Text to speech applications have been growing in popularity. Learn about two of the most popular ones on the market today.
Recent years saw many text to speech (TTS) apps popping up around the internet. Some just as apps, others as plug-ins, and some as both. Nevertheless, in such a crowded and oversaturated speech synthesis market, it’s hard for people who need them to decide which to use. Moreover, it’s even trickier considering how much some of them cost.
Nevertheless, two screen readers top all others, including the heavyweights such as Amazon Polly and Microsoft Azure. These two are, obviously, Read Aloud TTS and Speechify. Both are fantastic pieces of assistive software. Still, that doesn’t change the fact that one’s objectively better than the other. So, let’s see who wins this fight.
Text to speech applications
Before we can put Speechify and Read Aloud TTS up against each other, we first need to assert what these apps are. Namely, text to speech software refers to assistive technology that allows people to listen to written content instead of reading it. Some might wonder why you’d do such a thing. Moreover, isn’t reading a fun and beneficial activity? Well, it is if you don’t have a reading difficulty like dyslexia or ADHD.
The reason text to speech apps are called assistive is the fact that they allow people with reading difficulties to consume writing like all others. They use advanced technology to transcribe letters, symbols, and words into speech. Now that we’ve covered what they are, let’s check the two best ones out.
Speechify is the number one rated TTS reader on all relevant web stores. The reason why it’s like that is in its three main components. These include optical character recognition (ORC), artificial intelligence, and machine learning. Thanks to them, Speechify can transcribe any digital text into fully natural-sounding speech. But that’s not all. The app allows you to snap a photo of written text and turn it into audio in no time.
Aside from functionality and high quality, Speechify is a favorite for so many people due to its numerous AI voices. There are over 30 different ones, including male and female variations and various accents. Furthermore, it’s appropriate for foreign language learners, as it supports more than 15 of them. Besides English, some of them include French, Italian, Portuguese, and Chinese, all with fully customizable reading speeds.
Speechify is popular among people with reading difficulties and those who simply love to listen more than they enjoy reading. But this isn’t just due to its simple API. It’s because you can use it on any popular device or platform. This means that Speechify is available on Apple’s App Store as well as on Google Play Store. You can also use it as a plug-in on your Mac or Windows computer on Safari and Google Chrome.
Read Aloud TTS
Read Aloud TTS is a free text to speech Chrome extension. It improves consuming written content for people with reading difficulties (e.g., dyslexia) as well as those with disabilities like vision impairment. Nevertheless, it’s just as useful for those who prefer listening to podcasts while they multitask or for kids learning to read. All this is possible thanks to text to speech technology and a simple interface behind it.
When it comes to reading voices, Read Aloud TTS has a bionic voice-over of the web browser you use it on, and it’s free of charge. However, if you want to change it, you can use some of the more advanced narrators from the likes of Amazon Polly, Microsoft Azure, and similar premium services. These, of course, mean you’ll need to pay, but at least through an in-app purchase that varies from service to service.
On the other hand, Read Aloud TTS can transcribe more than 40 different languages, which is by far the most out of text to speech apps. You can use any of them for listening to various Google Drive docs, PDF files, Microsoft Word documents, emails, and other formats.
To use it, all you need to do is head over to Chrome Web Store and add it as a browser extension. There are no complicated tutorials. Once the download is complete, you’ll see an icon in the toolbar that you can activate through shortcuts on a web page that you want to transcribe.
The best text to speech application?
It’s no secret that both Read Aloud TTS and Speechify have major pros that make them so popular. Both can handle intricate text and make it sound just as if a professional actor with perfect dictation was reading it to you. However, one’s still ahead of the other.
Speechify’s premium version is based on a yearly subscription after an initial trial, and it’s worth every penny. The number of reading voices is simply supreme in comparison to the bionic voice that the Read Aloud TTS app uses. Sure enough, you can use other speech voices, but then you must pay, making the free version of the app obsolete.
On the flip side of things, using Speechify not only allows you to turn text files into speech. Its OCR-based magic can turn anything into an audio file. This means even your handwriting, personal notes from class, or whatever you scribble down.
Another reason to use Speechify is that it’s present across all platforms. Unlike Read Aloud TTS, you can use it on your iOS iPhone or iPad, or any device that’s using the Android operating system. This makes all the difference, as carrying around a computer isn’t always an ideal option.
What is the best text-aloud reading app?
The top text to speech apps to help you multitask include:
- The best of the bunch is Speechify;
- The runner-up is none other than Voice Dream Reader;
- Others include Motoread, Voice Aloud Reader, and Verdict.
What is the most realistic TTS?
NaturalReader, Amazon Polly, and Speechify have the most lifelike human-sounding voices of all text to speech applications. And although Polly’s Neural Text to Speech (NTTS) makes it a great choice, Speechify’s versatility and overall quality still make it a better option.