Until recently, the default voice for Apple’s Siri assistant has been stereotypically female-sounding. However, studies have found that having AI assistants default to female-sounding voices can reinforce harmful stereotypes, so Apple has tried to fix that in its upcoming iOS 14.5.
Starting with iOS 14.5, when you get a new phone, you’ll be prompted to pick a default voice for Siri — and Apple is including two new voice options. But if you’ve updated your current phone to 14.5, you don’t have to wait. This guide will show you how to change the voice after setup.
It’s a reasonably simple process. First, go to the Settings app, then to Siri & Search, and tap Siri Voice. There, you’ll be presented with the list of options.
At the moment, the American variety is the only one with four voice choices; Australian, British, Indian, Irish, and South African versions only have two. The four US voice choices are:
- Voice 1, which is a soft-spoken male-sounding voice
- Voice 2, an energetic, confident female-sounding voice
- Voice 3 is similar to Voice 2 but male-sounding
- And finally, Voice 4, which is similar to the default Siri voice that’s been around all these years
If you want to hear what the voices sound like for yourself, they’re in the embedded tweet below.
Siri's new voice options in the latest iOS 14.5 Beta pic.twitter.com/25pUA8kP7V— Mitchell (@strawberrywell) April 2, 2021
Tapping on a voice will play a snippet of it saying “Hi, I’m Siri. Choose the voice you’d like me to use.” If you choose voices 1–3, your phone will have to download them before you can use them, but you don’t have to stay in the Settings app while it does so. Once it’s finished downloading, Siri will respond with your chosen voice.
If you’ve just updated to macOS 11.3, you can also select from the new options by going to System Preferences, then Siri. From there, you can choose the voice you want to use.
Update April 26th, 4:20AM ET: This article was originally published on April 2nd, 2021 and has been updated now that iOS 14.5 is out of beta.