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Text-to-speech Raspberry Pi add-on starts at $24

May 9, 2019 — by Eric Brown 1,393 views

On Kickstarter: InvIoT is launching a $24 and up “TextToSpeech” .WAV player add-on board for the Raspberry Pi or Arduino that converts English, French or German text to speech via a 3W amp.

Canton, Ohio based InvIoT is closing in on its Kickstarter goal for a multi-lingual text-to-speech add-on that connects to either a Raspberry Pi or an Arduino board. The TextToSpeech board synthesizes audio output from text via a Microchip SAMD21G18 MCU paired with an Arduino Zero bootloader. You can also play back .WAV files with music and pre-recorded speech and output them via the board’s 3W speaker amp.

TextToSpeech, front and back
(click images to enlarge)

The TextToSpeech board starts out with a $24 early bird package ($33 regular price). You can add $12 for an SD card preloaded with the two English language packages containing pronunciations: a 7,000-word package from Wikipedia that uses a real human voice or a 20,000-word package from eSpeak with computer synthesized speech. These are both available for download onto a user supplied card, and you can also download 10,000-word French and German packages from eSpeak.

The campaign, which we learned about from Geeky Gadgets, concludes June 27, with shipments due in September. All the pronunciation packages and other code will be open source upon shipment. In addition to the InvIoT’s packages, you can create your own speech packages. There is no need to install a library.

TextToSpeech detail view
(click image to enlarge)

The TextToSpeech connects to either the Pi or Arduino via three wires that link the 5v, Grd, and Tx->Rx pins. A micro-USB port is available to test and upload new firmware. Text is sent to the board via a USB-to-serial connection or a UART serial interface. The default serial speed is 9600-baud, but this can be changed along with the bit rate, bit resolution, and text speed.


The 3W, AB class speaker amplifier offers trimmers for speaker and headphone volume, as well as an audio line output jack and a headphone jack and amplifier. A low-pass RC filter reduces high frequency noise. Other features include an error LED, a test button, and a reset button. A level shifter can convert 3.3v to 5v input.

Further information

The TextToSpeech board is available on Kickstarter through June 27 starting at $24 or $36 (with SD card), with shipments due in September. Volume discounts are available. More information may be found on InvIoT’s TextToSpeech Kickstarter page.


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