Top free and paid text to speech tools for reading PDFs

Quality text-to-speech tools streamline the reading process and improve concentration

Consuming long PDF documents can become tiring, especially if you're a student or researcher. Thankfully, with an abundance of quality text-to-speech tools available on the web, you can streamline the reading process and improve concentration and comprehension.

  • Due to their stable formatting and adaptability, PDF files are one of the most popular document files used by researchers, teachers, and businesses.
  • Reading long PDF documents can be tiring and overwhelming (both on the brain and eyes). An actionable solution is to incorporate TTS readers into the PDF reading experience by listening to your documents instead of reading them.
  • With an abundance of TTS tools on the market, we've picked out five tools that are most likely to suit your listening requirements.

Using TTS readers to listen to PDFs

PDFs are everywhere. From audiobooks to academic papers to contracts, the PDF file format is one of the most common file formats used on the web.

Although many people may associate read aloud and text to speech technology with audiobooks, it's worth trying them out to navigate particularly long or complex PDF documents.

From time-saving opportunities to improved comprehension, TTS tools can transform the way you read and understand PDF files.

That said, there's an abundance of text to speech technology on the market, with each platform claiming to be the best solution. To assist you with choosing the best text to speech tool for listening to PDFs, we've compiled a list of the best text to speech converters on the web.

Let's begin.

What does PDF stand for?

PDF stands for Portable Document Format. Adobe rolled out this format in the 1990s for unaltered document presentation, meaning that the document and layout don't change regardless of the software, hardware, and operating systems of the devices on which the document is viewed.

PDF files can contain a wide variety of data, from text to images to hyperlinks. Due to the stable formatting and date inclusion possibilities, this format is widely used for various documents, including research papers, ebooks, forms, contracts, academic papers, homework assignments, instruction manuals, and more.

Reading PDFs vs listening to them

Considering how common PDF files are, it's time to transform how we consume them. The most important aspects are comprehension and time-saving advantages.

It's no secret that many PDF files, especially extensive research papers and ebooks, can seem like an eternity to get through (not to mention that the font quality isn't always top-tier). If you're someone who reads through a lot of PDF files for work or academic purposes, this article is for you.

Without further ado, let's explore some of the benefits of listening to PDF files rather than reading them.

Improved comprehension & concentration

Regardless of your concentration abilities, reading pages and pages of text is challenging without your brain and eyes becoming fatigued. Moreover, we often rush or skim through our assignments or readings to get them done ASAP, only to realize that we've only paid attention to a few paragraphs.

Whether you experience reading difficulties or find yourself exhausted from consuming too much-written content, listening to PDF files can help you considerably with comprehension and concentration.

Time-saving and multi-tasking opportunities

Time is of the essence, especially if you're a busy homemaker, a sleep-deprived student, or a hard-working office employee. By listening to PDFs instead of reading them, you save time or even get other chores and tasks done in the process.

Whether you need to spring-clean your space, read several chapters ASAP for an important exam, take notes, or relax without straining your eyes, incorporating TTS tools into your PDFs is a good first step.

Plus, with tools like ElevenLabs, it's easy to do this. You can create a Project, store all your work in one platform, and even convert huge PDF files into easy-to-consume audio files. Check it out below.

Legal & practical benefits

Most of us don't particularly enjoy reading contracts, terms of service texts, or instruction manuals, leading to rushed reading. If you have an important document you need to get through and don't want to miss a thing; your best bet would be to convert your PDF into an audio file. Given that many tools allow you to easily convert text to speech, this accessible option can save you a lot of future headaches - legally and practically.

Other benefits include additional assistance for people with visual impairments and reading difficulties.

Top 5 tools for converting text files into audio files

With an abundance of text to speech online tools, it can feel overwhelming to pick the right one for your PDF listening needs.

Fortunately, we've compiled a list of the best PDF speech synthesis tools on the market, from free text-to-speech tools to ones that offer natural-sounding voices.

Let's dive in!


An industry leader in AI voice generation, voice cloning, and natural speech synthesis, ElevenLabs is an excellent tool for reading through PDF files and converting them to audio. It is powered by advanced artificial intelligence, offering a natural listening experience. With the Reader App, you can listen to PDFs on the go from your phone.

