Until recently, the default voice for Apple’s Siri assistant was stereotypically female. But research has found that having AI assistants with a female voice by default can reinforce harmful stereotypes, so Apple tried to fix that in the upcoming iOS 14.5.
Starting with iOS 14.5, when you get a new phone, you will be prompted to choose a default voice for Siri, and Apple includes 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 sound after installation.
It’s a pretty simple process. Go to the Settings app, then Siri & Search and tap on Siri Voice. There, you will be presented with a list of options.
Currently, the only American variant with four sound options; There are only two available in the Australian, British, Indian, Irish and South African versions. The four US audio options are:
- Voice 1, a soft, masculine voice
- Voice 2, an energetic, confident female voice
- Voice 3 is similar to Voice 2 but similar to a male voice
- And finally, Voice 4, which is similar to the default Siri voice that has been around for all these years.
If you want to hear what it sounds like for you, they’re there in the tweet embedded below.
Siri’s new voice options in latest iOS 14.5 Beta pic.twitter.com/25pUA8kP7V
– Mitchell (@strawberrywell) April 2, 2021
Tapping a voice means “Hi, I’m Siri. Choose the voice you want me to use.” If you select sounds 1-3, your phone must download them before you can use them, but you don’t have to stay in the Settings app to do so. When the download is finished, Siri will respond with the sound you chose.
If you’ve just updated to macOS 11.3, you can also choose from the new options by going to System Preferences, then Siri. From there you can select the sound you want to use.
Update April 26 at 4:20AM ET: This article was originally published on April 2, 2021 and has now been updated as iOS 14.5 is out of beta.