16 Best text-to-speech apps to give written content a voice
Text to speech is an assistive technology that’s gaining significance quickly in the business world and people’s everyday lives. It’s meant to increase productivity and help those with learning or visual disabilities, including dyslexia, vision impairment, and such.
Text-to-speech apps (TTS) can also help cut down screen time and increase productivity. This article will review 16 of the best text-to-speech apps that can change how you work, learn, read, and interact with digital content.
Text-To-Speech Apps – Overview
Text-to-speech apps use a process called speech synthesis. It involves building up a database of recorded voices to create voices that sound just like human voices.
Beyond synthesizing voices and narrating ebooks or documents, TTS apps can often translate text-to-speech into another language. It also offers OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to read text from images.
In some cases, the best text-to-speech apps are even capable of having conversations with humans. We have all seen such technology in smart assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assitant. Nowadays, TTS apps and their technology are available in nearly all digital devices, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Tip: If you want to take a more professional approach, then text-to-speech software might offer additional and more powerful alternatives to just app-based solutions.
Best Text-to-Speech Apps 2021 – Top Picks
|NaturalReader||Speech Central||CaptiVoice||Voice Dream||Simple Text Reader|
|iOS / Android||iOS / Android||iOS / Android||iOS / Android||iOS / Android|
|Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review||Read Review|
1. Natural Reader App – iOS, Android
Natural Readers by NaturalSoft Ltd is available as an online application, chrome extension, and as an app on both Playstore and App store. It’s one of the most popular and best text-to-speech apps for both personal and professional use. Especially for students, it works as a study aid, so they cover more reading material in less time!
It’s an excellent tool with various features, including natural-sounding voices, a web reader (allows your website to talk), and OCR technology (read text from images). It can also be installed as a toolbar into MS Office to read a document. Users can also download MP3 files and listen to past uploads.
Natural Readers is one of those cloud-based text-to-speech apps you can access from anywhere through a smartphone or laptop. You can also upload documents to Natural Reader cloud storage apps like Google Drive, One Drive, and Dropbox.
App Store: iOS, Android | Review: 4.6 ★★★★★
Cost: Free plan. Premium 9.99/month. $60/year. | Plus 19/month. $110/year.
2. Speech Central – iOS, Android
Labsii’s Speech Central is more than just a voice narration app. It allows you to explore the web, listen to headlines, and your favorite content via Bluetooth headset.
The app is created especially for visually impaired users. Its features include support for DAISY books, dyslexia-friendly fonts, and keyboard shortcuts for most commands. You may also use Speech Central on the iPhone with your headset.
Users can import articles, build their knowledge base, and create MP3 files too. It’s a great tool for daily personal use, self-development, and an excellent way to cut down your screen time or boost productivity.
Get Speech Central on iOS, Playstore, Windows 10, and your Macbook. The app is available for free with restrictions on the number of articles that you can add. The restrictions are removed when you upgrade to the pro version.
3. Text To Speech! – iOS
Text to Speech by Gwyn Durbridge is an excellent way to bring your text to life with words! The app is available for both iPad and iPhone.
Text to Speech! lets users choose from 96 natural sounding voices across 38 languages and accents. More voices are available: Go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Speech -> Voices. One can also adjust voice parameters like rate and pitch.
A prominent feature of this app is that it does not require an internet connection. It highlights the text and speaks as you type. After conversion, users can also export audio files. However, this feature requires iOS 13 (and above) to work.
App Store: iOS | Price: Free. In-app offers | Review: 4.7 ★★★★★
4. Voice Dream Reader – iOS, Android
Voice Dream Reader is another great all-in-one text-to-speech app. It offers a reader (text to speech), writer (speech to text), and scanner (text recognition). However, it’s not available for desktop, but only for Android and Apple phones, smartphones and tablets.
For text-to-speech conversion, the app sports 186 built-in voices across 30 languages. Use the app to read articles anytime, anywhere. Upload articles or documents from cloud solutions like Dropbox, Google Cloud, and Evernote.
To make the experience better, the Voice Dream Reader app offers features like full-screen and distraction-free mode along with auto-scrolling. You can also highlight stuff, bookmark, and take notes while you’re listening. Dictation is quite reliable and uses Nuance for it.
The app is available for free, but offers a pro plan with extra features. Subscriptions include 1-month or 1-year plans. We recommend to also read our round-up reviews of the best dictation software or Nuance Dragon Software.
App Store: iOS, Android | Costs: $19.99. In-app offers | Review: 4.6 ★★★★☆
5. KNFB Reader – iOS, Android, Windows
For visually impaired people, KNFB Reader is an excellent tool. It can convert text to both speech and braille. Some people prefer reading or listening; this text-to-speech app helps them read anything they want without looking for a braille1 copy.
The process is simple, take a picture of the text, and select to listen aloud, or turn it into braille. You can also save or share documents in KNFB. While taking pictures of text can be time-consuming, KNFB is smart and takes pictures of text as you turn the page.
