Just like Microsoft’s Windows OS, Apple’s very own operating system supports text-to-speech apps. That’s unsurprising: The benefits of these apps are numerous. It’s great for users of one of the most popular platforms out there to have the chance to listen to digital text instead of reading it, whether they are viewing Amazon, Microsoft Word, Google Drive or another program.
Mac OS X has an integrated TTS tool that successfully reads digital content. However, its features are rather basic, and the voices aren’t great. They sound too robotic for most people’s tastes. Moreover, you can’t pause/play at will, and you can’t select sentences in the middle of the text. The app can only read in perfect order—from beginning to end.
Luckily, if you use a macOS-based device, there are dozens of third-party text-to-speech apps that are fully compatible with Apple’s operating system. Some are free while others require yearly subscriptions, but they all do a better job than the default TTS reader. Let’s review some of the best options out there.
The first option on our list is the popular Read Aloud TTS reader. Unlike some others, this isn’t a stand-alone app. Instead, it’s an extension for Google Chrome that you can install on your Mac computer. It’s as straightforward as using bookmarks. This can be a useful function for Mac users, as many people need content on various web pages read aloud.
The major pro of Read Aloud is that it’s a free text transcription tool. This means that you just have to add it to your browser as a plug-in, and it appears in the toolbar. However, this doesn’t make it perfect. Its speech function isn’t necessarily great, though it’s definitely better than the options macOS TTS reader provides.
Another issue you might have with Read Aloud is the lack of support for other browsers. Moreover, it doesn’t have an available version for Apple’s Safari browser to which most macOS users are accustomed.
The second option on this list is among the most powerful TTS transcription tools for macOS users—Natural Reader. Aside from also being available on other platforms such as iOS (iPhone and iPad), Windows or Android, the Natural Reader text-to-speech app can be used for free. Well, at least some of its features are free, including those that offer basic listening.
If you choose this option, you’ll be able to listen to numerous file formats such as Google Docs, Docx, ePUB, txt, HTML, and RTF. Furthermore, with its floating bar, users can enjoy iTunes as the Natural Reader transcribes the text for them. If you opt to subscribe for either the premium or ultimate version, you’ll get to pick a variety of high-quality voices.
Voice Dream Reader
In case you can’t spend too much, but still want a premium text-to-speech tool, Voice Dream Reader seems like a perfect fit for you. What’s more, this is a great app for kids with reading disabilities like dyslexia. It has a simple API and doesn’t require much messing around to get the hang of it. It also works as an add-on for web browsers and as a separate app.
Of course, like most programs out there, Voice Dream Reader has its flaws. One major downside is that it sometimes struggles with reading online content because of ads. If you don’t disable them, the app can go a bit bonkers. It also has basic reading voices that aren’t great. The app requires you to purchase better voices in-app, which adds to the overall cost. Alternatives such as Capti Voice might be a better fit, depending on your needs and budget.
Just like Read Aloud, the Invicta TTS app is a free version of text-to-speech software. As such, it allows even those on a tight budget to listen to written text playback. A major pro is it doesn’t require a pre-use tutorial. Once you download it from the macOS app store and open it, the app provides you with a pop-up box where you paste the desired text.
For some users, this is a better freeware option than Read Aloud. The reasons are simple. It’s not just a web extension, and you can use play/pause options. Unfortunately, there’s only one voice that you can’t adjust. For some, this gets the job done and meets their needs. After all, you can’t expect premium features on a free app, can you?
Last but not least, we must mention Speechify—the world’s best text-to-speech software for macOS. This is an app that’s based on advanced AI, powerful machine learning and optical character recognition (OCR) that reads any text you give it. This allows you to scan physical documents and turn them into audio files in no time. It’s like a next-generation dictation service plus so much more.
The main strength of Speechify is its versatility. You can listen to more than 150 different voices. Moreover, its natural-sounding voices are in over 30 different languages (English, Spanish, etc.). All voices are fully adjustable to your liking, meaning that you can speed them up or slow them down depending on how hard you need to focus on the text being read.
The installation process is simple. After downloading the app, just move it to your Applications folder and update the Accessibility setting in System Preferences to customize it to its fullest. The rest is just you choosing between voices and speeds to make any text file an speech or podcast. So, why wait? Try Speechify and enjoy its magic right now.
Is there a text-to-speech app for Mac?
Your macOS computer has an integrated text-to-speech tool that covers most basic functions. Yet there are better third-party TTS apps. The best is Speechify.
What is the best text-to-speech voice on Mac?
Despite overwhelming competition, Speechify sets itself apart from other text-to-speech tools available for Mac computers and iOS devices.
What is the most realistic text-to-speech app?
With its advanced AI, powerful machine learning and optical character recognition components, Speechify offers its users the most realistic experience of listening to text.
What is the best text-to-speech voice?
Any of Speechify’s AI voices top other artificial narrators out there. Aside from choosing whether you’ll listen to a male or female voice-over, you can also choose their accents and dialects, making Speechify the most versatile text-to-speech app on the market. It’s like having the ease and comfort of keyboard shortcuts or your favorite fonts with the listening experience of a world-class podcast.