How to find text to speech with emotion
Speech synthesis tools are not new. They have been around for quite some time, but many people dislike using them because of the robotic emotionless AI voice—or so they believe. Today, it is possible to find text to speech (TTS) apps which offer natural voices that will sound incredible.
The only thing you need to figure out is which apps offer high-quality voices and great user experience, as well as how to find them. Speech technology tools are often used along with speech recognition to improve the workflow, however it is important to note that speech recognition and text to speech are not the same thing, and most TTS tools do not offer speech recognition.
These can be a great option for startups looking to quite literally create a brand voice, people who want to improve efficiency through multitasking by listening to TTS content, anyone with conditions that make reading difficult such as dyslexia or visual impairments, and people who simply enjoy listening to audio content for fun. They’re even a great tool for video content creators who don’t want to use the robotic-sounding TikTok TTS voice.
Needless to say, having a realistic text to speech voice will improve both immersion and comprehension.
Why does AI-generated text to speech sound so robotic?
People got used to old-school voice generators that were available in earlier operating systems, and they often sounded robotic. The reason they sound so robotic is because they actually are robotic.
Text to speech apps use a combination of deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, complex algorithms, and even real samples of human voices to create automated text to speech voices. In the beginning, the technology was limited in its ability to create natural-sounding voices. Today, however, text to speech technology has vastly improved thanks to major advancements in those mentioned technologies such as AI and machine learning.
What is fascinating is just how much AI-generated voices have improved since Microsoft Sam, one of the first voice generators. Today, you can find many apps that sound lifelike and almost indistinguishable from real human voice actors.
Of course, the most important difference is emotion—or rather, the dynamics of language. Thanks to machine learning and advanced algorithms, AI voices can now more naturally mimic the patterns of human speech based on things like sentence structure and grammar. Many TTS apps also allow you to customize the AI voice for added lifelike quality to help you feel like you’re listening to a real person and not a robot.
Where to find the best AI voices
Many companies have been working on their own text to speech tools, and today, there are plenty of apps with great new voices. Of course, there are a couple of things you will need to know.
First, some apps support numerous languages, and if you are interested in hearing proper pronunciation, you should seek an app that supports the language you are learning. At the same time, you can find different accents and voices for your listening preference.
The next important question is related to the device you own. Some apps work on iOS, others work on Android, and there are those that support multiple platforms. Therefore, it’s important to find one that works on your smartphone or PC.
Here are some TTS apps with the best AI voices:
Play.ht started as a simple idea—to create a TTS browser extension that would read posts from Medium. The result was quite impressive.
More and more people became interested in the app, and its popularity grew. With it, the company started experimenting with new ideas and finding ways to push things even further.
What is interesting is that Play.ht offers a text to speech API that combines numerous different platforms such as Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft. The app covers numerous languages, voices, and accents.
There is also an option to check out an online text to speech tool, which can give you a nice idea of what it can offer. Naturally, there are different pricings and subscription plans you can check out, and it will allow you to find a plan that will suit your needs.
Sonantic created a powerful AI voice platform that can create realistic voices and offers a natural-sounding text to speech tool that works in real-time.
One of the unique features that Sonantic introduced is the ability to adjust the mood of the AI narrator, which only adds to the realism of the voice. It is also possible to add multiple voices to the audio files and allow them to have a conversation. Naturally, you can adjust the emotion each voice will have during their “conversation,” and it is a great way to create voiceovers, podcasts, and other audio content. The app also allows you to choose the speech output and save files in MP3 and WAV formats.
However, the app does come with some downsides. The first problem some users might have is that Sonantic doesn’t offer a free text to speech tool, the other is that their services might not be available soon since the Sonantic was recently acquired by Spotify. Spotify, a leading music and podcast streaming service, is interested in integrating the TTS tool with its app to improve accessibility and customer experience and create a personal approach. So, the only thing you can do if you are interested in a custom voice is to ask for the price and hope that there will be a solution in sight.
One of the most versatile and lifelike apps on the text to speech market is Speechify. The app will work on any device you can imagine, and you will be extremely impressed by the high-quality voice options. You can use it on PC, Mac, via the mobile app on iOS and Android, or in your web browser through Chrome, Safari, and Firefox extensions.
Unlike other entries on the list, Speechify also offers a free plan, which is perfect for students or users who don’t need all the bells and whistles but still a high-quality and reliable text to speech app. Of course, there is also Speechify Premium, which offers even more incredible TTS features on top of what you get in the free version.
When it comes to AI voice options, there are plenty of ways to customize and optimize the AI voice you will be using. You can choose the language, accent, either male and female voices, and reading speed. If your primary goal is to find a lifelike app, Speechify is your best friend. The app even features celebrity voices such as Gwyneth Paltrow as one of the AI voices, which will only improve your immersive listening experience.
Speechify is easy to use, you can set it up in just a couple of clicks. It’s a perfect tool for e-learning, listening to study materials, catching up on news articles, hearing documents, and so much more. You can make your own audio files from all sorts of text files (Google Docs, Word files, PDFs, etc.) in just a few clicks, and you can even turn physical texts into a unique voice thanks to the built-in OCR (optical character recognition).
Speechify is available in English, but also in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, and over a dozen total languages—all of which come with lifelike voices that will speak with human-like emotion to improve your listening experience.