Sony integrates text to speech functionality in almost all of its devices. In this article, you’ll learn how to use this feature on Sony smartphones, laptops, and smart TVs.
Text to speech Sony
Sony Electronics makes some of the most popular smart TVs, smartphones, and laptops. The renowned consumer electronics manufacturer offers something for everyone, including users with different visual impairments and reading difficulties.
In fact, Sony integrates text to speech functionality in almost all of its devices. In this article, you’ll learn how to use this feature on Sony smartphones, laptops, and smart TVs.
What is text to speech?
Text to speech or read-aloud software is the reverse of speech to text. Instead of typing what you say, it can read back what you type in real time as well as existing digital text from various sources.
TTS readers use speech synthesis and advanced machine learning algorithms to process the written word and give it an accurate voiceover. It’s one of the best assistive technologies and literacy support tools for students with reading difficulties, people with visual impairments, multitaskers, and anyone without enough time to read, study, or relax.
TTS on a Sony smartphone
Sony Xperia uses the Android mobile operating system, like Samsung and competitors other than Apple and Google. Therefore, Sony smartphones come with the Android Select to Speak TTS screen reader. This text to speech app is available and performs well on Android 11.0 and newer Sony smartphones.
Here’s how to enable Select to Speak:
Open the “Settings” app from the home screen.
Go to the “Accessibility” menu.
Tap the “Select to Speak” option and turn it on.
Tap on an image, document, or web article on your screen.
Swipe down using two fingers to enable “Select to Speak” and tap “Play.”
Another way to use text to speech on a Sony smartphone is to enable the TalkBack app. This app is a better choice for reading everything on your screen aloud, including app names, menu buttons, and other navigational elements.
Open the “Settings” app.
Go to the “Accessibility” menu.
Tap the “TalkBack” option.
Turn the feature on and customize its level of detail.
Alternatively, you can use your Google Assistant and say “Turn on TalkBack” to enable the text to speech reader. Then, tap the screen twice to activate the feature on a specific app or document.
TTs for Sony laptops
It’s rare to see someone using Ubuntu or another Linux-based system on a Sony laptop. Instead, most users install Windows 10 or Windows 11. Windows has the built-in Narrator app that uses text to speech technology.
You can use this app to navigate the screen, read documents and articles, open apps, and do pretty much anything you want.
Here’s how to enable the Narrator program:
Press the “Windows Logo Key + Ctrl + Enter” to enable Narrator and click “OK.”
Use “Capslock” or “Insert” with the arrow keys to navigate to different on-screen elements.
If you want to configure the Narrator app, press the “Windows Key + U” keyboard shortcut and go to the “Vision” section. Likewise, you can use the “Verbosity” settings menu to personalize the Narrator app further and set the level of detail for the read-aloud feature.
Note that you can choose between many different voices and languages and change the pitch. Furthermore, you can adjust the system sound to avoid other apps from having a higher volume than Narrator.
Moreover, you can route the Narrator output to different audio devices like a headset, speakers, Bluetooth devices, etc.
TTS for Sony smart TVs
Like Sony laptops and smartphones that rely on TTS readers built into the operating system, Sony Bravia smart TVs are Android TVs and come with OS-enabled text to speech software called Screen Reader.
The TTS reader works with the 3D sound mode but not with the eARC feature enabled.
Here’s how you can activate Screen Reader on your smart TV running Android 9.0 and newer:
Tap the “Home” button on the Sony TV remote.
Navigate to the “Settings” tab and hit “Enter.”
Press the “Down Arrow” to get to the “Device Preferences” option.
Navigate to the “Accessibility” menu.
Go to the “Screen Reader” option and press “Enter.”
Select “Enable,” hit “Enter,” and confirm your selection.
The following steps will help you configure the Screen Reader app:
Go to “Device Preferences” to access the “Accessibility” menu.
Select the “Text to Speech” option.
Go to the “Speech Rate” tab and change the speed to your liking.
Keep in mind that a faster speed may not sound amazing as the quality of the TV sound limits the narration.
As you can see, Sony devices don’t have any problem allowing dyslexic readers, people with visual impairments, or individuals who want more convenience to enable text to speech.
But that doesn’t mean that the Narrator, Select to Speak, and Screen Reader apps are the best options. Each one has clear limitations regarding flexibility and voice quality. Fortunately, that’s where a third-party text to speech software like Speechify can help.
Try Speechify – the alternative to standard text to speech readers
Speechify is a TTS reader with excellent functionality across most platforms. The app is available for Mac, iOS iPhones and iPads, Windows PC, and Android mobile devices. In addition, you can enable it on any Sony device running a Windows or Android operating system.
The Speechify app comes with a text to speech function that provides natural-sounding audio descriptions of digital text. You can make Speechify read Word documents, online articles, emails, subtitles, etc.
Its OCR technology can also extract text from images, scanned documents, and other sources. As a bonus, Speechify can convert digital text into mp3 and WAV audio files, giving you access to offline narrations when your Wi-Fi is down.
How many languages does Sony’s text to speech feature support?
The Windows Narrator for Sony laptops comes with well over 80 language packs. Likewise, the Android text to speech reader for Sony smartphones has over 40 languages. Both TTS readers frequently update the foreign language support.
Is the Sony text to speech voice male or female?
Sony devices can use male and female voices with their text to speech software, whether using Narrator, Select to Speak, TalkBack, or Speechify.