The Speak Selection function is super useful for iPhone and iPad users with visual impairments, and it’s handy in other situations too. But if you’re going to be listening to a machine reading a lot of text, you’ll want to make sure it’s a voice you’re comfortable with!
Though text can be read out with Siri’s voice, Speak Selection actually has several other voices to choose from that you may not be used to on iOS. They’re unique to this feature and need to be downloaded to the device, but it’s free and easy to set up so you might as well pick your favorite!
Open the Settings app and select General > Accessibility > Speech. Make sure Speak Selection is switched on. This means that whenever you select a block of text, in any app, a Speak button will appear alongside things like copy and paste. Press it, and your device will read the entire selection to you.
Tap Voices, pick a language, and you’ll see a whole range of options. There are some built-in voices like Siri Female and Siri Male, in addition to a range of others which are available to download and try out. They even vary for different regional dialects – English (US) is quite different from English (UK) or English (Australia) for example!
Once you’ve selected a favorite, this voice will be used every time you press the Speak button after selecting a block of text.