Voice Announcement Files

The Voice Announcement feature in the second generation MOTOTRBO radios allows the user to hear pre-recorded voice announcements whenever they perform an operation (e.g. changing zones, channels or pressing a button). The voice announcements are pre-recorded files which are converted by the CPS and loaded into the radio.

Since we are not talking of Hifi quality here, these files are stored by the CPS (and loaded into the radio) as .mva files with μ-law (pron: mu law) with: 8 bits per sample; 8 KHz sampling rate; mono and less than 160kb (approximately 20 seconds).
Since this format may not always be available, you have the ability to point the CPS to a .wav (Windows Audio) file with: 16 bits per sample; 8 KHz sampling rate; mono and no bigger than 320kb. The CPS will convert .wav into .mva automatically.
To avoid issues with distortion, the audio level should be around -16dB with peaks no more than -4dB. There is sufficient memory in the radio to support a total of 500 seconds of Voice Announcements. This equates to approximately 8Mb of .wav files.

A selection of professionally recorded Voice Announcement files, is included with CPS version 7.6 and later. These files can be found at C:\Program Files (x86)\Motorola\MOTOTRBO CPS\voiceannouncement - the recordings are in English. If you need to customize these, you can approach the company who produced them: GM Voices.
An excellent sound recording and editing tool is available on the internet for free, called Audacity. Using this software; a good microphone and a (ad-hoc) recording studio, you can create your own Voice Announcement files.
The secret of good quality sound is the microphone. You should try to use a studio grade microphone. Computer headsets (particularly these) and stage type microphones are not the best choice. The microphone you choose should be unidirectional. The recordings should be made in a quiet room which is furnished. The furniture ensures that there is no (or little) echo.
It’s a good idea to make some test recordings to see if they sound okay.

All MOTOTRBO radios with firmware version R02.xx.xx support Voice Announcement. Radios with firmware version R01.xx.xx cannot be upgraded to R02.00.00 or any version R01.xx.xx.
To load your recordings into the radio, connect the radio to the PC via the USB programming cable. Start the CPS and click on Device, Manage Voice Announcement. The CPS will interrogate the radio so therefore the radio needs to be turned on and the driver needs to be installed.
If all is in order, a Manage Voice Announcement dialog box appears. The Voice Announcement files in the radio and PC (on disk) are automatically displayed on their respective lists. You can point to your own  Voice Announcement files by clicking on Browse choosing the folder and clicking Refresh.

Once the files are selected, they can be loaded into the radio by pressing the Load To Radio button.
Once loaded into the radio, you can start to assign Voice Announcements to specific events - the radio’s codeplug needs to be read for this.
The Priority setting defines what priority the Voice Announcements have over radio traffic and other alerts. It is also possible to assign Voice Announcements to channels, Zones and, in Linked Capacity Plus, sites.


  1. Is there a way to get the radio to speak the Zones as you scroll through then when changing to a new zone. We have several people who are blind, and the Voice Announcements are a fantastic addition, except for this one item.

    1. Yes you can. If you click on the Channels folder, you will see a table on the right showing the zones. If you've gone through the steps, in the above post, to set up voice announcements, the drop-down should be un-greyed, allowing selection of the relevant voice announcement file.
      There are also sample files included which say "Zone 1, Zone 2" and so forth in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Motorola\MOTOTRBO CPS\voiceannouncement folder.
      Have a look at http://bit.ly/18ThAYD.

  2. Thank you for the reply. We set up the radio as required, and we have assigned each zone a Voice Announcement as you have shown in the bit.ly link. And, when we press the P1 key to change zones, it does announce the name of the zone it is currently on.

    But as you press the up or down key to change zones, it does not say the zone that is currently highlighted as you scroll through them, which would be very helpful because it is possible to lose count, and then the guys have to back out and start all over again and count in their head how many times they press the button.

    And we realize it may not be possible in the current firmware, I just wanted to ask because your site is a fantastic resource and we really appreciate all of the work you put into it.

    Thanks again!

    1. I was not aware of that. Thanks, I'll pass that on. What firmware do you currently have in those radios?

    2. The firmware in the XPR7550 radios is R02.06.33. And I know that these radios are in the U.S. region, and not your area, but maybe if there is a way to get it to work in both areas it would be great!

