UK Siri female voice change

iOS & iPadOS
Hi all,So I've been using UK Siri female for ages and yesterday I was happily using my phone when it changed. I turned Voiceover off to allow my partner to look at some maps using my phone, but when it restarted the UK Siri female voice sounded markedly different. It doesn't sound like the compact voice, but it's annoyingly different in several ways. For example, it's a bit choppy now (so it will say insp ire instead of inspire, for example), it also pronounces phone as phoned and is generally irritating. I have no idea what to do to get the old voice back, or if this is even possible. Has anyone else noticed this?



Submitted by JeffB on Sunday, March 31, 2019

Yes it changed for me to and I find it to be very annoying and wish I could get the old voice back...

Submitted by Bingo Little on Monday, April 1, 2019

Hi geoff, I'm glad it's not just me and I share your frustration. it looks like Siri herself is also using this new, inferior UK female voice, and it has also changed on my watch, so I am assuming it's a system-wide thing. I don't know why the voice changed when it did. it didn't coincide with installation of an update, for example. Either way, I am really, really annoyed by it. I can't see how, even to the untutored ear, this new incarnation of UK Siri female could possibly be considered to sound better than what we had before. Does anyone know if there is a way of getting it back? If not, who are the best people to talk to about undoing this mischief?

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, April 1, 2019

Hi you'll probably have to talk to Apple itself, not the accessibility folks, as if this is a change in the Siri voice, Accessibility will have nothing to do with that decision. I haven't noticed much of a change in the voice, so don't know if it affects all users or just a few. Any chance you could do a sound byte and upload it to hear? I'd be curious.

I also discovered, after installing IOS 12.2 that the Siri UK female voice changed and I absalutely love it. She reminded me of someone. I also discovered that The Australian Siri male and female voices are much much more to my liking. The same goes for the UK male voice.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Monday, April 1, 2019

@BlackCat these things are relative of course, but how have you got used to the way that she says 'no unread emails'? It sounds like she's been punched in the stomach just after the word no! Also I find her saying phoned instead of phone, loadin instead of loading...there are various other examples extremely irritating. Still, perhaps I will just have to learn to live with it. The male voice is pretty good I agree, though not a patch on some of the other male voices out there e.g. Brian from Ivona.

Submitted by sockhopsinger on Monday, April 1, 2019

brian from Ivona is probably my favorite voice ever for a computer. It nails expression more completely than any other voice I have heard.

Good explination. In the beginning it sounded to me also if someone punched the poor girl in the stummic, but it does not bother me anymore. After the releace of IOS 12 last year I downloaded the Siri South-African female and male voices and to my utter dismay I discovered when typing the letters D, B, T, V and P using the Siri SA male voice all of them sounded like the letter D. I wrote to and this problem was sorted quite quickly.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Anyone noticed this one? get into an edit field e.g. composing a text message or a WhatsApp message, and type the word are (as in: you are wasting my time). UK Siri female doesn't pronounce the word are once you're done typing it. Nor, if you go back through the sentence navigating by word, will you hear the word are when you land on it. However, she will pronounce the word when reading a full sentence, so you will get (you are wasting my time). Very curious and further evidence that they appear to have made a frightful hash of this.

Submitted by Ann Marie B on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

In reply to by Bingo Little

I tested the UK Siri female on my iPhone XR. Not only does she not pronounce the word "are" but she skips over the capital letter "R". She speaks the lowercase "r". very strange... I think this mishap is only with UK Siri female. I personally like the way Ava pronounces words and am currently using her. Siri says my name as "and" it sounds wierd.

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Over all, I like this new female voice. The previous generation had an exaduratingly cheerful tone to it, like a voice someone would use to advertise a cartoon on cBeebies rather than read your Emails. The issues people are running into is probably all a case of Apple not testing these voices enough. They're probably tested, but more with Siri scenarios with full sentences of things like weather forecasts, driving directions, sample text messages, wikipedia articles and so on. I guess the engineers don't test with single words or letters that you'd find while screen reading with VoiceOver, and there's no automated tests to catch these hickups. The state the South African voices launched in would also confirm this theory. The best thing we can do is just email apple accessibility and if enough people do so the text to speech engineers on the Siri team will eventually get the message.