Which is your favorite VoiceOver voice for iOS and why?

iOS & iPadOS

Hi. I just wanted to get some opinions on the different voices available to VoiceOver users in iOS 9. Personally I use the siri male enhanced British voice. It's absolutely perfect for me. But what voice do you guys use? Do you have a favorite?



Submitted by Will on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

i like the american english male and female the UK ones do sound a bit quiet now if only they were on the watch ...

Submitted by Bingo Little on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Sounds rather tea and scones, but rather lovely.

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I use the default Samantha voice on both my iPhone 5S and iPod touch (5th generation). That's the English (U.S.) voice.

Submitted by Justin on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hi. I used to use samantha. Then switched to daniel during iOS 6/7, then switched to alex during iOS 8. Now use the siri male voice, switching to TheUK female siri voice sometimes. Personally I think she sounds like a news reporter, lol!

Submitted by DPinWI on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I use Samantha on my iPhone, and Alex on my iPod Touch. Initially, I detested Alex primarily due to idiosyncrasies that jumped out at me. I decided to use him on the Touch so I could acclimatize to the change. So far, I have not been swayed to switch voices on my primary device, but I have come to accept Alex on the Touch.

I am considering trying one of the Siri voices on the touch to see how I get on with it over time.

Like many who post here, i like to use what I am accustomed to. It takes time to adjust to a new voice. This is what I think drives the cyclical calls for Eloquence on iDevices. People like what they are used to. I've chosen to use a secondary device to expand my TTS horizons and try out new things.

Submitted by Fatima.Hamoud10 on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In reply to by DPinWI

How can you get Alex on your iPod touch. Alex is only supported on iPhone 5S.

Submitted by DPinWI on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

1Alex is supported on all 64 bit devices. The current iPod Touch 6 is one such device.

Submitted by Piotr Machacz on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Back in iOS 3 and 4, I used Serena. Then when she got replaced by Daniel in 5 I switched to Karen even though I think her inflection is very flat. Still, I got used to the voice and used her all the way to iOS 8 on the iPod touch 5. On the iPad and iPhone 6, I use Alex for a few reasons. First, I really like his inflection and the very natural pauses in sentences. He's also a lot more responsive compared to every other voice, even though he's 7 or 8 times the size. On the iPod I'm now using the compact version of the british Siri female voice. I never liked Samantha in either compact or premium form, because no matter what she's reading her intonation makes it sound like she is very angry or ordering you to do something.

Submitted by molly on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In reply to by Fatima.Hamoud10

I do not like the American voices because I think to me they sound very bland. I also have a hard time understanding the Alex voice. The Siri mail enhanced British voice is easiest for me to understand. I tried the Australian voice but I had a hard time understanding that.

Subject says it all. I don't like it as a voice but it is a lot more responsive compared to the UK voices. It's also good at fast speaking rates and easilly beats the UK ones when it comes to that. I'd go back to any UK English voices given half a chance but i'm now using IOS full time and am in the process of getting rid of my Mac so I need the system voice to be as responsive as possible.

I tried Alex but I always found that to me, he sounded kind of slurred. I like the siri male enhanced voice because he has more intonation and I think he sounds a little like Sean Bean. I will stick with voice forever. I once tried Daniel compact but he sounded a little like JAWS and I did not have a good experience with JAWS. I haven't experienced any lag with this British voice. 8

Submitted by David Allen on Wednesday, February 24, 2016

There isn't a good one yet in my opinion. All the current options including Alex are hopeless. We need Eloquence, period.

Submitted by OldBear on Thursday, February 25, 2016

It would be nice to have a pronunciation dictionary for IOS VoiceOver.
I've gotten used to default Samantha and don't have difficulty understanding or using that voice. I'm not a fan of pauses in speech for punctuation unless it's very slight.
I've had to use some really difficult to understand voices and screen readers over the years, going back to that Echo voice on the apple IIe and some of the Braille and Speak devices; I just live with it and get used to it after a while.

Submitted by Lielle ben simon on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Club AppleVis Member

my favorite voice is keran.
I think that it voice clear and sound good. I want to use alex, but because a bug on VoiceOver in the hebrew language i can't use alex when my iPhone has bin found on hebrew intraface. its verry annoying.
I don't like the siri voices. I think they sound very nice but they needs improve.

