Best Apps For Text To Speech

If you’re looking for the best apps for text to speech, you’ve come to the right place.

Text-to-speech is a computer application that can read aloud text stored in a document or on screen. Text-to-speech software is able to turn written words into spoken words that can be listened to by visually impaired individuals or those who are learning English as a second language (ESL). It’s also useful for people with dyslexia, visual impairment, and other reading disabilities. Text-to-speech software is available as an add-on feature on some computers and mobile devices, but it is not installed by default.

The 7 Best Text-to-Speech Apps for Android

Best Apps For Text To Speech

The best text-to-speech apps make it simple and easy to reading documents aloud, on either your desktop, tablet, or phone.

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  1. Amazon Polly
  2. Murf
  4. NaturalReader
  5. Voice Dream Reader

While traditionally this has been in the realm of professional dictation and transcription services, these days text-to-speech has become far more common and an ordinary feature of everyday life.

The use of audio for commands has especially become popular for use with assistants such as Alexa and Siri, which also allow for speech-to-text to be used, among other tools. It’s also becoming much more common for audio to be used to convert text-to-speech for a number of reasons.

The traditional one is for helping people with additional needs. However, as with audio assistants, users commonly find that audio can be much easier to work with. This is the case where multitasking is required, with audio allowing the user to also direct their attention on some other physical task.

This is especially highlighted by the rise of audiobooks, which allow the user to drive, walk, or otherwise engage in a physical activity that would preclude using a text-version as impractical.

Therefore it’s no wonder that text-to-speech and other voice software is becoming more commonly used, allowing the user to engage in other activities at the same time, whether it be walking, gardening, household chores, or similar.

Text-to-speech software is also popular in business environments, with people utilizing it to boost productivity, especially when it comes to speech-to-text software.

Here we feature the best speech-to-text software, and additionally feature a number of free apps you can also consider using.

Or, jump to: Best free text-to-speech apps.

We’ve also featured the best Bluetooth headsets.

Website screenshot for Amazon Polly

(Image credit: Amazon)

  1. Amazon Polly
    Best text-to-speech for developers
    +Supports multiple file types
    +Multiple language options
    Alexa isn’t the only artificial intelligence tool created by tech giant Amazon as it also offers an intelligent text-to-speech system called Amazon Polly. Employing advanced deep learning techniques, the software turns text into lifelike speech. Developers can use the software to create speech-enabled products and apps.

It sports an API that lets you easily integrate speech synthesis capabilities into ebooks, articles and other media. What’s great is that Polly is so easy to use. To get text converted into speech, you just have to send it through the API, and it’ll send an audio stream straight back to your application.

You can also store audio streams as MP3, Vorbis and PCM file formats, and there’s support for a range of international languages and dialects. These include British English, American English, Australian English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Danish and Russian.

Polly is available as an API on its own, as well as a feature of the AWS Management Console and command-line interface. In terms of pricing, you’re charged based on the number of text characters you convert into speech.


(Image credit: Murf)

  1. Murf
    Best for super-realistic voices
    +Simple and easy to navigate dashboard
    +Over 120 realistic AI voices in 20 languages
    -Video editing could be more comprehensive
    Specializing in voice synthesis technology, Murf uses AI to generate realistic voiceovers for a range of uses, from e-learning to corporate presentations.

Murf comes with a comprehensive suite of AI tools that are easy to use and straightforward to locate and access. There’s even a Voice Changer feature that allows you to record something before it is transformed into an AI-generated voice- perfect if you don’t think you have the right tone or accent for a piece of audio content but would rather not enlist the help of a voice actor. Other features include Voice Editing, Time Syncing, and a Grammar Assistant.

The solution comes with three pricing plans to choose from: Basic, which costs $13 a month, Pro for $26 a month, and Enterprise, which starts from $83 a month. The latter of these options may be pricey but some with added collaboration and account management features that larger companies may need access to.

(Image credit:

    Best AI voice generator for podcaster
    +Large voiceover library
    +Export audio in various formats
    -Non-English voices are of inconsistent quality
    In terms of its library of voice options, it’s hard to beat With almost 600 AI-generated voices available in over 60 languages, it’s likely you’ll be able to find a voice to suit your needs.

Although the platform isn’t the easiest to use, there is a detailed video tutorial to help users if they encounter any difficulties. All the usual features are available, including Voice Generation and Audio Analytics.

