18 best text-to-speech software programs to convert text to audio content
It’s vital to process information fast in the information age and make it useful whether the information is available in a text, audio, or video format. Text-to-speech technology (TTS), also known as voice processing, is a groundbreaking advancement meant to make information accessible to everyone. Even to those who can’t read and write.
In this article, we will review 18 best text-to-speech software programs (TTS software) that are suitable for both professional and educational use cases. We look at their core features, pros, and cons as well as what makes each one stand out.
Text-To-Speech Software – Overview
Many of us love to hear more than we like to read. However, creating speech content is usually expensive and requires a lot of time. Text-to-speech software can change all that.
Usage – For example, you don’t need expensive equipment to start a podcast. Just create a script, and let TTS software convert it to voice. You may want to adjust some finer points, though but it’s still a lot easier and faster. Using voice computing offers great benefits for eLearning and online businesses as it makes written content accessible through voice.
Accessibility – While some people experience reading and learning difficulties and others prefer audio as their preferred way of learning and accessing information, text-to-speech software can help make knowledge and data accessible for many more people worldwide.
Businesses – In the world of business, you need to leverage anything and everything to reach potential customers. If they’re too busy to read your ads, then let the ads speak to them. This is a use case that becomes quickly more relevant with advances in this area. Below, I now discuss the best text-to-speech software to give a curated overview.
Best Text-to-Speech Software – Top Picks
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NaturalReader by NaturalSoft Ltd is one of the best text-to-speech software for both personal and professional use cases. You can access a selected range of their text-to-speech program through a free edition if you want to have read text aloud. For professional uses, two paid versions provide access to premium voices and tools for advanced processing and customization. You can use it on a desktop or a mobile phone.
The free version provides unlimited free voices but only 20 minutes of premium voices. Using this TTS software is quite simple. Just copy and paste the text or upload a document (Docx, PPT, PDF, ePub, etc.) and listen to it. If you want to convert the text into a downloadable MP3 format, you will need to upgrade to the Premium version.
NaturalReader offers a monthly subscription for their pro versions. With that, you will get unlimited access to premium voices and conversion to MP3 files which you may embed into your website. The software can also read text from images using OCR technology.
NaturalReader has over a hundred natural sounding voices in sixteen languages. It’s available as a Chrome extension, desktop software, and mobile apps (iOS, Android). Subscriptions start at $9.99/month for Premium and $19/month for Plus.
Systems: Web, Desktop, Mobile, Chrome Extension
Pricing: Premium 9.99/month. $60/year. | Plus 19/month. $110/year.
Wideo is a free online video creation platform with over 2.5 million registered users. It’s an excellent tool to create videos with voice-overs and also offers a text-to-speech software program.
The tool offers options to integrate Google’s Text-to-Speech API to easily convert text to speech and download the result as an MP3 file. You can select a voice from the given options and preview it to make an informed choice.
To use the Wideo text-to-speech software, simply type a message into the text box or upload a text file from your computer. After that, choose the voice you like and your voice note is ready! Wideo offers three pricing plans along with a free option.
System: All platforms
Pricing: $19 Basic, $39 Pro, $79 Pro+. Free version available.
For podcasters, BuildBubbles is one of the best text-to-speech software tools, even though it still a start-up. While you can write an article and convert it into speech, the best feature is their sound design feature, allowing you to underlay text-to-speech files with various soundtracks and turn them into podcasts uploadable to most platforms.
For professionals, BuildBubbles is a great marketing tool to reach more readers and listeners. People love to listen more than they like to read. Import any blog post and then choose from various AI voices and music genres to create a text-to-speech podcast. After that, you just paste the link into your blog and quickly upgrade its quality and accessibility.
It’s worth noting that you still need to do some work. Choosing the right template format and voice takes time in the beginning. Editing the podcast and fine-tuning breaks and pauses and intonation and pronunciation is another crucial part of the workflow that AI is not yet capable of doing automatically.
BuildBubbles offers a subscription-based model starting from $9.99 per month. Overall, it offers four different pricing plans, including basic, builder, blaster, and boundless. This could be one of the best text-to-speech software for bloggers and has been featured on ProductHunt and AppsSumo, a platform offering start-up lifetime deals.
System: All platforms, popular podcast services
Pricing: Basic $9.99/month. Builder $19.99/month. Try 7 days free.
Reading tips: TTS software is part of a group of technologies that includes dictation software, typing software, voice to text apps, or the Dragon software suite. Click the links to browse our top lists if you are interested in these types of tools.
