How to Convert Your PDF to Audio In 5 Methods (+ 8 Tools to Use)

Jun 26, 2024

woman experimenting with PDF to Audiobook

Arib Khan

Are you tired of reading PDF files and wishing to turn them into audio for easy access? Many people face the same challenge of getting these files converted to audiobooks. This guide will explore various methods and tools to effortlessly convert PDF to audio and the pros and cons of the most popular book reading apps.

Justlisten's eBook to Audiobook Converter is the perfect tool to simplify the task of converting your PDF files into audio. Whether you are a student wanting to listen to your study materials on the go or a passionate reader looking to convert your favorite PDF books into audio, Justlisten has you covered.

Table Of Contents

What is PDF to Audio Conversion?

man looking at results for PDF to Audiobook

PDFs are a fixed-layout format designed to preserve formatting and layout across devices. They usually contain text, images, and vector graphics. In contrast, audio files store sound data for playback through media players. Audio files come in various formats, such as MP3 and WAV.

Reasons for PDF to Audio Conversion


Converting PDFs to audio makes them accessible for visually impaired individuals or those with reading difficulties.


Listening to an audio version of a PDF enables multitasking while commuting, exercising, or performing other activities that do not allow focused reading.

Improved Learning

Converting study materials or textbooks to audio can enhance information retention through auditory learning.


Listening to a PDF can help identify errors or inconsistencies in writing that might be missed visually.

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What Are the Conversion Methods for PDF to Audio? (How to Convert PDF to Audio in 5 Methods)

headphones near a laptop - PDF to Audiobook

1. Free Online PDF to Audio Converters: Convenience with Caveats

Are you looking for a simple and accessible way to convert your PDFs to audio? Free online converters may be the answer. They offer a convenient solution for transforming your documents into audiobooks with just a few clicks. 

These tools are accessible from any device with an internet connection, saving you the hassle of software installation. Despite the convenience, they come with a few caveats to consider. File size limitations can be a major drawback, especially for lengthy documents. Additionally, uploading sensitive documents can pose security risks if the converter's privacy practices are unclear. Output quality can also vary significantly, depending on the converter used.

2. Text-to-Speech Software: Bringing Text to Life

Text-to-speech (TTS) software is at the heart of PDF-to-audio conversion. This powerful technology analyzes written text, applies pronunciation rules, and synthesizes speech to create an audio output representing the spoken word. When choosing TTS software, consider factors like natural-sounding voices and language support to ensure an enjoyable listening experience.

3. Desktop Applications: Powerhouse for PDF to Audio Conversion

Dedicated desktop applications for PDF-to-audio conversion offer a robust solution for users requiring more control and features.

These applications allow you to customize the output format, select from a wide range of voices, and convert multiple PDFs into audiobooks simultaneously. While desktop applications typically require a purchase, they offer a more secure and feature-rich solution for frequent PDF-to-audio conversion needs.

4. Mobile Apps: Taking Audiobooks On-the-Go

Mobile apps extend the world of PDF-to-audio conversion to smartphones and tablets, making it easy to listen to audiobooks on the go. Consider factors like an intuitive user interface, supported file formats, and in-app purchases to unlock premium features when choosing a mobile app.

5. Optical Character Recognition (OCR): Making Scanned PDFs Speak

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology is essential for converting scanned PDFs into audio. When dealing with scanned PDFs, OCR analyzes images, identifies individual characters, and converts them into editable text. Once the scanned PDF is converted into a text-based document, you can use TTS software or online converters for audio conversion.

Try our eBook to Audiobook Converter for free!

JustListen converts ebooks into audiobooks in minutes. Just upload your ePub file and have an audiobook ready in minutes. Our team has built leading AI voice tools, so we have integrated AI voice technology to enable you to listen to audiobooks in essentially anyone’s voice.

Try our eBook to Audiobook Converter for free today. Log in with Google or create an account, and you'll be set to go within minutes. Turn your eBooks into Audiobooks with ease with JustListen.

Choosing the Right Method for Your Needs

woman on her couch - PDF to Audiobook

Document Complexity

When choosing the right conversion method, consider the complexity of your document. If you have a text-based PDF, any method should work efficiently. 

When dealing with scanned PDFs, you must use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to extract text before conversion. In this case, free online converters may have limitations in terms of OCR functionality, while desktop applications and select mobile apps offer built-in OCR functionality.

Desired Audio Quality

Your desired audio quality will play a significant role in determining the conversion method that suits you best. Online converters or basic mobile apps suffice if you want a casual listening experience. However, if you want professional-sounding audiobooks, consider using desktop applications with advanced text-to-speech (TTS) engines and voice selection options.

Budget Constraints

Your budget will also influence the conversion method you choose. If you are looking for a free option, many online converters and mobile apps offer basic conversion features without cost. On the other hand, if you are willing to invest in a more advanced solution with higher audio quality, you should purchase a desktop application or subscribe to a service.

Need for Advanced Features

Consider the features you need when converting your PDF to audio. A free online converter might be sufficient if you only require a basic conversion without customization. However, if you are an advanced user who needs features like voice selection, batch processing, output format customization, and precise control over audio settings, then you should opt for dedicated desktop applications.