      Again, thank you again for all of your help and your great web site!

    3. R02.08.00 is now the latest. I can't see anything in the release history about that though I will have a go at it in the next few days.
      In principle, if anything is added/changed in the DP4801 firmware, the XPR7550 will also be affected.

      Thank you for visiting and for the kind complements.

    4. Sorry, wrong number: R02.30.01 is the latest. I was looking at the wrong document...

  3. Hi. Can anyone make a voicefile for me that sais "Zone Sweden" and one that sais "Channel Sweden 1"? Maybe in some text to speach engine with nice female voice. I am visually impaired and it helps me alot with voiceannounce.
    Kind regards
    Stefan / Sm7TIx

    1. I use the following website to create all my voice files. http://www.fromtexttospeech.com/. Sometimes I have to play around with the spelling of a word to get the correct pronunciation. but the web site saves me a lot of time. I then use Audacity to format the audio files to be used in Motorola Radios. The only modification I make is, Changing field Project Rate (Hz) to 8000 Hz.

  4. Hi Wayne
    Fabulous blog. Thanks.
    Please could you give some details as to how to set up audacity to record files suitable for Mototrbo ?
    Thanks Iain G4DPF

    1. There's a lot of useful information at http://audacity.sourceforge.net/help/

    2. I use the following website to create all my voice files. http://www.fromtexttospeech.com/. Sometimes I have to play around with the spelling of a word to get the correct pronunciation. but the web site saves me a lot of time. I then use Audacity to format the audio files to be used in Motorola Radios. The only modification I make is, Changing field Project Rate (Hz) to 8000 Hz.

    3. And one parameter else: you must save file as mono wav. Thank you for useful reference.

  5. Hi Wayne -
    Great resource, thanks!
    In case anyone else finds this page through search, the correct incantation to get the OS X 'say' command to emit a wave file that the CPS likes is:

    say --file-format=WAVE --data-format=I16@8000 -o [filename].wav [thing you want said]

    Simon VK2THZ

  6. Hello Simon (VK2THZ)
    What software are you using to transfer in the XPR

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Jeremy B
    Hi Wayne -
    You are a great resource for Motorola information and I've found the answer to plenty of problems with your help. This one that I'm currently working on has me stupmed.... I'm working with Motorola models 7350, 7550 and 7550e trying to load some new voice announcements after changing some channel names in our repeater system. The voice files were all recorded using Audacity, they are all WAV files, the largest file is 92KBps. The issue I'm trying to correct is that some of the voice announcements are getting cut off, for example: Talkaround ICS Operations will be announced as Talkaround IC... I know that the files are not too large, and this problem is happening across all 3 models that I'm working with. Can you please provide some guidance or at least a good starting point? Thanks

    1. I've not seen that before so here are some things to try:

      The voice announcements cannot be longer than 20 seconds each, including silence. Just to be sure, confirm this is not the case.

      There is also a limitation of 128 announced channels - if this limitation is exceeded it could be that the radio is possibly truncating the announcement (I'm not so sure on this point). So maybe try only loading this announcement (Talkaround ICS Operations) or just a few and see if this makes any difference.

      It could also be that there is some sort of traffic on the channel which I think causes the announcement to stop. So perhaps try the same with the antenna off.

      Otherwise have a look at https://cwh050.blogspot.com/p/support.html.

    2. Thanks for your reply, the gremlins are still winning this battle. The largest .wav file is 92KB with a duration of 6.04 seconds. I have a total of 29 announcement files. All of my programming and testing was conducted with radio anntennas removed to avoid traffic interruptions. In my original post I stated that the issue was found across all 3 radio models (xpr 7350, 7550, 7550e) however, I have proven myself wrong(it happens now and then), the announcements are working just fine on the xpr 7550's. Also, to eliminate any concerns of hardware issues, all programming and testing thus far has been conducted on 3 of each model radio. In case this could be related to a known software issue, I'm using Mototrbo version 15.5, build 797, codeplug version 10.05.06
      A representative from our company (we are a reputable Motorola dealer) and I have been working with the Motorola support team on & off for about a week now and we all remain stumped on the issue.


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