The app does not require WiFi to work, which makes it faster than other text-to-speech apps. Features like tilt guidance, the field of view, and advanced speech technology make listening and reading easier.
To top it off, KNFB Reader is a cloud-friendly, multi-lingual, and multi-platform app. It’s available on iOS, Android, and Windows 10 devices.
6. Text To Speech App – Android
Text to Speech by TK Solutions is an excellent tool for voice narration. The app’s interface is simple and straightforward. It synthesizes voices in different languages and settings. Users can also adjust the voice settings to make the experience more authentic.
The app doesn’t provide an option to upload documents but the auto-expanding text box allows unlimited text-to-speech conversion. It is available for free in Playstore and supports over 30 voices and languages. Audio files can be saved in WAV format and shared with friends and family. You can also save text for future use.
Platform: Android | Costs: Free. In-app purchases | Rating: 4.3 ★★★★☆
7. Google Text To Speech App – Android
Google Text to Speech is probably one of the most familiar text-to-speech apps on the list. It’s a free text-to-speech app that can be integrated with several apps and programs. Google Text to Speech is a native Android phone application. You can enable it by going to Settings -> Personal -> Language and Input -> Speech -> Text to Speech Output.
The best feature of Google TTS is its integration with Google Translate. It allows users to translate any text into another language and listen to it. The integration with Google Translate means you can translate in 109 languages.
Other prominent features include Read Aloud (from Google Play Books), TalkBack and accessibility applications (for spoken feedback), speech to text capabilities, and more.
Platform: Playstore | Costs: Free plan | Rating: 4.2 ★★★★☆
TextHelp provides read and write assistance across all platforms including Windows, iOS, Android, Google Chrome, etc. TextHelp partnered with Google for Education2 and Microsoft gold application development3 for improved efficiency.
It’s an excellent app for people with special needs and learning disabilities. These features include a picture dictionary, highlighting, word suggestions, and a vocab list. Users with visual impairment issues can also scan images and upload documents to hear. It also provides an option to use screen masking to reduce visual stress and screen glare.
The app also offers a free version for teachers, though they can only listen to web pages and documents. Upgrading to Premium unlocks over 80 features. TextHelp offers different subscription models for education and the workplace. For students, the subscription plans are available at a much lower price, making it a great solution for learners.
Store: All platforms. | Costs: Free plan | Review: ★★★★☆
9. Simple Text Reader TTS Reader – iOS, Android
Simple Text Reader is a free tool to read written content on your Android or iOS. It uses iOS voices to select from various languages and switch between voices (like male and female).
The tool is easy and convenient to use. Share any text or website, press the play button, and the TTS reader will read it for you. The app can read several types of documents including plain text, HTML files, text files, web pages, images on the web page, and more.
Simple Text Reader features multiple languages and voice support. You can adjust reading speed and location, cache and bookmark reading locations, various files support, import text from other apps, etc.
10. CaptiVoice – iOS, Chrome
CaptiVoice is a great project to use text-to-speech technology in the education sector. It’s an excellent tool to listen to your class reading materials and anything else you want to read. Suitable for learners and teachers who wish to personalize their studying and work process and overcome language barriers.
CaptiVoice is available both online and offline and you can read ebooks and web pages with it. Several schools, colleges, and professionals from around the world are using Capti Voice. It can also be integrated with cloud storage, popular LMS, and content sources.
For personal use, CaptiVoice offers a free version with various features. You get the high-end voice sample and features with the Pro version. The app is not available on Android, but you can access it via a Chrome extension and through the web on other browsers.
11. Speechify Text Reader – iOS, Android
Speechify is the beta version of a text-to-speech app. It can read up to 600 words per minute and users can also read while listening. The app is designed to help people with ADD, dyslexia, second language learners, and auditory learners. It’s an excellent tool to cover your readings and becoming more productive.
iOS users can download and use Speechify. It’s available as a Chrome extension. Right now, Speechify is available as a beta version, which means there are a lot of bugs to fix.
Store: iOS, Android, Chrome | Costs: Free. In-app offers | Rating: 4.7 ★★★★★
12. AI Reader Playstore – Android
AI Reader is a unique voice narrator designed for reading fiction books. It offers support to various file types including Docx, Html, RTF, etc., and even supports ZIP and GZ archives. The biggest shortcoming in AIReader is that it does not support PDF format.
This app is a great tool for readers who like listening to stories, but they’re only available in text format. It also collects statistics (of open books) and creates a top hundred authors and books list for users. This helps users decide what to read next!
Users can create four profiles with different interface settings. It also provides an option to select from different languages and voices. AI Reader is not available on the iOS app store. It’s an Android exclusive application.
Platform: Android | Costs: Free plan | Review: 4.6 ★★★★☆
13. iSpeech – iOS, Android
iSpeech is more than just a text-to-speech app. Users can translate text by typing (in seven languages) or speaking (in eighteen languages). They can even share their favorite translations with their Facebook friends.
