Text to speech software recommendations?

Jun 18, 2013


I'm looking for recommendations on good (free/cheap) text to speech software with a couple of different voice options and the abilitly to save as audio files such as .MP3 or .WAV that I can import to Articulate Storyline.

Any recommendations?

Many thanks!


60 Replies
Ron Starc

The current best text to speech software is Text Speaker. It has customizable pronunciation, reads anything on your screen, and it even has talking reminders. It is great for learning as it highlights the words as they are being read. The bundled voices are well priced and sound very human. Voices are available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and more. Easily converts blogs, email, e-books, and more to MP3 or for listening instantly.

Harry Rose

Michael, You may have to highlight the text you want and then paste what you want to hear in the reader. I use Sadraware, it's primitive but free. I can use any Sapi 5 voice I can get. The free ones are rather bad, but it'll read anything I can put in the paste buffer.

   I'm sure the pay one is much better, but I've never used it. I have used Nextup TextAloud and loved it. TextAloud isn't free but it's cheap and easy to install. Their tech support is great as well. I was trying to install a voice from another TTS and they helped me set it up.

 Hope this helps.


P.S. If the pdf is locked you can't read the text. It won't let you highlight and it can only read from an ascii file or the paste buffer.

Christophe Jacobs

I personally work with Acapela Virtual Speaker and can say it does what I want it to do. I not only have a choice in the voice I use, I can also tweak the voice so it can pronounces better the text.

It does however cost a bit of money to export the voices, but because it saves time and effort, it is worth it.

Harry Rose


I agree. I like being able to change what is said, when it encounters a
word that's not in it's dictionary. Zebra allows access to the voices
controls in the paid version of the voice. I'm using the MS Anna voice, but
can't alter it's library.

I really liked using TextAloud. I have used it in 4 jobs and had very
good performance with the Naturally Speaking voices.

Danny Stefanic

There is an alternative to generating text to speech as audio files, that is using inbuilt browser text to speech in HTML5 compatible browsers, most people aren't even aware of this capability yet. We've built an add-on for SL that does this very easily, when you change the text on a slide the text to speech instantly updates also. There are no audio files transmitted/downloaded so there is zero bandwidth too.

The quality is great as it uses voices from Chrome and Safari and fallsback to online services for other browsers. Builtin text to speech is built into Android and iOS making mobile delivery very powerful too.

There is a free trial, but if you need any assistance making your project run using HTML5 responsivevoice message me directly and I'll give you a hand.

Jonathon Casterline

OR.... you could just spend $50-$100 on a USB mic that plugs directly into your computer, sit in your walk-in closet and record a human voice that sounds "real" and won't irritate your learners while they take the course... ;)  Robot voice is the most unengaging option for elearning.

BLUE, Audio-Technica, and many other companies make decent USB mics that work fine on a budget. AND There are decent audio editing programs that you can get for free (Audacity, Garage band, etc.) to polish up your voice over files before importing to Storyline.

The results are worth the extra time and a little bit of cash to make a HUGE improvement the user experience and quality of the finished product.

Sarah Pratt

Hey everyone, I also just wanted to put NeoSpeech out there as an option. I should mention that I run a blog for NeoSpeech, so this may seem a little self-serving, but NeoSpeech is actually a great option for high quality Text-to-Speech and you should consider it when considering TTS providers. You can try a demo out on their website if you are interested or feel free to ask me any questions if you like =)

Norbert Katona


I've been testing a lot of TTS Engines lately, I've been trying to find an as naturally sounding voice as possible to human. Been browsing the forum for weeks now and I have to say that the free ones are pretty far behind from the paid ones.

Thanks to Manuel, I believe I found one of the best engines out there at iSpeech, the others are not bad either... but if you need quality, they are the way to go.

Norbert Katona

Well Jonathon I am not sure if you are aware of costs between a TTS software and hiring somebody to do the voiceover, it costs a lot more and sometimes that's not the best quality either..

For someone who does not have English as first language many times a TTS software is the most cost effective choice.

just sayin' ;)