I am looking for ways in 5e to grant the capability of speech to a creature, ideally permanently.
To be specific, I am interested in granting an Artificer's Steel Defender and creatures like it the ability to speak. For instance the Steel Defender's stat block states it "understands the languages you speak", implying that it only understands them and does not speak them.
I am assuming that it is possible for the creature to use and attune to items.
Below are some ideas I have had after some initial investigation, but none seem sufficient and some are limited or dubious rules-wise:
Through Magic Items
items that say "You can speak and understand X" (e.g. ring of elemental command, demon armor, efreeti chain, etc.)
(Do these apply in our context of a creature with the stat block above? Specific v.s. generic - which is which here?)
items that grant an Intelligence boost (e.g. headband of intellect)
(Is boosting Intelligence enough to give a creature like the Steel Defender the capability to speak?)
items that allow telepathy (e.g. helm of telepathy)
(In general this isn't truly spoken speech. Oftentimes these are only communication with two people are there items that grant many?)
- awaken: limitation "Huge or smaller beast or plant"
- varieties of polymorph: limitation a transformation itself
- telepathic spells: limitation is telepathy is not true speech
(In general, these have the limitation of possibility of being dispelled and require a spellcaster.)
Also, I know in previous editions 3.5e Pearl of Speech existed, but I am interested in RAW 5e.
If you know of other ways that minimize the limitations involved and require few rare items, please share.