Speech synthesizers are text-to-speech systems used with computers. It can be a card that is inserted into the computer, a box attached to the computer by a cable, or software that works with the computer's sound card. Speech synthesizers are programmed to include all the phonemes and grammatical rules of a language, allowing words to be pronounced correctly although names and compound words can cause problems because they often contain unusual spellings and letter combinations. Some synthetic speech sounds robotic; however, more and more new products sound almost human. Prices range from approximately $150 to $1,000, and software synthesizers are routinely included with the purchase of a screen reader.
Full-speed USB device that starts and stops quickly and can meet the demands of any screen access program. Fully programmable device that can receive firmware updates while in the field and is fully configurable with 9 predefined voices, 140 volume levels, 75-650 words per minute, and numerous unique pitches.
A multilingual, software speech synthesizer available free along with both the JAWS for Windows and Window-Eyes screenreaders.
Microsoft Speech Engine
Software speech synthesizer developed by Microsoft.
TexTALK for Windows
Program that reads text, Microsoft Word and other types of documents, as well as typed text.
Text-to-speech USB device. Converts standard ASCII text into audible speech output delivered via an onboard 1.4" speaker or a 1/8" stereo headphone jack. Volume levels may be adjusted either by a side-mounted slider or by software control. Fully powered via the USB bus, requires no batteries or external power adapters. Fully programmable device and can receive firmware updates while in the field. Fully configurable with 11 predefined voices, 10 volume levels, 10 different speeds, and 100 unique pitches.