In terms of pricing, comes with four plans: Personal, Professional, Growth, and Business. These range from $14.25 a month to $149.25. A big difference, but it depends if you need things like commercial rights and affects the number of words you can generate each month.

Website screenshot for NaturalReader

(Image credit: NaturalReader)

  1. NaturalReader
    Best cloud-based text-to-speech
    +Supports a range of files
    +Wide file support
    If you’re looking for a cloud-based speech synthesis application, you should definitely check out NaturalReader. Aimed more at personal use, the solution allows you to convert written text such as Word and PDF documents, ebooks and web pages into human-like speech.

Because the software is underpinned by cloud technology, you’re able to access it from wherever you go via a smartphone, tablet or computer. And just like Capti Voice, you can upload documents from cloud storage lockers such as Google Drive, Dropbox and OneDrive.

Currently, you can access 56 natural-sounding voices in nine different languages, including American English, British English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian, Portuguese and Dutch. The software supports PDF, TXT, DOC(X), ODT, PNG, JPG, plus non-DRM EPUB files and much more, along with MP3 audio streams.

There are three different products: online, software, and commercial. Both the online and software products have a free tier.

Website screenshot for Voice Dream Reader

(Image credit: Voice Dream)

  1. Voice Dream Reader
    Best mobile-optimized option
    +36 built-in voices
    +Integration with cloud platforms
    There are also plenty of great text-to-speech applications available for mobile devices, and Voice Dream Reader is an excellent example. It can convert documents, web articles and ebooks into natural-sounding speech.

The app comes with 186 built-in voices across 30 languages, including English, Arabic, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese and Korean.

You can get the software to read a list of articles while you drive, work or exercise, and there are auto-scrolling, full-screen and distraction-free modes to help you focus. Voice Dream Reader can be used with cloud solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, Pocket, Instapaper and Evernote.

Best free text-to-speech apps:
Free text-to-speech software can be enormously helpful for anyone who’s visually impaired, or has a condition like dyslexia that makes reading on screens tricky. It can also help overcome language barriers for people who read a language but don’t speak it, or are in the process of learning.

Text-to-speech software is also ideal if you want to listen to a document while doing something else, if you find it easier to retain information you’ve heard, or if you want to sense-check something you’ve written.

Here’s our pick of the best free text-to-speech software for reading either individual paragraphs or whole documents aloud.

For ripping audio from videos, check out our guide to the best YouTube to MP3 conversion software.

Website screenshot for Balabolka

(Image credit: Balabolka)

  1. Balabolka
    Free text-to-speech with customizable voices
    +Excellent file format support
    +Lots of voices to choose from
    +Can create audio files
    +Bookmarking tools
    There are a couple of ways to use the Balabolka free text-to-speech software: you can either copy and paste text into the program, or you can open a number of supported file formats (including DOC, PDF, and HTML) in the program directly. In terms of output, you can use SAPI 4 complete with eight different voices to choose from, SAPI 5 with two, or the Microsoft Speech Platform. Whichever route you choose, you can adjust the speech, pitch and volume of playback to create a custom voice.

In addition to reading words aloud, this free text-to-speech software can also save narrations as audio files in a range of formats including MP3 and WAV. For lengthy documents, you can create bookmarks to make it easy to jump back to a specific location and there are excellent tools on hand to help you to customize the pronunciation of words to your liking.

With all these features to make life easier when reading text on a screen isn’t an option, Balabolka is best free text-to-speech software around.

Website screenshot for NaturalReader Online Reader

(Image credit: NaturalReader)

  1. Natural Reader Online Reader
    Free text-to-speech software with web browser
    +Built-in OCR
    +Choice of interfaces
    +Built-in browser
    +Dyslexic-friendly font
    The NaturalReader Online Reader is a free text-to-speech tool that can be used in a couple of ways. The first option is to load documents into its library and have them read aloud from there. This is a neat way to manage multiple files, and the number of supported file types is impressive, including ebook formats. There’s also OCR, which enables you to load up a photo or scan of text, and have it read to you.

The second option takes the form of a floating toolbar. In this mode, you can highlight text in any application and use the toolbar controls to start and customize text-to-speech. This means you can very easily use the feature in your web browser, word processor and a range of other programs. There’s also a built-in browser to convert web content to speech more easily.

