Synthesia Review: Pros & Cons of the AI Video Generator [2024]
Explore our in-depth review of Synthesia, the avatar-focused AI video generator. Discover its pros, cons, features, and some Synthesia alternatives.
Julia Szatar
Julia is the Head of Marketing at Tavus, a developer-first AI video research company powering revolutionary apps in video editing, marketing, sales, and education via APIs.
May 28, 2024

The demand for personalized and instant video content has soared in an ever-evolving digital landscape. Aiding this shift is a host of AI-powered video generator tools that claim to cater to various use-cases. One such contender is Synthesia

This niche platform creates avatar-centric videos from text. It looks like a nifty tool, but does it live up to the hype, especially when it comes to personalized video generation? In this comprehensive Synthesia review, we will dissect its features, evaluate its pros and cons, and peek at some strong competitors to help you make an informed decision. 

Join us as we delve into the world of AI video generation.

What is Synthesia Used For?

Synthesia is used to generate videos from text that use avatars as the “spokesperson.” These avatars can be used for sales enablement (one-off sales training videos), learning and development, marketing, and customer service (knowledge base videos). 

Here’s how it works:

   1.  Users insert their text into the interface by cutting and pasting, typing directly into the text box, uploading PowerPoint presentations, or using the Synthesia generator to create the script for the video.  

   2.  Then they choose a layout and an Avatar. Further customizations allow for adding logos, brand assets, images, videos, and more. 

   3.  They hit the generate button to create the video and can then share the video through email, via an embed link, or a download. 

Synthesia Review

Let’s take a closer look at Synthesia’s features and answer some frequently asked questions users have about the platform to help them make an informed decision.

Synthesia Features

synthesia templates

  • AI Avatars: Offers over 150 ethnically diverse AI avatars or custom avatars on more expensive plans.
  • Text-to-Speech: Transform text into voice-overs.
  • Voice Cloning: Replicates users’ voices and pairs them with an avatar.
  • AI Script Assistant: Their Chat GPT-inspired tool helps produce scripts for videos. 
  • Language Variability: Synthesia supports over 120 languages.
  • Screen Recorder: Built-in screen recording.
  • Multimedia Libraries: Houses video templates, images, icons, soundtracks. 
  • PowerPoint Import: Add voice-overs to PowerPoint presentations. 

Synthesia Pros

If your team has been producing videos the old-fashioned way, then Synthesia may look like a good alternative. They provide:

  • No film production: Synthesia enables you to create videos from text alone, without the need for you to get on camera. 
  • Multimedia options: There are over 65 video templates to use as your base for incorporating your content, and access to royalty-free images, footage, music, icons, shapes, etc.
  • Large menu of avatars: Synthesia provides a wide range of ethnically diverse stock AI avatars and languages for your global content.
  • Automatic embed updates: When you update a video on the Synthesia platform, it automatically updates on your video landing pages. 

Synthesia Cons

Despite the ease of creating avatar videos, Synthesia has some serious limitations. These include: 

  • Unrealistic Avatars: The avatars lack different facial expressions and can’t show human emotion, so the videos tend to come off as robotic and clinical. This can greatly impact the connection with the recipient, reducing the effectiveness of your marketing strategy
  • Lack of media blending: Avatar facial movements slow down to sync with variables and phrases, making their speech clunky and unnatural. Unfortunately, this can make the experience feel disingenuous, devaluing the connection even more.  
  • Limited scalability: While producing Synthesia videos could be more efficient than filming videos, users still have to manually produce each video. This lack of scalability means that the ROI of this product can only go so high.
  • No personalization: While one-off video generation can be helpful in some circumstances, it doesn’t offer the same benefits as one-to-one videos that are customized to each recipient. Personalized videos have higher engagement, open rates, and viewing times than generic videos…and can boost conversions by 500%. 

Synthesia Cost

Synthesia offers two pricing plans: 

  • Personal: $22.50/month
  • Business: Requires a demo

Synthesia FAQs

Let’s clarify a few common queries about Synthesia: 

Is Synthesia a good AI?

If you’re looking to change your PowerPoint decks to videos or produce videos featuring avatars, then Synthesia may be the video marketing software for you. Their AI-powered text-to-video generator could potentially cut down your content production time and they offer a large selection of avatars to choose from.

