The Texas Instruments
Speak & Spell

Children's educational toy which plays 5 spelling games. Utilizes speech technology.
Date of manufacture: 1978 (per copyright on face)
Power: 4 C batteries, or 6 VDC input (on right side of unit)
Sound Output: Built-in speaker on face, or headphone jack on left side of unit (right side on later models).
Display: Vacuum Flourescent Display (VFD)?
Keyboard: Raised buttons on earlier models, membrane on later
Speech Chip: TMS5110 (TMS5220)

spksplsm Compact Speak & Spell
Membrane Keypad
Compact Speak & Spell
French Speak & Spell
spkspl2sm Italian Speak & Spell
Raised Button Keypad
Italian Speak & Spell

German Speak & Spell

I have two versions of the S&S- the one with the membrane keypad as well as the one with the raised buttons. There is apparently a compact version that has only the keypad and voice, but no display. Like the Speak & Math, the larger models both have vacuum flourescent displays, and there is a cartridge port inside the battery compartment where you can plug expansion cartridges in.

Dave Warren had sent me a scan of a February 1983 'Computers & Electronics' article by Larry Dighera which details a project in which you interface a Speak & Spell with a Timex Sinclair computer. I've compiled the jpg scans into a document format so that you can download the entire 1.01MB file talkcheap.pdf.

Here are some items from the article (yeah, I know that it's the same as the ones on the Speak & Math page!):

There's a free Speak & Spell simulator available for Windows. It's called SASS, and although it's a pretty large file, I thought it was pretty cool and I'd recommend getting it. You can download it on the SASS Homepage. Update:The SASS site has been down for some time now. Here's an alternate download link:

There is also a cool online Speak & Spell simulator at

There is also a second one at

Want to own your own Speak & Spell? Many people email me asking where to get one, and the only existing source is to check your local thrift stores oe Ebay.
If you want to check on ebay, click here to search forSpeak & Spell.

You can download Speak & Spell sound samples as well as a complete word list here.

Buy a Hack & Spell Sticker:

Hack & Spell

View a vintage Speak & Spell TV commercial from the 80's featuring Bill Cosby:

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Download This Video

View another Speak & Spell commercial which shows that Speak & Read and Speak & Math near the end:

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Download This Video

Speak & Spell Commerical Which Shows The Dataman, Spelling B, Little Professor, and Others At The End:

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Download This Video

Download the Speak & Spell Manual- 606KB PDF format

This is a 2 page Speak & Spell pamphlet with a description and specs:
Speak & Spell Pamphlet - 619KB PDF
This interesting article is about the design history of the Speak & Spell:
Design History of the Speak & Spell- 2.2MB PDF

The Smithsonian Institution has a web page with some information on the Speak & Spell with some photos of a white and orange preproduction unit that they say was built for the Summer Consumer Electronics Show.
Visit the Smithsonian Institution Speak & Spell Page

The Smithsonian Speech Synthesis History Project also has some interesting information about the Speak & Spell

Return To The Texas Instruments Educational Toys Page.

I'm always looking any more information on the Speak & Spell. If you have anything that you think would be of interest, please contact me at [email protected].

Texas Instruments, TI, Speak & Spell, Speak & Math, and Speak & Read are all trademarks or service marks of Texas Instruments Inc. This site is not affiliated with Texas Instruments.

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