When Apple introduced Mac computers, the company wanted to revolutionize the personal computer market. But with a price point that was beyond anything anyone else would dare set, MacBooks and even iPhones had a rocky road to success.
With that said, these days, MacBooks are easily some of the best laptops money can buy. They have virtually no vulnerabilities, at least not to the extent of Windows-based computers. Mac laptops and desktop computers are lightweight, sleek, and engineered to optimize their resource usage.
People use them for programming, game design, video editing, audio production, writing, and even as personal computers. They make up for what they lack in gaming opportunities in almost every other category. Macs even come with a reliable text to speech tool that makes them more accessible to all users.
The only downside is that built-in TTS tools are often underwhelming.
The best text to speech apps for Mac
If you want to get the most out of your Mac, here are some alternatives to Apple’s default TTS reader you can try.
Natural Reader is a text to speech solution available online and in dedicated software versions for multiple operating systems. It can convert Microsoft Word docs, PDFs, TXTs, and many other digital text file formats into audio files.
The app comes with many natural-sounding voices and many features regarding narration personalization. For example, you can make footer and header adjustments to skip reading certain text elements and entire passages.
You can convert text from physical documents and screenshots into custom speech for easier listening. But perhaps its most impressive feature is the pronunciation editor. This tool enables users to alter word pronunciations through dictation.
It has many uses as assistive technology and comes with a varied payment plan.
However, Natural Reader is one of the more expensive options on the market. Although it performs well on MacBook laptops, the software offers a single license per purchase. Many premium voices require in-app purchases.
The online version is more flexible but comes with a subscription payment model that isn’t cheap.
The Apple VoiceOver is an interesting alternative to the standard Mac TTS solution. VoiceOver is a screen reader. It can read aloud everything written on the computer screen, from icon names to buttons to digital text.
Although it has some uses as a standard TTS reader, VoiceOver is more of a navigational tool For example, the app integrates with Braille displays and supports voice commands. You can use dictation to navigate around your MacBook, access and read files, surf the web, and perform various actions.
Combining voice commands, keyboard shortcuts, and trackpad gestures can unlock MacBook devices for a broader range of users. When it comes to accessibility features, this is one of the best.
But that doesn’t make it a pure text to speech reader. It may not be the best option for reading articles and documents due to its lack of high-quality voices.
The narration quality is more in line with that of Google Translate than a reputable TTS reader.
That said, it’s a nice situational app, especially since it’s free.
Capti Voice is another TTS reader with a strong emphasis on educational advancement. It comes with multiple built-in products and specific educational programs designed to advance reading skills.
The app is popular among several colleges and universities and integrates with Google Classroom and Blackboard.
Although many of its features remain gated between specific subscription plans, Capti Voice has plenty of features. You can use it as an iOS app and a Chrome browser extension. The software supports translations in over 100 different languages and features speech detection.
It has active reading supported by dictation, a dictionary, selected text highlighting and bookmarking, and OCR technology. But Capti Voice has numerous other e-learning features, although not all users may need them. While its complexity makes it great for students with ADHD, dyslexia, and other reading disabilities, the interface can be overly complex for casual readers and multitaskers.
Voice Dream Reader
Voice Dream Reader is among the most popular Mac OS X and iOS text to speech readers. Users can find it in the Apple App Store and the Mac App Store.
It’s a three-in-one solution containing a digital text reader, a proofreading tool, and a scanner.
The OCR technology is handy as it allows users to load hard-copy documents into the app and turn them into speech. It does a good job of synchronizing narrations and text highlighting in real-time, and the selection of 200-plus voices is impressive.
But not all voices are premium, and many of them are only available through in-app purchases. It supports many digital text files, including PDF files, DAISY text, TST files, PowerPoint presentations, webpages, and more.
Speechify is the best text to speech software for many platforms. It’s compatible with multiple digital files, from basic TXTs to Microsoft Word docs to HTML to PDFs and ePub files from Amazon without DRM protection. It can read anything from emails to entire textbooks in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and other languages at your desired playback speed.
The MacBook software can streamline communications with coworkers, improve your multitasking, and create a superior, multisensory reading experience. But Speechify’s main goal was always to help users with dyslexia and similar conditions improve their language comprehension skills through realistic speech output.
It still stays true to its core mission with its large selection of different voices and dialects, advanced text highlighting, and many reading speed adjustments. Speechify implements artificial intelligence for both digital and physical text processing as well as for its audio conversions.
You can use the app online or download MP3 and WAV files for later use. But perhaps something that you might find even more helpful is multi-platform compatibility. Speechify is available on iOS devices like iPhones and iPads, Android mobile devices, as a Chrome web browser extension, and on Windows. And one license is enough to sync all of your devices.
Give Speechify a try today
If you want to see what a powerful TTS reader can help you do on a MacBook, try the Speechify free version for macOS. You can test the app for free and play around with realistic AI speech synthesis and lots of free text. The installation process is simple, and the experience is better than anything a built-in screen reader can offer. Use it to learn, relax, or create your own podcasts if that’s what you want.