Website screenshot for Panopreter Basic

(Image credit: Panopreter)

  1. Panopreter Basic
    Easy text-to-speech conversion, with WAV and MP3 output
    +Quick and simple to use
    +Exports in WAV and MP3 formats
    +Good range of input formats
    -For Windows only
    As the name suggests, Panopreter Basic delivers free text-to-speech conversion without frills. It accepts plain and rich text files, web pages and Microsoft Word documents as input, and exports the resulting sound in both WAV and MP3 format (the two files are saved in the same location, with the same name).

The default settings work well for quick tasks, but spend a little time exploring Panopreter Basic’s Settings menu and you’ll find options to change the language, destination of saved audio files, and set custom interface colors. The software can even play a piece of music once it’s finished reading – a nice touch you won’t find in other free text-to-speech software.

If you need something more advanced, a premium version of Panopreter is available to buy, which offers several additional features including toolbars for Microsoft Word and Internet Explorer, the ability to highlight the section of text currently being read, and extra voices.

Website screenshot for WordTalk

(Image credit: WordTalk)

  1. WordTalk
    An extension that adds text-to-speech to your word processor
    +Integrates with Microsoft Word
    +Customizable voices
    +Speaking dictionary
    -A little unattractive
    Developed by the University of Edinburgh, WordTalk is a toolbar add-on for Word that brings customizable text-to-speech to Microsoft Word. It works with all editions of Word and is accessible via the toolbar or ribbon, depending on which version you’re using.

The toolbar itself is certainly not the most attractive you’ll ever see, appearing to have been designed by a child. Nor are all of the buttons’ functions very clear, but thankfully there’s a help file on hand to help.

There’s no getting away from the fact that WordTalk is fairly basic, but it does support SAPI 4 and SAPI 5 voices, and these can be tweaked to your liking. The ability to just read aloud individual words, sentences or paragraphs is a particularly nice touch. You also have the option of saving narrations, and there are a number of keyboard shortcuts that allow for quick and easy access to frequently used options.

Website screenshot for Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader

(Image credit: Zabaware)

  1. Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader
    A great choice for converting text from websites to speech
    +Converts text from the clipboard
    +Good file format support
    -Voices are quite expensive
    -Windows only
    Despite its basic looks, Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader has more to offer than you might first think. You can open numerous file formats directly in the program, or just copy and paste text.

Alternatively, as long as you have the program running and the relevant option enables, Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader can read aloud any text you copy to the clipboard – great if you want to convert words from websites to speech – as well as dialog boxes that pop up. Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader can also convert text files to WAV format.

Unfortunately, the selection of voices is limited, and the only settings you can customize are volume and speed unless you burrow deep into settings to fiddle with pronunciations. Additional voices are available for a fee which can seem a little steep compared to others on this list.

best speech to text apps for deaf

Live Transcribe
Speech-to-text apps use voice recognition to provide “captions.” There are several options, including the reputable Live Transcribe for Android. But iPhone users can rejoice. Live Transcribe for iOS launched on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (the third Thursday in May, or May 21, 2020). Despite the similar name, the iOS version is not a Google product.

“When building accessibility tools, it’s hard to think of good reasons to wait,” Live Transcribe for iOS creator Rob Norback said in a Medium interview. “But certainly COVID-19 has created more urgency.”

Over the past few months, Norback and his team pushed themselves to get the app ready for people who need it now. They’re looking into ways to offer special access to medical professionals.

With the addition of this app, all smartphone users have a “live transcribe” option. There are some differences. The Android version can recognize non-speech sounds and is voice-activated. Based on anecdotal reports, the iOS version might need some time to be comparable.

Live Transcribe for iOS is a subscription-supported app that costs $4.99/month or $49.99/year. Currently there is a free seven-day trial. can be used for 1:1 conversations but is especially popular for other uses like webinars and podcasts. It’s available for both Androids and iPhones. It can also be used in a web browser. One feature now available is shared notes for classes, previously only offered with Microsoft Translator via OneNote Live Captions.

Recently posted an Instagram video that shows how the app can be used to help deaf and hard of hearing people while they are interacting with someone wearing a face mask.