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Which of the voices is called Keran? Is it one of the British Siri voices?

Submitted by TJT 2001 on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Since I upgraded to iOS 9, I have been using the British Siri female compact voice. I tried the Enhanced Quality, but it sounded like she was either frustrated or angry. When I upgrade my phone to an iPhone with a 64-bit processor, I will install and use Alex, I think.

Submitted by Maanling on Thursday, February 25, 2016

My primary Language is Dutch. So I mostly use Xander standard version. He is clear and easy to understand and sounds very human. Thats one of the reasons I prefer VoiceOver to JAWS or ZoomText on a PC. I don't like mechanical voices. The sad thing about Dutch voices is the tiny choice. Male Xander who speaks ABN or female Ellen who speaks Vlaams. Which is a Belgian dialect with a very strong Belgian accent. Not fun or easy to follow if you are not used to hearing it in real life. But to be on this forum I need to read and type English. So I also use Samantha. I wanted a female voice for the different language. Samantha is the easiest female for me to understand and sounds quite human.

Submitted by DMNagel on Thursday, February 25, 2016

I like the normal english UK voice on my iPhone 6 plus. All others sound a bit too mechanical to me. The advanced english UK voice sounds like the poor guy could do with a serious throat clearing.

Submitted by Siobhan on Thursday, February 25, 2016

Male siri sucks, but I'm on a five, so rather then samantha I use it. The female siri is decent but laggy and I won't put up with that. I'll upgrade when I feel like it, right now caring for someone who is recovering from a bad fall, so the last thing i give anything about if a new shiny idevice. I have sympathy for those who have only one or two options. I really hope that the accessibility team get a few blind people especially foreign ones who can help improve your voice quality. You deserve it as we have a few understandable options.

Submitted by Tina on Thursday, February 25, 2016

This always leads to hot discussions. Personally, I go back and forth between the Alex voice and the US English Siri female voice. I really like the Siri female voice because at times, it really comes alive. The Alex voice, though not perfect, is very clear.

I noticed that someone really wants Eloquence on their iPhone. They're used to it, and they probably like its responsiveness. Personally, I'm not going back to that voice.

I think I can understand where some of you are coming from. In an ideal world, you want a voice that is fast, responsive, yet natural. Yet you don't want it to take up a lot of memory. That is hard to achieve, and somewhere, something has to give. Personally, I think I have found my "sweet spot" between clarity and responsiveness. That sweet spot is going to be different for everyone. Thanks.

Submitted by molly on Thursday, February 25, 2016

i just love the british siri male enhanced voice but especilly when reading a book. he seems to have some emotion.

Submitted by Maria Reyes on Thursday, February 25, 2016

I use Alex all the way through. When i use any of the other voices I have volume issues.

Submitted by Wayne Scott Jr on Thursday, February 25, 2016

I bounce between Karen (Australian), Siri female Australian, and Siri female British. It depends on what I am in the mood for. My wife likes Karen and British male for Siri.

Submitted by Mary Ward on Friday, March 11, 2016

Right now, I am using Samantha default. I had lots of problems with the enhanced, though overall, it sounds more human. I used Alex for about a day and couldn't wait to switch as he slows me way down. I'm putting up with him on my Mac and for some reason, he doesn't bother me much there. The attempts to make him sound more human also cause problems, which is the source of what some people describe as slurring. When real humans talk, sounds are influenced by adjacent sounds, both prior and following, so they've tried to do this with Alex. Unfortunately, they just haven't got the formula right yet. I can't run him past 50%, though I think I can on the Mac. Is there a difference?

Submitted by Bobcat on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I've been using Samantha default since the enhanced version Started sounding sick.
I wonder if there are demos of all the voices somewhere.
It sure is taking a long time to download Alex. I haven't wanted to try all the voices till reading this topic.
I find Samantha has been changing over time. She no longer says "pocket" as if she were excited.She also used to raise her pitch when saying "scroll to top" much more. I actually miss that. <smile>

I'm now finding Samantha's high frequencies to crisp and sharp on most listening devices. It causes my ears to ring after long listening. I don't recall her being so sibilant in the past.

Ready to try alternatives now. Wish we could try third party voices with VO as well.

