Synthesia vs Sora - Which platform is better?

Written by
Ema Lukan
Published on
July 8, 2024
Table of contents

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Since OpenAI revealed Sora on February 15, 2024, GenAI enthusiasts have wondered how it will perform against similar tools and, most importantly, how it will impact the video creation market.

Sora vs. Synthesia analyses are especially common, as the latter is the leading AI video generation platform with a well-established presence.

Currently, Sora is under development and its capabilities are largely unexplored. Synthesia has been around since 2017 and is notably rolling out more sophisticated features like dialogues and expressive AI avatars. The big question is: Which of these tools is better?

But the more accurate question you should be asking is, Which platform is better for my use case?

This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about Synthesia vs. Sora, what they have in common, and what sets them apart. Let’s dive into a factual comparison and show you how to make the most of each one, depending on your needs.

Synthesia vs. Sora at a glance

There’s an important distinction here that most online reviews seem to overlook. While Synthesia and Sora both generate videos, the technology they rely on is somewhat different. So, the types of videos they generate are also different, just like their use cases. Here’s what this means. 👇

Synthesia is a text-to-video tool. It relies on advanced machine learning and deep learning models trained on vast human face and movement datasets. This tech, together with NLP (natural language processing) and lip-sync, converts text scripts into natural-sounding speech that perfectly syncs with the human faces and movements it generates. Here’s how Synthesia produces video content:

Discover Synthesia in 4 minutes | Product Tour

Sora is a prompt-to-video tool. It also uses NLP and contextual understanding to extract key concepts and themes from the prompt. But it generates relevant visual content using GANs (generative adversarial networks). These GANs create realistic video scenes and can also integrate personalized stock footage, B-roll, and backgrounds based on the input prompt.

Here’s what kind of videos Sora generates from prompts like "A cartoon kangaroo disco dances" or "A litter of golden retriever puppies playing in the snow. Their heads pop out of the snow, covered in."

Introducing Sora — OpenAI’s text-to-video model
Did you know? 🤔

Video prompts are brief, general instructions, while video scripts are detailed, specific written content for the video. Even though Synthesia is a text-to-video tool, its AI script generator can write the video script for you based on a short prompt you provide.

In a nutshell, Synthesia generates realistic human avatars with natural-sounding speech, and Sora generates cinematic visual content. Because of their different purposes, they come with different features:

Synthesia vs Sora
Feature/Aspect Synthesia Sora
Core Features
  • AI avatars
  • Voiceovers
  • Translation
  • Collaboration tools
  • Robust video editor
  • Personalized stock footage
  • B-Roll
  • Backgrounds
Key use cases
  • Training videos
  • Business communications
  • Marketing
  • Education, etc.
  • Creative and cinematic content
  • Social media content
  • Advertising
Unique aspects
  • Turns text into speech
  • Can clone voices or persons
  • AI avatars express gestures and emotions
  • Content can be translated into multiple languages simultaneously
  • Creative prompts
  • Quick video generation
  • Personalized visual elements
  • No image-to-video function
  • Can’t generate complex scenes
  • Very limited control over video creation
  • No collaboration features
  • Video length can’t exceed 1 minute
  • Not suitable for video communications
Target audience
  • Enterprises
  • Marketers
  • Educators
  • Social media influencers
  • Content creators
  • Quick video needs
Current status Established and widely used
  • Not publicly released
  • Facing challenges related to moderation, IP infringement, and compute intensity

What do Synthesia and Sora have in common?

First, Synthesia and Sora are at the forefront of genAI tech. They use advanced artificial intelligence to create amazing content that looks and sounds incredibly real. If you’ve ever seen a digital avatar that talks and moves just like a human or a virtual scene that looks straight out of a Hollywood movie, you’ve got a taste of what these tools can do.

Peeling off their layers, you’ll discover three essential features they have in common:

  • NLP
  • Realistic content creation
  • Cloud-based infrastructure

1. Natural language processing

NLP helps computers understand and generate human language. Think of it as the brains behind how these tools produce lifelike speech. Whether Synthesia makes an avatar speak naturally or Sora creates dialogues for cinematic scenes, they use NLP to make the conversation flow smoothly and naturally.

