One thing I've noticed while using Siri on macOS Sierra is that Siri's voice is not natural (not even close to natural, it sounds like the default system voice of my Mac). How can I get Siri on macOS to sound as high-quality and natural as Siri on iOS?

I have downloaded Samantha voice for Mac before. I even tried deleting Samantha's voice and redownloading it, but Siri's voice is still like a robot!

When I change Siri's voice to Male (or any other accent or language) and then revert it back to Female, the voice gets better (still not the Siri I have on my iPhone), but then again after a few moments, it's back to default system voice.

What is going wrong here?

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    – Allan
    Commented Sep 24, 2016 at 12:21
  • I have this same problem. She sounds very robotic, not like the iOS Siri voice at all.
    – Nathan
    Commented Sep 25, 2016 at 15:34

3 Answers 3


I had the same problem but figured it out. First of all, it does take some time for the high quality voice to silently download in the background, and get enabled. But for me, weeks went by and the low-quality voice remained. Here's why:

It has to do with your App Store System Preferences. I had all the checkboxes under "Automatically Check for updates" disabled, including "Install System Data Files and security updates". (This is to avoid any surprise bills when I'm tethering with my phone). Well, it turns out, when this is disabled, it won't download the voices from Apple's CDN (example URL: http://swcdn.apple.com/content/downloads/06/40/031-72924/0p9g9iuul9uaojp42eatzq4 b3zr38r4dgw/CustomVoice_en_GB_martha.pkg)

I haven't narrowed it down to this one checkbox (I enabled all of them) but I'm pretty sure it's the culprit. After enabling these checkboxes, I toggled Siri off and on a couple of times and watched the console - finally it downloaded and installed the voices and placed them in System/Library/Speech/Voices . You can keep an eye on System/Library/System/Library/Receipts to see when it actually installs the voices. Mystery solved (for me anyway).

Apple really needs to add a warning message or an override when you enable Siri if it's not going to be able to provide the high quality voice. It took hours of real digging to figure this out.

  • 2
    In App Store System Preferences, "Install System Data Files and Security Updates" was already enabled on my Mac. I also enabled other checkboxes to see if it helps. I toggled Siri off and on a few times, too. Still, after a couple of hours, Activity Monitor doesn't show any network activities at all. So I think that's not going to solve the problem for me. I wonder if it's possible to download Siri's voice manually? Commented Sep 30, 2016 at 7:12
  • This solved the problem for me within minutes. Well done!
    – Jim L.
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 1:22

As it turns out, Siri's enhanced voice quality doesn't come preinstalled on macOS Sierra (just like on iOS). After you install macOS Sierra, your Mac will start downloading Siri's enhanced voice, which is a ~1.35GB download.

If you're facing the same problem and you still can't hear Siri's enhanced voice, even after a few days of installing macOS Sierra (like what happened to me), I advise keeping your Mac plugged in and awake at night (or a couple of nights if you have a slow connection), the enhanced voice should download overnight when you're not using your Mac.

There is also a thread on MacRumors forums regarding this issue (http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/low-quality-siri-voice.1981561/).


The things that worked for me is to uncheck the box "enable Siri " and check it again, it will ask you to set again "Hey Siri" however its quite simple Hope this solve your situation Regards

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