Play.ht Review (2022): Best AI Text-to-Speech Software?

Last Updated on August 10, 2022 by Vasco Lourenço

Welcome to my Play.ht review.

When people think of text-to-speech software, they almost always think of Amazon Alexa. However, it’s easy to forget that there are also various other text-to-speech options out there.

In recent times, the demand for AI-based text-to-speech systems has skyrocketed. The reason for this is that it can help people with disabilities to communicate better. However, the increased demand for text-to-speech apps has created a huge number of options for people looking for such tools.

Thousands of websites allow you to convert text into voice, whether English, Portuguese, Punjabi, or others.

Play.ht provides you an Artificial Intelligence (AI) software tool to generate text-to-speech (TTS), which can be edited, modified, and shared with anyone worldwide.

You may have tried other text-to-speech online generators and already have an idea of what to expect.

But Play.ht is different.

Prepare to be surprised by the advanced features and precise speech synthesis software that Play.ht offers for free.

In this Play.ht review, I’ll be going through its features, pricing, and more.

Let’s dive in.

Why Should I Use A Text-To-Speech Software Like Play.ht?

Play.ht AI voice generator and realistic text to speech

Play.ht is an AI voice generator and text-to-speech cloud-based software that generates text-to-speech content without human intervention.

This is a great advancement in the field of artificial intelligence and voice recognition because it enables anyone to speak any language they want without needing to know how to speak or read them.

Play.ht uses the most advanced machine learning techniques to generate accurate text-to-speech results through a highly optimized machine learning algorithm that has been trained for each language.

It uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing to generate text-to-speech (TTS) output via multiple platforms such as web browsers and apps.

The TTS software can convert any text into audio files while also providing several other functionalities such as the pronunciation of words. If you are looking for a voice that sounds like a human voice, then Play.ht is the right choice for your business or personal use.

Voice recognition is a big part of AI, but text-to-speech (TTS) is more important. Play.ht allows your computer to understand what you say and then speak it back to you in the form of text or an audio recording.

Here are some advantages of using text-to-speech software:

  • It doesn’t require any hardware or special skills to operate.
  • It’s way cheaper than hiring a voice actor to record a voice message.
  • It can be used by people with dyslexia who have trouble reading.
  • You can use multiple languages without having to hire multiple translators and editors.

What Is Play.ht?

Powered by IBM, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft, Play.ht is the next-generation voice-over, transcription, and translation tool.

The voices are all natural-sounding, and their pronunciations are derived from databases of different accents and a wide range of languages.

Play.ht is a natural-sounding voice with human-like intonation, powered by machine learning technology where the pronunciation of documents can be made easier by exchanging them with a cloud-based natural-sounding synthesizer.

It offers text-to-speech services and makes it easy to practice English, Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Mandarin (Simplified and Traditional), Portuguese (PT), Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, Russian (Cyrillic), and Indonesian languages.

The company behind Play.ht is a 100% bootstrapped startup based entirely remote. The team first started Play.ht back in 2016 as a Chrome extension for listening to Medium articles.

Since it was being widely used, they’ve seen a big opportunity in providing Play.ht as a tool to help people create realistic audio content for applications.

Play.ht Features

Play.ht has lots of professional features, including integrations such as Chrome extension, WordPress plugin, API access, and JS code snippet.

Here’s a list of the Play.ht best features.

1. 570+ AI Voices and 57 Languages

With state-of-the-art voices powered by Google Wavenet, Amazon Polly, IBM Watson, and Microsoft Azure, Play.ht allows you to choose the voice that suits your brand best from a constantly growing library of 570+ high-quality male and female voices available in over 60 languages.

AI voices are divided into standard voices and premium voices.

microsoft-neural-tts
Source: Play.ht

The standard voices are created by traditional text-to-speech software, which may sound a bit robotic.

On the other hand, premium voices, Neural Voices (NTTS or Neural text-to-speech software), are created with a speech synthesis powered by machine learning and deep neural networks. This makes it nearly indistinguishable from human recordings.

Because the intonation and prosody of words are more natural with NTTS, listening fatigue is reduced when users interact with those AI voices.

2. Full Commercial & Broadcasting Rights

With Play.ht, you get full commercial & broadcasting rights for the audio you create.

This means you can monetize your YouTube Videos or use the recordings for any other commercial purposes.

3. Expressive Emotional Speech Styles

Play.ht expressive emotional speech styles

As the voices are powered by machine learning, they are extremely natural and allow you to pick the most suitable style for the context of your content.

Some of these speech styles include Newscaster, Customer Service, Chat, Conversational, Cheerful, and Empathetic. These speech styles are available for both male as well as female voices.

4. Create Custom Pronunciations

Play.ht custom pronunciations

You can take fine control over pronunciation and change how certain words should be pronounced.

This can include custom text such as your company name, slang words or even digits, cardinal numbers, ordinal numbers, fractions, date, time, etc.

All your custom pronunciations are stored in the Pronunciations Library, where you can access them and make changes.

5. Edit Voice Tones

Play.ht edit voice tones

Play.ht also lets you go the extra mile when it comes to creating a natural listening experience for your audience. You can set the voiceover audio’s right tone by changing the voice’s attributes.