2. Realistic content creation

Realism is a huge benefit for both tools, but the nature of their lifelike content is a tad different.

Synthesia focuses on human avatars. It has 160+ diverse AI avatars you can pick from, but it also lets you create a digital version of yourself that looks and sounds like you. This avatar can present information or tell stories in multiple languages, making it ideal for engaging presentations or training videos.

Watch this short Bloomberg video where the TV presenter’s clone speaks Spanish, a language he doesn't know in real life:

The Deepfake Space: Synthesia CEO

Sora, by contrast, channels its realism into stunning cinematic scenes. It’s like having a mini movie studio at your fingertips, allowing you to create rich, detailed environments that bring your stories to life.

3. Cloud-based infrastructure

Lastly, these tools rely on cloud-based infrastructure. All the heavy lifting happens online, so you don’t need a super-powerful computer to use them. Just an internet connection, and you’re good to go. So, they make it super convenient to create and edit your projects from anywhere, anytime.

What differentiates Synthesia from Sora?

With Synthesia, you type out words, and it generates an AI avatar that delivers them in natural-sounding speech. With Sora, you describe a scene in words, and it comes to life as a high-quality, short cinematic video. Depending on your needs — whether structured business communication or creative exploration — each tool offers unique advantages.

Before going any further, take a quick look at text-to-video vs. prompt-to-video, the foundation of the Synthesia vs. Sora comparison.

Text-to-video vs Prompt-to-video tools
Feature/Aspect Text-to-Video Tools Prompt-to-Video Tools
Definition Tools that generate videos based on textual input, such as scripts or narratives. Tools that create videos from prompts, which can be brief descriptions or commands.
Input type
  • Typically works with more detailed text.
  • Users can provide the entire text OR have the tool generate it based on a short prompt
Short prompts or commands
Input complexity
  • Higher complexity
  • Requires well-structured text
  • Lower complexity
  • Brief and concise inputs are sufficient
  • High
  • Allows detailed customization of scenes, characters, dialogues
  • Low
  • Offers some customization but is less detailed than text-to-video
Editing features
  • Extensive
  • Offers in-depth editing capabilities
  • Basic to Moderate
  • Limited editing options

Content generation differences

The approach to content generation is another key difference between Synthesia and Sora.

Synthesia works with predefined visuals and 60+ professional video templates. The main output here is human avatars delivering scripted content. It’s great for situations where you need a presenter or a spokesperson to relay information clearly and engagingly.

Meanwhile, Sora takes a different route by working with predefined written prompts. The output is immersive video content based on the user’s text descriptions. This means you can create rich, detailed scenes and environments simply by describing them in text and letting Sora do the rest.

Use cases differences

Last but not least, the differences in terms of outcomes and use cases are even more apparent.

Synthesia is ideal for business communications. It gives users high levels of control over how the final video will look, making it perfect for corporate training, marketing, or any scenario where precise presentation is crucial.

In contrast, Sora shines in creative projects. It gives you very little control over the final appearance, which can be great for artists and storytellers looking to explore new, unexpected visual narratives without getting bogged down in details.

Sora vs. Synthesia, which one is better?

The whole point of doing the Sora vs. Synthesia comparison is to determine which one is better, but as you’ve seen above, the answer is: It depends.

Sora is a purely creative tool, whereas Synthesia is mostly informative but it gives you enough control to also produce creative content.

You won’t have great success using Sora for training videos or really any business communications, but you can have great success using Synthesia for marketing.

Especially since the release of expressive avatars, the use case of marketing videos has been unlocked. Synthesia can now create more engaging marketing videos, easier and more effective than ever before. Check out this short presentation of its recent expressive avatars release:

Smiling, Laughing, Frowning AI Avatars | Synthesia

Video quality left aside, enterprises will ultimately want way more control than what they get from an open-ended prompting interface. Version control, collaboration, consistency, moderation, trust, and safety are all great features that Synthesia focuses on, and Sora… not so much.

Create your first Synthesia video for free

While you can’t test Sora because it’s not publicly available yet, you can make a video with Synthesia, for free, in the following minutes.

Try this free AI video maker to generate your first AI video in your web browser — no credit card is required!


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