Unleashing the Power of Browser APIs: A Guide to the Speech Synthesis API

TL;DR: Discover the Speech Synthesis API, a browser API that enables your browser to vocalize text to your users. This guide introduces the basics of this API, including implementation and potential use cases, which can significantly enhance the interactive nature of your web pages.


Modern browser APIs have redefined how we interact with web content. One of the latest additions to this array of tools is the Speech Synthesis API, a technology that allows a browser to read text out loud. Imagine congratulating your site visitor, not just with a simple pop-up text, but with a personalized audio message. In the future, we will also delve into how this can be extended with the Web Audio API. But for now, let’s focus on understanding and implementing this fascinating API.

Setting Up the Speech Synthesis API

To utilize the Speech Synthesis API, you first need to initialize the SpeechSynthesisUtterance object. This can be achieved with the following line of JavaScript:

javascriptCopy codevar utterance  = new SpeechSynthesisUtterance();

Next, you need to specify what the API should vocalize. This is done by assigning a string of text to the text property of the utterance object:

javascriptCopy codeutterance.text = 'I may be a computer, but I want to be a real boy!';

Finally, you invoke the Speech Synthesis object with the speak() method, passing it the utterance variable:

javascriptCopy codespeechSynthesis.speak(utterance);

And voila! Your browser will now read aloud the text you assigned to the utterance object. Test these three lines in your browser console to witness the Speech Synthesis API in action!

Examples and Further Learning

The Speech Synthesis API opens up a host of exciting opportunities for web developers. Whether you’re designing an interactive storytelling website or building accessibility features for visually impaired users, the potential uses are vast.

For those eager to explore further, I highly recommend the Browser Speech Tutorial from Envato Tuts+. It’s an excellent resource for learning about emerging technologies and expanding your knowledge on the topic.


The Speech Synthesis API is an impressive tool that can significantly enrich user interaction with your website. While we have only scratched the surface of its potential, the ability to incorporate text-to-speech functionality into web design marks a major stride towards creating more engaging, interactive, and inclusive digital experiences. So go ahead, make your website not only seen but also heard!