Submitted by JeffB on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I like the British voice I use Daniel mostly. I find Samantha to sound hidious. Alix is okay but I never use him same with US Male Siri.

Submitted by molly on Tuesday, May 10, 2016

In reply to by JeffB

i actually switched to daniel a few weeks ago. i just love him. i think samantha sounds most dreadful.

Submitted by Daniel Angus M… on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Club AppleVis Member

I use the Alex voice on my iPad mini 2. He is similar to the mac, with slite differences. the way iOS alex says the work button is different than mac. the quality is pour when compaired to the enhanced alex on the mac, downloaded after a clean install. I love Alex and wish he was available on windows.

Submitted by David Lai on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Before Ava (Enhanced), I used to use the American Siri female voice. But Ava beets the Siri female voice in clarity and sounds more natural than the Siri voice, I think. Plus, Ava is better for me, as an ESL (English as a second language) speaker. I find her to speak very clearly, and have some degree of expressiveness. The only thing I don't like about Ava is she pronounces the word "chat" in a strange way...

Submitted by David Lai on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Meanwhile, to share a few words on voices for my mother tongue. The Chinese Siri female default voice is the ideal voice, at least for me, because she sounds much like a radio announcer, with perfect pronunciation and a natural low pitch, though occasionally she will not read certain single characters. I don't like any of the enhanced options - just too mechanic. And Tingting sounds like she needs to take a deep breath, since she talks mostly on a high note.

Submitted by Afrim on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hi, I use Daniel as my primary voice. I'm not a native speaker of English, but I find Daniel very comprehensive as compared to others. One voice I recommend is the Siri Female Australian voice. She's one of the nicest, but sadly I'm not used to the Australian accent. A voice I often use to read books is the Siri Male Voice UK. He's a nice chap!

Submitted by Clare Page on Saturday, June 24, 2017

Hi! I've used various voices on IOS over the years, so, to be honest, it's hard for me to say which are my favourites, but I can say I definitely like all the voices mentioned in this post. Although I live in France, UK English is my native language, so my default language on IOS has nearly always been UK English. I got my first iPhone just after IOS 5 was released, and I have used various English-language voices since then. I used Daniel all the time when I had my iPhone 4S, from 2011 till 2014, then I used Alex when he was available on my iPhone 6 which i bought shortly after the release of IOS 8. My IOS 9 voice was the UK male Siri voice, then in IOS 10 I have switched to Kate, one of the few English-speaking female voices I feel has decent inflection. As I speak French and German, I have voices for those languages on my iPhone too: Thomas has always been the French voice I used, but, after using Anna for German right up to IOS 9, I switched to Yannick when he appeared in IOS 10, as I'd always liked him ever since I got him as a German voice on my PC. Voices are always a subjective thing, some people don't like changing them and some are happy to try new ones out, but we can't all like the same things, so we're not going to like the same Voiceover voices either, and that will never change. For years i've preferred human-sounding voices to robotic-sounding ones, and some think the other way and prefer the robotic voices, but that's the way things are, and one man's trash is another man's treasure, as the saying goes.

Submitted by Michael Charlton on Saturday, June 24, 2017

My favorite female voice is Eva enhanced. My favorite male one is Lee enhanced.

Both have a very natural, fluid way of speaking. Personally, I find the breathing in sound Alex adds before new sentences a bit creepy.

Submitted by Justin on Saturday, June 24, 2017

fun fact, at least in my opinion, has anyone noticed, that the UK female siri enhanced voice kinda sounds like a news reporter. The way she inflects certain words, it makes me think of a news reporter on the nightly news, lol!

Submitted by DrummerGuy on Saturday, June 24, 2017

I prefer Alex and English and Jorge in Spanish. In my modest opinion, I think Alex sounds more human like. It has pauses, his inflections sound better, etc. I use Alex and my iPhone and also in my Mac. If I were to choose between two American voices, it would be Alex and Siri female.

Submitted by Mani on Saturday, June 24, 2017

I am surprised no one picked Tom Enhanced (US English). He is very clear and means all business. I use him on my Mac, iPhone and VoiceDream Reader. When I get tired of listening, I switch to Ava Enhanced for her soothing voice.
Do we have any Tom lovers here? :)

Submitted by Kelly Sapergia on Saturday, June 24, 2017

It really depends on what I'm doing. Sometimes I use Tom, and other times it's Ava.
However, the voice I use most often is Fred. I guess I'm just used to listening to synthesized voices like Eloquence or good ol' Perfect Paul from the DecTalk.

