Top 10 Best Text to Speech Apps

By Hammad Syed in TTS

March 28, 2023 10 min read
Top 10 Best Text to Speech Apps

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Tired of dealing with lackluster text-to-speech (TTS) software that spits out robotic and hard-to-follow speech? It’s a real headache, especially for students, professionals, authors, and folks with visual impairments or reading difficulties. But fret not! It’s time to make a smart move for a fantastic experience.

A top-notch TTS app goes above and beyond the basics. It doesn’t just read words; it pronounces them accurately while flowing naturally with the rhythm and intonation of speech. You can even personalize it with customizable voices and adjustable speech speeds. And, of course, it’s got to be user-friendly and work seamlessly across different platforms and devices.

Our ultimate guide to the top ten TTS apps in 2023 is here to rescue you from the overwhelming sea of choices. We’ve carefully evaluated the sound quality, features, compatibility, and value to bring you only the best. But wait, there’s more! We’ve also included a comprehensive buying guide tailored to your specific needs. Get ready to discover the TTS app that’s perfect for you, unlocking a powerful tool for boosting your productivity, learning, and accessibility.

Choosing the Best Text-to-Speech Software

When choosing a TTS app, the most important thing to consider is the naturalness of the speech. Take a moment to listen to some samples and evaluate the realism and smoothness of the audio. Pay attention to pronunciation, inflection, pacing, and emphasis. High-quality text-to-speech should not sound robotic or unnatural. But that’s not all! There are other factors you should keep in mind. Let’s go through them:

  • Features: Consider custom voices, speed control, accents, and batch conversion tools.
  • Accuracy: Ensure the software pronounces words correctly and accurately interprets punctuation and grammar.
  • Languages and Accents: Ensure the app supports dialects beyond just English.
  • Compatibility: Look for apps that work across different operating systems and mobile devices.
  • Cost: Payment options may include free, monthly subscriptions, or one-time purchases.
  • Supported File Formats: Check if the app can convert DOC, PDF, EPUB, web pages, and more into speech.
  • Voice Customization: You should be able to adjust pitch, speed, and tone to suit your preferences.
  • Accessibility: Consider features like text highlighting, particularly helpful for visually impaired users.

When picking TTS software, it’s essential to consider the features that matter most to you. Take everything into account so that you can find a solution that’s just right for your needs.

10 Best Text-to-Speech Apps in 2023

1. PlayHT

PlayHT is a unique online tool that uses AI to effortlessly turn text into realistic voiceovers. With PlayHT, you can easily create captivating voice content for videos, podcasts, audiobooks, e-learning, and more. It offers a wide range of over 800 natural-sounding voices in 100+ languages and accents – genuinely unmatched! You can even create custom voices by cloning your own or any other voice. Trusted by big names like Verizon, Hyundai, and Samsung, PlayHT is the go-to choice. It’s not only user-friendly but also fast and affordable. 

2. Voice Dream Reader

Voice Dream Reader is a fantastic app that transforms text into lifelike audio. People love how it adds natural inflections, making reading a delightful experience. This nifty app has a ton of features. It’s got over 100 high-quality voices in 29 languages! And get this – you can easily choose your favorite voice and adjust the speed using Siri voice commands. No need to lift a finger! Voice Dream Reader highlights words as it reads, making it useful for individuals with reading disabilities.

3. Natural Reader

Natural Reader is a user-friendly text-to-speech app with a simple, easy-to-use interface. It may offer fewer languages and accents than the fancy premium options. Still, the audio quality is top-notch, and the best part – it’s free!

4. Voice Aloud Reader

Voice Aloud Reader is one of the best-rated Android apps for TTS. It goes above and beyond with its top-notch speech synthesis quality and the best part? It’s totally free! With a wide selection of more than 80 natural-sounding voices in over 25 languages, it offers an all-inclusive experience. This app effortlessly converts text from web articles, documents, and eBooks. It also has handy playback options such as speed control, bookmarking for those longer files, and a convenient sleep timer. Plus, highlighting the text being read aloud is super handy.

5. SpeakIt!

SpeakIt! is a go-to text-to-speech app for Chrome browsers and Chromebooks. People love it for its genuinely natural voices. It can expertly convert text from documents, web pages, PDFs, and eBooks into audio with spot-on accuracy. Some standout features include flawless speech delivery, precise pronunciation, and the ability to embed MP3 files within documents. With the text-to-speech editor, you can add pauses and tweak pronunciation before converting the text to audio. Remember, the free version may be limited but it offers a valuable experience. 

6. Capti Narrator

Capti Narrator is a standout text-to-speech app meticulously designed for folks with learning disabilities like dyslexia. It offers top-notch audio conversion quality and a cool feature that syncs highlighted text with the narration! With many incredible voices in different languages, you can now immerse yourself in web pages, documents, articles, and books by listening instead of reading. Plus, you can customize the pace of narration and highlight specific sentences, phrases, or words.

7. fromtexttospeech.com

This super convenient web-based app lets you effortlessly type or paste text and convert it into audio files quickly. This incredibly versatile platform has a fantastic selection of natural-sounding voices in over 120 languages. You can even fine-tune the speed, pitch, and volume to suit your preferences. And the best part? You can save the generated speech as an MP3 file and enjoy it on any device hassle-free! With limitless conversions, fromtexttospeech.com is the go-to tool for quickly transforming blocks of text.

8. Web Speech API (Chrome)

The Web Speech API in Google Chrome is handy for instant text-to-speech needs. It converts text right in your browser, so no downloads are required. Plus, you can choose from different languages and voices to match your taste. Also, with the Web Speech API, you can listen to web page content being read aloud. The voices might sound robotic, but they do their job of capturing the essence of website information. Just add the necessary code to your web pages for text-to-speech conversion.