View this post on Instagram
Video: Accessibility is so important and this video shares how one user is using on a daily basis! Her story is inspiring and we are so glad to be on thIs journey with her. Video Credit: @projecthearing 📲 ・・・ These masks have made communication really hard for me but I have As a person with a hearing disability who relies A LOT on lipreading, communicating during covid19 has been difficult. I find myself asking people to repeat themselves, sound sounds distorted, and I find myself completely lost in conversations with others. I also am incredibly stubborn and don’t like relying on people. Andy, my boyfriend, has been amazing, but there’s only so much repeating a person can do. 😢 I also like to draw a clear line in the sand in our relationship. He is my lover not my caretaker and I don’t like having to depend on him like that– It creates a weird dynamic in the relationship that I try to stay away from. My independence > Convenience. —- Here’s how I do it. 1. I disclose verbally to the person that I need to communicate with that I have a hearing disability. ➡️“Hey, I want to communicate with you but I have a hearing disability and cannot understand you” 2. I show them how Otter is working on my phone so they see the technology I am using. ➡️”I use this application on my phone and it types down everything that you are saying so that I can understand you better. Pretty cool, right?” 3. I hand them my phone if they are wearing a mask and gloves or stand as close as I comfortably can to them and then extend my arm out so the phone can caption their voice➡️”Can you speak into my phone so it can hear you better and so I can understand you since I have a hearing disability?” ID: Mariella wearing a @onepeloton cap in a grocery aisle at the supermarket. #a11y #accessibilityforall #ADA #assistivetechnology #assitivetech #callingallcreators #captioning #cochlearimplant #cochlearimplantkids #coronavirusNYC #deaf #deafawareness #deaftech #design #disability #disabilityadvocate #disabilityawareness #disabilityrights #diversityandinclusion #emergencypreparedness #GAAD #hearing #nyc

A post shared by ( on May 27, 2020 at 6:13am PDT

One downside to Otter is the inability to change the font inside the app, at least with an iPhone. Modifications must be made in Settings.

Up to 600 minutes/month is free for individuals. For a team, pricing can be up to $12.50/month.

Ava touts itself as “live transcription for any conversation.” Perhaps the priciest of all transcription options, Ava has a tiered subscription plan. While it is free for the occasional user (five free hours/month), a premium subscription ($14.99/month) has infinite captioning time and higher caption quality (90-95 percent). If Ava is being used for work or a board meeting, the Pro, Campus, Welcome or Event plan starts at $99/month). This plan boasts the best caption quality and customized vocabulary. Live, professionally-reviewed 99% accurate captions can be requested with Ava Scribe for additional fees.

Of course we shouldn’t have to pay more for better captions. But this is where we’re lucky to have options. Tina Childress, an educational audiologist, late-deafened adult, and bilateral cochlear implant recipient who is fluent in ASL, has become an expert in technology.

“Those of us that are deaf and hard of hearing need to adapt to our listening environments, even more so now that people are wearing masks,” she says. “We’re lucky that there’s technology out there that can help us in these situations. But there’s no one solution for ALL situations. We do, however, have devices that contain a variety of tools at our disposal – our smartphone and/or tablet.”

“We’re lucky that there’s technology out there that can help us in these situations. But there’s no one solution for ALL situations.”
Childress’ approach has been to gather information, categorize it, share about it, and let the consumer make the decision about what works best for them. When it comes to speech-to-text apps, she likes features from a variety of apps. As a result, she’s learned how to strategically use them.

“One I can use for captioning phone calls and another one will be used for back up captioning a meeting,” Childress says. “Sometimes, you can even use an app in a way that wasn’t its original design purpose. An example of this is how we can ask people to use their phone with a speech-to-text app, hold it under their chin facing outward and viola! It’s like they’re wearing their own private captioning box – we can now better understand them, even if they’re wearing a mask, six feet away, with a degraded speech signal and we can’t lipread them.”

Read more: A guide to group video calling apps for hearing loss

Accuracy with Masks
Indeed, you might be wondering, how do all these apps fare if the speaker is wearing a mask? Is their voice muffled in any way? When asked about this issue, Ava shared a couple of videos to show that accuracy remained consistent.

However, the real issue is social distancing. If you’re using a speech-to-text app to communicate with someone who’s six feet away, you might have more difficulty. This is limited by the phone’s microphone. The best way to get a better signal to your phone is with a remote microphone (e.g. Phonak Roger .) The second best way, according to Childress, is a unidirectional microphone.

In fact, Childress, who provided feedback as an advisor to the Live Transcribe iOS team, has created a website with Catharine McNally. McNally is the accessibility lead at Phase2 Technology, cochlear implant recipient, and Chair of the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Board of Directors. This website, or Knowledge Base, for people with hearing loss, has an overview of automated captioning, in which all the speech-to-text apps are presented and described. There are even a couple of videos of Childress and McNally testing external directional microphones.

The best advice is to try different apps and see which ones you like. Have fun experimenting!


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