Read any PDF aloud with these top PDF audio readers, using text to speech technology.
PDF audio reader
In the digital age, PDF files have become a ubiquitous format for sharing documents, reports, e-books, and more. However, reading lengthy PDF documents or e-books can be challenging for many individuals due to various reasons, such as time constraints, visual impairments, or learning disabilities.
That’s where a PDF audio reader comes to the rescue, making the content accessible to a wider audience. In this article, we will explore the best PDF audio readers as well as how they work, their benefits, and what features to look for in a PDF audio reader.
What is a PDF audio reader?
A PDF audio reader, also known as a PDF voice reader or PDF text to speech (TTS) reader, is a software or application designed to convert the text within PDF documents into spoken words. This technology utilizes text to speech algorithms to read aloud the content of PDF files, making it easier for users to absorb information without having to read the text themselves. PDF audio readers are available on a variety of platforms, including Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, and web browsers.
How PDF audio readers work
PDF audio readers operate by employing text to speech technology to analyze the textual content within a PDF document and convert it into natural-sounding voices. They follow a simple process:
- Text extraction: The PDF audio reader extracts the text from the PDF document. This text may include not only the main body but also headings, captions, and other text elements.
- Text to speech conversion: The extracted text is then transformed into speech using various natural-sounding voices available in different languages, including English, German, French, Italian, and more.
- Playback: The software reads the text aloud in a clear and coherent manner, enhancing the user’s comprehension and accessibility.
Benefits of PDF audio readers
PDF audio readers have gained prominence for their ability to provide a more inclusive and accessible reading experience, enhancing the lives of people with visual impairments, those on the go, or anyone looking to multitask while consuming written information. Here are just a few advantages that PDF audio readers bring to the table:
- Improved retention: Listening to content can aid in better information retention, as auditory learners can absorb and remember information more effectively.
- Enhanced language skills: PDF audio readers help users improve their pronunciation and language skills by hearing correct pronunciation and intonation.
- Accessibility: They make content accessible to individuals with visual impairments, dyslexia, or learning disabilities, promoting inclusivity.
- Multitasking: Users can listen to PDF documents while performing other tasks, allowing for increased productivity.
What to look for in a PDF audio reader
Selecting the right PDF audio reader is a crucial decision for anyone looking to enhance their reading experience in the digital age. With an ever-expanding array of options available, it’s essential to know what to look for in a PDF audio reader to ensure that it meets your specific needs and preferences, so let’s delve into the key factors to consider when searching for the best PDF audio reader for your needs:
- Text to speech options: Look for a variety of natural-sounding voices and support for different languages.
- Reading speed control: The ability to adjust the reading speed ensures users can follow along at their preferred pace.
- File format compatibility: A good PDF audio reader should also support other file formats like ePub, DOC, DOCX, RTF, HTML, and TXT.
- Offline capability: Some readers allow you to download and listen to PDFs offline.
- Platform compatibility: Ensure the reader works on your preferred device and operating system, be it Windows, macOS, iOS, Android, or a browser-based solution.
- Integration: Look for PDF audio readers that integrate with popular applications like Adobe Acrobat or Microsoft Edge.
Best PDF audio readers
The quest for the best PDF audio reader is driven by the desire for an optimal reading experience that accommodates various needs and preferences. In this exploration of the best PDF audio readers, we will navigate the diverse landscape of these tools, highlighting the top options, their features as well as pros and cons to empower you to make an informed choice for an enriched reading journey:
Speechify PDF Audio Reader
Speechify, the premier PDF audio reader, offers a free version or a premium subscription priced at $139 per year. Not only can it read any digital or physical text aloud thanks to its advanced text to speech and OCR technology, it can be accessed on any device through its website and also offers a Chrome extension and mobile app for Android and IOS. With 200+ lifelike voices, support for 30+ languages, synchronized text highlighting, the ability to scan and read text, bookmarking, and speed controls, it’s a versatile tool for a seamless and user-friendly auditory experience.
