANd bad. However, if you install Microsoft Streets and Trips 2006 to 2011 you can get Microsoft Anna in the list which is better than Sam Mike and Mary. It possibly also beats LH Michael and LH Michelle (if you use Microsoft Office XP or 2003, you will get those voices by default).

  12. Brian Stump

    There already is a portuguese voice for Windows 8. But the question comes along is are you using Windows 8 2012, or Windows 8.1?

  13. Brian Stump

    Hazel is a UK English voice so she will sound different to Zira in pronouncing things and the speech engine is different from David and Zira.

  14. Pybro

    So, I’m wondering, Windows 8.1, for me at least, has Hazel, Zira and… Heera? I have an indian voice. Is this normal? Pretty sure I should have David instead, which is slightly annoying, as I have no male voices.

  15. Anonymous

    It does if you’re in the UK :^)

  16. Calico Jack

    Microsoft David is the best one. =(

  17. Calico Jack

    Microsoft David is amazing–perfect.
    Unfortunately it’s not possible to put David on Windows 7. I’m stuck with Anna (absolutely horrible).

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