Text-to-speech: Listening instead of reading

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Robert Koch

I write about AI, SEO, Tech, and Innovation. Led by curiosity, I stay ahead of AI advancements. I aim for clarity and understand the necessity of change, taking guidance from Shaw: 'Progress is impossible without change,' and living by Welch's words: 'Change before you have to'.


Text-to-speech or TTS is virtually self-explanatory: With a text-to-speech service, you can convert text into audio. Text is read aloud using voices that imitate human speech. Developers are continually enhancing these programs. Although there are still no applications today in which the machine origin of the spoken word is not discernible, technological progress is seemingly unstoppable. Essentially, with every improvement in technology, these systems will be able to create more and more natural sounding voices.

What are the advantages of text-to-speech systems? Most importantly, visually impaired people can benefit from those systems. In addition, they can be used by companies as a means of expanding their outreach.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Text-to-Speech Services

The process of creating an artificial voice from text is known as text-to-speech. When it is difficult or not possible to read a screen, technology is utilized to interact with users. This not only makes it possible to use information and programs in new ways, but it also increases accessibility for people who are unable to read text on screens.

Over the past few decades, text-to-speech technology has advanced. These advancements in Deep learning have enabled the creation of speech that sounds incredibly natural and incorporates variations in pitch, pace, pronunciation, and inflection. Today, a wide range of use cases include the usage of computer-generated speech, which is quickly becoming a standard component of user interfaces.

Applications that interact by voice are emerging every day. Websites, mobile apps, digital books, e-learning resources, and online papers can all have voices due to TTS technologies.

Informative Video on Text-to-Speech Services

What are TTS applications?

Text to speech applications are computer programs designed to convert written text into spoken words. These applications use specialized software and algorithms to recognize the text, process it, and then provide an output using a synthesized voice. The synthesized voice can be modified in terms of speed, pitch, accent, and other features. The result is a natural sounding voice that can be used for a range of purposes from reading books aloud for those with disabilities or struggling with dyslexia to converting articles into audio so you can listen while you work out. TTS applications are also great for providing entertainment without having to rely on using a screen.

Text-to-Speech – Advantages for Disabled People

Text-to-speech services significantly contribute to accessibility. Three groups of people benefit the most from these services:

  1. Millions of adults worldwide suffer from visual impairments. Text-to-speech is ideally suited to providing them with access to the written word. Some visually impaired people can invest a lot of time and effort to visualise a text and some can’t visualise text at all. TTS systems are of great assistance to this group of people.
  2. In Germany alone, approximately 7.5 million adults have difficulties with reading and writing. Sensitivity for “illiteracy” has only evolved in the past few years. Obviously, having or gaining access to education can assist with these issues where possible. Remarkably, TTS systems have achieved amazing results during the learning process.
  3. Dyslexia presents a similar, yet different, issue. Speech-based learning disabilities are widespread. Dyslexia affects approximately 10 to 20 percent of the population worldwide. The reverse method (speech-to-text) is especially suitable for supporting dyslexic people.

Whether visual impairment, lack of knowledge or learning disabilities: Text-to-speech systems offer efficient and economical solutions for all three problem areas mentioned above. Many companies offer TTS programs for desktop as well as mobile devices.

Greater Reach for Online Offers

Companies can also benefit from using TTS systems. The quality of the content and the Google ranking do not define the reach of an online offer alone. To reach more users with your offer, you have to simplify the conditions to access content. Many people are either unable to read texts or are hindered for other reasons. TTS directly speaks by converting text into readily available audio files, therefore, reaching more potential customers.

Many internet users (especially users of smartphones) are fundamentally skeptical with regard to texts and rely on audio-visual content. Text-to-speech offers solutions for this target group in particular. TTS technology plays an important part in the optimization of websites for screen readers or in the programming of virtual assistants.


