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How to convert text to speech in JavaScript

Programming Bytes

In the Web Speech API, we can convert:

  • Text-to-Speech using SpeechSynthesis
  • Speech-to-Text using SpeechRecognition

We will be using the following two interfaces to convert text to speech:

  • SpeechSynthesisUtterance has data of what text to be spoken and how it should be spoken(speed, pitch, lang, and voice).
  • SpeechSynthesis can be used to retrieve information about voices available on the device, start and pause speech, etc.

Properties in SpeechSynthesisUtterance

  • lang: the language of the output.
  • pitch: sets a pitch(the relative highness or lowness of a tone) for the output spoken words. It has a range from 0 to 2.
  • rate: the speed at which the text is spoken. rate ranges from 0.1 to 10.
  • text: The text to be spoken.
  • voice: which voice to be used to speak.
  • volume: The output volume. It ranges from 0 to 1.

Methods in SpeechSynthesis

  • speak: to start speaking the text
  • getVoices: get the available voices in the system.
  • pause: pause the speech
  • resume: resume the speech
  • cancel: cancel the speech

Check if the browser supports Text-to-Speech

if ('speechSynthesis' in window) {
 // Speech Synthesis is supported πŸŽ‰
  // Speech Synthesis is not Supported 😞 

Simple Text to Speech

let utterance = new SpeechSynthesisUtterance("");

List voices available in the system

From the SpeechSynthesis interface of the Web Speech API, we can get the list of voices available on the machine.


Initially, the getVoices() method will return an empty array because voices may not be loaded. The following is a small workaround for that:

function getVoices() {
  let voices = speechSynthesis.getVoices();
    let utterance = new SpeechSynthesisUtterance("");
    voices = speechSynthesis.getVoices();
  return voices;

We can get the voices from this method, construct a select box, and hear the different voices. We can use the voice index as a value to the option and get the voice using the index from the voice list.

Passing options

let textToSpeak = "I Love";

let speakData = new SpeechSynthesisUtterance();
speakData.volume = 1; // From 0 to 1
speakData.rate = 1; // From 0.1 to 10
speakData.pitch = 2; // From 0 to 2
speakData.text = textToSpeak;
speakData.lang = 'en';
speakData.voice = getVoices()[0];



We can convert text to speech using the SpeechSynthesisUtterance object. We can also configure some settings like:

  • In what voice the text should be spoken.
  • The speed at which the utterancea spoken word, statement, or vocal sound will be spoken at.
  • The pitchThe relative highness or lowness of a tone as perceived by the ear at which the utterance will be spoken.

Take a look at the complete code below:



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