Siri, Can I Use a Different Voice?

As soon as Apple announced the Siri assistant app for the iPhone 4S, the first question many users wanted to ask is, “Can I change the voice of Siri?”

The new Siri assistant app is a virtual personal assistant that can do things you ask, by talking to it like you would a person. Siri talks back to you, allowing you to get confirmation, have your text messages read to you and tell you that you already have a meeting at that time.

Siri currently uses a female voice, that sounds similar to the OS X Text To Speech voices that are a part of Mac computers. You can hear one of the voices, called Alex, on Apple’s accessibility page. OS X users can choose from three male and three female voices. The Siri promotional video below seems to do better with names than the Text to Speech engine in OS X Lion and talks smoother.

Siri LogoWill we be able to choose our Siri voice? Right now, Siri is in beta and it appears that you can only have a female voice talk with you. Peter Kafka thinks this is because a male voice would sound too much like Hal 9000, but Apple has likely picked one voice in order to get things out the door.

Early versions of Apple’s Text-to-Speech software, called Macintalk had few voice options, but have grown to support multiple voices in over 21 languages. Given the early limitations, we wouldn’t be surprised if Apple added voices in future iOS updates, or when Siri leaves Beta.

Given the importance of voice in Siri’s performance, I would be surprised if Apple allowed third parties to sell Siri voice packs in the App Store. As much as you would like to have Mr. T., Betty White, KITT, Darth Vader or Hubert J. Farnsworth, telling you that you need an umbrella, I wouldn’t hold my breath. Still, I can dream right?

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Me: “Siri, will it rain?”

Mr. T Voice: “I pity the fool without an umbrella.”

We have reached out to Apple for news on this, but so far have not heard about support for multiple voices for Siri. If Apple confirms any information, we will update this post.

Comments

  1. Alexander Garcia says

    Siri is an epic FAIL in my opinion. Now imagine a bunch of douchebags talking to their phones (not having a conversation with someone on the other line, but actually taking directly to their phones) in a bus or a subway or a mall or an airport or on the streets or in a park or on a date or… well you get the picture. Siri will generate a new level of @$$hole-ery.

    • Leonard Holland says

      You do have the option of typing in what you want to Siri. So you dont have to worry about looking like a douche bag. 

    • Anonymous says

      I know. Imagine all these people…talking into their telephones! It’s madness! What a world, what a world!

    • Benfigueroa says

      Ok now I think siri was developed for use In sertin situations, Like if a person is blind this could be a very powerful device!! If you have fat finguers , or maybe like me.. Can’t spell lol ect..

    • Julien Geffray says

      As John Gruber already explained: “You might wonder, Hey, don’t you feel like a jerk walking around the city talking to your phone? But here’s the thing: Siri, by default, kicks in when you hold the iPhone up to your ear, so you can talk to it and it looks like you’re on a phone call.”

    • Bonersaurusrex says

      how does asking your phone something so you dont have to go thruogh the motions yourself make you look like a douche? or generate a new level of assholery.  imagine living in ny and being able to use your phone hands free and not get a 300$ ticket.  

      android does a lot of things but doesnt make you not look like a douche when you bash apple you scumbag.  you should find an iphone and ask siri for directions back to mexico  you scumbag wetback

    • Jordan023 says

      Hey look everyone this guy can’t afford an iPhone so he bashes it believe me I bought the galaxy note an it was the worst phone I have ever owned because droid sucks I didn’t find one thing on the droid I couldn’t do on the iPhone and the apps on droid are crap that’s why they are free screen lagged so bad and to find your stuff on droid its a 5 step process and the funny part is if you go to the app store you will find 70% of the apps are make your droid an iOS device home screen just like apple iPhone that’s what you find in the droid market place so my question is this if droid is so good why are all these apps in market place trying to make droid look like an iPhone. Why cause in 2 years droid will be bankrupt that’s why. Droid sucks

      • Jackson says

        You’re an idiot. There are so many things wrong with what you just said it’s laughable. Go back to school, child.

    • Michael says

      Oh come on, don’t you want to be able to say, “computer” and have it reply “computer working.” Or better yet, “I’m sorry I can’t do that Dave.”

  2. Vic says

    I want to have Jarvis on my phone like the interface in the Ironman movies. That would be so badass

  3. Benfigueroa says

    That’s so funny … I almost pissed my pants when I read the mr t script lol

    Thanks for the review!!

  4. 2somewhere says

    I would rather have someone talking to their phone then typing and not paying attention to where there going. A lot of states have band texting while driving (rightfully so) This is a safer alternative.

    • 2somewhere says

      Oh, and you can change the voice from female to male. I believe you have 2 choices of each.

  5. Cool_and_funky says

    Uk iPhone 4S has a male Siri voice. So there is an option if you change to UK English.

  6. Mark says

    Siri’s voice is currently controlled under Settings > International > Voice Control > Siri. 
    You get the female  voice for US English, male for UK. I tried the male UK setting, but he can’t understand my American accent very well at all. 
    I rather preferred an English assistant. 
    :-(

  7. Jrsneitweitzer says

    I want to make mine sound like officer barbrady from south park that would be kick ass!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Staticdol says

    It seem with iphone 4s Siri voice has changed ! I got the iOS 5 update it seems
    That Siri voice change ?

  9. terry says

    i am looking for a more qinky voice for my iphone any one can you help me plz and thank you??

  10. Chris says

    Siri is a brilliant idea android is shit that’s why I look like a dick talking to my phone but at least I get an answer to my questions lol

  11. Bambamcuddles says

    Ok I’m running Mac in my house on two touch screens and one touch screen in my garage. I am running a I pad with ISO 6.1.2 which travels what I look up screen for screen my I phone is connected to what’s all listed above as well as my smart watch. I can control my temperature settings my security and I have fixed Siri where I can use it on any of my computer applications in my home or on me. Siri may not be Jarvis like many iron man fans want but it is one step closer to a personal assistant than anything else on the market and apple is still showing it has more game than windows or droid applications. If you are unsaticified with Siri and apple then you don’t know how to use it correctly or you have higher expectations than any company at this moment can produce.

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