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Watson text to speech ultimate guide

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A powerful premium text-to-speech service, IBM Watson has lots to offer. Still, how well does it compare against its own price? Let’s find out.

IBM is completely synonymous with computers and modern technology. It’s one of those brands like Microsoft and Apple that’s engraved in our minds. And for good reasons, too. They produce some of the most high-end pieces of software that provide us with tons of useful features to make our everyday lives better.

One of these is definitely IBM Watson. A deep learning text to speech application, ready to transcribe any written content into a high-quality audio file through numerous realistic-sounding voices. Hence, in the following text, we’ll take you through the ins and outs of this app to see how well it compares to its pricing plans.

What is Watson text to speech?

In essence, Watson Text to Speech is a cloud-based API that that provides natural language processing. It automates AI-generated voices that work in different languages to do so. These narrators are all natural-sounding, almost indistinguishable from actual human voices. It’s a fantastic piece of software with great functionality and no need for any tutorials.

You can use it as a virtual assistant to communicate with foreign partners in their native language, as well as eliminate hold time during customer service interactions. Moreover, it increases accessibility for dyslexics and people with ADHD or impaired vision. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. We’ll talk about its use cases and benefits in just a bit.


Like all great apps, Watson text to speech has a lot to offer to its users. It’s not just a simple real-time speech synthesis tool. It can do much more than that. So, let’s check out some of its most notable features, shall we?


Watson Text to Speech supports over 10 different languages. Some of these include English, German, Italian, Chinese, Arabic, and Portuguese. Nevertheless, unlike some other TTS apps out there, you can import text in one language and have the app read it aloud in another. This is a great feature that’s most helpful for foreign language students.

Editing capabilities

Although this isn’t an editing piece of software, you get to play around with some basic SDK manipulating options. For instance, once you open the Watson text to speech app, you’ll immediately see the dialogue box in which you can start to write, or you can paste an already written text. After that, you can select the language and fiddle around with the voice.

Namely, you can choose different dialects and voices, as well as speed and pitch. For example, English has American, British, and Australian accents for you to decide from. Sure enough, this isn’t anything revolutionary in terms of what TTS apps offer nowadays, but it’s still more than enough to satisfy an average user.

Voice varieties

As mentioned, each of the languages has different voices. This means that for American English, you can pick from 11 AI narrators. From Alisson to Michael, they all have unique characteristics. Besides being male or female, some are more suited for educational e-learning voice-overs, while others a cheerful and would suit YouTube videos.

What sets it apart?

So, what makes IBM Watson different from other TTS options on the market? Besides its brand name, this app really does have good AI voices which are all neural, meaning more realistic. Secondly, you can create a custom voice too, and this is always a neat touch for content creators.

But that's not all. This Watson assistant has more to offer. You can be predictive about word pronunciation. This is a useful feature for clarifying unusual words, and it will make your text sound more professional.

Then again, there's the narrator’s expressiveness. Each voice can have a speaking style, including GoodNews, Apology, and Uncertainty. Couple that with customizable pitch, volume, and speed, well, it’s quite rad.

Benefits of use

All this leads us to the utmost important question. Namely, who has the most benefit from IBM Watson text to speech? Well, many people. From small business owners who want to optimize user experience with a proper chatbot to individuals who create videos for social media or e-learning, it’s a tool for each of us. Yet, is it worth it? Well, let’s see.


Although not an open source app, Watson has a free version. This plan named Lite. It’s a solid solution for anyone who can’t spare money for a piece of text-to-speech software right now. You can transcribe 10,000 characters per month, use 35 voices, and there are 16 languages and dialects to choose from.

On the other hand, there are Standard, Premium, and Deploy Anywhere pricing plans. Their prices vary, and you can contact IBM to discuss them. Each of them allows for unlimited transcription, 35 voices, and all languages and dialects. The only difference between them is in integration with third-party cloud services like Google Cloud.


Of course, besides Watson, there are other options on the text to speech market. One of the most popular apps is Speechify, and it’s worth checking out. It’s based on machine learning models, artificial intelligence, and OCR algorithms. These combined allow you to snap photos of text and Speechify will read them aloud besides basic text transcription.

Speechify offers over 30 AI voices that speak in more than 15 different languages. Speechify is available on iOS and Android smartphones, as an app for macOS computers, and as a plug-in for Google Chrome and Safari browsers. So, check it out and turn any text into an audio.


Can you use IBM Watson text to speech commercially?

The SaaS agreement you make with IBM is that you can only use Watson TTS for personal use and not commercially. For example, you can’t charge other people to transcribe their text with your licensed version of Watson.

How do I download the Watson text to speech app?

First, you’ll need to create an IBM cloud account. Once you do that, you’ll be redirected to the download page, from where you’ll be able to choose the version (x64 or x86) of Watson text to speech that’s appropriate for your device.

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.