NaturalReader, priced at $59.88 per year with a free version available, is accessible on IOS and Android, as a Chrome extension, and via a web reader. NaturalReader can read aloud a variety of text formats, including PDFs, online articles, and even images captured by your camera. It offers 200+ voices, supports 25 languages, and includes synchronized reading, pronunciation editing, dark mode, and bookmarking. However, some users have reported slow customer service, low quality audio downloads, and noted that the best voices are available on the Plus plan.
eReader Prestigio sets itself apart as a free Android-only multilingual book reading application designed for text and audiobooks, including PDFs. It boasts an intuitive interface available in over 25 languages and offers a library with over 50,000 books for both children and adults. This app allows users to personalize their reading experience with themes, backgrounds, fonts, and reading modes, though some have reported issues like skipping while vertically scrolling and OneDrive sync errors.
TTSReader is accessible on IOS and Android, as a web player, and via a Chrome extension. For a cost of $2 per month (with a free plan available), it provides text to speech (TTS) reading for various text sources, including PDFs. TTSReader also allows users to export content to MP3 for commercial use and supports multiple languages. The only downsides are that some users find the voices to sound mechanical, website link reading is slow for some user’s liking, and if you get a phone call in the middle of reading, it’s been reported that you lose the ability to pause the TTS before answering.
TextAloud, priced at $34.95, is a Windows-only PDF audio reader that converts text from documents, webpages, and PDF files into natural-sounding speech. It integrates with various platforms, including Microsoft, Pocket, and Instapaper. Its TTS works great and enhances proofreading capabilities. However, its availability is limited to Windows, and some users might prefer more feature-rich alternatives.
YAKiToMe PDF to Speech Online
YAKiToMe is a free web-based text to speech (TTS) converter available across devices that enables users to convert text to MP3 or WAV audio files. It supports various languages, input formats, and sharing options, including email and social media. While it offers versatility, it’s considered more basic compared to other text to speech readers. Therefore, users who would like more features may need a more heavyweight PDF audio reader.
ReadSpeaker docReader is a cloud-based audio reader for PDF accessible through a web browser, meaning it’s available on any device. It displays and reads aloud online documents, including PDF and Word files as well as offers 200 voices, supports 50+ languages, and provides text highlighting and translation features. It even offers a clutter-free text mode for ease of reading. However, pricing details may require contacting ReadSpeaker directly.
Voice Aloud Reader
Voice Aloud Reader is a free audio reader for PDF available on Android, IOS, Microsoft, and Mac. It caters to multitaskers by reading web pages, news articles, emails, and various document formats, including web pages, news articles, lengthy emails, TXT, PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, OpenOffice documents, EPUB, MOBI, PRC, AZW, and FB2 eBooks. While it offers a range of voices, some users have reported occasional cuts-off and library glitches, and the voices are perceived as more robotic compared to other TTS apps.
Balabolka is a free, Windows-only online PDF reader that reads various file formats, including PDF, AZW, AZW3, CHM, DjVu, DOC, DOCX, EML, EPUB, FB2, FB3, HTML, LIT, MD, MOBI, ODP, ODS, ODT, PDB, PRC, PPT, PPTX, RTF, TCR, WPD, XLS, XLSX.. Balabolka offers the ability to extract text from documents, save text as an audio file, customize fonts and background color of documents, and more. However, it is limited to Microsoft platforms and is considered relatively bare-bones in terms of features.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader, available for free with a premium subscription priced at $12.99 per month, is a renowned PDF viewer and PDF reader that’s even more robust than Adobe Reader. It offers e-signing, response tracking, form filling, collaboration features, text to speech, and text and image editing in PDFs. While it is a comprehensive PDF tool, some users may wish for more lifelike TTS voices when reading a PDF aloud.
ReadAloud is a free PDF audio reader available through browser extensions for Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. It supports 40+ languages and uses text to speech technology to convert webpage text to audio. It works on a variety of websites, including news sites, blogs, fan fiction, publications, school and class websites, and online university course materials. However, some users have raised concerns about data privacy and the quality of voices.
Speech Central AI Voice Reader
Speech Central AI Voice Reader Pro is a free with in-app purchases audio PDF reader available on IOS, Mac, Android, and Microsoft platforms. It offers text to speech capabilities for various content types, OCR scanning, the ability to annotate documents, synchronization with Pocket, and export options. Nonetheless, users have reported occasional pausing or cutting out, app crashes, and limitations in its OCR scanning.