Step-by-Step Decision-Making Framework

To guide you in choosing the right conversion method, follow a step-by-step approach considering the document type, audio quality needs, budget, and feature requirements. I

Identify the type of PDF you have, prioritize your audio quality needs, consider your budget limitations, and determine the required features. You can choose the most suitable conversion method for your specific needs based on your answers.

11 Tools to Convert Your PDF to Audiobooks

notebook with kodo tablet - PDF to Audiobook

1. Justlisten 

JustListen converts eBooks into audiobooks in minutes. Upload your EPUB file, and an audiobook will be ready in minutes. Our team has built leading AI voice tools, so we have integrated AI voice technology to enable you to listen to audiobooks in essentially anyone’s voice! 

Try our eBook to Audiobook Converter for free today. Log in with Google or create an account, and you’ll be set to go within minutes. Turn your eBooks into Audiobooks with ease with JustListen.

2. NaturalReader

This online tool combines text-to-speech conversion with features like highlighting the text as it's spoken, making it suitable for proofreading or studying. It provides limited free voices, with premium voices available through a subscription.

3. Descript 

This cloud-based platform offers powerful text-to-speech functionalities with various natural-sounding voices in various languages. It allows fine-tuning pronunciation, adding pauses, and editing the generated audio for a professional audiobook feel. (Subscription-based)


This AI-powered TTS software provides realistic and expressive voices suitable for audiobook creation. It offers advanced features like voice customization, background music integration, and sentiment control for a more engaging listening experience. (Subscription-based)

5. Speechify

This text-to-speech software boasts a large library of high-quality voices with adjustable speaking styles and accents. It integrates with platforms like Google Drive and Dropbox, allowing seamless PDF upload and audio download. (Subscription-based)

6. Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

This advanced PDF editing software includes a text-to-speech function for converting PDFs to audio. It offers features like voice selection, speed adjustment, and bookmark creation for easy navigation within the audiobook. (Paid software)

7. Natural Reader Professional

The desktop version of NaturalReader provides extended functionalities compared to the free online version. It allows batch processing of multiple PDFs, setting custom output formats, and integrating with dictation software for creating audiobooks from scratch. (Paid software)

8. Woord

This all-in-one PDF solution includes a text-to-speech feature for converting PDFs to audio. It offers a user-friendly interface for basic editing and conversion tasks, making it suitable for casual users. (Paid software)

9. Speechify (Mobile App)

The mobile app version of Speechify allows for uploading PDFs and converting them to audio for on-the-go listening. It offers a limited selection of free voices, with premium voices available through a subscription.

10. T2S Reader (Android)

This free app focuses specifically on text-to-speech conversion and supports various file formats, including PDFs. It provides a basic voice selection option and highlights text as spoken.

11. Voice Aloud Reader (iOS)

This iOS app offers text-to-speech functionality for various file formats, including PDFs. It integrates with cloud storage services like Dropbox and allows customization of reading speed and voice selection for a personalized listening experience. (Free with in-app purchases for premium features)

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Considerations for a Successful Conversion

woman enjoying her new audiobook - PDF to Audiobook

Optimizing the PDF for Conversion

To optimize your PDF for a successful conversion to audio, ensure it is text-based rather than scanned to improve the accuracy of the text-to-speech conversion and correct typos or formatting issues that may hinder the conversion process. Adopt a clear and concise writing style to enhance the listening experience. Ensure the content is structured logically and flows well to make the audio version engaging and easy to understand. 

Choosing the Right Voice and Settings

Selecting the right voice for your audio file is crucial for engaging the target audience. Consider if a professional, casual, or specific language voice aligns with the content and resonates with the audience. 

Settings such as speaking rate and volume should be adjusted to optimize the listening experience. Striking a balance between speed and clarity is essential, so ensure that the voice settings are appropriate for the content. 

Output Format Selection

Choosing the appropriate audio file format for your PDF conversion is pivotal. Different formats, such as MP3, WAV, and others, offer varying levels of quality, compatibility, and file-size considerations. 

MP3 is widely supported and delivers good quality at a relatively small file size. WAV format provides higher quality but results in larger file sizes. Consider the platforms and devices where the audio will be accessed to select the best output format that balances quality and compatibility.

Turn Any of Your Ebooks Into Audiobooks In Minutes - Get Started for Free Today!

JustListen offers a convenient solution for converting your written content into easy-to-consume audio files. With JustListen, users can effortlessly convert their ebooks into audiobooks within minutes. Users can have an audio version of their book ready in a snap by simply uploading an epub file. The process is simple and efficient, allowing you to enjoy your favorite ebooks in a new way.

Experience Cutting-Edge AI Voice Technology

JustListen boasts a team that has developed top-of-the-line AI voice tools, ensuring a superior user experience. By integrating AI voice technology into its platform, JustListen enables users to listen to audiobooks in virtually anyone's voice. This enhanced feature adds a personal touch to the audiobook experience, making it more engaging and enjoyable for users.

Try JustListen for Free Today

Ready to explore the world of audiobooks? JustListen offers a free trial of its eBook to Audiobook Converter, allowing users to experience the platform's convenience and versatility firsthand. Simply log in with Google or create an account, and you'll be all set to convert your eBooks into audiobooks in no time. With JustListen, turning your written content into audio files has never been easier.

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