Iris Reading offers mental acuity and speed reading training through a variety of online courses. At the time of our testing, there are seven courses available, including a Speed Reading Foundation Course for $75, a Speed Reading Mastery Course for $100, and several other advanced comprehension and memory courses, which are all video-based tutorials. You can manage several course enrollments through Iris’ intuitive platform.
As with the other speed reading applications we reviewed, we tested Iris’ basic offering: the Speed Reading Foundation Course. It has just over five and half hours of content. Once inside the lesson suite, you navigate from lesson to lesson using a menu or toggle between lessons with a forward and back button. The lessons themselves consist of videos that are generally well produced and don’t include any awkward digital avatars, unlike Speed Reader-X. However, we preferred programs with more interactive lesson options.
You get lifetime access to the content and videos for each Iris course you enroll in. In that way, it’s a better value than programs such as Rev It Up Reading, which limits the amount of time you can use its content. However, Iris includes fewer interactive activities and exercises, though it has a better-designed and more up-to-date platform than Rev it Up Reading.
We also found Iris’ videos to be more engaging than many others we encountered. The first videos in the course are a series of lectures the company’s founder and CEO gave at speed reading training conferences. The rhythm of these videos is more natural than in some of the low-budget tutorials we saw in other programs. In addition to the videos, there’s some downloadable content, including articles and simple recording sheets to keep track of your progress and reading speed. Iris also provides links to tools like the Accelareader, a free tachistoscope that anyone on the web can use.
Rather than including a pre-stocked library of reading content, Iris links you to a tool you copy and paste text into – the words then flash in front of you in groups to reduce eye movement and increase your reading speed. We prefer programs that allow you to upload content and include a fully stocked library of texts.
Iris’ platform is pretty sleek compared others we used while testing speed reading software. However, it doesn’t include digital exercises or brain training games that keep learning fun. While its course videos are better produced than many we saw in other software, we missed the interactive content other programs include. Iris also doesn’t have a lot of content like digital texts or eBooks to keep you entertained. Further, it’s a bit expensive. Overall, we recommend going with one of our top picks, which combine interactive tools with their instruction.