Text To Speech (TTS) software was initially used by those with visual or reading disabilities. And although that still holds true, an entire alternative market has opened up: entrepreneurs or individuals looking to speed up their productivity.
Have a PDF or file to read? Why not get text-to-speech software to read it aloud while you’re simultaneously working on something else? And since many people utilize Google Chrome, I’ve done the footwork to find the best text-to-speech Chrome extensions.
If you’re looking for a comprehensive list of Text To Speech software for personal and business use, I’ve created that list for you too.
Now, let’s determine which Text to Speech chrome extension will best serve your needs.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.
What is the Best Text To Speech Chrome Extension?
Top TTS Chrome Extensions
Speechify all began with its founder, who suffered from dyslexia and has been on a mission to help others through his reader app and extensions. Thanks to his vision, Speechify offers an easy-to-use browser extension to read with the voice of your choice in multiple languages. After plugging in your chrome extension, you can click the pinned icon to get a floating control bar, allowing you to play whatever you need. You can also upload PDFs and hit play to listen to documents while multi-tasking on other things.
Here are some of the pros and cons of Speechify:
Pricing: The is a free and premium version, with the premium version allowing more speed increases, more voices, and skipping features.
Overall, Speechify is one of the best TTS chrome extensions on the market. But if you want all the features, I highly recommend upgrading.
2. Natural Reader Chrome Extension
Best For Desktop & Mobile Users
Natural Reader is one of the major players on the best text-to-speech chrome extension list. It’s available on both Mac and PC desktops, and a huge feature is the ability to pivot over your mobile app. As it supports most files, it’s also one of the most versatile text-to-speech Chrome extensions on the market.
Here are some of Natural Reader’s pros and cons:
Pricing: There is a free version, but it only gives you 20 minutes per day. Upgrade to the Premium and Plus depending on how much time per day you need it for one-time payments.
Overall, Natural Reader is one of the leaders in the best text-to-speech chrome extensions for a reason. It accurately grabs the text you want to read without accidentally skipping over important sections.
3. Read Aloud
Best for Text Highlighting
Like others on this list, Read Aloud includes a pop-up that you can easily click from your Google Chrome bar to read a page or article. Like any other text-to-speech extension, simply hit play, then you are free to jump to different computer screens while an AI voice reads your text.
Here’s the good and the bad of Read Aloud:
Pricing- Unclear. They have a free version, but you will have to be okay with their default voice. There is a premium version available, but no pricing is publicly available for Read Aloud.
Read Aloud works fine if you are looking for a free text to speech extension that performs the basic functions. However, there lack of a professional website and transparency makes it lower on my choices unless you like the highlighting option.
4. Capti Voice
Best Bang for Your Buck
Capti Voice works a little bit differently than the other text to speech extensions. What’s unique (and a great feature) is how it allows you to highlight a text on a page and click buttons like Alt-Q to listen to Alt-X to read. This allows you more control to read exactly what you want to hear, instead of having to waste time on ads, disclaimers, and other things we usually skim over when reading an article for ourselves.
Some of the best features of Capti Voice are:
Pricing: For advanced features, you pay $3 a month, and voices will cost you around $2 per voice you purchase. This is a great, affordable price compared to others on this list.
Capti Voice gives you everything you need with the free version, and if you don’t want to listen to the robotic voices, you can upgrade for a one-time fee vs. having to pay a monthly subscription. This makes it the most affordable option to get the features you need without the ones you don’t.
Best Free Option
Readme is text to speech voice reader that works in over 40 languages to help people boost their productivity. Its specialty is helping you read web pages through a few clicks: navigate to your desired page and hit play on the Chrome bar. If you’re looking to edit papers, read your work out loud to find mistakes, or just want to do two things at once, this is a great option.
There are also a few other features with the Readme extension:
Pricing: There is no website or support, so it appears to be a free extension with not many options.
Readme is a free, easy-to-use TTS extension that will meet your needs if you want a free, basic text-to-speech application.
6. Select and Speech
Best for New Language Learners
Select and Speech is an application for personal use, but their target is foreign languages learners want to improve their comprehension learning skills. Like many others, you just select the text and hit play to hear any text be read aloud. This is great if you read better than you speak, and want a little bit of help with pronunciation.
Some of the features of Select and Speech are:
Pricing: This is a free version, but the Pro version does not have public pricing available.
This option is great for students and language learners looking to improve their pronunciation and speaking skills.
What is a Text To Speech Extension?
A Text To Speech Chrome Extension is a Text to Speech Software that you can add as an extension to your Chrome internet browser. This allows an AI (artificial intelligence) voice to read any written text you wish to read out loud.
How Does It Work?
Once you add the extension to your Chrome browser, all you have to do is click the icon, and it will open up a small window. In that window, you can click play, and it will start reading the text out loud to you. Many different companies offer options such as changing the voice and increasing the reading speed, pitch, or volume.
Some even allow you to upload certain documents like PDFs or books.
How to Install a Text To Speech Chrome Extension
They’re very easy to install. Simply go to your Chrome Extension Store (Google Chrome Web Store), Search for the company you wish you use, then hit “Install.”
How to Pin a Text To Speech Chrome Extension
You can then “Pin” the program so that it’s on your browser bar by clicking the little puzzle piece at the top right corner of your browser. Locate the company you have downloaded. Click the little “Pin” icon. You will now see the company logo or widget on your Browser bar on the right-hand side.
What are the benefits of a Text to Speech Chrome Extension?
Many people can benefit from this function.
- Those with visual disabilities. Have a hard time seeing up close? This makes life a lot easier by reading the text on your computer out loud.
- Those with reading difficulties. What if you have dyslexia or some other condition that makes reading difficult? This takes the work out of reading to help you become more proficient.
- Foreign Language Learners. Whether you’re looking to learn how to pronounce as you read or just want to practice your listening skills, this is a great way to get immersed in a language.
- Increase in productivity. Reading requires you to focus and prohibits multi-tasking. However, if you can listen and do other things at the same time, this can help you get more done in less time.
What are some features to look for in a TTS extension?
Some features you might want to consider when choosing your extension are:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is there a chrome extension for text-to-speech?
Absolutely! There are tons of companies that offer this service, such as Speechify, Natural Reader, Capti Voice, and Read Aloud.
What is the best text-to-speech app for Chromebook?
This is a difficult question as it depends on what you’re looking for. If you want an app that is going to read text out loud, then any of the companies listed above will work great.
What is the best free text-to-speech online?
Many of the companies above have “free” versions. However, they are typically capped in their text limits per day. If you read or use this frequently, you will likely need to upgrade this.