6. Custom Pauses

Play.ht custom pauses

You can further refine your edits by creating custom pauses in the audio and setting pause durations for punctuation marks.

Play.ht define default pause durations

Also, in the settings of your dashboard, you can define the default durations of punctuation marks.

7. Multi-voice Feature

Play.ht allows you to simulate a real conversation in your video by giving different voices to different sentences.

8. Unlimited Previews, Revisions & Downloads

You can preview the audio before converting or save drafts for later.

Because there’s no time limit, you are free to make as many revisions as you wish to create and download the perfect voiceover for your video.

9. Manage All Your Files Online

Play.ht dashboard

Play.ht is a cloud-based app that has an easy-to-use dashboard to help you manage all your audio files in one place.

10. Podcast Hosting

Play.ht podcast hosting

Play.ht also creates RSS feeds of your generated audio to help you easily distribute your audio as podcasts to iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, and other podcasting platforms.

It also allows you to create and manage multiple podcast accounts.

11. Audio Widgets

Play.ht offers two audio widgets to embed in your WordPress blog: Audio Players and Audio Buttons.

Audio Players

Play.ht audio widget audio player

If you’re a WordPress user, you can embed an audio player as a widget in your articles and blog posts. They are fully customizable and SEO-friendly.

This way, your readers can not only read but listen to your posts.

Audio Buttons

Play.ht listen button widget

If you enable this button in the Play.ht dashboard, you’ll have a button at the place where you added the audio player snippet. By clicking the button, it will start reading the current article.

You can further customize the audio player settings with the Play.ht WordPress plugin.

Both these audio widgets can be used across multiple websites with unique branding and customizations.

12. Export Audio Files

Play.ht export options mp3 and wav

Play.ht lets you export your audio files as MP3 or WAV.

13. Bulk Audio Creation

Play.ht will help you transcribe large volumes of content into audio.

14. API Integration

You can use Play.ht’s API to integrate text-to-voice conversion into your app. Their API provides a single interface for converting text to voice using their vast library of voice and language options.

15. Javascript Integration

Play.ht offers a javascript (JS) code snippet that you can paste on your WordPress site to automatically embed audio into your blog posts.

16. Analytics

They also provide analytics such as listens, downloads, shares, and subscribers of your audio widgets.

Play.ht Testimonials

According to TrustPilot, Play.ht has a star rating of 4.8, which is pretty high.

Play.ht Trustpilot reviews

However, we all know that the best way to evaluate software is to try it out for ourselves. While some users might have found valuable features in this TTS, others might not need them so desperately and may focus on other aspects of the software.

In a nutshell, don’t listen only to reviews. Try Play.ht for Free and see for yourself if it’s the right text-to-speech tool you need.

Where Can I Use Play.ht?

With all of these features, it is clear that Play.ht is one of the best text-to-speech software out there today. It has a diverse range of voices to choose from, with different languages that can be further customized with pronunciation edits.

Play.ht converts text to voice for IVR, call answering, e-learning, travel information, online tutoring, help, support applications, and many more uses.

It’s also perfect for digital signage, marketing campaigns, and various other speech-based interfaces where you need human-like voices playing customized information in real-time.

You can use it to create an unlimited number of characters like celebrity characters or mascot characters with different names and voices or use it as a virtual receptionist or customer service agent.

Play.ht Price

Play.ht pricing plans

As of this writing, Play.ht offers four different price plans.

It’s worth noticing that the NTTS voices, or the premium voices, are not available in the Personal plan. So, if you want to have the highest quality possible, you need to purchase at least the Professional plan for $29.95/mo.

Besides the plans you can see in the image above, they also offer a 20% discount to students, educators, and non-profits.

About refunds, though… This is what they state on their website:

“Payments already made against one-time packs or subscriptions would not be eligible for a refund. If you have just made a purchase but facing a technical issue, please get in touch with us.”

Choose your plan wisely…!

Play.ht Free Trial

You can also try the software for free. If you want to try Play.ht, they let you use 600 words and 3 downloads in the free version. I think it’s good enough to see if it’s worth upgrading to a paid plan or not.

See for yourself.

Play.ht Review Conclusion

Play.ht provides an amazing text to voice generation feature with an inbuilt realistic voice generator that enables one to convert any content online into voice and listen to the same.

Also, it comes with a TTS API, which can be used by any developer to integrate text to speech in their application, thereby making the application more interesting and convenient.

Play.ht is designed to be simple. The UI makes it very easy for ordinary people to learn how to use this text-to-speech software program.

Its features make it a standout amongst the rest of the text-to-speech programs out there. It’s easy to use, enjoyable and sounds wonderful.

When reading a blog post or other digital media, it’s nice to allow Play.ht to read it aloud so you can integrate your listening skills with reading skills.

I hope you enjoyed this Play.ht review. Have you used the software? Let me know your thoughts.

If you’re interested in more text-to-speech tools, check out the best text-to-speech software.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, and I may earn a commission in case you decide to purchase any of the promoted products at no extra cost to you. This way, I may receive some more motivation to keep this blog up and running. You can read our affiliate disclosure in our privacy policy.

Vasco Lourenço
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