However, there are some weaknesses with this platform. The avatars themselves are quite unnatural since they don’t have facial expressions and their speech is robotic. There’s also room for improvement in the syncing of the avatar’s speech and lip movements because they don’t always align. 

One reviewer put it best, stating that the avatars need “more emotion/variation/humanity.” Yikes!

Is the Synthesia app safe?

The Synthesia app is most likely safe to use. However, in some user reviews, customers who didn’t find the platform satisfactory cited problems with customer support and receiving refunds. Others claim that the platform itself is not fully functional and buggy with little to no customer support.

Is Synthesia free or paid?

Users must pay for Synthesia via individual and enterprise plans. 

Best Synthesia Alternatives

While Synthesia is fine for creating one-off videos featuring avatars, you may be looking for an alternative video marketing software that creates videos of real humans, has better scalability, and a demonstrable ROI.

     1. Tavus

Tavus is a mid-sized enterprise video platform powered by AI that uses a single video template to create completely personalized videos for audiences of any size–from a hundred to a million. It’s the only AI video generator that seamlessly blends synthetic media with your voice and face to create hyper-personalized videos of real people that engage, inspire, and ultimately convert

Tavus’ AI automatically lip-syncs words and facial movements to the audio so that it’s your face, voice, and message building personal connections with your audience–all in HD.

Here’s how it works: 

       1. Record one video on the Tavus platform with a message you want to share with your selected audience. This video becomes a template for the rest of your videos. 

       2. Choose the variables in your template that will change for each viewer. This will vary depending on your use case but may include a customer milestone or a recently purchased product. 

       3. Based on your original video and individualized data, Tavus uses advanced AI lip-syncing and voice cloning to make as many individualized videos as you need at the highest quality. 

       4. You can send Tavus videos via nearly any tool or communication channel you use, including LinkedIn, e-mail, SMS, social media platforms, or within your product.

       5. Or, automate videos within product workflows. Tavus automatically sends out videos to recipients based on a predetermined event–without any additional input required from you. It works directly with 100+ top marketing, sales, ecommerce, and communication platforms so you can just keep scaling.

tavus csv

Key Features: 

  • Best-in-class HD video lip-syncing and AI voice cloning capture emotion and recreate your voice and face
  • Generate customized videos without the burden of producing countless unique versions, and experience higher engagement rates and boosts in email click-through rates, response rates, and overall higher ROI.
  • Ultimate scalability so you can reach as many users as you need without requiring more time investment 
  • Fully customizable templates, personalized video backgrounds, and personalized GIF previews for videos  
  • Drag-and-drop landing pages with customizable CTAs, colors, titles, logos, URLs, etc

How does Synthesia compare against Tavus? Let’s take a look. 

Tavus vs Synthesia

Synthesia and Tavus are fundamentally different. While Synthesia is a content generation platform that lets you make a single video at a time, Tavus is a marketing suite built for scalable campaigns. We’ll dive into some of these differences here:

  • Humans vs Avatars: Your audience wants to hear from you, not robots. Tavus leverages sophisticated cloning technology to ensure it's your own face, voice, and unique message that truly resonates with your audience, cultivating personal bonds with each connection, every single time.
  • Personalization opportunities: Synthesia isn’t focused on personalizing messages to customers, and therefore doesn't offer functionality in this area. With Tavus, the personalization opportunities are infinite. Include embeddable CTAs, custom video backgrounds, personalized preview thumbnails, white labeled URLs, and personalize as many dynamic variables as you need. 
  • AI Quality: Tavus harnesses the power of advanced AI audio technology, ultra-realistic facial cloning, an industry-leading lip-sync engine, and seamless synthetic media blends to produce the most precise AI videos available today. Unfortunately, Synthesia’s avatars leave a lot to be desired in this regard. Some reviewers share that the avatar quality is poor, with some sounding completely artificial. The inability to add pauses or any inflection results in poor human imitation.
  • Scalability: Tavus increases your ROI without increasing your people, power, or time inputs! Create one video and Tavus automatically generates the rest, whether it’s for one customer or a million–without additional manual input or time lost to video production. Synthesia doesn’t offer automated video generation. Every video created on the Synthesia platform needs manual input. It could, theoretically, cut down on your video production time somewhat, but you will still need to dedicate someone or a team to the function of creating videos. 

