Speechify Honest Review: Is It Worth It?

Santiago Mallea

Santiago Mallea

Chief of Content At Gradehacker

Watch our Speechify review:

As a student, you’ll find that listening to what you read can enhance your studying experience and help you retain information better. With this Speechify review, we’re pleased to show you how to do it, address your questions, and offer our experience.

Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional adult student #1 resource at Gradehacker and are always looking for the best resources for our clients. With our experience, we can share with you which apps and websites are beneficial and which aren’t.

If you’re interested in Speechify, you may be curious about its cost, the differences between versions, and what the free option can do. You may also be wondering whether the Premium version is worth it.

By the end of this article, you’ll have the information you need to decide if this app is right for you.

So if you are ready, let’s start!

speechify review-1

What is Speechify?

A Comprehensive Introduction and Overview

Speechify is an app that uses a digital voice to read your texts aloud, making it an excellent option for anyone who needs a personal reading assistant.

Whether you’re a student who wants to study while commuting or a busy individual who wants to hear emails while having breakfast, Speechify has a range of high-quality premium voices to choose from.

This app reads any text with natural-sounding voices. 

Its founder, Cliff Weitzman, who has dyslexia, created this tool to facilitate a reading experience. Everybody can use it to enhance productivity.

There are three ways to access Speechify:

You can use this speech app in different situations, depending on which version you choose.

For example, you can listen to your textbook while driving or traveling to work with its mobile app. While with its Chrome extension, Speechify can read your emails or Google Docs.

Now, let’s get to the good part: our review.

Speechify's Home

A Detailed Look at the Design and Interface

If you download Speechify, you’ll see that it has a lively but simple design

Even its desktop version has only a few dashboards and menus, making the user experience intuitive and easy-going.

The first thing you’ll see on the website are all the reading voices you can choose from. Then, once you log in, it opens a section called “My Library” on the left where you can click on “New” and choose if you want to scan texts, import content from other websites, or upload it yourself. 

Then, once the document is ready, it will start reading it for you. 

You can pause, rewind or move forward with the menu at the bottom. 

On the left menu, you’ll see options to custom voices, adjust the speed and select if you want to skip something like headers, citations, etc.

If you are on your phone, you can scan documents with your camera. This means that not only can you use digital documents but also add physical books!

Regarding the Chrome Extension, it’s very easy to follow as well.

You can go to any page you like (an email, newspaper article, or a Google Docs file), click on the extension button, and a small box on the corner will appear with the reading time, a play/pause button, and settings.

Push play, and the app will read whichever site you choose. And if you click on the save button, the entire page will be saved into your Speechify home as a separate document. Cool, right?

More tips for auditory learners like you!

Using Speechify is one of the tips we recommend to auditory learners, but there are more! 

Santi Auditory CTA

More tips for auditory learners like you!

Santi Auditory CTA

Using Speechify is one of the tips we recommend to auditory learners, but there are more! 

Speechify's Features

Does It Enhance Your Learning Experience?

Now, let’s see what makes them unique: their features.

While it’s great that you can listen to your textbooks, what makes Speechify stand out is what you can do to personalize your experience.

Reading Speed

The first feature that can improve your productivity is its reading speed. You can increase it up to 4.5 times faster than the average (900 wpm), which they assure to be a 405% productivity boost.

Our opinion on that? well, while this sounds incredible, the truth is that it is a useless speech feature

Why? Because you can’t understand anything with the voice reading at that speed. And it’s not only this speed; anything above 500 is unclear.

Of course, the fewer words per minute you choose, the clearer you’ll hear it, but with such high numbers, it’s unlikely that you will properly understand what you are reading. 

Or maybe you have superpowers and abilities that allow you to; who knows!

However, we found that this productivity boost can be achieved with a speed rate between 200 and 400wpm. Still, the best rate depends entirely on your skills and what you are looking for.

If you are at home and would like to listen to your course material while reading it too, a faster speed rate will be a good choice. By reading and listening to the text, you can hear it faster and finish it sooner.

