List of Kindle Devices and Apps with Text-to-Speech


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Text-to-speech is one of the features that sets Kindle books apart from the likes of Kobo and Nook. But not all Kindle devices and apps support text-to-speech. In fact most don’t support TTS.

Text-to-speech used to be a pretty big feature for Kindles, but Amazon doesn’t seem to be interested in evolving it much further anymore—now they’d rather push selling audiobooks instead and promote their Whispersync for Voice feature that syncs audiobooks and ebooks together in the same app.

Kindle ebook readers used to support TTS. The Kindle 3 (also called the Kindle Keyboard) and Kindle Touch were the last to support it.

Now if you want text-to-speech for Kindle books you pretty much have to buy a Fire tablet or a Fire phone because none of the newer Kindles support TTS at all, not even the $289 Kindle Voyage.

None of the Kindle apps for iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows, or the Kindle Cloud Reader officially support text-to-speech.

There are some workarounds, however. With the Kindle for Android app you can use TalkBack, an accessibility app for Android devices designed to read screen content aloud.

With iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone, you can use a screen reading accessibility feature called Speak Screen that works pretty well with the Kindle app, and it even automatically turns pages and can run in the background so that you can use other apps while listening to the book being read aloud.

Neither solution for Android or iOS is as convenient or as easy-to-use as Amazon’s regular text-to-speech, but it can get the job done.

Keep in mind that not all Kindle books support text-to-speech, just the ones where authors and publishers have approved it. All Kindle books show if TTS is enable or not on their description page at Amazon. Of course this doesn’t matter if you’re using an accessibility app like TalkBack or Speak Screen.

Text-to-Speech for Kindle books is officially supported on the following devices:

Kindle 2
Kindle Keyboard
Kindle DX
Kindle Touch
Kindle Fire 2
Kindle Fire HD
Kindle Fire HDX
Fire HD
Fire HDX
Fire Phone
Kindle for PC with Accessibility Plugin

The older Kindle ereaders have more of a robotic TTS voice whereas the Fire tablets use more pleasant and human-like IVONA voices. For more info see this Kindle Text to Speech Review, which includes a video demonstrating the different voices and settings on Fire tablets.

8 Responses to “List of Kindle Devices and Apps with Text-to-Speech”

  1. Alternatively, you can convert your books (non-drm) to mp3 that can be played on kindle devices. Here are the instructions http://www.codingday.com/convert-pdf-epub-ibooks-ebooks-to-mp3-audiobooks-for-kindle-and-other-mp3-players/

  2. As you allude to in your story, audiobooks seem to have killed off TTS technology. Based on my experience both Amazon and B&N push audiobooks fairly aggressively, no doubt because they make more money that way.

  3. offtopic: tts – a must, but I would love color eink dashboard diplays for my car

  4. Great information about TTS. Thanks for making the world online accessible!

  5. After I switched to android from an iPhone, I tried using my HD6 tablet to fill the gap for TTS for my Kindle books, but it was physically too large and the battery too small for my needs. Thought about getting a used iPhone (too expensive), but ended up with a used Fire phone off of Ebay to read my books while in the car/doing yard work. I’m a happy camper now. 🙂 Too bad the Kindle app for android doesn’t provide the same support.

  6. I read Kindle books with TTS all the time on iPad and iPhone. Go to the accessibility options in settings and select to read screen when you swipe down with two fingers. In Kindle it will read and you can adjust the speed. It will even turn the pages for you. Best feature ever.

  7. The Kindle audio adapter for $19 US, connects to the usb port and allows Paperwhite, Oasis and Voyage TTS ability

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