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Best screen readers to help you read the screen of your computer or phone

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Best screen readers to help you read the screen of your computer or phone

There are lots of options on the market when it comes to screen reader software that help users read the screen of their computer or phone much easier. Screen readers are available for all of the most popular operating systems such as Windows, Mac, and Linux as well as web browsers like Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. There are even screen readers for smart devices like Apple Watches. Some screen readers are already included among the accessibility features of a device found within its settings app, while others can be downloaded separately.

Here, we’re breaking down the benefits of screen readers and some of the best ones available.

Benefits to screen readers 

A good screen reading software will enable those with visual impairments the ability to do everything that a person with vision is able to do. Some who are blind or visually impaired are able to read the computer screen using an internal magnification that is built into the computer known as a magnifier tool, but others require a screen reader. With this software program you will have unlimited access to apps and documents and have the ability to navigate social media, shop, read blog posts and e-books, scan and read documents and so much more. Screen readers can even be used to create documents, write emails, and communicate with others through instant messaging. 

Text to speech apps can also be referred to as screen readers. Known as TTS apps for short, they use synthetic voices to read text out loud from screens in human-sounding voices. Text to speech software is a type of assistive technology that anyone can use, although it’s commonly used by people with reading disabilities, dyslexia, ADHD, visual impairments, and other conditions that make reading difficult for them.

The top 5 screen readers

NonVisual Desktop Access (NVDA)

NonVisual Desktop Access, or Non Visual Desktop Access, is an assistive technology for Windows operating systems that reads the text on the screen in a computerized voice. By using the arrow keys or the mouse the user can move the cursor to control what text is read. Touch commands can also be used if you are running NVDA on a touchscreen device. NVDA can also translate the text into braille as long as the user has a braille display.

NonVisual Desktop Access is a completely free and open source screen reader but it is also very limited. There is support for add-ons, the Windows logon screen, User Account Control Screens, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer or Google Chrome and there is very limited support for Microsoft Excel. You can access the NVDA screen reader download from the NV Access website.

NVDA also supports many of the refreshable braille displays as well as input from braille keyboards. In many cases, it even supports an automatic detection feature via Bluetooth or the USB port.

Job Access With Speech (JAWS)

JAWS, short for Job Access With Speech, is a pioneering screen reading software developed by Freedom Scientific that offers visually impaired and blind users the capability to operate and interact with their computers using auditory feedback. Built for Windows operating systems, JAWS translates on-screen content into speech, allowing users to navigate, access, and manage various applications and web content.

By providing voice output for digital text and detailed navigation tools, JAWS has significantly enhanced computer accessibility, empowering individuals with visual impairments to perform a wide range of tasks, from basic word processing to professional assignments, thereby fostering inclusivity and equal opportunity in the digital workspace.

Apple text to speech

Apple's text to speech technology, integral to its ecosystem, epitomizes the company's commitment to accessibility and innovation. Embedded across Apple devices, from Macs to iPhones, this feature transforms written text into audible speech, aiding users with visual impairments, dyslexia, or other conditions that can make reading challenging. Leveraging sophisticated voice synthesis, Apple's text to speech delivers clear and natural-sounding voice outputs, making digital content more accessible.

Furthermore, with the introduction of Apple VoiceOver, Apple's screen reading tool, the company has taken text-to-speech capabilities to new heights, enabling users to interact with on-screen elements using auditory feedback, thus ensuring a comprehensive and inclusive user experience.

Google Cloud Text to Speech

Google Cloud Text to Speech is a sophisticated cloud-based solution hailing from Google's suite of machine learning services. Harnessing the power of advanced deep learning techniques, specifically the WaveNet model by DeepMind, this service turns text into lifelike speech. Users can choose from a plethora of voices across multiple languages and dialects, tailored to fit various applications, from IVR systems to gaming. Google Cloud Text to Speech is also sometimes called Google screen reader. Additionally, Chromebooks have a dedicated text to speech feature known as ChromeVox.


Speechify is considered the best text to speech reader and screen reader, rated the most popular screen reader and the #1 rated app in its category. It’s available as an iOS app for iPhone, and Android app, and as a Chrome screen reader. You can use Speechify on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux computers.

The Speechify speech synthesizer has incredibly natural-sounding voices, available in more than 130 different voice and over 30 different languages. This makes Speechify a great screen reader for the blind and people with reading disabilities all over the world. As a screen reader for Chrome, it makes websites easily accessible as versatile on-screen reader extension for laptops and desktop computers. You can also use the Speechify screen reader app on mobile devices to read text to you out loud, including emails, text messages, notes, and other apps.

Speechify—The best screen reader

There are many more benefits to Speechify that make it the best screen reader on the market today. These include being able to sync your account across devices, adjusting the reading speed, note-taking capabilities, word highlighting, and many more features. Speechify is one of the best free screen readers, but you can access even more features with Speechify Premium.

Try Speechify for free today and see why it’s the best screen reader around.


Which is the best screen reader?

There are many text to speech apps available for Android, iOS, Chrome, and Safari. Speechify is rated #1 in this category. Speechify is a powerful tool for those with visual impairments and other reading difficulties as well as those who are looking to use a text to speech app to boost productivity, increase understanding and get through content more quickly. Speechify is a simple screen reader which reads the text on web pages, PDFs, emails, or docs. 

Other popular screen readers include ZoomText, Webanywhere, Dolphin screen reader.

How much do screen readers cost?

Screen readers come in a variety of price ranges. You can find many options that are free all the way up to $1200. 

Can screen readers be used by people with different abilities?

Yes, screen readers can be used for a variety of reasons. Originally screen reader users were primarily blind people and those who have other disabilities, but they are becoming more popular for those with full sight for a variety of different reasons.

Is there a website that reads text to you?

A text to speech app or browser extension like Speechify can read basic text to you in the form of .WAV files, MP3 files, and other types of audio files.

What is the best free text to speech online tool?

The best text to speech online app for free is Speechify’s trial version. Even though Balabolka is completely free, the program lacks several important features that Speechify offers at no cost.

Which speech apps have the best human voices?

NaturalReader, Speechify, and Amazon Polly have the most lifelike human-sounding voices of all text to speech applications. Speechify is undoubtedly the best of them all.

What is the best text to speech software for recording podcast audio files?

Most popular text to speech programs can record podcast audio files that can be edited and uploaded to podcast listening platforms like iTunes and Spotify. Text to speech tools are a great way to get started with podcast recording if you are uncomfortable speaking aloud or if you do not have high-quality podcast recording equipment available to you.

What is the best text to speech reader for Android and iOS?

There are multiple options for text to speech readers on iOS and Android, but we recommend Speechify as the best.

Which natural-sounding speech synthesis tools use deep learning or e-learning for custom voice generation?

The most technologically advanced text to speech applications are arguably Amazon Polly and Speechify. Both use state-of-the-art deep learning and artificial intelligence to generate natural-sounding, human-like voices that can read aloud any document

Which is the most lifelike speech tool for personal use?

If you need a text to speech application for personal use with lifelike speech, NaturalReader and Speechify are both excellent options.

Which text to speech apps have the best celebrity speech voices?

Speechify has the most comprehensive list of popular celebrity voices available on any text to speech application. Popular celebrity voices users can choose from include A-list celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gwyneth Paltrow, and more.

Where can I find the best text to speech online tutorials?

There are many Internet tutorials available for the wide variety of text to speech tools available on the market. Some of the best text to speech online tutorials can be found on YouTube and other similar video platforms.

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.