Text to Speech tools are more commonly used than you think. Not only is it used to read out content and articles, but useful for application and game development too, when you need dynamic voices that sound realistic.

In this product round up, we review the best Text to Speech products you can use.  

1. iSpeech

iSpeech is more than just a text to speech tool, but a full speech platform, able to recognise voices and convert them to media files. The tool is known for the API, so you can integrate their speech to text features into what you’re building. 

Key features 

  • Create TTS audio
  • Get IVR prompts
  • Speech SDKs
  • TTS for Chrome

Cons 

  • Quite expensive, charged based on words converted 

Pricing 

iSpeech starts at $100 for 900 words. 

2. Acapela Group Virtual Speaker

Acapela creates personalized digital voices, based on Neural TTS and DNN innovations,for any service, app or device that needs to speak. The tool supports over 30 languages and  has 120 standard voices for you to use. 

Keep in mind that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our comparisons and recommendations. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Key features 

  • SKD for developers
  • Voice creation 
  • Multi language support

Cons 

  • Pricing increases exponentially as if you need to use voices on more than one platform 

Pricing 

Acapela starts at $99 a year for access to use the tool on one platform (Windows, IOS or Android), and the price is $999 a year to get access to all 3 at once. 

3. TextSpeech Pro

TextSpeech Pro lets you read and convert text from most documents to speech and wav files in a unique way.

Key features 

  • Natural voices available 
  • Supports most document types
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons 

  • No cloud solution 
  • Outdated software

Pricing 

Text Speech Pro starts at $59 for the Delux package. 

4. Balabolka

Balabolka is a text-to-speech software based on SAPI, which is Microsoft’s native speech API. The platform comes with various additions and changes designed to improve clarity, articulation, and quality of the speech generated. 

Balabolka is one of the most effective free text-to-speech programs available, with the flexibility and quality of a premium or subscription-based platform. Unlike ReadPlease and TextAloud, the program generates high-quality speech with a variety of settings. In addition, you can improve the quality of playing and clarity by selecting from a variety of choices in the ‘settings’ menu.

Key features 

  • Easy to use 
  • Multiple export files
  • Checks meanings, spellings, and errors
  • Multiple voice options

Cons 

  • Not available as a stand alone / cloud software

Pricing

Balaboka is free to use. 

5. Natural Reader

Natural Reader is a free text to speech online app with natural voices, convert text to audio and mp3, for personal and commercial use. The tool can be used as just an online reader or installed on your Chrome browser so you can convert and save content as you browse the web. 

Natural Reader also caters to commercial usage of the MP3 files it generates, allowing you to redistribute the generated audio files. This means that you can use audio files in YouTube videos, e-Learning modules, public announcements or broadcasts, or any other such business, public, or commercial purposes.

Key features 

  • Natural sounding voice
  • OCR technology
  • Listen on the go 
  • Clean UX and UI design 

Cons 

  • Commercial use isn’t free

Pricing 

Natural Reader is free to use, but for commercial, it’s $49 a month. 

6. Panopreter Basic

Panopreter is an intuitive and easy to use text to speech software for Windows users. It reads any text aloud with natural voices, supports reading the text you selected in any other software windows and copied to the Windows clipboard. Moreover, it converts the text to mp3, wav, ogg and flac audio files, thus you can listen to the audio files with a portable media player device later at your convenience.

Key features 

  • Converts the text to mp3, wav, ogg and flac audio files
  • Installs on Windows 

Cons 

  • No cloud access 
  • Outdated UI design 
  • Not available for Mac users 

Pricing 

Panopreter costs $32.95, as a one time fee. 

7. WordTalk

A free text-to-speech plugin for Microsoft Word. It will act as a ‘text reader’ and create a spoken version of the document which it reads back to you while highlighting the words.

Key features 

  • Installs on Microsoft word
  • Text to speech reader 

Cons 

  • Not available on Google Docs 

Pricing

Worldtalk is free to use. 

8. Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader

The Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader is an application that uses a speech synthesizer to read documents and more outloud. It is available for free with generic voices or sold with high quality AT&T Natural Voices at the lowest prices in the industry.

Key features 

  • 11 high quality voices available 
  • Access to CereVoice by CereProc to achieve voices that sound real and have character
  • Save as MP3 file

Cons 

  • Old school UX
  • No cloud solution 

Pricing 

Zabaware Text-to-Speech Reader has a free version, but is $24.95 for the Pro version. 

9. TextAloud 4

Text to Speech software for the Windows PC that converts your text from documents, email and webpages into natural-sounding speech. Optional premium voices offer an incredible variety of languages and accents.

Key features 

  • Multiple voices available
  • Multiple language support 
  • Integrates with Chrome and Word 

Cons 

  • No Mac support

Pricing 

TextAloud 4 costs $34.95. 

What makes a great text to speech application? 

A great text to speech application is one where it suits your needs. Looking through what’s available, you will find that there are a lot of outdated tools still on the market.

If you simply want a tool to help read out text, then a free option like Balabolka or Zabaware could be a good choice. They are a bit outdated, but what can you ask from a free software.

If you need something more advanced, with an API access, then a more advanced tool such as Acapela can be more suitable.

What is a text to speech application? 

A text to speech software is a tool that helps you convert text to voice. It is commonly used for visually impaired users, but is now more commonly used for developers needing a dynamic voice for their application.

Final Thoughts

To wrap things up, there is an abundance of Text to Speech software reviewed here for you to pick from, with varying features and pricing, for you to pick from. Choose one that works and start building!