With an abundance of custom voice options, tweakable parameters, and pricing tiers to choose from, ElevenLabs offers everything you need to meet your TTS requirements and keep your auditory system happy with natural-sounding voices.

And if you're feeling creative, you can clone your voice and have it read your PDFs back to you in your own voice and accent.

Likewise, ElevenLabs offers TTS and speech synthesis opportunities in 29 popular languages, meaning that you can also listen to PDF files published in your native language, transform that Shakespeare play into British English, or even experiment with poetry by Pablo Neruda in Mexican Spanish - the choice is yours!


With the Free Plan, you can generate and listen to 10,000 characters a month (which is approximately 10 minutes of speech). Given that PDF files tend to be slightly longer, we recommend opting for the affordable Starter Plan at $5/month (30,000 characters/month), the Creator Plan at $11/month (100,000 characters/month), or higher, depending on your individual requirements.

Visit the ElevenLabs Pricing page for further information.

Natural Reader

Another popular choice on the TTS market, Natural Reader is a reliable TTS tool for various applications, including personal, educational, and commercial use.

A key benefit of this tool is that it includes an AI-powered smart filter that skips headers, footers, figures, and tables, resulting in an uninterrupted listening experience.

Other benefits include changeable parameters such as emotions and sound effects, account-sharing options, and the Dyslexia Font.


If you're not particularly picky about voice options, you can download the free version of Natural Reader for your TTS needs. However, if you prefer more variety, consider opting for one of their paid plans, starting at $99.50 as a one-time payment.


Used for a wide range of applications, Speechify is another leading TTS tool that helps you convert text into audio files. From audiobooks to emails to PDF files, Speechify is a tried and trusted read aloud solution for many.

Offering both free and premium pricing tiers, Speechify is an inclusive tool accessible to all looking to convert text to speech. Tweak parameters like speaking rate, narrator, and more to personalize your listening experience.

Similar to ElevenLabs, Speechify also offers text conversion into multiple languages depending on the pricing tier you select.

The best part? Upload any document or link, and Speechify will convert it into audio.


Speechify offers a free plan called Speechify Limited, which provides ten standard reading voices and includes only TTS features (multiple languages excluded). For premium features like 30+ natural-sounding voices and different languages, consider Speechify Premium , which costs $139 annually.

Adobe Acrobat Reader

Although not the most well-known TTS tool on the market, Adobe Acrobat's built-in TTS tool is an excellent option for those looking to use a software-native integration for their read-aloud requirements.

By default, Adobe Acrobat Reader offers Acrobat users a free text to speech tool. This tool is user-friendly and easy to navigate, making it a worthy competitor for other TTS readers on the market.

However, keep in mind that this tool is not supported on mobile devices and does not support foreign languages.


The Adobe Acrobat TTS tool is free for all Acrobat users.


With over 700 natural AI voices to choose from and 90 languages available, Narakeet may soon outperform other TTS tools.

Offering a free PDF reader to all users, Narakeet is a straightforward and user-friendly online text-to-speech tool for those looking to listen to PDF files without any extra hassle. However, keep in mind that this tool can only read actual text and not vector files.

To use Narkeet, upload your PDF file to the text-to-voice converter, select the language and dialect, choose from 700 voices, and click "Create Audio." After that, you can download the audio version of your PDF in MP3 or WAV.


Narakeet's pricing model differs from the other tools discussed above. While most TTS tools offer monthly or annual subscription pricing plans at a fixed rate, Narakeet charges you based on the generated audio duration.

Final thoughts

Now that you have five excellent speech synthesis tools to choose from, you no longer have to procrastinate on reading that dreaded long PDF. Instead, install or connect your chosen TTS tool and have it read the resulting audio file back to you in a natural-sounding voice.

Whether you're ready to get ahead on your work at the gym, looking to convert your PDF homework into a handy audio file, or love listening to your favorite pieces of literature as an audiobook, ElevenLabs is the easy way to convert any PDF into natural-sounding speech across 29 languages.

Start converting PDFs to text for free today, when you join ElevenLabs below.

ElevenLabs Reader App

The ElevenLabs Reader App narrates articles, PDFs, ePubs, newsletters, or any other text content. Simply choose a voice from our expansive library, upload your content, and listen on the go.


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