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The best text-to-speech Chrome extensions

You may have to pay to hear the most realistic voices.
November 28, 2023
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Text-to-speech extensions for Google Chrome are certainly a niche, but if you need one, you need one — say if you have reading difficulties, or you’re simply so busy multitasking that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to catch up on every book or article that interests you. Thankfully there are plenty of text-to-speech extensions out there, and these are some of the best.

The best text-to-speech Chrome extensions

All these extensions are all similar in their core functions, but some go above and beyond, for instance letting you export a recording as a podcast or MP3 file, or scan images in addition to raw text. The holy grail is an extension with a natural-sounding voice, but you may have to pay for the privilege.


NaturalReader handles everything from regular websites to email, PDFs, ChatGPT, Kindle books, and Google Docs, but the bigger attraction is its surrounding features. The extension automatically avoids things like headers, captions, citations, and URLs, and offers over 150 voices split across more than 20 languages, although access to some voices is time-limited unless you pay for Premium or Plus access. Regardless of which voice you choose, you can adjust speed to your comfort level.

Anything you save via the extension can be accessed later using the NaturalReader mobile app. You can also download recordings directly to MP3, which is mostly useful if you want to sync with a phone or tablet for offline listening.

Read Aloud

Read Aloud supports over 40 languages, but the main reason we’re including it is because it’s an open-source project, which makes it both flexible and untethered from a single commercial platform. In fact you can choose between Google’s native voice tech and services such as Amazon Polly or IBM Watson, although you have may to pay to enable some of them. 

On top of web text, supported formats include PDFs, Kindle books, Google Play Books, and EPUB files, so you should at least consider this extension if you like the idea of audiobooks without paying Audible‘s high prices.

Intelligent Speaker

While you’ll have to get past some broken English marketing from its creators, Intelligent Speaker has a number of things going for it. For one it can sometimes work offline, and accordingly it goes beyond the web to support TXT, DOC/DOCX, and PDF files. You can download audio, and even sync it directly with dedicated podcast apps. In an app like Apple Podcasts, each download is treated as a separate episode.

The developer promises 20 languages and “human-like” voices, some of which include simulated breathing to be more natural. If there’s a problem with the extension, it’s cost — free users can only listen to 1 hour per month. A Premium plan extends that to 24 hours, but costs $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year.


Speechify is another company that leans hard into promising natural speech, and even claims that its voices sound “more fluid and human-like than any other AI reader.” You’ll have to judge for yourself, but it certainly has a slick package. The extension makes use of a floating widget, and offers 130 voices across more than 30 languages, including Snoop Dogg, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Mr. Beast. You can listen to websites, email, PDFs, and Word documents, as well as images, which are scanned for relevant text.

Anything saved to your Speechify account syncs across devices, including to the company’s mobile app. The total package could be very attractive, but most of it is guarded behind an annual Premium subscription that costs $139 per year. Free users are limited to 10 voices, and on top of that they can’t access features like image scanning or the complete set of speed, skipping, and import options.