Alternatives to intelligent speaker text to speech

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Alternatives on June 27, 2022
There are a multitude of text-to-speech apps that you can use online. Searching Google will show you hundreds of results but we've curated only the top 5.

    Intelligent Speaker is a popular TTS reader that busy people, or those with learning disabilities, use to read web pages and other text documents. This article will compare its features with those of its competitors to find the best text reader. These include Speechify, NaturalReader, eSpeak, ReadSpeaker, Amazon Polly, and TextAloud.

    Our criteria for comparison will include the following popular features:

    • The ability to select text and have it read aloud
    • Ability to read text aloud in a natural-sounding human voice
    • Variable reading speed
    • Cross-platform and device integration
    • Ease of installation and use

    About Intelligent Speaker text to speech alternatives

    Intelligent Speaker is a popular text-to-speech browser extension. It speaks in a human-like voice with real-life emotions. It works in 20 languages, on most common document formats. The synthesized audio may be downloaded and listened to offline at your choice of speed.

    Intelligent Speaker reads your articles and documents while you work out. It helps you work more efficiently, but it has issues.

    User complaints include being charged after canceling. When asking for text support, they have received “email inbox is full” responses. It won’t read text selections, and there is a delay before it starts reading.

    Still, let’s look at this popular solution and its alternatives.

    Intelligent speaker functionality and voice assistance 

    Intelligent Speaker is a popular choice for TTS because of its functionality. Its features include:

    • Reading in a human-like voice with emotional inflection
    • Automatically detects text on a web page or local HTML file
    • Speaks in 20 different languages
    • Downloadable synthesized audio
    • Listen offline if desired
    • It reads at the speed you select

    Now, let’s compare some alternatives to Intelligent Speaker.

    Intelligent Speaker Alternatives

    1. Speechify 

    Speechify is the #1 text-to-speech reader and surpasses Intelligent Speaker in many ways. This is because how it handles the transcription of written text with its proprietary machine learning algorithms. Its natural-sounding AI voices make the reading experience more pleasing for people with dyslexia or other learning disabilities.

    Founded in 2016, Speechify is a highly rated plugin with more than a million downloads. Its powerful feature set makes it easy to listen to the text being read aloud at any time or place.

    • It’s a free Chrome extension – It reads through docs, articles, PDFs, and email. Don’t have time to read your social media? Speechify will read it for you.
    • Works on Mac and Windows. This TTS reader has a free version anybody can download and use immediately.
    • Excellent tutorials are one of the many avenues of support in its vibrant community.

    Need something more powerful? Speechify’s premium version includes:

    • Syncs across all your devices, including the web, iOS, and Android
    • Need to read a real book? Just snap a picture, and Speechify will OCR it, then read it aloud.
    • Human-based premium support makes it easy to get any problem fixed quickly.
    • You can read any text on your Apple iOS and Android device. It boosts your understanding by enabling you to focus better. Now you can breeze through content at 2-3x the normal speed.
    • Note taking support to clip snippets for later.

    This popular speech app is one of the most downloaded plugins on Google. It has a million downloads and an average of 4.4 stars from more than 83k reviews.

    The numbers don’t lie. Give it a try.

    2. NaturalReader

    Want an easy-to-use speech-to-text app that reads your text out loud? NaturalReader has natural-sounding voices that are read aloud in high-quality voices. This allows users to focus completely rather than being distracted by robotic voices.

    If you like multitasking in real-time, NaturalReader’s speech engine has lifelike speech. Its reading speed is easily adjusted. Other features include common abilities such as the choice between different voices. Users can control the playback speed, and it will convert text to an MP3 for easier listening later. Although high quality, it lacks the feature set of Intelligent Speaker or Speechify.

    3. ReadSpeaker

    ReadSpeaker can read in 50+ languages and has 200+ voices. It highlights the text as you read along and blocks out the rest of the page. Tweak this and more in your personalized settings. Want to listen to an audio version of your text reader? Download an MP3 to listen on the go.

    The major drawback is its cost, which is prohibitive to most individuals. This software is best used at scale by technologists developing apps.

    4. eSpeak

    eSpeak is only available on Linux and Windows. You have to be tech-savvy to use this free software. It does automate reading and has a speech API that can use SSML(Speech Synthesis Markup Language). This text-to-speech software offers advanced features such as translating the text into phoneme codes.

    This free open-source software is only usable by tech-savvy Microsoft or Linux users.

    5. Amazon Polly

    This cloud-based service has custom voice technology. Using deep learning, it makes voiceover easily accessible. Its pricing makes it inaccessible to individuals. This solution is better suited for programmers with a specific use case. For example, their mobile app might use the custom voice generator to transcribe text.

    If you are looking for ease of use, this won’t work on your iPhone, but it is a powerful messaging tool. If you want to use it to study, it doesn’t work in your web browser as easily as Speechify or Intelligent Speaker.

    6. TextAloud (Now ReadAloud)

    ReadAloud is a Chrome plugin that supports 40+ languages. It converts any browser text to audio, reading in a natural-sounding speech tone. Like most voice readers, it reads text files such as ePub. It also creates audio files you can download and listen to later like you would a podcast.

    It has more than a million downloads on the Chrome web store, with a lower rating than Speechify. Also, iPad users will find it more difficult to use than Speechify due to iOS limitations.