Best for:

Tavus is the ideal choice for businesses and teams that leverage scalable video communication within various workflows and campaigns, from marketing, onboarding, training, recruitment, and beyond. 

Our customers enjoy a 3x jump in response rates, an 85% increase in purchasing, and a 500% increase in conversions. 

Let Tavus help you connect, engage, and convert.

Get Started with Tavus

     2. Rephrase.ai

Rephrase.ai is a text-to-video platform that creates personalized videos through a digital avatar. Users pick their digital avatars, type in their desired message, and then the AI generates the videos. 

To personalize, users change the variables within the script and then generate each video. However, don’t expect a polished experience. Similar to Synthesia, the AI-generated voices can be robotic (like Siri or Alexa), not quite grasping nuances in human speech. Also, without real media blending, the lip-syncing movements look unnatural. 

Key Features: 

  • Template creator and library 
  • File sharing 
  • Real-time streaming 
  • Editing tools for video and audio
  • Subtitles and captions to videos

Best for: SMBs who want to create personalized videos with avatars.

     3. DeepBrain AI

DeepBrain AI is a technology company specializing in AI-driven video generation. A nearly identical offering to Synthesia, their cloud-based platform enables users to generate AI avatar videos from text. With the library of video and text templates, DeepBrain AI aims to enable its users to create videos quickly, however, there are no personalization functions and users create each video manually.

Key Features:

  • Generate videos from existing text, a URL, PowerPoints, Chat-GPT (embedded within the Deepbrain interface), or their script templates
  • Use video templates to streamline production, or add your own elements for a custom experience
  • Choose from a wide variety of over 100 avatars and more than 80 languages
  • Use text-to-speech to create audio voice-overs or videos 

Best for: Businesses that want to manually create avatar videos from text.

     4. Lumen5

Lumen5 is video creation software that features a drag-and-drop interface. Users add their text (blog posts, url’s, or their own text), and choose from a library of customizable templates, images, music, and video footage. The experience is similar to creating a slide deck that their AI then stitches into one seamless video. 

Lumen5 also offers a “Talking Head” feature where users upload a pre-recorded video of themselves and further enhance it with visual overlays, call-outs, and automatically generated captions.

Key Features:

  • Turn written content, like blog posts, whitepapers, websites, articles, etc. into videos
  • Automatic generation of videos from blog posts
  • Editing tools and a library of multimedia inputs allow for further customization
  • Enhance talking head videos with text overlays and call-outs

Best for: The social media and marketing teams of enterprise brands looking to repurpose their static text content into videos.

Is Synthesia.io Worth It?

In the end, for certain purposes, Synthesia can be a good option if you want to make individual videos with avatars and leave it at that. 

However, when it comes to creating truly authentic and personalized content that resonates deeply with audiences, it can’t perform. There's a crucial element of human touch and nuanced personalization that only humans can offer. 

Plus, Synthesia’s only true feature is creating one-off avatar-starring videos. They’re not built to help your teams ambitiously scale their outreach. 

Whereas that’s exactly what Tavus was designed for: it’s a marketing suite created to scale campaigns throughout your entire customer journey. Did a new prospect fill out a lead form? Send them a personalized video addressing them by name, mentioning their company and role, and say how excited you are to meet them. 

This leads to deeper connections, more engaged customers, and ultimately, more conversions…without requiring any work on your part. You filmed a quick 30-second Tavus video months ago and set up a trigger to go out on that action with the Tavus AI generating a new video using the data from the lead form. From just one video, you can reach millions of audience members with a completely personalized touch–without requiring an additional effort. 

At Tavus, we genuinely believe in fostering a deep personal connection with audiences, blending the power of AI with the warmth of human interaction. Our commitment to personalized video content can provide a unique, richer experience that truly engages your customers, employees, or learners.

While Synthesia may be a viable tool within its niche, we'd like to invite you to experience Tavus. Discover the difference and the value we can bring to your business — step into the future of truly scalable personalized video content with Tavus.

Get started today.

Get insights in your inbox
Get Tavus updates and video hacks in your inbox, every week.
Build AI video with Tavus APIs
Get Started
Get Started
Build with Tavus AI Video API
Get Started
Get Started

More from Tavus Blog