Until recently, the default voice for Apple’s Siri Assistant sounded stereotypically feminine. However, studies have shown that having AI assistants that have female-sounding voices by default can reinforce harmful stereotypes, so Apple has been trying to fix this in the upcoming iOS 14.5, which is now in beta.
When you update your phone to iOS 14.5, you’ll be prompted to choose a default voice for Siri – and Apple adds two new voice options. However, if you’ve changed your mind and want to use a different voice (or if you’re on the 14.5 beta and aren’t prompted for it), this guide will show you how to change the voice after setting it up.
Currently, the American version is the only one with four voting options; Australian, British, Indian, Irish and South African versions only have two. The four American voting choices are:
- Voice 1, a softly spoken, masculine sounding voice
- Voice 2, an energetic, confident, feminine sounding voice
- Voice 3 is similar to voice 2, but it sounds masculine
- And finally, Voice 4, which is on par with the standard Siri voice that’s been around for all these years
If you’d like to hear what the voices sound like to yourself, they are in the embedded tweet below.
Tapping on a voice will play a snippet of it that says “ Hi, I’m Siri. Choose the voice you want me to use. If you choose voices 1–3, it must download them before you can use them, but you don’t need to stay in the Settings app while you do. Once the download is complete, Siri will respond with your chosen voice.
This process is unlikely to change in the final version, but if it does, we will definitely update this procedure.