    Why Speechify

    Most of the plugins we’ve discussed don’t have Speechify’s ease of use and wide range of capabilities. Speechify remains the gold standard of natural-sounding AI voices because:

    • It’s easy to use and compatible with any text format, including OCR
    • It’s the perfect assistant for learning for dyslexic or visually impaired people. Now anybody can read at 220wpm or higher if they choose. This is a common way to process text faster.
    • Real people provide customer support. Get live tech support rather than waiting for somebody to get back to you by email.
    • Can speak in exclusive languages like Japanese
    • Speaks in languages like Portuguese, Vietnamese, Swedish, Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and English

    Conclusion – Speechify is the best alternative to Intelligent Speaker

    Out of all the solutions we’ve examined, Speechify is the most full-featured alternative because it includes Intelligent Speaker’s functionality and much more.

    Here are some of the features that make it the best option:

    • The free plugin reads at 220 WPM(1.1x), scanning and listening to any printed text.
    • It saves your content across all your iOS and Android devices.
    • Priority support – Get VIP support and connect to a real person on the Speechify team when needed
    • Read up to 900 WPM
    • Speak in Natural voices to make your listening more enjoyable
    • Premium text extraction using cutting-edge OCR technology augmented by AI deep learning
    • Provide comprehensive note-taking tools.

    In conclusion, we hope this article helped you find a solution that meets all your needs.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the advantages of an Intelligent Speaker alternative?

    Many of the alternatives discussed are powerful but must be configured. This makes them difficult to use.

    On the other hand, Speechify is incredibly easy to use. That’s why it has more than a million downloads and tens of thousands of good reviews. The freemium version is powerful. It enables neurodivergent students will complete their required reading while doing other tasks.

    What is the main problem with current speakers?

    The sound quality may lack in many intelligent speakers. They may be subject to common speaker problems. People often complain of audio distortion, popping sounds, and (poor bass or treble).

    Fixing these problems is easy if you adjust the output channels and lower the volume. Be careful, though. If you start playing at high volume, it may instantly blow out your speakers.

    What are some of the benefits of intelligent speakers?

    Out of all the speakers in this article, Speechify is the easiest to configure. Its documentation is easy to understand, and real people provide technical support.

    Its exceptional functionality is available on Android and Windows. Use it to read any web page out aloud.

    If you or somebody you love is neurodivergent, consider a TTS reader. Enjoy the benefits of having text read out loud while doing other things like cooking or working out. A TTS Reader has variable reading rates if you like to listen at a faster speed. This allows you to consume more information faster. It will change their life and give them a new love of reading.

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    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman

    Cliff Weitzman is a dyslexia advocate and the CEO and founder of Speechify, the #1 text-to-speech app in the world, totaling over 100,000 5-star reviews and ranking first place in the App Store for the News & Magazines category. In 2017, Weitzman was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list for his work making the internet more accessible to people with learning disabilities. Cliff Weitzman has been featured in EdSurge, Inc., PC Mag, Entrepreneur, Mashable, among other leading outlets.

    Pick Your Speechify Tribe

    I have been flailing due to an eye injury on top of Lyme disease on top of long-covid and a herniated disc with neuropathy. Sitting hurts and propping a book while lying down is stressful. Anxiety over not keeping up, ADD with medication fluctuation and nystagmus of one eye, stigmatism with the other eye both before the retina injured has caused duress as an exam approaches in 35 days. I just need to get through these 500 pages and at least try the assignments. I believe this app will be the key.. thank you ever so much! It’s never too late to find a key and unlock the door to a new world!

    “I have ADHD and I love to read but have piles of book that I have never touched. I downloaded this app and it has helped me read more and obtain information better for school! Love this app , I recommend it to everyone!” - JENEMARIE

    “Love this app, I have eye problems and this app helps me read headache free. Plus it’s great for traders to listen to news and multitasks.” - JJJJJJMMMMMMM”

    “I like Reading books but I don’t like to read at the same time this is so nice and very much correct. Totally recommend!” - Amazing use this now!!! - HALL LACKS SI USA

    “I am a student who had dyslexia so is very very very helpful for me. A reading assignment that would normally take me 30+ minutes took 10! I will be using this very often.” - CHAMA NORLAND

    “I’m an audible learner. Speechify helps me to comprehend readings better than I am capable of reading the text silently.” - CANDI CL

    “This is probably top 5 of greatest apps ever, you can literally read alone an entire book in a day. Easily worth the cost of the app.” - TJV 34

    “Excellent for comprehending medical textbooks more quickly and thoroughly!! This is awesome for keeping up with latest surgical techniques and technology. Dr. K” - IMPLANTOPERATOR

    “Speechify saves my 70 year old eyes. I close them. I listen.” - WRANGLERSUPREME

    “I was dreading reading this long story but Speechify got it done now I can go ahead and take my college quiz.” - SUNCOP

    “I teach visually impaired students AND students with dyslexia. This app is a huge help to all of them. Thank you for helping those who need it most!!” - ETTETWO

    “I use this app to proofread before I publish chapters of my books and it works so good! 10/10 recommended.” - LOUIELEIUOL


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    “Congratulations for this lovely project. Speechify is brilliant. Growing up with dyslexia this would have made a big difference. I'm so glad to have it today.”
    - Sir Richard Branson
    "Speechify lets me listen to Goop blog posts out loud in the car and gets my friends through grad school. It's amazing for scripts."
    - Gwyneth Paltrow