New Kindle EBR with text-to-speech via Bluetooth!

New Kindle EBR with text-to-speech via Bluetooth!

Big, big news!

Amazon has introduced a new EBR (E-Book Reader…not a backlit tablet) which can do TTS (text-to-speech) via Bluetooth!

All-New Kindle E-reader – Black, 6″ Glare-Free Touchscreen Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This is extraordinarily good news, as far as I am concerned.

Text-to-speech (software which reads a book out loud to you) has been a big part of my life since it was introduced to the Kindle line with the Kindle 2. I typically listen to it for hours in a week in the car. I actually prefer it to audiobooks (recorded versions of a book, usually read by an actor or the author)…I don’t like the narrator interpreting the characters for me, unless I’ve already read the book, in which case it is like seeing a movie.

This is the new “entry level” Kindle: $79.99 with Special Offers, $99.99 without them.

Yes, you’ll need a Bluetooth speaker of some kind to hear the audio (which also includes navigation audio), but I have plenty of those…even in the car.

It’s a game changer.

Well, honestly, I’ll probably still be using my now discontinued Kindle Fire HDX in the car…I use it for other things, and I don’t want to carry an EBR and a tablet with me to work (although I do bring my Amazon Tap Echo device in my laptop case).

Other stats are also good on this: it’s thinner, lighter, and comes in black or white.

It does not have the frontlighting of the Paperwhite, Voyage, or Oasis.

The screen sharpness isn’t as good as those other models either, but this is a good workhorse: great for a guest Kindle, for example.

I would have bought an Oasis, but Amazon will not sell it without an animal leather cover (at least, that was the case the last time I asked them), and I don’t use leather.

It’s possible this Bluetooth TTS will come to the Oasis, by the way.

I think this will be a popular model, although if you don’t care about the text-to-speech, I wouldn’t say that you need to upgrade from the previous version.

Here’s the

User Guide

You can pre-order now for July 7th delivery (I have). 🙂

Nice to see Amazon still innovating on EBRs! They are also answering a concern people have had who want a non-backlit reading device and TTS: thanks, Amazon!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

14 Responses to “New Kindle EBR with text-to-speech via Bluetooth!”

  1. Zebras Says:


    I’m glad you pointed the Bluetooth feature out as Amazon really buried it in the specs, and I had looked at the page looking for anything different or new and completely missed it!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Zebras!

      Yep…it wasn’t easy to find. I only really felt confident it would work for text-to-speech when I read it in the User’s Guide.

  2. John Aga Says:

    This new entry level Kindle gives me hope. Perhaps the next Paperwhie and Voyage will also be Bluetooth enabled.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, John!

      I’m confident they will be, assuming that things go reasonably smoothly with this one (which I would expect they will).

  3. Tom S Says:

    I would assume this will also work with a USB audio adapter, just as Paperwhite and Oasis do.

    The new Kindle will actually be second to Oasis in terms of least weight (without a cover). New features will include:

    “Export Notes—It’s now easy to export notes and highlights from a book to your e-mail, so you can always have them on-hand for reference. Receive your notes both as an easily printable PDF that’s ready to bring to your book club, and as a simple file you can open in your favorite spreadsheet app. This feature will be available as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks.”

    This feature exists now with Kindle for iOS and I assume recent Kindles will also get it. I would think My Clippings will go away. Looking forward to it.

    I have pre-ordered one.

  4. Lady Galaxy Says:

    This is a great first step, but now they need to make it available with 3G because not everybody has access to wi-fi.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Unfortunately, I think that’s unlikely in the least expensive model…I think the number of people without Wi-Fi is too small to have much of a market impact. There are too many ways to get Wi-Fi to consider it a major burden. My guess it’s important to Amazon that the least expensive model seem like a simple choice. Although, admittedly, they are giving some options (like body color…two choices this time). What I think will happen instead is that the Bluetooth audio option will become standard, so models with a 3G/4G option will have it, too.

  5. Barnes & Noble financials: NOOK sales continue to tank, so the stock… | I Love My Kindle Says:

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  6. Phink Says:

    I would like to have this IF it’ll do immersion reading. I cannot find it on the page so therefore I doubt it will. I’d think Amazon would say so on the product page if it could do that.

    I know the keyboard kindle could play audible books but immersion reading had not been developed yet when it was released. Other than for audio books Bluetooth means nothing to me because I don’t do text to speech but I am glad they added it because that will be a big hit to some.

    By the way, I love the white. Black is my least favorite color in the crayola box. Where’s the orange one?

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      That’s one of the thing I can test when I get mine. I don’t use immersion reading myself, but that’s one reason I buy these models, so I can test thing for readers.

      I certainly wouldn’t rule it out: note that they didn’t even put a paragraph in about text-to-speech by Bluetooth, and that’s the biggest thing to me! 🙂

      Do you want one in orange AND black? Baseball fans in my area in San Francisco would appreciate that. 😉

      • Phink Says:

        I would greatly appreciate you testing it and letting me know. Thank you.

        On a side note:

        Orange and black? Maybe. Some might think it’s strange a color blind person (extremely color blind) would even have a favorite color or care about color. I guess those that are not color blind may not understand what exactly what it is. I see colors. I see them in everything but simply mis-diagnose what those colors are. I was recently shopping for a new Acme thingamabob and pointing I said “Let me see the blue one”. He asked “You mean the purple one?” A few minutes later “Let me see that white one.” “you talking about the blue one” he asked. It was very light blue according to him but looked off white to me. I finally just started pointing to the products LOL. Just last week I almost special ordered what I thought was a blue one and it was pink. If I’d gotten a pink one I don’t know what I’d done. Thankfully he asked “you sure you want pink?”

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        As I’m guessing you know, I have color-vision deficiency..not colorblindness, but I can’t discern some colors. I had a similar experience to yours with one of our dogs. We were in PetSmart, and the dog was available for adoption there, and my Significant Other wanted to adopt it. I casually commented that I had never seen a purple dog before. My SO said something like, “If that dog was purple, it wouldn’t be up for adoption.” 😉 Apparently, “Klein” (instead of “Calvin Klein”, the dog was “Klein Calvin”. 😉 Klein also means little in German, and that was appropriate) was grey, but looked like a pale lilac to me.

        My best guess is that someone was teaching me the color lilac when I was a kid, and I couldn’t really see it, so it looked like a shade of grey to me. I then identified that shade of grey as lilac, so when I saw something that was actually that grey, my brain had learned it as lilac.

        Fortunately, I’m not shy, so when I’m shopping I will ask strangers to help me pick colors. 🙂

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