Updated December 3, 2019
Worldwide, 750 million people struggle with basic literacy. What’s more, 2.2 billion have visual impairments, many of whom are fully or legally blind. For people with trouble reading or seeing, accessing information online can be difficult—or in many cases, impossible.
Speech-enabled content makes information accessible to users with impairments like these, and adds versatility to any written content. With text-to-speech services, you can turn a printed script into a PA announcement without having to hire a voice actor. You can create a dynamic e-learning experience with personality, again, without having to bring voice talent on board. With the right text to speech converter, you can unlock a new world of potential for your online content.
Content professionals looking for a text to speech reader will find many different options online, but some are better for certain purposes than others. Here you’ll find a brief introduction to the top solutions available today, to help you make the right decision for your business.
Balabolka ranks as TechRadar’s top free text reader for 2019. It works with any electronic voice installed on your computer and supports most of the popular text file formats including PDF, DOC, ODT, and EPUB.
Balabolka uses Microsoft Speech API to customize the rate, pitch, and articulation of the spoken content and can synchronize that content with any compatible audio file. For on-the-go customers, Balabolka offers a portable version that can run from a USB drive on any computer with a voice installed.
Pricing: The app is free to download.
Amazon Polly topped TechRadar’s list of the best text readers overall in 2019. Geared to developers, it offers an affordable pay-as-you-go pricing plan that starts free. Amazon Polly’s free tier includes 5 million characters per month for 12 months for standard voices. If you’d prefer the more natural-sounding “neural” voices, you can get up to 1 million characters free per month.
After you exceed your free tier limit, you’ll pay just $4 per 1 million characters for standard voices, or $16 per 1 million characters for neural voices. Amazon Polly supports multiple text file types and can read aloud in many different languages. You can store the results in several different formats including MP3 and PCM. This text reader is a great option for web and software developers in need of a versatile text-to-speech service.
Pricing: Standard voices are $4.00 per one million characters after the free tier limit is exceeded.
Another favorite of TechRadar and a top pick for 2019 by the blog Technology Point, NaturalReader can convert text to audio using a web app or dedicated software. Both versions can be used across multiple devices and document types and are appropriate for private or commercial users. Free and paid options are available for private users, while commercial users also have the option for additional sharing services to allow for larger-scale work.
NaturalReader's software comes in free, individual, and professional versions. For corporate clients with more large-scale needs, commercial service supports the distribution of files in formats such as e-Learning and broadcast.
Pricing: Paid plans start at $99.50, which is a one-time payment.
A multifunctional tool for professionals, ReadSpeaker offers text-to-speech services for a variety of industries, from auto manufacturing to education. ReadSpeaker has more than 70 voices available in more than 20 languages. For many of the languages served, users can choose the voice persona that best suits their brand personalities.
Pricing: ReadSpeaker TextAid’s basic plan starts at $49 per year or $4.90 per month. The other services offered don’t list prices, and instead require potential users to contact ReadSpeaker for more information. Several of the services offer free trials or the option to sample voices.
Easy Text to Speech is perhaps the most user-friendly text reader out there. With a few simple clicks, our text to speech reader can read anything aloud and convert it into MP3 or WAV audio. It can convert articles to audio, create narration for videos, and much more.
All you have to do is paste your written content into the EasyTTS text box or upload a file, then choose a voice. EasyTTS will do the rest, converting text to speech and then emailing you the result. You can move on with your day and download the audio file when you need it, no waiting required.
Basic voices are free and premium voices start at just $2 for 5,000 words and $1 for each additional 5,000. The paid option also includes enhanced voices and the potential for customized playback rate and pitch. There’s no need to sign up for an account, but you’re welcome to do so if you want to track your order.
Pricing: Enhanced voices are $2 for 5000 words and $1.00 for each additional 5000 words.
EasyTTS came about because we wanted a simple tool that could convert text to voice with no subscriptions. That’s what EasyTTS has become—you enter the text, the software creates the audio, no hassle involved.
Want to know more about how to read aloud from electronic documents? Browse our offerings today or email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, comments, suggestions and more. It's time for you to find your voice.