The best text to speech APIs in 2022 should be easy to use, accessible, and good value for money. Luckily, this isn’t difficult to find because there are numerous products to meet all kinds of text to speech needs.
Here’s a list of the best text to speech APIs in 2022 for a variety of purposes.
Best Text to Speech APIs in 2022
1. IBM Watson Text to Speech
It should come as no surprise that IBM would have one of the best text to speech APIs in 2022. The Watson API allows you to generate speech using its machine-learning AI platform. It integrates into customer service platforms to improve accessibility and automation.
- One of the best AI platforms
- Integrates into customer service platforms
- Offers a wide range of languages and natural speech voices
- Better suited to large businesses
2. Amazon Polly
Amazon Polly is a text to speech API that’s accessible to pretty much all businesses and users. Its price structure is low and it’s very easy to use. Like other Amazon products, it’s helpful for developers when creating voice-based apps and services because it’s so widely used. Polly has an extensive range of languages and voices and incorporates real-time streaming.
- Wide range of languages and voices
- Low cost
- Easy to use
- Can get expensive if you have a high workload
Fliki is specifically designed to help users create videos. It has text to speech functions but also a media library to use for video content. The platform has 750 voices in 75 languages, meaning it’s easy to create pretty much any video you want. It has a free plan level, but the paid levels get quite expensive. This is partly because of its image licensing. However, the highest pricing level does give you 50,000 words of content a month, which should suit most video creators.
- Designed for video creation
- Includes image and video licensing
- Plenty of voices available
- Becomes expensive at higher levels
Readspeaker is one of the best text-to-speech APIs in 2022 if you want to design your own AI voice. The platform offers standard voices, too, including neural voices based on machine learning. But what sets it apart from the competition is the ability to generate a speaking voice that’s unique to your company. Bear in mind, this will be much more expensive, and the company doesn’t advertise prices. You can have a free demo on its website, though.
- Allows you to create a unique speaking voice
- Easy to use API for websites
- Includes more than 110 voices in 35 languages
- No advertised pricing
5. Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure’s text to speech platform falls in the same bracket as IBM: it’s best for big businesses that have a large budget. Its cheapest price level is $1 per audio hour, although you get 5 free hours a month after your second bill. This price does get you the kind of functionality you’d expect from Microsoft. Azure has 400 neural voices in 140 languages, and its voice output controls are more in-depth than other platforms.
- In-depth usability
- Allows you to create a unique voice
- Very realistic speech
Murf.AI is cloud-based, which improves access and usability. It’s designed for content creators who need voiceovers for their videos and media. Murf.AI suggests using it for videos, podcasts, lectures, ads and more. One of the best features is that you can preview the voiceover on your content, allowing you to get the timing correct. It might sound like a minor feature, but it’s something many platforms lack – they just give you an audio file instead.
- Easy to use
- Includes a content editing platform
- Cloud-based for accessibility
- Includes 120 languages – fewer than other platforms
Colossyan is another video-creation platform that offers one of the best text to speech APIs in 2022 in this sector. It calls its AI voices “actors”, and you pick from the library before selecting your language and speaking style. They’re designed to be professional quality, so smaller businesses can create commercial content. Importantly, the price structure is much lower than similar products, although it includes fewer speaking minutes.
- Includes a free level
- Professional-quality voices
- Easy to use
- Becomes expensive once you increase the speaking minutes
Descript offers a range of text to speech API services, including podcasting, transcription, video editing and more. The cloud-based service includes all aspects of video editing, allowing you to turn your content into a video with almost no effort. Importantly, you can even transcribe audio content back into text if you need to, meaning it’ll be the only tool you’ll need for all your media.
- Includes editing tools
- Integrates into other platforms if needed
- Accents on voices aren’t great
Frequently Asked Questions about Text to Speech APIs
API stands for Application Programming Interface. This means it’s a piece of software that allows 2 or more computer programs to communicate. Importantly, it isn’t used by the person at the computer, but rather by the programs they’re running.
A text to speech API is a piece of software that converts written text into spoken audio. It does this using AI and possibly machine learning. As explained above, it integrates into other platforms rather than being used directly by a person.
The most realistic TTS voice is Amazon Polly’s neural voice option. It’s the most popular choice for many businesses, and is incredibly difficult to tell apart from a human voice. A close second is IBM’s Watson text to speech, followed by Microsoft Azure.
Most YouTubers use Amazon Polly and Watson. As mentioned, these are the most realistic voices, which is important on a platform like YouTube. However, users without the required budget could use something like Readspeaker or Descript instead, as these are less expensive.