In iOS 14.5, Apple adds new voices to make Siri sound more like you

The original female Siri voice is no longer the default. Now you can choose from a more diverse range of voices that reflect the intonations of more people, thanks to Apple's tech.

Alison DeNisco Rayome Managing Editor
Managing Editor Alison DeNisco Rayome joined CNET in 2019, and is a member of the Home team. She is a co-lead of the CNET Tips and We Do the Math series, and manages the Home Tips series, testing out new hacks for cooking, cleaning and tinkering with all of the gadgets and appliances in your house. Alison was previously an editor at TechRepublic.
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Alison DeNisco Rayome
2 min read

Instead of a default female voice, iOS 14.5 gives you four different Siri voices to choose from when you set up a new device. 


Apple's new iPhone operating system iOS 14.5, now available for free download (though we recommend waiting a few days before downloading), brings several updated features to the  Siri  digital assistant, including new, more naturalistic voice options. Siri no longer has a default female voice when you set up a new Apple device -- instead, you'll be asked to choose from four voice options. If you aren't buying a new iPhone anytime soon, you can still find the voice options under Settings and pick a new one if you like once you update your current device to iOS 14.5. 

The new voice options were first unveiled by Apple in March in the iOS 14.5 developer and public beta. There are four American voices, two male and two female, of which one male voice and one female voice are new. As in iOS 14, you'll also find one male and one female voice each for the following regions: Australia, Britain, India, Ireland and South Africa.

Siri, Apple's voice assistant on more than 1 billion iPhones iPads , Macs and Apple Watch  models, has had a woman's voice as the default since the software was added to its popular smartphone in 2011 with the release of the iPhone 4S. Though Siri was initially limited to women's voices, Apple added a male voice for Siri in 2013, with iOS 7. Apple's decision to expand the voice assistant options for its popular iPhone comes as more companies embrace diversity and inclusion goals in all aspects of the tech that now powers most of our lives. It's also been part of the evolution of Apple's AI-driven voice software to recognize more accents, as some users have complained that Siri doesn't understand them

"We're excited to introduce two new Siri voices for English speakers and the option for Siri users to select the voice they want when they set up their device," Apple said in a statement provided to CNET in March. "This is a continuation of Apple's long-standing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and products and services that are designed to better reflect the diversity of the world we live in." 

Siri's new voices are generated through Apple's neural text-to-speech engine, which makes them sound more natural. While the original voice of Siri was created with a voice actor and then spliced together with machine learning models, the later voices are completely created by software, so they sound smoother. 

Ready to download iOS 14.5? We've got instructions on how to change Siri's voice once you do. Plus, here are all of the other best iOS features you'll want to explore and the rumors we've heard so far about iOS 15.

Watch this: What's new in iOS 14.5?