Amazon Polly is a big name in Text-to-Speech (TTS) technology, known for turning text into natural-sounding speech using deep learning models. However, it's far from the only option available. With the TTS field rapidly evolving, other services offer similar features and capabilities.
To help you find the ideal TTS provider for you, we carried out a survey comparing various services. Our focus was on the clarity of voice, emotional resonance, and overall sound quality offered by each.
This guide will provide you with a clear understanding of the unique strengths and potential limitations of each TTS service, helping you find the one that aligns best with your requirements.
Overview of Amazon Polly and Alternatives
|Number of Voices
|Number of Languages
To give you a complete and impartial assessment of different Text-to-Speech (TTS) services, we adopted a simple, yet thorough approach for our comparison.
Our method involved gathering a diverse group of participants, who were presented with three unique audio samples from seven leading TTS providers. Participants were requested to rate each sample on a scale from 0, representing poor quality, to 100, indicating excellent quality.
The evaluation focused on three critical dimensions:
- Voice Clarity: This measured how distinct and accurate the pronunciation was in each voice sample.
- Human-Like Quality: Participants judged how natural and real each voice seemed.
- Emotional Expression: Another important factor was how well each voice could express emotions effectively.
The purpose of this method was to ensure a well-rounded analysis of each TTS provider, particularly as alternatives to Amazon Polly. Here are the audio samples from Amazon Polly and ElevenLabs for your review:
Rating System Overview
To guide the participants when rating the voices, we asked the following questions:
- Take a moment to listen to the AI-generated text-to-speech audio clip. Is the voice clear? Does it sound like a real person? Does it express emotions well?
- Rate the clip between 0 (poor) and 100 (excellent). 0 means the voice isn't clear, sounds fake, and doesn't show much emotion. 100 means the voice is super clear, sounds just like a real person, and is full of feeling.
Quality Comparison – Amazon Polly Alternatives
The chart pictured below compares how many times each of the TTS services was rated higher than the others in the survey.
Features Comparison – Amazon Polly Vs ElevenLabs
Language Support and Customization
- ElevenLabs: With an extensive collection of more than 1200 voices in 29 different languages, ElevenLabs provides the capability to produce speech that captures a wide range of emotions and dialects. Its VoiceLab feature allows for the creation of new, unique voices and supports voice cloning. Additionally, ElevenLabs offers sophisticated AI dubbing features, expanding its versatility.
- Amazon Polly: Offers a range of 60 lifelike voices in 29 languages, enabling users to generate speech globally. Its ability to support lexicons and Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) tags adds a layer of customization, allowing users to fine-tune speech output for specific needs. It provides the flexibility to adjust speaking styles, rates, pitches, and loudness, catering to various applications and user preferences.
User Experience and Integration
- ElevenLabs: ElevenLabs excels in areas where nuanced speech is vital, such as podcasting and audiobook creation. Its well documented API and support framework makes integration easy with a multitude of platforms. This makes for a user-friendly experience, making the tool usable across various speech-centric domains.
- Amazon Polly: Designed for seamless integration into a wide array of applications, from voice-activated systems to interactive voice response solutions. Its deep learning technology underpins the generation of natural-sounding human speech, enhancing user interaction. The platform's capability to store and redistribute speech in standard formats like MP3 and OGG simplifies the integration process.
Ease of Use
- ElevenLabs makes the text-to-speech process straightforward and user-friendly. Its intuitive interface, featuring a simple menu bar, allows users to effortlessly navigate voice synthesis and cloning functionalities. The VoiceLab tool is a standout feature, enabling users to create custom voices with ease. Additionally, the Projects Tool enhances the creation process for long-form audio content, while the AI dubbing feature broadens its application for video content. The platform's comprehensive API documentation is a significant advantage, ensuring smooth integration into diverse workflows and making ElevenLabs suitable for both beginners and seasoned TTS users.
- Amazon Polly allows developers to quickly and efficiently add natural-sounding speech to their applications. The service offers a straightforward setup, with the ability to convert text into speech in just a few steps. Its support for common SSML tags enables users to manipulate phrasing, emphasis, and intonation without needing extensive programming knowledge. The intuitive interface and clear documentation make it accessible for developers of all skill levels.
