How to Modify Google Text-to-Speech Voices

A Samsung S9 displaying the Android TTS engine options menu
Ben stockton

While Google is focusing on the Assistant, Android owners should not forget about the Text-to-Speech (TTS) accessibility feature. It will convert the text of your Android apps, but you may need to edit it to make the speech sound the way you want it to.

Editing text-to-speech voices is easily done from the Android accessibility settings menu. You can change the speed and pitch of your chosen voice, as well as the voice engine you use.

Google Text-to-Speech is the default voice engine and comes preinstalled on most Android devices. If your Android device does not have it installed, you can download the Text-to-speech application Google from the Google Play Store.

Change in speech rate and pitch

Android will use Google Text-to-Speech’s default settings, but you may need to change the speed and pitch of Text-to-Speech voice to make it easier to understand.

To change the TTS speech rate and pitch, you need to access the Google accessibility settings menu. The steps to follow may vary slightly, depending on your version of Android and the manufacturer of your device.

To open the Android accessibility menu, go to the “Settings” menu of Android. You can access it by swiping down on your screen to access your notification shade and tapping the gear icon at the top right, or by launching the “Settings” app from your drawer. applications.

Scroll through the notifications shade and tap the gear icon to access your Android settings

In the “Settings” menu, click on the “Accessibility” option.

In the Android settings menu, tap Accessibility

Owners of Samsung devices will have two additional steps here. Press “Screen reader” then “Settings”. Other Android owners can go directly to the next step.

Owners of Samsung devices will need to tap Screen reader, then Settings

Select “Text-to-Speech” or “Text-to-Speech Output”, depending on your Android device.

Tap Text-to-speech or Text-to-speech output, depending on your Android device

From there, you can change your text-to-speech settings.

Change in speech rate

Speech speed is the speed at which your text-to-speech voice will speak. If your TTS engine is too fast (or too slow), speech may appear distorted or difficult to understand.

If you followed the above steps, you should see a cursor under the “Speech Rate” header in the “Text-to-Speech” menu. With your finger, slide it to the right or left to increase or decrease the rate you are looking for.

Move the Voice rate slider to change your TTS voice rate

Press the “Listen to an example” button to test your new voice rate. Samsung owners will have a “Play” button, so press it instead.

Change the height

If you think the text-to-speech engine is too high (or low), you can change it by following the same process as for changing your speech rate.

As above, in your “Text-to-Speech” settings menu, adjust the “Pitch” slider to the height you like.

Move your Pitch slider to change your TTS pitch rate

When you’re ready, press “Listen to an example” or “Play” (depending on your device) to try the new rate.

Continue this process until you are satisfied with your speech rate and pitch settings, or press “Reset” to return to your default TTS settings.

Choice of text-to-speech tone

Not only can you change the pitch and speed of your TTS voice engine, but you can also change the tone of the voice. Some language packs included with the default Google text-to-speech engine have different voices that sound male or female.

Likewise, the Samsung text-to-speech engine included with Samsung devices offers a diverse selection of genre voices to use.

If you’re using Google’s text-to-speech engine, tap the gear menu button in the “Text-to-speech output” settings menu, next to “Google’s text-to-speech engine”.

If you’re on a Samsung device, you’ll only have one gear icon in the “Text-to-speech settings” menu, so tap it instead.

Press the TTS settings gear button

In the “Google TTS Options” menu, click on the “Install voice data” option.

Tap Install voice data in the Google TTS options menu

Press the regional language chosen. For example, if you are from the United States, you can choose “English (United States)”.

In the Google TTS voice data menu, tap the language of your choice

You will see different voices listed and numbered, from “Voice I”. Tap each to hear what it looks like. You need to make sure that your device is not muted.

With the language pack “English (UK)”, “Voice I” is female, while “Voice II” is male, and voices continue to alternate according to this model. Press the tone that suits you as the final choice.

In your language menu, choose your genre voice

Your choice will be automatically saved, but if you have selected a different language from the default on your device, you will also need to change it.

Change language

If you need to change the language, you can easily do so from the “Text-to-speech” settings menu. You may want to do this if you have chosen a different language in your TTS engine than the default language on your system.

You should see an option for “Language” in your “Text-to-Speech” settings menu. Tap it to open the menu.

Press Language in your TTS settings menu

Choose your language from the list by pressing it.

Tap the language of your choice

You can confirm the language change by pressing the “Listen to an example” or “Read” button to test it.

Modification of speech synthesis engines

If the language of Google TTS does not suit you, you can install alternatives. Samsung devices, for example, will ship with their own Samsung text-to-speech engine, which will default to your device.

Installation of third-party text-to-speech engines

Other third-party text-to-speech engines are also available. These can be installed from the Google Play Store, or you can install them manually. Examples of TTS motors that you can install: Acapela and eSpeak TTS, Although others are available.

Once installed from the Google Play Store, these third-party TTS engines will appear in your text-to-speech settings.

Text-to-speech engine modification

If you have installed a new text-to-speech engine and want to modify it, access the “text-to-speech” settings menu.

At the top, you should see a list of your available TTS engines. If you have a Samsung device, you may need to tap on the “Preferred Engine” option to see your list.

Tap Preferred engine in your text-to-speech settings menu

Tap your preferred engine, whether it’s Google Text-to-speech or a third-party alternative.

Select the TTS engine you have chosen

With your new TTS engine selected, press “Listen to an example” or “Play” (depending on your device) to test it.

For most users, the default Google or Samsung text-to-speech engines will offer the best voice generation, but third-party options may work better for other languages ​​where the default engine is not suitable.

Once your engine and languages ​​are selected, you are free to use them with any Android application that supports them.

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