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Siri and I have a love-hate relationship. We get along sometimes, until it decides to have a mind of its own and show me it really never deserved my trust. I joke, of course. But changing Siri's voice can make the virtual assistant more palatable, not to mention more amusing.
Admittedly, Siri's come a long way to become a somewhat reliable voice assistant. Asking it to do things works over half the time now, and it's always fun to try.
But changing Siri's voice goes beyond giving it a fun, new accent. With a variety of voices to choose from, including accents, genders, and a gender-neutral option, Siri can now sound more like your own voice. As one of many immigrants in this country, for me, that little bit of inclusivity goes a long way in a world of growing divisions.
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One of the first things I do when I get a new iPhone is change Siri's voice. I like having my devices tailored to my personal liking. So, whenever I have something new, I enjoy going through all the available customizations and getting familiar with all the settings, and Siri is no exception.
You can find Siri's settings and customization options within your iPhone's Settings application.
Scroll down through your Settings until you find Siri & Search in the available options.
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When you tap on Siri & Search, you'll see a menu of options to help you customize your experience with Siri. This includes Language, which will let you select the language that Siri will speak and understand, and whether your iPhone will be constantly listening for the wake phrase, "Hey, Siri." Other options include things like Siri lock-screen settings and whether you can activate it by pressing the side button.
Select the new voice that you want Siri to use. As a fan of foreign accents, I find it more fun to have Siri use an Australian man's voice, I don't know why. At least it makes Siri's wrong answers sound smoother.
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The process to change Siri's voice back to the original is the same: Go to your iPhone's Settings and select Siri & Search; then, choose Siri Voice. Right now, Siri's original voice is called American, Voice 4.
Voice actress Susan Bennett from Atlanta, Georgia, is the voice of Siri we've come to know and love (or not) in the US. Though Apple hasn't officially confirmed this information, Bennett has said she started working on Siri's voice with Apple in July 2005, several years before Siri's launch in October 2011.
Unfortunately, Siri does not support any alternative voices to the ones that are available in the iPhone's settings at this time. Though it would be cool to have Morgan Freeman, Darth Vader, or Yoda reading your reminders and telling you the weather, Apple hasn't announced any plans to expand Siri with any celebrity voices in a permanent fashion.
If you still want to hear a celebrity give you commands, Amazon's Alexa offers some. Waze has also been known for using different celebrity voices in the past, though unfortunately Morgan Freeman and Snoop Dogg aren't available right now. You can also play around with a real-time AI voice changing software like Voicemod.
The only available voices for Siri are the ones found in the iPhone's settings under Siri & Search. There's no way to get more voices for Siri through a third party.
Though you can change Siri's accent and the sound of its voice, you can't customize Siri's trademark wake phrase, "Hey, Siri." However, you can bypass the wake phrase by turning off the toggle that has your phone constantly listening for, "Hey, Siri," and simply using the side button to wake the voice assistant.
Siri isn't bilingual yet; however, Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa, is. One point on which Alexa definitely wins over Siri in my house is the ability to understand and speak two languages at once with an English/Spanish setting. Alexa can seamlessly switch between languages spontaneously and understands everyone from my 3-year-old to my mother-in-law, no matter which of the two languages they ask in.