Voice Recognition

8 Essential Free Speech Tools

Last Updated on May 26, 2022

Speech synthesizers are text-to-speech systems used with computers. This type of software is programmed to include phonemes and the grammatical rules of a language, so that words are pronounced correctly. This article identifies the finest open source speech synthesizers that are available for the Linux platform. This category of software is particularly useful for increasing the accessibility of the internet, but there are many other applications for speech synthesizers.

Although this article focuses on open source software, we would take this opportunity to mention the IVONA Text to Speech System, software that is compatible with Linux. IVONA is an incredibly impressive text-to-speech system, generating exceptionally natural sounding voices. Unfortunately, the software is released under a proprietary license. While its open source competitors, eSpeak, Festival, and Praat Speech Analyser, sound somewhat robotic in comparison with the human-sounding IVONA, they do provide clear audio with text documents.

This article also highlights the best speech recognition software for Linux. Speech recognition is the translation of spoken words into text. This type of software helps users to operate their computer by speaking to it, and is a real blessing for anyone who finds it difficult to type, such as the elderly, or people with physical disabilities. Using speech recognition software, users can easily write emails, surf the net, manage their finances, chat to other users online, and perform many other computer activities.

To provide an insight into the quality of software that is available, we have compiled a list of 8 of the finest speech tools covering the spectrum of speech synthesizers, speech recognition software, speech recognition engines, and speech analysis. Here’s our recommended tools.

Speech Tools

Now, let’s explore the 8 speech tools at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot of the software in action, together with links to relevant resources.

Speech Tools
JuliusTwo-pass large vocabulary continuous speech recognition engine
FestivalGeneral multi-lingual speech synthesis system
PraatSpeechAnalyserSoftware for speech analysis and synthesis
Mimic ClassicLightweight Text to Speech engine
FliteSmall, fast run time text to speech synthesis engine
OrcaScreenReaderScriptable screen reader
eSpeakSpeech synthesizer using a formant synthesis method
SimonFlexible speech recognition software
Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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3 years ago

I tried using Julius and it was terrible

Trent Calder
Trent Calder
3 years ago
Reply to  Wesxdz

Probably a problem between your chair and your keyboard. Julius is, in fact, very good, with fine WebRTC-based voice activity detection.

3 years ago

How can you compare speech recognition (Julius) with Text to speech (espeak) ???????????

Glenn C
Glenn C
3 years ago
Reply to  François

Who said they are comparative ratings?