How to Change Siri's Name (Wake Word), Voice, Accent, Sex - Everything possible?

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Updated: 20th Dec 2019
Published: 1st Sep 2019
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By Ricky Harewood

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In this guide, we will take a look at the Apple HomePod wake word and everything you need to know about its origins and use. Let’s get started!

What is Apple HomePod’s (Default) Wake Word?

Apple HomePod, like any other smart speaker, makes use of a voice-controlled wake word. This is a phrase to tells Siri that she needs to start listening. The whole idea is to ensure that she does not listen to and record all your conversations. Instead, she only responds when you need her to (mostly).

In the case of Apple HomePod, the wake word to get your virtual assistant’s attention is “Hey Siri.” Though you might feel like your smart speaker is always listening out for Siri’s name, but it is actually listening for this particular phrase to spring into action.

Why Did Apple Choose the Name Siri?

Siri’s roots are traced to Norway, the home country of Dag Kittlaus, one of the co-founders of Siri Inc., the company behind the personal assistant. He explained that he once worked with a lady named Siri, which can be loosely translated to mean “beautiful, victorious counsellor.” He loved the name so much that he wanted to call his daughter Siri, but he had a boy.

After they created their virtual assistant, they sought to give it a short name that was easy to type, easy to remember and not too common. They eventually went for Siri. Later in 2010, when Apple acquired the company, they surprisingly decided to keep the name.

Why Change Apple HomePod’s Wake Word?

Apart from the monotony of calling Siri by the same name day in and day out, there could be other reasons why you would like to change her name.

For instance, if your ex-girlfriend’s name sounds like Siri having to repeat it every day multiple times could be painful. In that case, changing the name would offer significant relief. On a less melancholic note, there could be someone in your household who goes by the same name. Differentiating between the two might be rather challenging. You might also want to avoid having the HomePod record the wrong conversations.

Additionally, Siri might be responding erroneously to conversations on the TV or characters with similar-sounding names. Siri has also been known to respond to TV ads mentioning Siri! It could also be that you have multiple HomePods and want to differentiate them to avoid having the wrong one respond.

There are countless reasons for changing your Siri wake word. However, is it possible?

Can I Change Apple HomePod (Siri) Wake Word?

The good news is that you can tell Siri to call you by whatever name you wish by adjusting your settings. The bad news is that you cannot change the HomePod's wake word. However, some users on Apple's Forum stated that they've been able to use other similar names or sounds such as Sarah, Sue, Suzie and also even 'Sir'. In their opinion, Siri responds to sounds rather than actual spelling.

Perhaps future versions of the Homepod will allow users to change the wake word. In the meantime, try giving Siri a similar name that starts with "S" to find out if this is true.

How Can I Change Siri's Language or Accent?

Since Siri is manufactured for worldwide use, it comes with a user interface that allows you to choose your preferred language. You can switch from the options of supported languages for Siri in your HomePod. To do so:

  • Open the Home app on your iPad or iPhone.
  • Tap on the Rooms button
  • Find your HomePod
  • Long press on your HomePod and select details
  • Select “Language” in the Siri section and choose your preferred language

Can Any Other Person Give Siri Commands?

Yes, anyone can give Siri commands. This is because Siri does not have voice profiles and can, therefore, not distinguish between voices. This is one of the downsides of the Apple HomePod as it takes commands from anyone, even young kids who might at times make cheeky requests.

Consequently, there have been complaints about different HomePod users interfering with the account holder’s personal requests. But on the plus side, you can disable Personal Requests or adjust the settings. We’ll find out how shortly.

How to Choose Between a Male and Female Siri Voice for HomePod

Siri voice options are visible when you download the additional voices on your iPhone or iPad. According to the default settings, Siri's has a female voice in the US and a male voice in the UK. You can change this to your preference any time you wish to by doing the following:

  • Go to “Settings” on your phone (iPod or iPad) and select Siri
  • Select Male or Female and download the necessary voice data for your option.
  • Launch the Home app on your phone's home screen and select the “Rooms” tab
  • Go to the room that has your HomePod and long-press your HomePod
  • Click on “Details” and select Siri's voice and your preferred option - Male or Female

How to Change Siri's Voice on HomePod

Aside from changing Siri's name on your iPhone, Mac or iPad, you can also change Siri's voice on your HomePod, but the process is different. To change Siri's voice on HomePod or change its gender, do the following:

  •  Open your Home app
  •  From the list of Favorite Accessories, select your HomePod
  •  Long press on the HomePod and tap “Details” at the end of the screen
  •  Move down to Siri and select "Siri Voice."
  •  Choose your preferred accent or gender

The advantage of changing Siri's voice on the HomePod is that the HomePod can then speak directly to you in one accent without using the accents on your phone.

Can Siri Detect Multiple Voices?

No, Siri cannot detect multiple voices. It is built to respond to any voice.

How to Change Siri's Voice On Mac, iPhone or iPad

As discussed, you may want to change Siri's voice for different reasons. Siri is created with a default voice for different countries. For instance, if you're in Britain Siri will by default use a British accent.

Regardless of where you live, you can change this accent to a wide range of others to suit your preferences. Presently, Apple HomePod supports British, American and Australian English accents.

To change Siri's voice/accent:

  • Go to the app on the Home screen of your iOS device (iPhone, iPad or Mac)
  • Select the HomePod speaker in favourite Accessories
  •  Long press the HomePod icon, select “Details” and choose “Siri”
  • Click on change Siri's voice and options of American, Australian and British will pop up. Make your choice.
  • Select Male or Female and you're done changing Siri's voice!

We hope you found this guide helpful. If there is anything you feel we missed out, let us know in the comments below. 

Lead image credit: Icon8