Pricing and Licensing (at the time of writing - January 2024)
- Free Plan: A perfect starting point for TTS explorers, offering 10,000 characters per month, up to three custom voices, access to a range of shared voices, and basic speech synthesis in 29 languages. Usage requires crediting ElevenLabs.
- Starter Plan ($5/month, discounted for the first month): Builds upon the Free Plan with 30,000 characters monthly, up to 10 custom voices, and a commercial license, making it ideal for small projects or individual creators.
- Creator Plan ($22/month, discounted for the first month): A step up for heavy users, with 100,000 characters monthly, up to 30 custom voices, access to professional voice cloning, and enhanced audio quality, suitable for more demanding TTS needs.
- Independent Publisher Plan ($99/month): Geared towards authors and publishers, offering 500,000 characters per month, up to 160 custom voices, and an analytics dashboard to monitor usage and performance.
- Growing Business Plan ($330/month): Designed for growing businesses and larger organizations, this plan includes 2,000,000 characters monthly and allows the creation of up to 660 custom voices, suitable for large-scale TTS deployments.
- Enterprise Plan: A bespoke solution for unique business requirements, featuring tailored character quotas, premium voice quality, and prioritized enterprise-level support.
- Amazon Polly
- Free Tier: 5 million characters monthly for Standard voices and 1 million for Neural voices for the first 12 months, starting from the initial speech request. For Long-Form voices, the Free Tier includes 500 thousand characters per month.
- Standard Voices Pricing: $4.00 per 1 million characters for Standard voices.
- Neural Voices Pricing: For more advanced Neural voice synthesis, the cost is $16.00 per 1 million characters after the free usage limit.
- Long-Form Voices Pricing: For extensive usage in Long-Form voices, the pricing is set at $100.00 per 1 million characters beyond the free tier.
- Government Pricing: For government customers using the AWS GovCloud (US) region, Standard voices are priced at $4.80, and Neural TTS voices at $19.20 per 1 million characters, post-free tier usage.
Why Choose ElevenLabs?
In our survey comparing various TTS services, ElevenLabs had a significant lead over Amazon Polly. In 37% of evaluations, ElevenLabs emerged as the top choice, in contrast to Amazon Polly, which achieved this rank in only 4% of the assessments. This 33% difference underlines the quality of ElevenLabs in delivering voices that are both clear and true-to-life.
What Is Amazon Polly?
Amazon Polly is a text-to-speech service powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), designed to transform text into natural-sounding speech. It's a versatile tool suitable for a variety of applications, serving the needs of individual developers as well as large-scale enterprises. Amazon Polly excels in creating spoken output for a range of uses, including voice-enabled apps, content narration, and automated customer service interactions.
Key Capabilities of Amazon Polly
- Natural Speech Synthesis: Amazon Polly stands out for its ability to synthesize speech that closely resembles human intonation and emotion. This results in a natural and engaging audio output, enhancing the user experience.
- Wide Voice Selection: With a broad array of lifelike voices, Amazon Polly offers options in dozens of languages, catering to diverse global needs and preferences.
- Customizable Voice Experience: Users can personalize voices to align with brand identity or specific project requirements. This customization adds a unique touch to the user's voice-based applications.
- Flexible Audio Controls: Amazon Polly allows users to modify speech outputs, including the rate, pitch, and volume. This ensures the speech matches the desired context and tone.
- Diverse Deployment: Adaptable for various deployment scenarios, functioning effectively in both cloud-based and localized computing environments.
- Speech Marks and SSML Support: Amazon Polly supports Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML) and provides Speech Marks to enhance the speech output with detailed pronunciation, phrasing, and emphasis.
- Security and Privacy Compliance: As part of AWS, Amazon Polly adheres to rigorous security standards, ensuring user data protection and compliance with privacy regulations.
What Is ElevenLabs?
ElevenLabs is a key player in text-to-speech (TTS) technologies, known for its AI-powered software, generating speech that authentically mimics human tone and emotional depth.
Key Capabilities of ElevenLabs
- Diverse Voices and Languages: Over 120 voices in 29 languages, enabling emotionally varied and multilingual speech generation.
- Voice Cloning Technology: VoiceLab allows cloning and creating new synthetic voices with a range of preset profiles for different uses.
- AI Speech Classification: Identifies if audio is AI-generated by ElevenLabs, aiding in global AI-speech recognition efforts.
- Projects Tool for Lengthy Content: Ideal for creating audiobooks or dialogues, using context-aware synthetic voices.