With iSpeech, you also have an option to convert audio to text. The app interface is easy to use. You type (or copy/paste) the text into the text box, hit the convert button, wait for a few minutes, and your audio file should be ready!
While the overall idea is pretty great, it may crash a lot and bugs can ruin the user experience. This might take some time to fix, so keep this in mind.
14. Narrator’s Voice – Android
The Narrator’s Voice is not just a typical text-to-speech app. Along with the usual features like turning text to voice, you can also add custom effects like echo, gargle, chorus, and reverb. Most of these effects can also be used offline. The app comes equipped with various built-in voices. You can convert text to audio MP3 or MP4 files.
With Narrator’s Voice, users can record themselves and add effects to their voice. It also provides editing tools to adjust pitch, speed, and volume. The various features make this app a great application to create Youtube videos and podcasts. It can be installed and used for free, but you can also get the premium version (with no ads) for $15.
App Store: Playstore | Costs: Free. In-app purchases. | Rating: 4.8 ★★★★★
15. Voice Aloud Reader TTS Reader – Android
Voice Aloud Reader by Hyperionics Technology is an excellent and user-friendly text-to-speech app. With Voice Aloud, there are various ways it can read the text. Paste the URL or document and it will start converting it into text. The best part is that it automatically parses and reads the relevant text and removes the menu and other stuff.
The app can convert from all kinds of text inputs including documents, HTML files, ebooks, and more. It makes for a great beginner’s text-to-speech app with a good onboarding process. When installed for the first time, it guides the users on how to best use it.
A great feature is the night mode and sleep time. Night mode reduces strain on the eye at night while the sleep timer will stop the app from running automatically after a certain time. Voice Aloud offers a free download from the PlayStore. It’s not available for iOS.
App Store: Playstore | Costs: Free plan | Rating: 4.1 ★★★★☆
16. T2S Text To Voice – Read Aloud, Android
T2S is one of the most convenient and best text-to-speech apps for Android and on PlayStore. It offers a variety of unique features that make it stand out. The app makes use of Google Text-to-Speech engines as the main API.
What makes T2S stand out from the crowd is its built-in web browser. This means that you can access web pages without copying/pasting or sharing the website links.
Some other unique features of T2S include Copy to Speak (copy text from another app and instantly convert to speech) and Type Speak (convert text to speech as you type). You can adjust voice parameters and add effects to the speech. Along with that, users can also share and export audio files for direct use.
App Store: Playstore | Costs: Ads. In-app offers | Rating: 4.1 ★★★★☆
How to Choose the Best Text-To-Speech Apps?
Most text-to-speech apps for smartphones are free. They provide functionalities like reading typed text, documents, ebooks, and much more. Choosing the right but also best text-to-speech apps is about exploring various features offered by each app and choosing one that works best for you.
AI Reader offers a lot of different features but doesn’t support PDF. if you work a lot with PDFs, then going in another direction would be a better idea. For podcasters, Narrator’s Voice is a great tool, but there’s a catch. The app is only available on Playstore.
It would be best to explore different options before concluding. It’s also fun.
Best Text-To-Speech Apps 2021 – Verdict
Well, this is our tour of the best text-to-speech apps in 2021. Wrapping up our review, text-to-speech technology is transforming business, e-learning, and marketing. It helps businesses reach more clients without having to worry about language barriers.
The best part about this technology is its role in eLearning. Students with learning and visual disabilities are no longer held back. They can explore almost as much as the next person (and even more!) with text-to-speech apps like CaptiVoice and Text Help.
For beginners, Google text-to-speech is a built-in app Android application. Natural Reader and Speech Central are some of the best text-to-speech apps for iOS users. As for multi-platform functionality, CaptiVoice (available on Android, iOS, Chrome, and the web) is an excellent choice.
16 Best Text-to-Speech Apps 2021
- NaturalReader | ★★★★★
- Speech Central | ★★★★☆
- Text To Speech! | ★★★★★
- Voice Dream Reader | ★★★★☆
- KNFB Reader | ★★★★☆
- Text To Speech | ★★★★☆
- Google Text To Speech | ★★★★☆
- TextHelp | ★★★★☆
- Simple Text Reader TTS Reader | ★★★★☆
- CaptiVoice | ★★★★☆
- Speechify Text Reader | ★★★★★
- AI Reader | ★★★★☆
- iSpeech| ★★★★☆
- Narrator’s Voice | ★★★★★
- Voice Aloud Reader TTS Reader | ★★★★☆
- T2S Text To Voice – Read Aloud | ★★★★☆
Additional Best Text-To-Speech Apps and Browser Extensions
- Play.ht – Chrome extension
- Motoread – Chrome extension
- Voiceread – Chrome extension
- Pericles – Chrome extension
- Speechy – Chrome extension
- WaveNet for Chrome
- Talkie – Read Aloud – Chrome
- Pocket Reader App with built-in text-to-speech function
- Android Built-in Text-To-Speech Functionality
What are the best text-to-speech apps for Android and iPhone? How do you use them? Do you think they are effective or improve productivity? Let us know in the comments below.