Best text-to-speech browser extensions. TTS comparison.

TTS or Text-to-speech software is getting more and more popular today. Presented in different formats: a browser extension, programs, add-ons and instant transforming websites, tts is technology which aims to help in being productive, increase accessibility and change lifestyle to for a better. It’s not a mystery that some text-to-speech softwares are better than others, mainly because of the tts engines they run on. Everything depends on voice quality and the realism of sounding.

While such giants as Google, Amazon, and Apple are conquering the world of smart speakers and assistants, AI which stands behind all the processes spreads out to text to speech algorithms as well.

In this article, we’ve gathered 5 popular text-to-speech browser extensions worth trying and compared them in an ultimate table. Why browser extensions? Considering how much time we all spend on our laptops, browser extensions seem one of the most reasonable technologies to plunge into.

Voice Instead

Voice Instead is an extension to use if you’d like to hear a text segment or a small chapter of a text. You can easily highlight the text on a webpage and play the text fragment. The extension has a simple interface and a lot of restrictions that apply to a trial version.

There are 5 available tts engines with voices available, including Amazon Polly and human-sounding IBM Watson voices but you can not fully utilize them during the trial, as it allows you to test some of the voices on a small segment of text. This extension has a good speed range choice, a bit controversial in naming, but still performs well. You can not save the fragments to your feed or create a list of pages you’ve listened to. This tool is useful when it comes to short proofreading, spell checking and small texts’ voicing.

Intelligent Speaker

Latest text-to-speech extension running on last generation tts engine. One of the undeniable advantages of this extension is a human-like voice. Yet one voice available, in future the team plans to implement a range of them.

Speed range consists of 5 points and serves every necessity, from accessibility and a need in slow and comprehensive reading, to fast ninja mode for students who need to listen to a lot of information prior to their exams and labs. Intelligent Speaker reads web pages and local files, as well text fragments. Supports Google Docs which is one of the most useful features everyone is looking for in a cutting-edge text-to-speech browser extension.

Pleasant “extras” of Intelligent Speaker is autosaving of all your listened web pages and documents to the feed. You can listen to your content again whenever you want. Another curious function is podcast sync. Intelligent Speaker gathers all your voiced texts into a podcast page which can be read by any RSS reader or podcast program and automatically sends every new article to your personal podcast. You can listen to all the articles on your smartphone or tablet even offline.

Read and Write

One of the most popular accessibility text-to-speech for Chrome Browser. This extension is more like a platform for educational and accessibility purposes which lets you not only to listen to the text you see but also to check out the definition of a word, see the picture related to this word and highlight a part of the text which is troublesome so that you could work it over later alone or with your teacher. Aiming to facilitate the process of information perception, Read and Write supports various files and doctypes. This extension was designed to help everyone to engage digital content in a way with his/her abilities and learning style.

It helps to read and write texts correctly, provides explanations for words and plays voice notes inside Google Docs. Having a lot of advantages, Read and Write might be scary in terms of price, which is around $145 for a license. However, teachers and educators can get a good discount, if you contact directly to the support team.

In terms of text to speech functionality, this tool performs well, but due to various settings and elements of the interface, voicing the articles and texts is not the function to die for. Voices sound a bit robotic in comparison with other more specific tts engines (though you have a choice of voices which appeal to you most) Definitely, an extension to go when it comes to pure studying and read/write skill improvement, not the one if you want to boost your multitasking and productivity.

Selection Reader

This is a very simple intuitive text-to-speech extension with limited functions which does its work relatively well. As understood from the name of the extension, you can easily select and listen to the text. This extension supports 16 languages and good at punctuation reading.

Although there are a couple of extensions like that on the market, Selection Reader is a good choice if you want to listen to some particular text fragments or proofread a couple of paragraphs. One of the biggest disadvantages such “text selection-based” extension have is that it’s impossible to read the entire webpage without having to highlight it all. While you choose a fragment of a text, you are likely to pick some navigation or ads on a page which will include these to the voicing and you’ll have to hear some nonsense segments once in a while.

Read Aloud

Extremely simple browser extension with literally 2 buttons: “Play” and “Stop” for a free trial version. As for a paid plan, you get to choose speed, pitch, and volume. This browser extension has 6 available languages.

This is an open source project, so everyone can contribute and improve this product. Yet very simple and intuitive extension which can possibly improve but in comparison with other products on the market, it still needs some time to level up.

Voice InsteadIntelligent SpeakerRead and WriteSelection ReaderRead Aloud
Available Languages118916
Voice quality rate4.
Text selectionYesYesYesYes
Speed control7 speeds available5 speeds available4 speeds available2 speeds available
Webpage readingYesYesNoNo
Google Docs SupportNoYesYesNo
Offline accessNoYes (RSS reader)NoNo
Save to the feed functionNoYesNoNo
Podcasts and downloadNoYesNoNo
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