In more ways than one, iOS 15.4 is a huge update with several notable features including Face ID with a mask, the ability to restore a bricked Apple Watch using an iPhone, and a nifty way to add notes to iCloud Keychain entries. Another equally impressive feature is the ability to get gender-neutral Siri Voice on iPhones and iPad. If you haven’t tried this long-awaited feature yet, let me help you set Siri’s gender-neutral voice on your iOS or iPadOS device.
How to Use Siri Voice Regardless of Gender on iPhone, iPad, and Mac
Before we discuss the steps to enable Siri’s gender-neutral voice, let’s look at the prevalence of female voices for voice assistants, the criticism Apple and others face, and why gender-neutral voices matter.
If you prefer to skip straight to the how-to guide, you can also use the table of contents below.
Sexist voices and long reviews
Apple has come under heavy criticism for using the default female voices for Siri. While some accused Apple of being sexist, others called Apple rigid saying the Cupertino-based company believes women are submissive, polite and there to help others.
In the context of incessant flak, Apple stopped naming Siri voices in the latest versions of iOS. The tech giant now presents Siri’s voices as numbered such as Voice 1, Voice 2, Voice 3, Voice 4, etc. in order to mitigate criticism. And the latest addition is called “Voice 5”.
What makes Siri’s gender-neutral voice so important?
In terms of functionality, the gender-neutral voice works just like any other Siri voice, except that it’s here to change the way people look at Apple’s voice assistant.
With the introduction of gender-neutral voice, Apple has attempted to address two major concerns intelligently. Above all, the Cupertino giant would like to emphasize that it fully supports the LGBTQ+ community. In an official statement given to Axios, the company confirmed that the new voice was recorded by a member of the LGBTQ+ community, noting that it will give users more options to choose a voice that speaks for them.
“We’re excited to introduce a new Siri voice for English speakers, giving users more options to choose a voice that speaks to them. Millions of people around the world rely on Siri every day to get things done, so we’re working to make the experience as personalized as possible.
Second, Apple no longer wants people to think Siri is a female representation, which has been the bone of contention for years. By numbering the voices instead of naming and adding a gender-neutral voice in addition to men and women, the tech giant is on course for course correction. Better late than never!
Set up and use Siri Voice regardless of gender on iOS and iPadOS
Whether you want Siri to use a voice that is neither feminine nor masculine, or just want to make the virtual sound neutral, this brand new Siri voice is for you.
1. To get started, open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad running iOS 15.4/iPadOS 15.4 or later. After that scroll down and choose Siri and search.
2. Now tap on Siri Voice and then make sure American is selected as the voice variety.
4. Finally, choose Voice 5.
Remember that your device may take a few minutes to download the high quality audio samples.
- If you are currently using mobile data on your device, you may get a pop-up saying something like “Use mobile data?” This voice requires a 50MB download. It is recommended that you connect to Wi-Fi.
- If you want to use your mobile data to download the new Siri voice, tap Use mobile data in the pop-up window.
Set up and use Siri Voice regardless of gender on macOS Monterey
To get the new Siri voice, make sure your Mac is running macOS 12.3 or later.
1. Launch the System Preferences app on your Mac.
2. Now select “Siri”.
3. Next, click on the drop-down menu next to Voice Variety and choose American. After that select Voice 5 and you are ready!
Use Siri Voice regardless of gender on iOS, iPadOS and macOS
This is how you can get the new Siri voice on your iDevice. While Siri isn’t yet as smart and efficient as Google Assistant, Apple’s virtual assistant isn’t far behind either. The virtual assistant has a refreshed design, more natural sound, and also works with many third-party apps like Spotify. So which Siri voice do you prefer to use and why? Let us know in the comments.