So, you’re needing a voiceover?

You’re in luck – like most things in life, you have a choice when it comes to sourcing a voiceover. You can:

  • Do-it-yourself
  • Engage with an online voiceover platform service
  • Independently outsource a freelance voiceover actor

It can be confusing and overwhelming when you first type in “voiceover needed” into your search engine. The first few pages of results tend to be filled with ads. Some of these will be for voiceover services, some will be for voiceover equipment and some will be for agencies trying to source voiceover actors.

Having a clear idea of what each pathway entails will help you make the decision that is right for your business or situation.

If you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:

This post has been updated in October 2021.

What is voiceover and why you might be needing one?

Voiceover is spoken word when you can’t see the speaker. You’ll find them used with images, both moving and still. This is the case for television and video clips. You can also hear them in action as standalone media – that is, voice only – such as for radio, podcasting, and audiobooks. Voiceover is not to be confused with dubbing, although voice actors may provide both services. You can find out more about the difference between voiceover and dubbing here.

Some of the more common reasons for needing a voiceover are:

  • television or audio (including radio) advertisement production
  • production of video clips
  • course and workshop content or tutorials
  • audiobook recording
  • video game narration
  • podcast entertainment (think the radio serials of old)

Understanding what you are needing a voiceover for will make the decision of which voiceover production pathway to take easier.

Needing a voiceover solution

As stated previously, if you need a voiceover, there are three main ways to source it. You can do-it-yourself, engage with a voiceover service platform or source a freelance voice actor yourself.

Each of these pathways come with their ups and downs. Let’s have a look at what is involved with each one and what circumstances might sway you to choosing one over the other.


In this day and age of easy access to online learning, setting up your own voice recording studio or space and producing your own voiceovers has never been easier. There are countless guides and tutorials on selecting the right equipment and setting up your space to achieve a high-quality recording. A comprehensive article on voiceover equipment can be found here.

In a nutshell, at the bare minimum you’ll need to consider:

  • studio space (size, permanent or temporary)
  • acoustics (minimal or no background noise, minimize echo)
  • microphone (condenser, dynamic or USB)
  • headphones
  • microphone accessories (cables, mic stand, mixing/editing software, audio interface)
  • lighting, chair, and stand

Once you have your recording space and equipment set-up and ready to go, it will be time to record. But wait! First, you’ll need a script for what you are wanting to say. And then you’ll need to be clear on how you want it said.

While these steps are critical, if you want to achieve a professional final product, it’s worth investing time into them. Having a script to read of keeps the voiceover coherent, clear and concise, often without all the filler words and sounds we use in conversational speech. And having a firm grasp on tone, volume, and pacing will allow you to match emotion with your message. You can find out more about scriptwriting here, and voice control here.

voice over needed

As you can see, doing-it-yourself can be a very involved and time-consuming solution to needing a voiceover, especially in the set-up phase. This investment early on, however, can pay dividends later. Once you have your studio set-up and are competent in producing your own voiceovers, you can do it as often as you please.

This option is most suitable for those wanting to:

  • make a career out of voice acting
  • produce voiceover content that is personalized
  • produce voiceover content frequently
  • have complete creative control over their final product

Engage with an agency or platform

So, doing-it-yourself doesn’t sound like your thing? Never fear, we’re not out of options yet.

For many businesses and circumstances that need a voiceover, engaging with a voiceover agency or platform is the way to go. Many of these can be accessed online, at least in the initial query stages if not for the entire project. They match the client – you – with the voiceover actor you require and act as the interface between them.

Each agency or platform works slightly differently, so it can be worth testing out a few to find which one works best for you and your situation. The general flow, however, goes a little something like this:

  1. Client selects required language and dialect, and the number of words in the script
  2. Client filters results based on:
    • rates charged
    • turnaround timeframe
    • gender and age of voice actor
    • purpose of voiceover
    • previous reviews
  3. Client listens to voice actor samples to find the right fit


  1. Client lists parameters and allows the agency to find the best fit
  2. Client provides script
  3. Agency passes script on to voice actor, along with any other requirements
  4. Voice actor records voiceover and submits to the agency
  5. Agency performs quality control and delivers the final product to the client
  6. Happy client!

