8 of the Best Text-to-Speech Extensions for Chrome

We use chrome extensions for everything from correcting grammar to blocking ads to managing passwords. So it’s no surprise that there’s a chrome extension for generating voice from text. Here's a list of the 8 best Text-to-speech Extensions for Chrome

8 of the Best Text-to-Speech Extensions for Chrome

We use chrome extensions for everything from correcting grammar to blocking ads to managing passwords. So it’s no surprise that there’s a chrome extension for generating voice from text. Text-to-speech (also known as TTS) is a productivity tool that also functions as an accessibility feature. People who are visually impaired or experience learning challenges like dyslexia can also benefit greatly from TTS Chrome extensions.

Whether you’re a student, learning a new language, or in the business of reading or creating content, a text-to-speech Chrome extension is a useful productivity tool for everyone. There are several extensions that pair voice with text, including many free text-to-speech extensions.

Here are 8 of the best text-to-speech extensions for Chrome that will give your content voice.

Speechify

Image source: https://barrazacarlos.com/speechify/

Speechify is one of the leading text-to-speech Chrome extensions. It has about a million users and over 6,000 reviews. Generating actual human-sounding voices is always a hot trend in the text-to-speech world. Speechify stays trendy by boasting high-quality, “natural-sounding” audio with different reading speeds and voices to choose from, including some familiar ones. Want Snoop Dogg or Gwyneth Paltrow to read you the Sunday news? Of course you do. Well, with Speechify, you can.

This text-to-speech extension works across web articles, Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, and PDFs. It has a floating widget feature that follows alongside the words on the page as it reads so you can follow along. Ultimately, Speechify wants you to learn more in less time — they claim if you listen at their average speed setting, you’re already gaining a 40% productivity boost. If you really want to go for gold, try their “speed reader” function for a 150% productivity boost. Snoop Dogg’s voice on their website says it best, “Reading is hard, listening is easy.”

Natural Reader

The internet is full of distractions. So much so, that there are a million ways to hack it — whether it’s muting keywords, removing ad clutter, or straight-up customizing the color of a web page. Natural Reader is a text-to-speech extension that also comes with distraction-free features, like its immersive reading function for extra focus. This TTS extension has 150 voice options across 20 different languages. While it offers a free version, the language options are only available in premium or pro versions. Its reader is super user-friendly and comes with an app so you can read on the go. With Natural Reader you can even download MP3 files so you can listen offline. Why not save some data? The Natural Reader Chrome extension works across emails, websites, PDFs, Google Docs, and Kindle Books.

Voice Aloud Reader

Users of Voice Aloud Reader love the text-to-speech Chrome extension’s ability to read technical documents and Open Text. It also reads PDF, DOC, DOCX, RTF, OpenOffice documents, and HTML files. While Voice Aloud Reader offers a free version, it works best for short documents. Anything longer and you might want to consider the $10 full version to get rid of ads playing throughout your content.

Readme

Want a text-to-speech Chrome extension but feel like you already have too many pins in your browser bar? No problem. Readme is a text-to-speech Chrome extension that, once installed, is as simple as selecting text and right-clicking the mouse for voice. Who doesn’t love a right click?

With Readme, you can control the volume, pitch, and voice gender. You can also choose what language you’d like your content to be read in. If you’re learning a new language, a powerful combination of tools would be to use a text translation extension for Chrome and a TTS extension like Readme, which currently supports six different languages: English, Spanish, German, French, Russian, and Portuguese.

Talkie

Talkie is maybe one of the most useful free text-to-speech Chrome extensions for when you’re exploring new languages to learn. Select text on any part of the page and Talkie will automatically detect the text language and choose a voice in the same language. Talkie offers voices in 40 different languages, which is on the higher end for free text-to-speech Chrome extensions.

If you’re multilingual (or have multilingual aspirations) and you’re on a tight budget, Talkie is a great option. You can trigger voice either by clicking the Talkie button in your browser, through a keyboard shortcut, or by right-clicking the selected text. The only catch is that Talkie’s free version doesn’t allow you to customize voice options or adjust the speed and pitch. These features are available if you upgrade to Talkie’s premium tier for $24/year.

Snap & Read

Snap & Read is a robust text-to-speech Chrome extension packed with features designed to give students and adults the tools they need to best comprehend what they’re reading. Not only does this TTS chrome extension read aloud text (not to mention translate text from over 100 languages), but it also has distraction-free and study tool features like a simplified vocabulary function, picture-supported dictionary, and the option to adjust font, spacing, and the number of characters per line for maximum readability.

Read Aloud

Read Aloud text-to-speech extension for Chrome is an Open Source project, meaning any user can contribute bug fixes or translations by visiting the associated GitHub page. This is a basic text-to-speech Chrome extension with customizable features like voice options, reading speed, pitch, and the ability to enable text highlighting. It translates content to voice across web-page articles, PDFs, Google Docs, Google Play books, Amazon Kindle, and EPUB, which is a nice touch — although you’ll need to download the EPUBReader extension to access this feature. Activate voice with Read Aloud either by clicking its icon in the Chrome bar, through key shortcuts or by right-clicking selected text.

PixieBrix

Ok, so, here’s the deal. While all of these text-to-speech extensions for Chrome are great options, none of them give you the extensive customization powers that a tool like PixieBrix does. Essentially a superhero extension for Chrome, PixieBrix allows you to take matters of the web into your own hands by building blocks, or “bricks”, to customize any web page to work most efficiently for your purposes. Like the sound of the focused reading element that some of these text-to-speech extensions offer but don’t need the other features? No problem. Head over to PixieBrix Marketplace and learn how to use it to highlight keywords or numbers based on their value on any page. Or, translate text directly from an image with the OCR Translation Context Menu brick.

Life is busy enough already — sometimes you need a productivity boost to get through the day or maybe you just don’t want any more screen time in your downtime. With these text-to-speech Chrome extensions, and the endless customizable options available with PixieBrix, consuming content just got a whole lot easier. Check out the PixieBrix Marketplace to see more of what's possible.