Text to speech (TTS) readers are highly beneficial software programs that can read aloud any digital text. Thanks to their wide range of functions, they can be used for multiple purposes, including casual reading, e-learning, and teaching.
People with learning disabilities like dyslexia can particularly benefit from using TTS readers. These tools can help dyslexic learners overcome reading difficulties and excel at academic pursuits. Older adults and individuals with productivity issues will also find these tools invaluable.
Thankfully, the more assistive technology develops, the more TTS choices become available. For now, let’s talk about one of the most prominent TTS apps on the market – Natural Reader.
Here’s everything you need to know about this high-profile TTS app, its features, reviews, and possible alternatives.
Natural Reader – The basics
Natural Reader is a powerful text to speech software program that can convert almost all text formats into audio output. Although there’s a free version for personal use, more advanced features and natural-sounding voices are reserved for paid plans:
- Personal: $99.50
- Professional: $129.50
- Ultimate: $199.50
All plans are available as a one-time payment for a perpetual license.
Natural Reader’s key features
Natural Reader boasts many impressive features that make it one of the best TTS programs on the market.
Natural sounding voices
Depending on your paid tier, you’ll receive between two and six premium voices. These high-quality voices provide crystal-clear reading and a pleasurable experience. Plus, you can use these voices to create exciting voiceovers for social media ads and YouTube videos.
Natural Reader can convert printed characters into digital text thanks to built-in optical character recognition (OCR) functionality. This feature comes in handy when dealing with printed PDF files you’d like to read or edit. You can also convert screenshots from apps like Kindle Books or iBooks into readable and portable e-books.
Note that this feature comes with the Ultimate plan and is limited to 5,000 JPEG or PNG images per year.
This unique feature allows you to alter the pronunciation of specific words. Best of all, the Pronunciation Editor is available on free versions of the Natural Reader app and software.
Audio file creation
Suppose you’d like to listen to your chosen content on the go. In that case, you can convert text into mp3 or WAV audio files using Natural Reader. Basically, this feature allows you to transform any content into your personal audiobook or podcast. With a good pair of Bluetooth earbuds, you can listen to your favorite entertainment or necessary educational content anywhere.
File format compatibility
You can use Natural Reader to read aloud various file formats:
- Plain text files (TXT)
- PDF files
- Web pages
- Google Docs
- Word documents
- Non-DRM EPUB files
Natural Reader is available across all major platforms. An online version on www.naturalreaders.com can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. Also, you can download the Natural Reader software that is compatible with Apple’s Mac computers and Windows PCs. And finally, you can download the following free versions of the Natural Reader program:
- An iOS app for iPhone and iPad
- An Android app
- A Google Chrome extension
However, note that these free versions of text-to-speech apps offer only the most basic functions. You can only unlock the more advanced features through in-app purchases.
A quick Natural Reader review
Thanks to its various features, Natural Reader should meet the needs of most casual users. This great TTS software program comes with several notable advantages:
- Casual users can take advantage of the online tool for free for 20 minutes a day.
- The program offers both online and offline modules.
- The software version offers solid OCR capabilities.
- The app version allows you to upgrade features as you see fit.
- Natural Reader is compatible with numerous platforms.
Natural Reader can satisfy many casual users. Still, this software has several downsides that might deter users looking for a long-term solution for their TTS needs.
- The free versions of the app and software lack functionality.
- Inadequate translation features make it challenging to learn new languages, mainly Portuguese and Spanish.
- Natural Reader has a significant learning curve.
- Most advanced features require purchasing the costliest plan.
- Natural voices are limited, and default voices can sound robotic.
If these downsides dissuade you from going the Natural Reader route, we suggest looking into some TTS alternatives.
Speechify – The versatile Natural Reader alternative
Speechify is a powerful TTS software program that represents an excellent alternative to Natural reader. This program includes all the features that make Natural Reader stand out:
- Natural-sounding voices
- Built-in OCR functionality
- Compatibility with various file formats and file storage services
- Ability to export audio files and create audiobooks
- Cross-platform compatibility
It also surpasses many of the limitations imposed by Natural Reader. For instance, a subscription to Speechify unlocks access to as many as 30 natural-sounding voices and over 15 premium languages. Speechify features a robust translation system, making learning new languages straightforward and enjoyable.
Thanks to its intuitive interface, Speechify is easy to use, regardless of your version. In fact, you can see for yourself by trying Speechify for free today.
What is the purpose of Natural Reader?
Natural Reader serves to transform digital text and images into spoken words. This software allows users with learning difficulties and productivity issues to navigate their daily tasks more efficiently.
What do reviews say about Natural Reader?
Most reviews praise Natural Reader for its versatility and variety of features. However, reviews also emphasize that the most advanced features are typically limited or require purchasing the most expensive plan, which costs almost $200.
What is the purpose of the Natural Reader app?
The Natural Reader app is free regardless of the version you download. Its purpose is to familiarize users with the features of the paid version of the Natural Reader software. On its own, it can perform the most basic TTS functions. Any advanced features and natural-sounding voices must be unlocked through in-app purchases.