Developers of virtual assistants, chatbots and other speech recognition systems need a lot of text to speech datasets of different people in order to train a system.
Clickworker quickly, affordably, and according to your needs, creates and delivers this

AI training data

Text-to-Speech and Translations

Text-to-Speech services have also proved useful in combination with translation programs. Non-native speakers can more easily find their way around when in foreign countries. TTS makes understanding important written information possible – quickly and easily. For instance, in practice:

  1. A warning sign might contain important information in a foreign language.
  2. The user can hold his smartphone so that the camera is directed at the sign and activate a text-to-speech app, which works together with a translation program.
  3. The information will be read out loud to the user in his native language.

In addition to providing quick assistance, TTS systems also have a learning effect. They can help people master a new language in a foreign country more quickly. Learning by doing is an excellent way of storing information in our memory.

Haven’t Got Time to Read?

High workloads and deadlines are a great challenge for independent workers and employees. Technical innovations, such as text-to-speech systems, can bring relief. Text-to-speech systems are ideal for multitasking. If you are busy with an important assignment on your monitor screen, you can have your incoming e-mails read to you. This ensures that you will not miss anything of importance, and saves the time needed to check the e-mails in written form. The same applies to time spent in your car or on your bike. TTS converts the text and reads all incoming e-mails or urgent business documents while the driver concentrates on the traffic.

Text-to-Speech Service: Converting Text Into Audio

To improve TTS systems, developers need lots of data in the form of audio files. These need to be recorded by many different people since every human voice and speech pattern is unique. This allows the machine to learn differences in pronunciation, intonation and pace among others. By utilizing such data sets for machine learning, developers can enhance the programs’ ability to create natural sounding voices.

Our text-to-speech service provides you with the amount of voice recordings required. You can define how long the files should be, how much data you need and what format should be used. We have more than 6 million Clickworkers around the world to create the recordings according to your specifications. We ensure that you receive exactly the data you need with our text-to-speech service through additional quality checks. Contact us to find out more about our services.

What is a Text-to-Speech Database?

A text-to-speech (TTS) database, also known as a speech synthesis database or voice database, is a collection of pre-recorded speech samples used to create synthesized speech output from written text. Typically, a text-to-speech database contains recordings of human speech, usually segmented into words or phrases, along with associated linguistic and acoustic information.

A text-to-speech database is an essential component of a TTS system. By utilizing recorded speech samples, TTS systems can generate natural-sounding speech output that closely resembles human speech patterns, intonation, and pronunciation.

Subsequently, the quality and diversity of samples in a text-to-speech database significantly impact the performance and naturalness of synthesized speech. Therefore, a text-to-speech database often includes recordings from multiple speakers. This then represents various accents, languages, genders, and age groups to ensure broad coverage and high-quality speech synthesis across different contexts and applications.


A text-to-speech database may be created through various methods, including studio recording sessions with professional voice actors, crowdsourcing platforms where individuals contribute recordings, or data scraping from publicly available speech corpora. Additionally, speech samples in TTS databases may be annotated with linguistic information, such as phonetic transcriptions, part-of-speech tags, and prosodic features, to facilitate accurate and natural-sounding speech synthesis.

Overall, a text-to-speech database plays a critical role in the development and deployment of TTS technology. A text-to-speech database enables applications such as voice assistants, navigation systems, accessibility tools, and language learning platforms to provide spoken audio output from written text input.

The Importance of an Accurate Text-to-Speech Database

Accuracy is important in a TTS database for several reasons:

  • Naturalness: Accurate speech synthesis relies on faithfully reproducing the sounds, rhythms, and nuances of human speech. Ensuring accuracy in the text-to-speech database helps produce synthesized speech that sounds natural and lifelike, enhancing the user experience and facilitating effective communication.
  • Comprehension: Accurate pronunciation and intonation are essential for ensuring synthesized speech can be understood especially in contexts where precise communication is critical. This can include navigation systems, voice assistants, and language learning applications. Inaccuracies can lead to misunderstandings and communication breakdowns.
  • Engagement: High accuracy in a text-to-speech database contributes to user engagement and satisfaction by creating a seamless and immersive interaction experience. Users are more likely to engage with and trust TTS systems that produce accurate and reliable speech output.
  • Accessibility: Accuracy improves accessibility for individuals with visual impairments or disabilities, allowing them to access and interact with digital content through spoken audio. Ensuring accuracy in the TTS database enables inclusive and equitable access to information and services for all users.