- AI Dubbing Feature: Adapts voices across languages and dialects, suitable for international content.
- Wide-ranging Use: Extensively used in podcasting, audiobook narration, and video dubbing due to versatile voice options.
- Ethical Standards: Committed to responsible use, with strict guidelines against misuse like unauthorized voice cloning.
Other TTS Alternatives to Amazon Polly
- Speechify: Known for its straightforward interface, Speechify adeptly transforms text into spoken audio using AI, making it ideal for individuals who struggle with reading.
- PlayHT: Offers a diverse selection of voices and languages, positioning itself as a versatile tool suitable for everything from marketing to educational applications.
- Microsoft Azure TTS: A component of Azure Cognitive Services, this service excels with its adaptable voice models and integration with the Microsoft suite.
- Google TTS: Known for its lifelike voice generation, Google TTS is integrated into a range of Google services such as Google Assistant and Google Translate.
- OpenAI TTS: Specializes in generating speech that's both natural and emotionally resonant, finding widespread use in AI-driven applications and research fields.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly be integrated into existing applications or workflows?
- ElevenLabs: Yes, it has versatile integration capabilities and can be easily incorporated into various applications and workflows. Its user-friendly API facilitates smooth integration, making it suitable for content creation, audiobook production, and other forms of digital media.
- Amazon Polly: Amazon Polly also provides robust integration options. With its wide range of supported platforms and services, it's particularly advantageous for users who need TTS functionalities within their AWS infrastructure or other Amazon-based systems.
How do ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly handle different languages and accents?
- ElevenLabs: ElevenLabs shines in handling lots of different languages, delivering emotionally rich and multilingual speech. The platform’s voice cloning technology is great at capturing diverse accents, making it perfect for international usage.
- Amazon Polly: Amazon Polly offers a wide range of languages and accents, making it effective for global applications. It caters to various linguistic and regional preferences, adding to its appeal for international projects.
What are the pricing models for ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly? Are there free trials available?
- ElevenLabs: Offers various pricing plans, starting with a free option suitable for entry-level or occasional users. For more extensive usage, there are multiple subscription levels with advanced features and larger quotas.
- Amazon Polly: Amazon Polly operates on a pay-as-you-go pricing model. It includes a generous free tier, which is great for users starting out or those with moderate needs, allowing users to scale up as needed.
How do ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly ensure the naturalness and emotional expressiveness of their voices?
- ElevenLabs: Uses AI algorithms to produce natural sounding speech with a broad spectrum of emotions. It's really good at analyzing text contextually, ensuring that the output aligns with the emotional tone of the content.
- Amazon Polly: Focuses on lifelike speech, replicating human intonation and expression. With a diverse range of voices and speaking styles, Amazon Polly lets you tailor the speech output to various scenarios, although it might not reach the emotional depth offered by ElevenLabs.
What types of applications or industries commonly use ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly?
- ElevenLabs: Widely used in sectors such as content creation, digital media, and audiobook production, ElevenLabs is known for its emotionally expressive TTS. It’s ideal if you need engaging and dynamic audio content, including podcasts and video narration.
- Amazon Polly: Uses AWS services to effectively develop voice user interfaces, such as interactive voice response systems and digital assistants.
Are there customization options available in ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly for voice characteristics?
- ElevenLabs: Offers a range of customization options, including voice cloning and unique voice profiles. This flexibility lets users tailor voices for specific use cases.
- Amazon Polly: Provides options to customize speech output, including adjustments in pitch and speaking rate. However, in terms of emotional range it is not as customizable as ElevenLabs.
How do ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly handle user data and privacy concerns?
- As part of AWS, Amazon Polly adheres to high standards of data privacy and security. Users can find detailed information on data handling and privacy policies on the AWS website.
Can ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly voices be used for commercial purposes?
- ElevenLabs: Supports a range of commercial uses with plans that include advanced features such as voice cloning and high-quality speech synthesis.
- Amazon Polly: Suitable for commercial use, it offers services for business and professional needs within its various plans.
What kind of support and resources do ElevenLabs and Amazon Polly offer to their users?
- ElevenLabs: Provides high-quality support through various channels, including customer service and comprehensive online resources.
- Amazon Polly: Offers a wealth of support and resources as part of AWS services, including detailed documentation, training materials, and customer support.