Woman had no idea Apple were using her voice as the original Siri

She's the best known unknown.
  • Susan Bennett is the best known unknown
  • You know her – you’ve probably heard her voice a million times
  • You’ve probably even had her in the palm of your hand, literally

Published on Feb 23, 2024 at 8:55PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Feb 26, 2024 at 6:37PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

If you’ve ever recorded your voice and played it back, there’s a strong chance you winced hearing it.

The can’t said be for voiceover actors, who use their voices to sing jingles for commercials on the daily.

Sounds like a decent gig if you don’t mind hearing your own voice – but where your voice ends up being used can be somewhat staggering.

READ MORE! Canadian student saves money by getting to his studies by airplane to avoid rent

Back in July 2025, six years before Apple introduced Siri, Susan Bennett made some recordings.

Little did she know what that her voice would eventually be used for the famous personal assistant.

It all started when Bennett got a gig recording for ScanSoft, an interactive voice response company, now called Nuance.

Thinking the script would consist of regular sayings, like “Thanks for calling,” or “please dial one,” instead she had to read nonsensical sentences like “Cow hoist in the tug hut today,” or “Say shift fresh issue today”.

Basically, they were trying to get all of the sound combinations in the English language.

They even had Bennett read the names of addresses and streets.

Fast forward six years, and Bennett received an email from a fellow voice actor.

It read: “Hey, we’re playing around with this new iPhone — isn’t this you?”

Bemused by what they were talking about, Bennett went straight to Apple’s website to listen and knew immediately that it was her voice.

Despite being paid for the gig through ScanSoft, she never received a penny or any recognition from Apple, after the company had bought the recordings from ScanSoft.

Of course Bennett was flattered, but she also worried her voice would become so ubiquitous that it would affect her ability to book other gigs.

She REALLY didn’t want to be pigeonholed as a virtual-assistant voice.

Apple later released different accents and languages for Siri.

Bennett got to meet John Briggs, a famous BBC announcer in England who voiced the original British version of Siri.

She also connected with Karen Jacobsen, a voice actor and singer who was the original Australian Siri.

From the conversations she had with them, they had the exact same experience: they made recordings in 2005, not knowing they’d eventually be used for Siri.

The fact Apple didn’t pay the voice actors meant that they didn’t have a nondisclosure agreement either, so that’s when they decided to promote themselves.

Bennett’s featured on TV shows, given a TEDx Talk, and spoken on the radio.

She’s even the voice of Delta Airlines gate announcements at Atlanta Airport.

It’s not something Bennett ever saw herself doing 15 years ago, but it’s something she’s really enjoyed.

In other Apple-related news, the tech giant has confirmed an incredible improvement for all iPhone 15 owners, while it’s also said to be testing a revolutionary new camera for the iPhone 16.

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