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Enable Text-to-Speech: TomTom or Garmin


Quite a a few new Garmin and TomTom owners have written in this week to say they had just picked up new devices, but feared they got the wrong device since their device didn’t (apparently) have text to speech. Some of them have even gone so far as to return the device for another, only to find the same issue– or return the device and purchased a different model. Chances are, their device did have text to speech, but it wasn’t enabled on their device. Here are some generic instructions on how to enable TTS on Garmin and TomTom devices.

Note: These instructions will vary a little bit from model to model, however they should still show you enough information to get you going.


  1. tts-tt-1Tap on the map to access the Main Menu, then select ‘Change Preferences’ on the Main Menu.
  2. tts-tt-2Find and select ‘Voice Preferences’.
  3. tts-tt-3Select ‘Change Voice’.
  4. tts-tt-4Use the left/right arrows to browse through the list of voices until you find a voice that reads ‘Female Computer’ or ‘Male Computer’. If the voice is not labeled as ‘Computer’ it will not speak street names. After picking the voice, click ‘Select’.
  5. tts-tt-5Ensure that ‘Read aloud street names’ is checked, and click Done a few times to accept your new preferences.


  1. tts-g-1From the Main menu, select ‘Tools’.
  2. tts-g-2From the tools menu, select ‘Settings’.
  3. tts-g-3From the Settings menu select ‘Language’
  4. tts-g-4From the Language menu, click on the button under the ‘Voice’ label.
  5. tts-g-5Select a voice where the name ends in ‘(TTS)’. If the voice is not labeled as ‘TTS’ it will not speak street names. Click OK a few times to accept your new preferences.

27 Responses

  1. I used these instructions for the nuvi 650 but when i choose the language none of the options have TTS. I have updated it to the newest map pack. Is there something I am missing?

    Zach - December 27th, 2008
    • Perhaps you don’t have any text to speech voices installed on your device.

      Tim - December 28th, 2008
  2. Thank you soooooo much. The instructions to make my Tom Tom XL 330s say the street names were perfect. I was ready to return my unit because I thought it was broken. I wish the instruction book had such an easy explanation. It doesn’t tell you that you need a Computer voice to make it say the street names and not a Human voice. That would be too easy I guess. Thanks Again!!

    Melissa - December 30th, 2008
    • Glad to help– I think we have saved TomTom quite a few returns with this article. 😉

      Tim - December 30th, 2008
    • i was about to do the same thing!!!

      genevieve - January 26th, 2009
    • I have the XL330S & I changed the voice to female computer but don’t get the option to read aloud street names it is grayed out yet when I first picked up the unit on leaving the mall the voice read aloud the street names but has not since
      & in no way can I find any way to reset it
      Thank you in advance

      robert - July 24th, 2009
  3. I have been looking at the TT XL 330S over the Garmin 255W or 260 and will prefer TTS voices. From what I can find there is only one female and one male (computer)voice on the 330S that will speak the street names i.e. “Turn left on Main Street” Are there additional computer voices UK/Australian/Canadian accents that can be downloaded from TT Home as alternatives?

    Roger - January 3rd, 2009
    • Roger, yes, there are.

      Tim - January 3rd, 2009
      • I just picked up an XL 330S in the USA. To add additional computerized voices from TomTom HOME, select All from the View dropdown menu (the default is ‘Recommended items’). There are 4 additional voices (Male/Female French and Male/Female Spanish) available as of this post.

        Pete - July 25th, 2010
        • Roger, it occurred to me this morning that you’re looking for English language TTS voices (it’s been a long week of traveling for me). I haven’t found any for the 330s yet, but will update this thread if I find any, or how to hack any into the unit.

          Pete - July 26th, 2010
  4. Like Zach I have a nuvi 650. I’ve had it for 7 months, with street name voice prompts. Recently the street name prompts suddenly stopped & they defaulted to the generic \in x feet turn left\ etc. I can’t find the \language\ option that zach found on his 650 & my menu views are different from the example shown above. I have software ver 4.6, audio ver 2.20, gps sw ver 3.00. Why did this feature suddenly stop? Is my unit defective?


    Ron Kappes - January 10th, 2009
  5. My son recently downloaded the map updates for my nuvi780 and now the text to speech does not work. In the upper left of the screen there is a picture of “lips” with an “X” through it. I’ve followed all the suggestions (volume not on mute, FM transmitter off, voice set to TTS) and still no text to speech. I cannot remove the “lips” icon with the “X” through it.

