Comparing 4 PDF Text-To-Speech iOS Apps: Voice Dream Reader, Capti Voice, NaturalReader, and vBookz PDF

Lately, I’ve been really into listening to as much content as possible. In addition to podcasts, web pages, and audiobooks, I started listening to PDF documents these days.

iOS native text-to-speech (TTS) feature is fine for short text but isn’t great for PDFs. So I started searching for an app that suits my need.

Trying Out Four Apps

At first, Capti Voice app seemed to be very promising. But after I used it for a few days, I found the rich text mode (free version) to be buggy with PDF documents. I tried the original layout mode with a free upgrade trial and it worked okay.

Then I tried NaturalReader. I didn’t have much to complain about this one, but I wasn’t convinced enough to upgrade to the paid version.

The next one was vBookz PDF Voice Reader. Similar to NaturalReader, this is also a solid app with basic features for reading PDF files. If you like following the text while it’s being read, this app has a nice text mode that makes it easy.

Then finally, I read several good reviews about Voice Dream Reader and decided to purchase it.

Winner: Voice Dream Reader

I immediately liked Voice Dream Reader. Things I liked:

  • The navigation control is much easier than in other apps
  • Lots of shortcut gestures
  • You can add custom pronunciation of words/phrases via the dictionary feature
  • In addition to iOS system voices, you can add one of the voices provided by Acapela/Ivona/ NeoSpeech comes with the app for free
  • The app is stable; no annoying issues like skipping to random locations

I wish it had a free trial version, but other than that I have no complaints.

For Free: Capti Voice

Even though I wasn’t happy at all with the unsteadiness of the app’s rich text mode, I think it’s an okay solution for someone who is looking for a free PDF reading app.

Demo Videos

Voice Dream Reader (English/Spanish/Japanese) – my own demo!

Capti Voice

NaturalReader (user video from 2016)

vBookz PDF Voice Reader (official video)

Comparison Table

The table below is best viewed on a wide screen.

Voice Dream ReaderCapti VoiceNaturalReadervBookz PDF
Free Versionn/a
Price$13.99$1.99/mo., $9.99/6 mo., $17.99/yr.$9.99$4.99 per language
Voice upgrade1 free credit, additional voices are $1.99-$4.99 each$1.99-$4.99 each
Text searchUpgrade plan onlyn/an/a
BookmarkUpgrade plan only
Pronunciation Dictionaryn/an/an/a
Fine speed control (WPM)n/a
Visual book covern/a
Table of contentsn/aPartial supportn/a
PlatformsiOS, AndroidiOS, desktop browser, Chrome extensioniOS, Android, desktop browser & appiOS
ProsStable, feature-rich, easy navigationFree version & upgrade trial, OCR optionRelatively easy-to-navigate, stableRelatively cheap, wide font selection for text mode, stable
ConsNo free trialRich text mode (free version) is unstable, navigation is awkward, sync with desktop is very slowLimited free versionVery limited free version
Voice Dream ReaderCapti VoiceNaturalReadervBookz PDF