WellSaid voice narration by WellSaidLabs is a great voiceover text-to-speech software to create interactive content. It offers a library of fifteen voiceover talents. You can customize the voices, create your own unique tone, and connect the WellSaidLabs API to your in-house services.
The range of languages and voices in WellSaid is pretty narrow. They offer only 15 different male and female voices in American English at the moment. However, the AI voices are among the best and most natural-sounding ones in the industry.
In the free one-week trial version, in which you can access up to four AI voices, create one project, and 50 audio files. The paid packages include Maker, creative, producer, and team with various features. WellSaidLabs offers a 10 percent discount on all annual plans.
Platform: Web, Desktop | Price: Maker $49/month. Creative $99/month.
Play.ht is an AI-based online text-to-speech software to create MP3 files using over 260 realistic AI voices from Google, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft. The generator provides speech synthesis and SSML controls. You can alter pitch, volume, rate, and add pauses into the text. Create an RSS feed for the converted audio file.
On top of that, Play.ht offers a listen button you can embed on blogs to increase accessibility and reach more audiences. It’s an excellent tool for bloggers and businesses. Choose a monthly or yearly subscription-based pricing plan to use it. In the annual plan, the first two months are free. Play.ht has been featured on Appsumo.
Systems: Web, Desktop, Browser Extensions, WordPress Plugin
Subscription: Blogger $90/year. Publication $240/year. Business $640/year
Descript is not just a text-to-speech software converter. It’s a collaborative audio/video editor that offers features like editing, recording, transcription, and sharing. The various features in Descript set it apart from other relevant programs.
Descript is affordable and a good choice for small businesses and podcasters. It also offers a free option with limited screen recording and editing features. The paid plans include Creator, Pro, and Enterprise. Users can choose between monthly and annual subscriptions but an annual plan saves about 20 percent.
System: Web, Desktop, Browser | Pricing: Creator $15/month. Pro $30/month.
Lovo is text-to-speech software for audiobooks, voice-overs, eLearning platforms, and voice ads. Choose from a collection of 33 languages and 150+ voices. What we liked about Lovo is that the voices not only sound natural but also have an emotional touch.
A great feature of Lovo, a premium available in the best text-to-speech software only, is custom voices. It takes only 10 minutes for Lovo’s cloning technology to create a customized voice skin for the target voice. This way, voices will get a more personal touch and sound more like you.
There are four pricing plans available in Lovo along with an Enterprise plan. The free plan is good for personal use with unlimited text-to-voice conversions but downloads limitations. The other plans include free, starter, personal, freelancer, and enterprise.
System: Web, Desktop, Mobile
Subscription: Free Plan available. Starter $24.99/month. Personal $49.99/month.
User Review: ★★★★★
Notevibes adds some great features to online text-to-speech software. It’s available in 18 languages and can convert your text to over 170 natural-sounding voices along with a free download. The free version is for testing purposes with a limit of 5000 characters. After which, there are two pricing plans available, personal and commercial.
Personal – This plan provides one license and is good for casual usage. Convert up to 1,200,000 characters per month from text to voice. The audio files can also be downloaded in MP3 format. For $7 a month particularly freelancers and entrepreneurs get access to features the best text-to-speech programs usually offer at a higher price.
Commercial – The $70 per month subscription gives businesses 12,000,000 characters per month along with multiple advanced features. The team license can be used by more than one person is great for small organizations. The extra features include an advanced voice editor, Wav file download, SSML support, audio files history, and more.
System: Web, Desktop, Mobile | Pricing: Personal $7/month. Commercial $70/month.
User Review: ★★★★★
Kukarella processes both voice-to-text and text-to-speech, with transcribing audio and converting text-to-voice being the main services. It offers 390 realistic voices in 60 languages. You can experiment with different effects and accents to customize a voice.
Kukarella offers monthly subscriptions but also has a free plan with usage limitations. Monthly plans start from $4.99 for text-to-voice and voice-to-text conversions. You may also prepay for their services. Kukarella charges $4.99 for every 100,000 characters in text-to-voice and $4.99 for 60 minutes of voice transcriptions. Credits never expire.
In the free plan, you can use the text-to-voice feature for up to 2,000 characters per month and audio to text feature for about 5 minutes of audio per month. No credit card is required to sign-up for the free plan of this popular online text-to-speech software.