    Thanks for the help,

    Ed - January 19th, 2009
  6. thank you so much for this simplistic explanation of enabling the TTS. I bought a TomTom XL yesterday and was told that ‘spoken street names’ meant TTS. Anyway upon coming home i tried it out and it did not say street directions like i thought it would being an apparent TTS device. i was literally about to exchange or refund it!
    so luckily i stumbled upon this. Once again thank you!

    Genevieve - January 26th, 2009
    • “spoken street names” does mean TTS. However the ONE XL model doesn’t have TTS. The ONE XL-S and XL-330s models do have it though.

      Tim - January 26th, 2009
  7. Thank you! Like others here I, too, was about to return my unit because it wasn’t speaking the street names. I changed from the default TTS voice to a human voice the instant I bought it because I don’t care for the TTS voice. I guess I’ll have to get used to it…(!) Thanks again.

    Joe - February 1st, 2009
  8. Hi,
    I was wondering if you have any suggestions on how to remove the adhesive of a TomTom XL330s that is used to mount the suction cup from the car windshield. I wanted to move it to another car.

    Robert Yenko - April 23rd, 2009
    • Depending on the surface, this can be a real bear to loosen, esp. if on a painted surface or cushioned vinyl part of the dashboard.

      Soften the adhesive first with a squirt of WD-40 (Jig a Loo, NutsOff etc.) around the edge of the disk and very patiently pry it up a little at a time with a tool like a spoon or putty knife that is not too sharp as to scrape. More squirts of solvent plus patience plus gentle effort and time is the only way to do it right. The heat from a sunny day on the dash will help a bit too with the adhesive.
      Try to keep the effort between the foam and the disk, NOT the foam and the dash surface.

      Residual foam tape and adhesive will roll up under a cloth moistened with the WD-40. A final clean up with alcohol (even Vodka) will finish it off

      3M sells double sides foam tape that will sub for the original adhesive when remounting.

      Roger Baird - April 26th, 2009
  9. Date: 20090616
    I was so frustrated with the TOMTOM 130S GPS bought only days ago trying to enable the \speak street name\ function via the ‘Change preferences’ option. I could not find such check box until I followed the instructions above. Thank You Very Much for the help.
    Quick question: When I don’t follow the TOMTOM driving instructions, how come it does not say ‘recalculating routes’ or something like ? Thanks in advance.

    Franklin Wu - June 16th, 2009
    • Franklin, it is sort of personal preference. The argument is that after you miss a turn, you can’t go back in time, so there is nothing you can do about it. The “recalculating route” message on devices that give it stress some people out knowing they missed a turn. Regardless if the GPS announces “recalculating” or not doesn’t change what you need to do next. We discussed this extensively in the Voice Telling me “Recalculating” thread. There was some good discussion there.

      Tim - June 17th, 2009
  10. Hi There,
    Picked up TomTom XL (with TTS printed on the box) and followed you TTS instructions. Once I have chosen female computer voice the Speech Preferences screen appears but the blocks for Read Aloud Street Names, Foreign Names and Road Numbers are all greyed-in and not available for selection leaving only Traffic and POI warnings selectable. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong?
    Thanks & regards, Graham

    Graham - June 29th, 2009
  11. I was so frustrated that I too, wanted to take this Garmin 780 back to the store for a refund thinking that it was defective. The manual should be more specific in noting the difference.

    Thanks I hope it works, still waiting “locating satellites” it sure takes a long time.

    Ed - March 26th, 2010
  12. Thanks.
    These companies should write these instructions.
    You saved me a lot of anguish.

    Harshad - November 28th, 2010
  13. Thanks, I was going to return this tomorrow. You saved me gas.

    craig - January 3rd, 2011
  14. Hi is it possible to update the navcore on my tomtom one XL so it speaks street names thanks

    steven - May 21st, 2011
  15. I have just bought the Tomtom 1050
    I cannot make it say the street names and there doesn’t appear to be an option to make it.
    Please help..

    Mary - May 25th, 2011
  16. I have a tomtom xl 330 refurbished…it doesnt speak out the street name..and it neither has the options of selecting a computer male/female voice…the voice options available are Mandy, Lori, Bonnie & richard..please help

    Kumar - May 28th, 2011

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