Using External (Private or Public) TTS on Neon and OVOS

Neon.AI and OpenVoice OS (OVOS) both offer out-of-the-box smart speaker/voice assistant platforms, using a combination of their own aggregated text-to-speech (TTS) and speech-to-text (STT) hosted options as well as low-power open source engines in case the internet is not available. Recently, a community member was asking about ways to improve the performance of the Neon software on the Mycroft Mark 2 smart speaker. I realized that I’d done a post on configuring Coqui-TTS for Neon, but not how to configure another external TTS system. Let’s fix that.


In order to use an external TTS server, one must be running, either online or locally. is a list OVOS community-maintained TTS and STT servers and their status. For example purposes or quickstarts those are perfect. Ideally you may want to run your own using ovos-tts-server, which is the subject of another blog post. Either way you’ll need the URL and/or port number of your desired TTS server.

You’ll also need to have an existing Neon or OVOS setup, either on specialized smart speaker hardware (Mycroft Mark 2 or Mark 1) or some custom hardware like a Raspberry Pi or x86 Mini PC.

If you’re running Neon or OVOS, the necessary plugin is pre-installed. It’s the default for most OVOS installations.

Configuring Neon/OVOS


If you’re running Neon, you’ll need to edit your ~/.config/neon/neon.yaml file.

  module: ovos-tts-plugin-server
    host: # Replace with your TTS server URL, optionally with port specified


If you’re running OVOS, you’ll need to edit your ~/.config/mycroft/mycroft.conf file and add this to the root of the object.

  "tts": {
    "module": "ovos-tts-plugin-server",
    "ovos-tts-plugin-server": { "host": "" }

Replace the host value with your TTS server URL, optionally with port specified.

Also note that the ovos-tts-plugin-server section is entirely optional. If you don’t specify any hosts, it will default to the OVOS community-maintained TTS servers.


Questions? Comments? Feedback? Let me know on the Mycroft Community Forums or Neon OS public chat on Matrix.