IDRC - Celebrating 25 Years

1993 - 2018

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RT @CoLabCoOp: What better way to spend your Thursday than with @Benetech @idrc_ocadu and us? Exploring how to shift power in tech through…
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an image of a speech synthesizerIndex

This list of products is for reference purposes only and does not reflect endorsement by the IDRC.


An external speech synthesizer is a hardware device used for speech output. Typically, they are used with screen readers or OCR/scanning software [Optical Character Recognition] programs for people who are blind or visually disabled. External speech synthesizers were used exclusively before the advent of sound cards in computers. Now, with multi-channel sound cards people who use screen readers or other speech output software can have both the "voice" of the computer and the system sounds audible at the same time. Some people who require the system sounds, or who prefer to leave their sound cards to perform other functions may want to use an external speech synthesizer instead of the internal sound card. For example, if they want to listen to a CD, watch a DVD, or do some audio/video conferencing, they might want to leave the sound card channels free to do so. An external speech synthesizer may also be a critical piece of equipment for people who are also composing music or using audio editing programs. There are also "software speech synthesizers."

Hardware Synthesizers

  • from Artic Technologies International Inc. email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    • Artic also makes the TransPort, a classic speech synthesizer; the Ergo Braille [2 products in one tiny package: a synthesizer and a grade 2 Braille note-taker]; Braille Desk [2 products in one package: a synthesizer and an advanced grade 2 Braille note-taker - it is slightly larger than the Ergo Braille]; TransType 2000 [again, 2 products in one, a speech synthesizer and a note taker];
  • Double Talk LT
    • External connection to your computer, and it works well with Macs, PCs, or laptops.
    • From RC Systems
  • The following are other hardware synthesizers for which there are no manufacturer web pages - ask your vendor about using them with your system
    • Accent PC
    • Apollo 2
    • Artic 215
    • Audapter
    • Braille 'n Speak
    • DECtalk Express
    • DECtalk PC/Express
    • Infovox
    • Keynote Hardware/SSIL
    • Reading Edge
    • Multi Voice

Software Synthesizers

  • Elan Text to Speech Technology has a variety of text to speech products:
    • Speech Cube for use in Windows NT, Unix SCO, Unix Solaris, Linux
    • Proverbe Speech Platform is a multilingual text to speech system and is often used by people using screen readers who also need access to multilingual documents [used as a speech syntheisizer]
    • Proverbe Speech Unit "forms a link between your information technology system and the telephone networks" [from the web page]
    • Dial and Play is designed to "liberate you from your PC in terms of e-mail access" [paraphrased from web site]
    • E-language tools "bring meaning and emotion to the spoken word" [from the web site]
    • Elan also has multimedia tools in the form of the Speech Engine SDK-DLL version, Speech Engine SAPI and Speech Engine for use on OS/2 - all of which are multilingual

    • DECAccess 32 (latest update DECAccess 32 update) is an internal/software synthesizer that can be used with the PC sound cards.
  • The following are other software synthesizers for which there are no manufacturer web pages - ask your vendor about using them with your system
    • Eloquence for JFW - comes with JAWS for Windows
    • Accent SA
    • Doubletalk PC
    • FlexTalk Software
    • Keynote Multi Media Software
    • Microsoft Text-to-Speech Engine
    • ext Assist/Sound Blaster
    • Sounding Board
    • Tripple Talk PCI