On the contrary, if you are commuting and cannot use your phone while you listen, you might want to pick a slower speed. This way, you can hear the content more carefully and understand it better without having visual reinforcement.

Voice Samples

Another feature that we need to mention in this Speechify review ad makes them stand out from the rest is the quality and variety of their voice samples.

They have a wide range of voices in English, including different accents.

Most of them are human natural reading voices that can sound almost real at an average speed. Whether you choose a male or female voice, you’ll listen to your texts as if somebody else were reading them.

You’ll find well-known voices, such as the one from actress Gwyneth Paltrow, Snoop Dogg, a narrator called Mr. President, who sounds just like Barack Obama and Dwight from The Office. 

These are extra features enhance the user experience but don’t affect the app’s functionality. For example, it’s possible to listen to class material read in the voice of Barack Obama, which is a fun addition, but ultimately doesn’t alter the app’s effectiveness.

Not only do they have voices in English, you can also find options in Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Dutch, Chinese, Arabic, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Russian, Turkish, Swedish, and Indonesian.

They may not have as many voice samples as the English language, but there are enough options for multicultural students worldwide.

Speechify all voices (1)

Editing Tool

Lastly, in our Speechify review, let’s see how you can change your text and how the app reads it.

If you are using the mobile version, you can edit your text directly from the app. 

You can add new content or delete useless paragraphs from your document with the editing option, which is very helpful if you want to have a file with only the necessary information.

Unfortunately, this useful feature is not available on the desktop version. You can only edit your document by having the Chrome extension and pasting all the text onto Google Docs.

But something really necessary that the desktop version has and the mobile version doesn’t is the possibility to skip specific content of your text.

As we previously mentioned, you can make Speechify avoid braces, citations, parentheses, brackets, and URLs. An extremely needed feature that significantly improves the experience of listening to an academic paper.

speechify- prices
Speechify lets you skip scpecific content like braces and parentheses

Now that we have seen what features Speechify has, we can jump into the big question: how much does it cost?

Speechify offers two versions: the free basic plan and the premium package. Let’s see them more in-depth

There is a 3-day free trial that gives you access to premium features, but we must warn you that we have read some user reviews that had a bad experience with it. Some people claimed that Speechify charged the one-year subscription when they started the trial and didn’t receive a refund or a proper customer service response.

In our case, we used the 3-day free trial and canceled it without any problem, but you must take into account that some people have complained and have had issues with it.

As shown In the picture below, the available options and features are:

Speechify Premium Plan

The Premium version lets you access all the features we have already discussed. Speechify’s annual subscription costs $139 ($11.58 per month).

The other option is a monthly payment of $29. 

The available features here are:

Our Verdict

To finish our Speechify review, we need to answer one final question: what do we think about it?

We believe Speechify is an excellent app for those who wish to improve their productivity. Due to their changing speed rate, auditory learners especially will cover more pages and paragraphs in less time, whether they are reading along or listening to it while doing something else.

Their free plan will be enough for most students, as it lets you increase the speed up to 250 words per minute, which isn’t the maximum, but it’s a decent speed rate to understand the text. 

And while their premium tools are the features that make the difference, we believe that their annual price is a little too much. 

Their premium version indeed has a lot of voice samples that sound real, but in the end, the likeliness of a natural voice does not change the understanding of the text. Hearing your class material read by Gwyneth Paltrow or Barack Obama is cool, but it’s only a plus.

They should ensure that all devices hold the same features. By making it possible to edit texts on the desktop and letting users skip braces and parentheses on the mobile app, the overall experience would feel much more aligned.

But to make it simple, here are the Pros and Cons we found:

Speechify for Students: Is It For You?

Now it’s time for you to ask yourself, should I use Speechify? What use could I make of it?

Well, Speechify is for you if you:

Regardless of the version you choose, you can make good use of Speechify.

Maybe you’ll first want to try the free plan. See how you find their voice samples and how much impact it has on your productivity. And if you are finding results, use the free trial or jump right into the premium version and take advantage of the additional features.

With a bit of luck, now you know whether this app will improve your college experience or not.