9. VoiceOver (iOS)

VoiceOver, the built-in screen reader on iOS devices, reads out on-screen content loud and clear. It covers various text types like messages, emails, and web pages. The voices may sound automated but work well for basic text-to-speech needs. To activate VoiceOver, head to the Accessibility settings, and your typed or dictated text will be read back to you. While VoiceOver supports 40 languages, it only offers a few customization options. Still, it’s a practical choice when you’re on the move.

10. @Voice Aloud (Android)

@Voice Aloud is an excellent text-to-speech app for Android phones that supports a whopping 110+ languages! It effortlessly turns web pages, news articles, emails, eBooks, and docs into super-easy audio. And the best part? You can customize the speech rate and pitch with its natural-sounding voices. Want to follow along? You can even highlight the text as it’s being read out loud. It has a free version with ads or the ad-free premium option.

The Future of Text-to-Speech Technology

Text-to-speech apps are already impressive, but there’s still room for improvement. With advancements in deep learning, synthesized voices can sound like natural human speech, taking quality and realism up a notch. This technology has the potential to revolutionize how we work and learn. Imagine having documents read aloud in customized voices or effortlessly turning web content into audio during those long commutes. Enhanced accessibility is another fantastic benefit. It will significantly assist folks with dyslexia, blindness, and other reading challenges.

Text-to-speech could become a regular feature in everyday technology as quality improves and costs decrease. And let’s not forget the impact it’ll have on fields like journalism, entertainment, and education. Reporters can whip up audio news segments in a snap, actors can automate dialogue for faster production, and students can devour literature and textbooks through listening. But hey, as progress keeps rolling, responsible design is critical. We need safeguards to prevent misuse like identity theft, fake recordings, deepfakes, spam, and other forms of abuse.

Challenges and Limitations of Current TTS Technology

Even though we’ve made progress with artificial intelligence, current text-to-speech systems still face technical limitations that affect their quality. Here are some key challenges that developers are tackling:

  • Robotic Voices: Natural pitch, tone, and inflection variations are required.
  • Unnatural Pacing: Pace should be less perfect and more human-like, with pauses and imperfections.
  • Limited Empathy: Monotone delivery fails to capture various moods.
  • Background Noise Detection: Speech loudness should intuitively adjust, like humans.
  • Complex Sentence Structures: Accurately converting lengthy and intricate text can be challenging.
  • Homonyms and Double Meanings: Recognizing contextual clues for pronunciation can be tricky.
  • Rare Words and Names: Current algorithms struggle with these instances.
  • Text Cleaning: Some manual editing is necessary to achieve a polished sound.

Researchers are working hard to replicate human speech patterns using machine learning and neural networks. Exciting progress is being made, and soon, text-to-speech quality may reach a point where it’s indistinguishable from an authentic human voice for most people.

Ethical Considerations and Potential Misuse of TTS Technology

While TTS technology has some exciting potential, it also carries risks if not used responsibly. Imagine software that mimics voices and speech patterns – it’s a bit concerning, right? Here are a few examples of what could go wrong:

  • Identity Theft: Criminals duplicating voices to steal your money or personal info.
  • Fake Recordings: Making it seem like someone said things they never actually said.
  • Political manipulation: Generating fake speeches and misrepresenting stances.
  • Spam and Robocalls: Getting flooded with annoying automated messages.
  • Deepfakes: Creating convincing videos of public figures doing and saying fictional stuff.
  • Interpersonal Deception: Using TTS to manipulate and hurt others through lies.
  • Misinformation Campaigns: Spreading false info that sounds totally legit.

Developers need to think ahead about these potential misuse cases and build safeguards. The system should clearly indicate when audio has been synthesized and have ways to authenticate and verify legitimacy. Sure, there are valid uses that can improve lives, but releasing powerful software without caution could have serious consequences. Tech companies have to step up and self-regulate to maintain public trust. 

Conclusion 

Text-to-speech tech has come a long way, but it still hasn’t quite nailed naturalness like a human voice. That said, the leading TTS apps come close in terms of quality. When picking a text-to-speech software, consider what you need and like. Look for options with customizable voices, accurate output, different formats support, and mobile device compatibility. The field of TTS is constantly evolving with the help of AI, promising an exciting future. As quality improves, it’ll reach more domains like work, education, entertainment, accessibility, and daily life. But let’s remember that responsible design is crucial as the capabilities advance.

TTS apps aim to achieve seamless speech synthesis like a human voice. We have a ways to go, but this journey could change how we access and share information.

FAQs

What Makes The Best Text-To-Speech Voices?

The highest quality text-to-speech uses advanced deep learning to mimic human voices with all their subtle nuances. It’s all about getting the right inflection, pacing, emotion, and emphasis.

Can You Use Text-To-Speech Apps On Your Phone?

Absolutely! Many text-to-speech apps have free mobile versions for both iOS and Android. You can convert text from emails, web pages, documents, and even eBooks into natural-sounding speech on your smartphone.

How Do Text-To-Speech Apps Actually Work?

TTS apps utilize machine learning algorithms to analyze language patterns and transform text into synthesized voices that sound like real humans. The AI keeps improving by learning from vast amounts of speech data.

What languages do text-to-speech apps support?

A: Most apps support converting text into audio for languages beyond English, including Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and more.

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Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed holds a Bachelor of Engineering - BE, Electrical, Electronics and Communications and is one of the leading voices in the AI voice revolution. He is the co-founder and CEO of PlayHT, now known as PlayAI.

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