System: Web, Desktop, Mobile | Subscription: Free plan. Pro $4.99/month.
iSpeech is a free online text-to-speech software. The website UI is quite simple, just go to the home page, paste the text you want to convert into a field, convert and download it in various formats. To download the audio files, you will need to register an account.
The text-to-speech program supports over 30 languages. Users can choose the language from the dropdown and select from three different speeds, slow, regular, and fast.
The specialized speech solutions are for developers, eLearning, IVR (Interactive Voice Response), publishers, voice cloning, and web reader. Those services are not free, but rather expensive. However, they offer benefits for professional use cases.
System: Web, Desktop | Pricing: Free plans. Premium available.
Rating: ★★★★☆ | Information: Visit Website.
11. Google Text To Speech
The Google Text to Speech API is a reliable tool for both Playstore and Google Cloud. You need to sign up for a Google Cloud account to access this service. This step may take some time for the first-time user, but it’s an all-in-one solution for regular users.
With Google Text to Speech, you can select from over 220 voices across 40+ languages. It’s powered by Google’s AI technologies and is improving by the hour. Custom voice is also a tool to watch out for. With this feature, you can train a custom speech synthesis model with your voice recordings for smoother and more natural voices.
The Google Cloud platform is not exactly free. However, it offers a free cloud program with a credit of $300 for 90 days. This gives new users enough time and credit to explore the platform and get used to the services. After 90 days, you could still use a free tier with usage limits (Google TTS software: 60 minutes per month).
System: All platforms | Pricing: Free + Premium Cloud plan.
User Reviews: ★★★★☆ | Information: Google Cloud
Spik.ai is free online text-to-speech software produced by Oveit. It uses a mix of machine learning algorithms to generate realistic audio from text.
The program is free and easy to use with usage limitations. As a non-registered user, you can convert up to 300 characters to voice files. For registered members, this limit extends to 1000 characters.
To add a human touch to the robotic voice, you can use markups in your text. Voice transcriptions are not yet available in Spik.ai, but it’s the next big feature.
System: Browser | Availability: Free
Rating: ★★★★☆ | Info: Visit Website.
ReadSpeaker is a text-to-speech program for professional users. It offers a variety of solutions such as text-to-speech online, webReader, docReader, formReader, speechCloud API, and TextAid. It’s a complete speech solution for your online business.
The online text-to-speech software solution is quite popular. It adds speech functionality to your apps and websites in order to make content available to a larger type of audience.
To see a demo of how it works, go to their website, double-click to select a block of content, and choose ‘listen’ from the options menu. The website will automatically start reading the block of content in a very clear and precise voice.
ReadSpeaker offers a variety of pricing models, and also offers bulk discounts. However, the pricing plans are not available on their official website. You need to contact the ReadSpeaker team for pricing information.
System: All platforms | Pricing: Various Plans. Contact support.
14. Amazon Polly
Amazon is another popular name in Speech technologies. With smart assistants like Alexa, it rivals Google’s smart assistant. Amazon Polly is a service that turns text into natural life-like speech. It helps you create applications that speak to the user and build an exciting new category of speech-enabled services.
Amazon Polly uses advanced deep learning technologies to synthesize speech close to the human voice. With a broad range of languages, Polly offers two kinds of voices, Standard TTS and Neural TTS.
Standard TTS can be used to build speech-enabled applications that work in many countries. On the other hand, Neural TTS uses machine learning to improve speech quality. Like Google Text to Speech service, Amazon Polly also offers a free tier (with limited usage) and a pay-as-you-go pricing model.
Platform: All systems | Pricing: Free plan. Pay as you go plans.
15. Resemble AI
Resemble AI is a professional-grade text-to-voice software. It uses AI to clone and build realistic voices within minutes. With Resemble, you can create a custom voice for your games or a smart assistant in various languages. The voices sound just like you with only 5 minutes of data. It’s a great tool for game developers, entrepreneurs, and podcasters.
The best feature is the Speech Gradient. It allows the users to control the emotion of every word in a sentence. Each sample can be customized separately to find one that works best for you. For developers, Resemble offers powerful APIs to improve the workflow. It’s easier to create new voices on the go.
Resemble is not a free tool but you can start for free and clone up to 2,000 characters. Afterward, choose from the three pricing plans Entry, Build, or Enterprise. It’s a pay-as-you-go scheme. Contact their support team for large-scale custom deployment needs.
Platform: All systems | Price: Entry $30/month. Build + Enterprise Plans
For personal use, Balabolka is still a great free text-to-speech software option. It’s a light-weight application (19.6 MBs) that is installed on your computer system.