Some platforms offer more than voiceover services and can help you write or develop your script as well. Most offer the opportunity for fine-tuning if you are not completely happy with the final product.

This is very much a click-and-forget solution to needing a voiceover. After submitting your project, the final product appears in your inbox with all the technical aspects taken care of behind the scenes. There is no initial outlay – you pay for the service and product you receive. There is plenty of scope for unique recordings.

This option is most suitable for people wanting to:

  • Spend more time on their business instead of creating their own voiceover
  • Have a quick turnaround in the voiceover recording
  • Receive a professional and unique final product
  • Skip the hard yards of training their own voice by using a professional
  • Engage with the same voice actor again on another project
  • Hire a voice actor for a once-off project

Independently source a voice actor

Independently sourcing your own freelance voice actor is the final pathway to consider when needing a voiceover. There is a huge variance in the final product by sourcing a voiceover recording in this way, but it is certainly worth considering if you want to develop an ongoing relationship with your voice actor.

There are work-for-hire platforms on which freelance voice actors advertise their service. They set their own rates and list which areas they specialize in (such as radio ads or audiobooks). Selecting a voice actor based on a combination of affordability and positive reviews is probably the safest way to test the waters without massive financial outlay.

If your budget is reasonable, there are a number of voice actors who advertise their service independent of any platform. They often have well-established careers and clients, and their rates reflect this. However, you can be assured of a personalized, professional final product.

This process follows how you source other day-to-day services.

  1. The client makes contact with voice actor (via platform or website)
  2. Voice actor and client negotiate the requirements of the voiceover recording
  3. Client and voice actor agree on the terms, conditions, and payment
  4. Voice actor produces voice recording and provides to client
  5. Happy client!

Independently sourcing your own voice actor allows you to develop a working relationship with them. Together you can create a voiceover that meets your needs and is highly professional. They will bring with them their past experiences and can make suggestions or changes based on this. However, this experience will likely come at a higher price.

This option is most suitable for people wanting to:

  • Receive a highly professional final product
  • Develop a working and ongoing relationship with the voice actor
  • Spend more time on their business than producing voice recordings
  • Have the voice actor work within an existing advertising team (like a contractor)
  • Have significant creative input to the final product

But at what cost?

While knowing the ins and outs of how each voiceover pathway works, it’s often the cost of such a service that influences the final decision. Determining a ballpark figure you can expect to spend with each pathway is difficult. This is because rates can vary from agency to agency, platform to platform and even voice actor to voice actor within each service.

need a voice over

For example, you could spend $200 to set-up your home recording studio or $5000. You could hire a voice actor through a platform for $100 per minute of recording, or for $250 per minute. It’s important to consider that editing time is factored into this rate, along with multiple recordings to achieve the best final product.

Another point to consider regarding cost is a session fee versus a usage fee. According to Sure Languages, a usage fee comes in to play if the recorded material is to be used in the public domain. The session fee is the charge for the recording itself. The usage fee is usually a rate that is charged each time or for how long the recording will be used.

If you’re planning on using voiceovers sparingly or want a highly professional product in a quick turnaround, accessing voiceover platforms or hiring a freelance voice actor are probably the better options – you could do it cheaper yourself but it would cost you in outlay and time. If you plan on doing frequent voiceover recordings and don’t mind investing in your own skill development, the DIY option may be your best fit, especially as it saves you money in the long run.

Needing a voiceover; needing a solution

Having a choice is a great thing but can sometimes be overwhelming. Knowing what you are after when it comes to needing a voiceover can help you decide which pathway is best for you and your situation.

There is the DIY pathway, which requires an initial investment of time and money but gives you complete control of your final product. It is also worth considering if you plan to make a habit of recording voiceovers.

There is the agency/platform pathway, which doesn’t require any upfront costs, allows filtering of the type of voice actor you want and takes care of all the technical considerations. There can be limitations on creative control, however, and having direct contact with the voice actor can be difficult.

And there is sourcing a freelance voice actor yourself, which can allow for a strong, ongoing working relationship, a highly professional final product and the benefits of industry experience. This often comes at a cost, however, and may be out of price range for many projects.

Having an understanding of which pathway may suit which situation allows you to filter your search so you can find the best solution to needing a voice over.

Find the perfect voice actor today at Bunny Studio!