Read Aloud review and benefits

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Cliff Weitzman
By Cliff Weitzman Dyslexia & Accessibility Advocate, CEO/Founder of Speechify in Speech Synthesis on June 27, 2022
Reading aloud has a number of benefits to both children and students. Learn how Read Aloud, a popular text to speech platform, can help.

    Read Aloud is the go-to text to speech tool for many, and for a good reason. Namely, it’s versatile enough for the average Joe, it will cover most of the users’ needs, and there’s a free version available on Windows, one of the most popular platforms across all demographics. However, like most pieces of speech software out there, it does come with a few cons that may or may not affect how you approach it. Here are our thoughts on it!

    What is Read Aloud?

    Read Aloud is one of the most well-known TTS reading tools out there, and you’ve likely seen it in the Microsoft app store already. What sets it apart from some of the competitors on the market are two things: it’s got a free version, and it works with all major text formats you can think of. 

    It doesn’t matter whether you need a TTS tool to narrate your web pages while you work, or if you want to turn your child’s digital picture book into a bedtime story —  Read Aloud will take a lot of work off your back, allowing you to multitask and focus on other, more important work. 

    Naturally — as you might already be aware, if you have any experience with reading aids — Read Aloud does wonders for students of all academic levels, especially those in a younger age group and homeschooling. Simply lay back and let your device narrate your learning material for you while you take notes. 

    The best part? It works with websites, digital files of all sorts, and custom-made e-books alike. WIth Read Aloud, you can read all the good books available in digital formats. It can help you discover new books by reading through book reviews out loud for you. Additionally, it comes both as an app and as a browser add-on (i.e.,) extension for Firefox and Google Chrome.

    Read Aloud text to speech pros and cons

    As we’ve already said in the introduction, however, Read Aloud comes with both pros and cons. Let’s focus on the pros first:

    • It’s accessible, and the interface is more than intuitive, even at first glance
    • It supports virtually all text formats that you are likely to be working with
    • It offers an in-app dictionary tool to help you out should you get stuck on unfamiliar words
    • It has color-coding and highlighting options for visual learners
    • You can customize it by controlling speech rate, loudness, etc.
    • There are plans to introduce more than 120 different languages
    • It comes as a browser extension

    As you can tell, Read Aloud is a nifty piece of software that will most likely be sufficient for the average user. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential negatives to offer you the full picture of what to expect and help you make a sound decision in regards to whether you want to give Read Aloud a shot or not:

    • Read Aloud is not available on all major platforms;
    • Some have complained that lots of the voice options do not sound authentic enough.

    While these cons might not be that big of a deal for some, for others, they’ll be a deal breaker, especially for students and dyslexia patients looking for something reliable and pleasurable to use. 

    Alternatives to Read Aloud — Speechify

    If Read Aloud does not sound like something you’re looking for, don’t worry — you can always turn to Speechify whenever you need a powerful, multifaceted TTS app.

    Speechify is, without a doubt, the best text to speech software that can adapt to every user’s needs. It works like a charm turning your learning material into podcasts, and it has lots of uses in helping people with dyslexia browse the internet, enjoy literature, and complete their tasks at work. 

    Speechify works on all platforms (PC, Mac, mobile) and on all operating systems (Windows, iOS, Android), and since it was designed to help those with reading difficulties specifically, it offers plenty of customization options. 

    If you opt for Speechify, you will be able to enjoy textual content in multiple languages, pronounced in various regional accents, and at the speech rate of your choice. There is even a celebrity option that will let you listen to your favorite book narrated by Gwyneth Paltrow!

    Of course, it goes without saying that Speechify is compatible with text of all kinds and in all formats. In fact, it can even turn image files into audio, allowing you to turn scanned pages into speech. 

    Finally, Speechify offers audio output of the highest quality. No matter the language and voice you choose, Speechify will read your desired text in an authentic, human-sounding voice. 


    Is Read Aloud good?

    Reading aloud is one of the oldest, most time-tested learning strategies. It helps the student, even into the teen years, by providing them with auditory input that demands higher levels of concentration and helps build their vocabulary, improve their listening skills, and test their word processing capabilities. This is especially important for students and learners of foreign languages looking to work through their book lists in a more engaging way.

    What is the purpose of read-aloud books?

    Read Aloud helps students and teachers in many ways. One of the favorite parts of Read Aloud and various learning strategies that involve reading and listening comprehension is building vocabulary. In addition, Read Aloud allows students to understand the importance of reading and consume additional audio material by working through new books at their own pace, as the app allows them to adjust various parameters, such as speech rate. Finally, listening to authentic-sounding voices will help the student build phonemic awareness. 

    What are the benefits of reading to students?

    Reading to students, including older children, has been shown to have a vast number of benefits. From picture books to book club books, the benefits are vast. Some of them include:

    • Increased concentration levels and brain activity when doing various exercises
    • Increased vocabulary and polished syntax
    • More acute phonemic awareness and heightened perception of new phonemic models not present in the student’s native language
    • Extra auditory input that facilitates learning and understanding, which leads to improved conversational skills
    • Increased love of literature and the written word

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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.

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