Atlanta Voice Actress Susan Bennett Comes Forward as Original U.S. Voice of Siri

siri_birthdayAtlanta resident and veteran voice actress Susan Bennett has claimed in an interview with CNN that she is original voice of Siri, Apple’s popular iOS voice assistant that was first introduced with the iPhone 4s two years ago today. While Apple has not confirmed the information, the report states that professionals within the technology industry are familiar with her voice, and cites an audio forensics expert with 30 years of experience who is certain that Bennett’s voice and the voice of Apple’s digital personal assistant are the same.

The story of how Bennett became this iconic voice began in 2005. ScanSoft, a software company, was looking for a voice for a new project. It reached out to GM Voices, a suburban Atlanta company that had established a niche recording voices for automated voice technologies. Bennett, a trusted talent who had done lots of work with GM Voices, was one of the options presented. ScanSoft liked what it heard, and in June 2005 Bennett signed a contract offering her voice for recordings that would be used in a database to construct speech.

...The surprise came in October 2011 after Apple released its iPhone 4S, the first to feature Siri. Bennett didn't have the phone herself, but people who knew her voice did.

"A colleague e-mailed me [about Siri] and said, 'Hey, we've been playing around with this new Apple phone. Isn't this you?'"

Bennett went to her computer, pulled up Apple's site and listened to video clips announcing Siri. The voice was unmistakably hers.


Notably, the report also states that a feature titled Machine Language: How Siri Found Its Voice done by technology news website The Verge last month mistakenly gave the impression that another voice actor, Allison Dufty, was Siri:

But a new Apple mobile operating system, iOS 7, with new Siri voices means that Bennett's reign as the American Siri is slowly coming to an end. At the same time, tech-news site The Verge posted a video last month, "How Siri found its voice," that led some viewers to believe that Allison Dufty, the featured voiceover talent, was Siri. A horrified Dufty scrambled in response, writing on her website that she is "absolutely, positively NOT the voice of Siri," but not before some bloggers had bought into the hype.

Bennett also stated her feelings on then revealing herself to be the original voice of Siri after the video was released:

"I really had to weigh the importance of it for me personally. I wasn't sure that I wanted that notoriety, and I also wasn't sure where I stood legally. And so, consequently, I was very conservative about it for a long time," she said. "And then this Verge video came out ... And it seemed like everyone was clamoring to find out who the real voice behind Siri is, and so I thought, well, you know, what the heck? This is the time."

Released last month, Apple’s new iOS 7 mobile operating system contains a refined version of Siri with a noticeably different voice that does not appear to be Bennett’s. But with Bennett's version of Siri having been on every new U.S. iOS device since the launch of the iPhone 4s in 2011 until last month's iPhone 5s/5c debut, millions of users are familiar with her voice.

Top Rated Comments

chumawumba Avatar
95 months ago
I wish Morgan Freeman was the male voice. It would have made Siri a lot more fun to use.
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
UnfetteredMind Avatar
95 months ago
Raj will be disappointed ...
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Tankmaze Avatar
95 months ago

I wish Morgan Freeman was the male voice. It would have made Siri a lot more fun to use.

Ha, I wish it was Samuel L. Jackson's voice, would really have good time playing with siri.

siri : What Does Marcellus Wallace Look Like?
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BigHonkingDeal Avatar
95 months ago

I wish Morgan Freeman was the male voice. It would have made Siri a lot more fun to use.


I wish SIRI would work a little better.....
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Ellmer Avatar
95 months ago

I am surprised in her contract Apple ever allowed for this kind of disclosure or reveal. Now that Siri has a face it changes things. Siri was I suppose a kind of AI character, an Apple mascot, a virtual assistant that existed in your phone. The mystique is gone, now it just some lady...

You understand that's not how it works? She was probably payed one time for recordings of her voice, saying hundreds of things like "th" "mer" "ka" ki" etc etc.. for the probable use in an AI years ago, and then Apple bought it. She has no actual interaction with Apple. I doubt she's even seeing any royalties for being used for Siri.

The male voice actor who did the sound for the UK's Siri was announced within a week of its release. It's really not a big deal. Robots don't just have their own voices. They have to come from someone.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Thunderhawks Avatar
95 months ago
SAMSUNG just hired Joan Rivers to compete
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...