To use the text-to-speech functionality, you can type text, read the clipboard content, and upload various file formats. You can also adjust the voice parameters such as pitch and rate. The audio file is then saved into the computer as MP3 tags and external LRC files.
When you later play the audio file, the synchronous text is displayed on-screen like lyrics. Balabolka uses the Microsoft Speech API as well as built-in operating system utilities like the spell checker.
For: Desktop | Availability: Free.
Rating: ★★★☆☆ | Info: Visit Website.
17. TextAloud 4
TextAloud is a desktop text-to-speech software by Nextup. Convert text from websites, documents, and emails into audio available in various languages and accents. Notable features include tools to increase productivity and for proofreading or transcription.
This text-to-speech program is easy to use, and you can integrate it with other software like MS Word. TextAloud can be used as standalone TTS software to import documents and listen to audio and a browser plugin or be started from the MS Word toolbar.
TextAloud offers a free trial and a different pricing structure similar to most other best text-to-speech software. You can purchase the single-user license for $34.95 with a 30-day warranty. However, you will need to buy the latest version upgrade for $19.95. Plans for multiple users are available too.
For: Web, Desktop | Subscription: Single $34.95. Upgrades $19.95.
18. CereWave AI
CereWave AI is text-to-speech software for businesses and developers. It uses machine learning techniques to generate natural voices. The deep learning model creates the waveforms from scratch using a neural network that is trained with a lot of data.
What’s different about CereWave AI is that not only are the voices very realistic, but the system also enables complete editing. Convert the speech to another language, accent, gender, or age. You can download various versions of voices in different accents. Pricing for voices starts from $25.99 for personal use and 299.99 for commercial use.
System: Web, Desktop, Mobile | Pricing: Various Plans. Contact support.
How to Choose The Best Text-to-Speech Software?
Choosing the right and best text-to-speech software depends on your specific needs. One software cannot be perfect for everyone. Apart from pricing, the sound of the voices, limitations in data usage or download options are the features that will matter the most.
Bloggers, podcasters – The technology is evolving quickly, so expect significant progress in the next years. Hence, if you’re a podcaster, then AI voice computing tools like BuildBubble, Descript, Lovo, Spik.ai, and Resemble.ai are an excellent pick.
For small to large businesses and eLearning projects, NaturalReader, Descript or Notevibes, are great options to implement the benefits text-to-speech software has to offer. Furthermore, businesses can further reduce access barriers with this technology.
As for personal use, free services such as Balabolka and Spik.ai are the way to go. However, if you use such tools only occasionally then the free plans of some of the premium text-to-speech programs might offer great value for you too.
Tip: Here is our round-up of text-to-speech apps which focus on mobile use and have different, more personal rather than professional use cases.
Best Text-to-Speech Software 2021 – Verdict
What is the best text-to-speech software? Text-to-voice technology is changing the world in ways that were unseen before. Computers can recite not only a piece of text but also mimic humans. To an extent, that even we can’t guess if it’s a machine talking.
Voice computing technology still has a long way to go. However, with deepfakes advancing at an exponential rate, we’re all excited to see what’s next!
If you’re thinking of how to get started, then a good place to begin is shortlisting and reviewing the best text-to-speech software suitable for your goals and needs. Weight the pros, cons, usage limitations, features, and pricing to find one that best fits your needs.
What Is The Best Text-to-Speech Software 2021?
- NaturalReader | ★★★★★
- Wideo | ★★★★☆
- BuildBubbles | ★★★★☆
- iSpeech | ★★★★☆
- Kukarella | ★★★★☆
- Lovo | ★★★★☆
- WellSaidLabs | ★★★★★
- Play.ht | ★★★★☆
- Spik.AI | ★★★★☆
- Descript | ★★★★★
- ReadSpeaker | ★★★★☆
- Notevibes | ★★★★★
- Resemble AI | ★★★★★
- Google Text To Speech | ★★★★☆
- Amazon Polly | ★★★★☆
- Balabolka | ★★★★☆
- TextAloud 4 | ★★★★☆
- CereWave AI | ★★★★☆
Thanks for reading this review. What is the best text-to-speech software 2021? Let us know how you work with this technology and which TTS software you use on a day-to-day basis.
Additional best text-to-speech software programs and conversion tools
- Nuance Voice
- Replica Studios
- Sonantic TTS
- Deepzen TTS
- Oddcast TTS
- Trinity Audio