Do Kindles Read Out Loud?

By Matt Skaggs

Often text-to-speech can be more convenient than using the Kindle's screen for reading.
i Hemera Technologies/ Images

The original Kindle devices offered basic display options so you could read e-books, periodicals and other documents, and successive versions of the Kindle have added many features in addition to these. You can now browse the Internet, check your email and listen to books. Enabling text-to-speech takes only a moment or two on Kindle models that have this feature.


Many of the Kindle devices support reading e-books out loud using their built-in "text-to-speech" feature, allowing you to listen to an e-book rather than read it. The Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire, and Kindle Touch all support text-to-speech, but the fifth-generation Kindles, including the Kindle Paperwhite, don't support this feature because they do not have speakers or a headphone jack.

Kindle Fire

You can enable the text-to-speech feature on the Kindle Fire HD or on the Kindle Fire second generation while you have an e-book open. Tapping the screen launches the reading toolbar, where you can tap the Text Settings option for the Kindle Fire HD or just the Settings option for the Kindle Fire. The Text-to-Speech feature will appear, which you can enable by tapping it. You can control playing and pausing the reading with the on-screen controls.

Kindle Touch

The Kindle Touch also supports text-to-speech within e-books. To find the feature, you need to tap the top of the screen and then tap the "Menu" button. Within the menu you can tap the "Text-to-Speech" option to enable it, and the reading will begin automatically. If you plug headphones into the Kindle Touch, the audio will switch from the Kindle's speakers to your headphones.

Additional Notes

The Text-to-Speech feature is available only within the U.S., and some publishers choose to disallow this option. You can check to see if text-to-speech is available for an e-book before you buy it, however. Information about whether or not text-to-speech is enabled for a given e-book is listed under its "Product Details" section.