Submitted by Martino on Thursday, November 23, 2017

I wrote an entire book using Alex's voice as a lovely doctor took away my capability of reading. Ultimately I did get used to his voice and all the UK journalist who wrote articles about my book seamed overwhelmed when I made them listen to Alex's voice reading particularly emotional parts. I definitely agree that it needs time to adjust to such voices. But, in fact, it does take years to really bod with human beings too.

As the success of The Finch In My Brain, began I put Alex on his well deserved vacation and started working on a new book with Serena and Ava. The are different, and at times argue about the pronunciation but are ultimately bringing some superpowers to a handicapped man ;-)

Here are some people reading it - and Alex does also appear.

And a bunch of other people

Though i think Alex and New American Siri female voices are the best iOS has got, nothing on iOS is even close to Eloquence. Alex is, as someone mentioned, very responsive but slurred, New Siri voice is more clear but less responsive and other voices, though human sounding, are quite robotic in antonation.

Submitted by Jeff on Thursday, November 23, 2017

I prefer US English voices, although I've tried some of the other (UK, Australian, African, etc.) English voices for the novelty of them. Currently, my favorite Voiceover voice is Tom enhanced (I agree with Mani) and the new Siri female voice as my Siri choice. I think of Siri as a female and I really like the new female Siri voice for iOS 11. Tom is my choice for Voiceover and having a male voice for Voiceover and female for Siri let's me distinguish which voice is speaking.

Submitted by That Blind Canuck on Friday, November 24, 2017

I typically prefer using the lightest voice in order to save memory. I always used Samantha, until iOS 10, then I switched to the compact Siri English Female voice. Since iOS 11 though, it appears that the compact English Siri Female voice is not listed and I just can't seem to get used to the new English Siri Female Enhanced voice, so went back to my good old Samantha. Android friends keep telling me that she sounds like someone who is a heavy smoker (no offense to anyone here who smokes!), but I still find myself going back to her. The only reason why I had switch to the Compact Siri Female voice is because Samantha, on iOS 10, just didn't sound right, but now with iOS 11, her voice sounds as it once did. Even tried a few others, including Alex, but I prefer him on my Mac, not on the phone. Plus that almost 1 gig of used storage space, just a little too much for me. I do agree, being a very heavy JAWS user at the office, if Eloquence ever became available on iOS, I would switch to it in a heartbeat, but I would be very surprised if Apple would ever add that synthesizer.

Submitted by Chuck Winstead on Saturday, November 25, 2017

I just stick with the default Samantha voice. It's light, and it to my ears seems to fit the iPhone speakers best. The other voices seem not very fit for the iPhones and the small speakers on board. Kind of like how you wouldn't play something with a lot of base on a small speaker.

Submitted by Brandi on Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Samantha was never my favorite. Always seemed like she was yelling at me. I like Alex and have used him the most. But then recently, I got a wild hair and decided to try a different voice. So I went with Ava enhanced. She’s a great reader for texts, emails etc and she is soothing to me.

Submitted by Jeff on Friday, February 23, 2018

I think of Siri as a female and I really like the new Siri female voice, so I use that voice for Siri and Tom for Voiceover. I like using a different voice for Voiceover from the voice for Siri.

Submitted by Gordie on Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Hi. I actually like a lot of the voices for different reasons. I like Samantha because she is a classic voice and if you use her right, she doesn't sound so angry, as some people have said here. I will get more into that later on.

I also like the female Austrailian Siri because she sounds so sweet and lovely. If you play with her using VoiceOver, you could fanticizemake yourself believe she is a really nice person and that she cares about you and loves you, unconditionally.

I also like Tom and Ava for various reasons. I like Tom because of his time on NOAA Weather Radio and soon to be on Weatheradio Canada. Ava will also be a new voice on this service as well. Ava also is a good voice for reading things, much like Samantha and that is where all the voices shine the brightest.

As for Fred, he is the closest that we will come to Jaws. If you do your research, you may have heard him on the song Fiter Happier from the OK Computer album by Radiohead. If you are clammering for Stephen Hawking or even Eloquence, Fred is the closest will get to them.