Testing and in-depth analysis of the Speechify AI tool

Text to speech

Speechify is an artificial intelligence tool that converts any text into audio using text-to-speech. In this article, I'll present the results of my comprehensive testing and analysis of Speechify's features and performance, both in its free and paid versions

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speechify homepage

Introduction to Speechify

Speechify was founded in 2016 by Cliff Weitzman, an American entrepreneur with dyslexia. Cliff came up with the idea for the tool to compensate for his own reading difficulties linked to his dyslexia and ADHD. His aim was to make reading long documents easier for people with learning disabilities, using listening rather than visual reading

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Speechify is available as a Chrome extension and mobile app. It lets you read aloud any text from documents, web pages, e-books, etc. Speechify offers highly realistic synthesized voices, in over 30 languages and 130 different voices. According to company statistics, Speechify users have already listened to over 6.5 billion words!

(Cliff Weitzman, Speechify CEO)

Speechify features

I thoroughly tested Speechify's key features:

Adjustable reading speed up to 900 words per minute

Reading speed can be fine-tuned from 50 to 900 words per minute via a slider in the interface. I've tested increasing speeds, and Speechify makes it possible to understand text even at very high speeds, thanks to the quality of the text-to-speech. At 900 words per minute, this is 4.5x faster than the average human reading speed. This function is very useful for quickly absorbing long documents

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Precise speed selection by voiceover

Multi-device synchronization with cloud backup

The content we add to our Speechify library is instantly synchronized between our devices via the cloud. I added an ebook on my computer, and a few seconds later I could resume reading on my smartphone, exactly where I'd left off on the computer. It's really handy for reading on the move without losing your progress

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Support multiplateforme

Wide variety of natural voices, including celebrities

Speechify offers a hundred voices in over 30 languages, with male and female options. Some voices even imitate celebrities. I tested English excerpts with the voice of Snoop Dogg, then that of actress Gwyneth Paltrow. The voices have very realistic intonations. You can find the one that best suits your listening preferences.

Multiple voice preferences

Photo to audio conversion

Taking a photo of printed text, Speechify scans it and reads it aloud. I tested with book pages and even very small print. The text is recognized and read accurately. Very clever for converting paper documents into audio books

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Smartphone screenshot samples

Floating drive always accessible

A small floating player is available over any web page or document read by Speechify. It can be moved, resized or hidden. Handy for controlling current playback from anywhere

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Highlighting words while reading

Simultaneously with audio playback, Speechify highlights each word read in the source text. This enables precise tracking of the reading position, and facilitates comprehension by combining text and audio. Highlighting moves naturally as the eye would while reading

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Gradual increase in speed

Playback speed increases and decreases realistically during playback, depending on the natural flow of the text. It's not a fixed speed like on other tools. This well-designed feature contributes to the illusion of listening to a real person

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User experience in Premium version

I subscribed to the Premium annual subscription at $139 to test Speechify with all the available options

Here are the main advantages of the Premium version:

  • Clean interface, neat design
  • Access to all voices, including celebrities
  • Offline playback for use without internet
  • Total absence of advertising
  • Advanced playback options (speed, tone…)
  • Advanced voice customization
  • Seamless synchronization across all devices
  • Priority support in the event of technical problems

Starting the test with a premium experience, I uploaded a PDF file of a collection of different Pangram phrases into the app to be dictated by Speechify.

I really enjoyed the fluidity of reading at maximum speed, which almost gives the impression that the text is being read by a human. The naturalness of the gradual increase in speed is bluffing.

Synchronization between devices works perfectly. I started a playback on my computer, and a few minutes later found it in the exact same place on my smartphone.

The uncluttered interface and unobtrusive floating reader contribute to a premium user experience. You quickly forget that the text is read by a synthesized voice

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Free version of Speechify

I also tested the free version of Speechify to see its limitations.

Here are the notable differences with the Premium version:

  • Limited number of languages and voices
  • Few options for customizing playback
  • Unable to use Speechify offline
  • Presence of occasional ads
  • Fewer document types supported
  • No multi-device synchronization
  • Basic technical support

Despite these restrictions, the free version already gives a good overview of Speechify's reading capabilities. The interface and browser integration are identical. Only the advanced options are not available

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User reviews

Searching for user reviews, we find that Speechify receives a lot of positive feedback, especially regarding voice quality.

On the Chrome Web Store, users comment that Speechify has helped them overcome their reading and text comprehension difficulties. They appreciate being able to listen instead of reading visually

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In a YouTube video by an educational content creator, Speechify is described as having an intuitive interface and easy grip on the Chrome extension. The videographer highlights the quality of the user experience,

Conclusion and personal opinion

To conclude my analysis, I think Speechify is a very innovative tool that makes reading long documents or web articles much smoother. The speech synthesis is stunningly realistic

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Unique features such as screenshot conversion or natural voice acceleration make this a highly advanced technological product.

The free version gives access to the essentials, but the Premium subscription is, in my opinion, well worth the annual $139 for the ease of use and the many advanced options.

I give Speechify a 5/5 rating, especially in its paid version. In my opinion, it's an ideal solution for reading faster while improving comprehension and concentration

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