Voice Dream Reader
Voice Dream Reader, priced at $59.99 per year, is available exclusively on IOS and MacOS. It supports a wide range of content types, offering 200+ voices, text highlighting, and offline listening, sleep timers, custom pronunciation dictionaries, and more. Although this PDF audio reader is feature-rich, some users have noted occasional issues with highlighting and audio synchronization.
Speechify – #1 PDF reader and text to speech app
Speechify is the ultimate PDF reader and text to speech app for its exceptional capabilities. With Speechify, you can transform your reading experience by converting PDFs and any other text-based content, such as Google Drive files, webpages, physical documents, and more, into spoken words. It offers a range of features to make reading more accessible and convenient, from the most lifelike voices on the market, including celebrity voices for premium subscribers, to customization features like reading speeds. Whether you’re a student looking to study on the go, a professional wanting to digest documents during commutes, or someone with dyslexia, Speechify caters to your reading needs with precision and ease.
How to read PDFs using Speechify
Speechify is widely available no matter where you consume content with its website, Chrome extension, and mobile apps. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on how to get started reading PDFs aloud with Speechify on each:
Read PDFs aloud with the Speechify website
Don’t like to download apps or extensions? You can listen to any content with Speechify straight from their website; just follow these steps.
- Open your web browser and navigate to Speechify.com
- Sign in or create an account if you haven’t already.
- Tap “New” in the left-hand toolbar.
- Click “Local Documents.”
- Upload your PDF or enter the text you want to convert.
- Customize the voice, reading speed, and other preferences.
- Click the “Play” button to have Speechify read the content aloud.
- Enjoy a seamless and accessible reading experience right in your web browser.
Read PDFs aloud with the Speechify Chrome extension
If your favorite browser is Chrome, let’s explore how to use Speechify so you can listen to any content with ease.
- Install the Speechify Chrome extension from the Chrome Web Store.
- Click on the Speechify icon in your browser toolbar.
- Sign in or create an account.
- Select the PDF or text you want to read and choose your desired settings.
- Click the “Play” button on the Speechify pop-up to start the text to speech conversion.
- Listen to the content being read out loud while you browse the web, and even adjust settings on the fly.
Read PDFs aloud with the Speechify app
If you like to read on the go, here’s a breakdown of how to use the Speechify app to enjoy any content read aloud.
- Download the Speechify IOS or Android app from the App store or Google Play store.
- Open the app and sign in or create a new account.
- Tap “Add” on the bottom toolbar.
- Choose “From your computer.”
- Import PDFs or copy and paste text into the app.
- Customize voice preferences, reading speed, and other settings.
- Tap the “Play” button to begin listening to the converted content.
- Use the app’s additional features, such as highlighting text or changing the voice for a more interactive reading experience.
Try Speechify for free today
With Speechify, you can enhance your productivity, accessibility, and reading enjoyment, whether you’re a student, professional, or simply someone who values a more accessible reading experience. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to transform your reading habits. Experience the power of Speechify today by signing up for a free trial. Try Speechify for free on the web, as a Chrome extension, or through the app, and enjoy the convenience of having your documents and text content read aloud to you.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can convert PDFs into audio by using a PDF voice reader or text to speech application such as Speechify.
An online PDF writer is a web-based tool that allows users to create, edit, or manipulate Portable Document Format (PDF) files directly in a web browser without the need for dedicated software or downloads.
A PDF voice reader, also known as a PDF reader audio, is a software or app that enables users to read PDF documents aloud by converting the text into audio, making it accessible to those who prefer listening or have visual impairments.
Yes, Speechify is available on Apple devices, such as the iPhone or iPad, through its website, Chrome extension, or IOS app.
Listening to podcasts offers the benefits of convenient, on-the-go learning and entertainment, allowing individuals to explore a wide range of topics, stay informed, and be inspired while multitasking or during downtime.
The correct term is “PDF reader,” referring to software or applications designed for viewing and interacting with Portable Document Format (PDF) files.