How to Select the Best TTS Application or Service for Your Needs

There are many reasons why someone might need a TTS application. Depending on the intended use, applications should be checked closely for suitability. When making a choice, individuals should consider a wide range of factors.

  1. Assessing the quality of TTS applications
    Accuracy is important when choosing a TTS application or service because it ensures that the user’s voice is reproduced exactly. This enhanced accuracy leads to improved accessibility for users and increases trust in the technology being used. Furthermore, accurate results help to ensure proper deployment of the application or service and can lead to more successful outcomes.
  2. Variety of voices and languages offered by text-to-speech applications and services
    It is important to have a variety of voices to choose from when selecting a text-to-speech application or service because it allows businesses to reach customers in different countries and regions around the world. Additionally, having access to multiple languages and dialects helps build trust with customers by creating voiceovers for ads, commercials, product demos and other content pieces in native languages.
  3. Reading speed options of TTS applications and services
    You should consider the reading speed options of these applications and services as they can help disabled people read text at a pace that is comfortable for them. Some people may find it difficult or even impossible to read certain texts without the option of adjusting the reading speed. Therefore, having access to applications and services that allow this can make all the difference.
  4. Accessibility of text-to-speech applications and services
    Choosing an application or service based on accessibility is crucial as it enables disabled people to access information displayed on screens. TTS software helps these people to access information quickly and accurately. Proper coding makes websites accessible to all users, not just those with disabilities. Some may need assistance using applications like these, so accessibility should be considered also.
  5. Further Considerations

  6. Customization features of TTS applications and services
    With customization features, voices can be fine-tuned to match the brand voice of a company or create custom voices for specific customers or situations. Users should also examine whether there are any add-on features such as translation services or audio post-processing could enhance their experience.
  7. Cost of text-to-speech applications and services
    Cost is an important consideration when selecting a TTS application or service, as different services may offer different features and performance at various price points. It is important to compare the features and performance of available options before making a decision, as well as keeping the cost in mind when selecting one.
  8. Ease of use of text-to-speech applications and services
    Ease of use is important when selecting this kind of application or service because users need to be able to access the features and functions without navigating complicated settings. This ensures they can quickly and easily benefit from the technology, making it more user friendly.
  9. Device support of text-to-speech applications and services
    When choosing a TTS application or service, many considerations should be made. For example, the type of voices available, desired language and dialect, level of technical support offered, and how quickly and easily they can deploy their solution. Additionally, it is important to research what kind of customization options are available with each service or provider.


Text-to-speech can reduce barriers in many sectors. In doing so, technical progress simplifies daily life as well as the organization of your workday and promotes equal opportunities in the labor market. It also provides companies with new ways of better addressing potential customers – in the true sense of the (spoken) word.

FAQs on Text-to-Speech

What is text to speech?

TTS is a technology that converts text into audio. This technology can be used to provide accessibility tools for individuals with special needs, allowing them to listen to any article or printed material. Additionally, TTS platforms can be used as an aid in learning a foreign language and improving literacy and comprehension skills.

What is voice data for TTS training?

Voice data for TTS training is data that can be used to convert unstructured conversations into usable insights. It utilizes Speech-to-Text technology for typing, commanding, translating, and other functions. Text-to-Speech services then convert the text into audio data for people who have difficulty reading.

Why should voice data be used to train text to speech tools?

Using voice data helps to train an AI system by providing better speech quality and improved accuracy of the TTS produced.

How does natural language processing help in text to speech?

Natural language processing plays a critical role in the development of TTS applications and services. NLP allows computers to understand human language, which is then used in the form of computer-generated speech for text to speech applications. As such, NLP helps make text-to-speech accessible to a larger audience by allowing website and app content to be produced with natural-sounding speeches.

What are the reasons for using TTS applications?

Someone might need to use this application or service for a variety of reasons, including communication disabilities, disabilities that prevent users from reading, and those who are visually impaired.