What is the Best Dictation Software To Increase Productivity?
Modern technology is like science fiction comes true. Who would have thought that you would be able to talk to your computer and instantly execute commands or turn your spoken words into text documents? Dictation software is here to stay, and it saves time.
In this article, I will discuss and briefly review 14 of the best dictation software or voice-to-text software. Everybody’s needs differ, and no single program will satisfy one and all, but there is definitely a dictation solution for you out there!
Best Dictation Software – Top Voice To Text
|Dragon Home||Dragon Professional||Braina||Tazti||Speechnotes|
|Windows||Windows||Windows / Mac||Windows / Mac||iOS / Android|
|Visit Website||Visit Website||View Details||View Details||View Details|
1. Nuance Dragon Home
Formerly known as Dragon Naturally Speaking, Dragon Home 15 (view website) is packed with useful features and is established as one of the best speech recognition software systems. While Dragon Home is compatible with most Windows programs, it is nevertheless supplied with its own word processor called DragonPad.
Features. Nuance Deep Learning technology efficiently adapts to your voice and even changes in the environment at the core of the program, such as dogs barking or traffic noises. Independent tests have shown that Dragon Home maintains an accuracy rating of between 86% and 99%. The unique playback feature allows you to listen to your text.
Use case. Dragon Home is ideal for dictating notes, documents, emails and search strings for effective Internet browsing. Some reviewers found that the accuracy level increases if you first dictate in DragonPad and then paste your text into another software.
Review. Dragon Home is certainly one of the best dictation software out there, is easy to use, accurate and offers extensive user support. It is rather pricey, but definitely worth the investment. Dragon home supports two languages: English and German.
Price: $200. Visit website. Sale: Includes Dragon Anywhere for 12 months.
Availability: Web | Windows | Mobile.
2. Nuance Dragon Professional
All the features offered by Dragon Home are available in Dragon Professional Individual (view website) too. There is much more to this specialized version of voice-to-text software, however.
Features. It continually learns from your speech patterns and previously created text. The Accuracy Tuning module then analyzes your corrections and learns from them too. Even the way that you are speaking and your accent are taken into account to improve accuracy further.
Smart Format rules make sure that Dragon learns exactly how you want abbreviations, punctuation, and dates to appear. Dragon Professional also offers a transcription feature that will turn any sound file into text. It allows you to automate numerous Windows commands as well.
Use case. Busy professionals that dictate memos, letters, reports, emails, and other documents regularly will definitely benefit from this dictation software. Ditto for people with physical disabilities. Six languages, mostly the most popular European ones are fully supported. There is certainly a learning curve, but this is one of the best dictation software available, easy to use, and worth the price.
Price: $500. Visit website. Sale: Includes Dragon Anywhere for 12 months.
Availability: Web | Windows | Mobile.
3. Braina Speech To Text Software
While efficient dictation is part of Braina, it should rather be described as an Artificial Intelligence Virtual Assistant. As for its dictation, Braina uses advanced speech recognition technology that ensures a very high level of accuracy. It is fully compatible with most Windows-based software.
In addition to its dictation module, Braina offers other productivity-enhancing features such as using your voice to activate a myriad of Windows commands. One unique feature of Braina is that you can use an Android or iOS device like a microphone to interact with the dictation software remotely via Wifi. Background noises do not bother Braina.
Use case. Anyone that uses a wide variety of software to generate text will most certainly benefit from Braina’s speech-to-text software. More than 100 languages are supported for both input and read-back purposes.
Final thoughts. Reasonably priced, Braina is a good option for companies that want productivity software able to support multiple users and that can be accessed anywhere.
Price: From $49 for Premium. | Availability: Web, App.
4. Winscribe Speech Recognition Software
Winscribe, now part of the Nuance Group, offers both front-end (client-side) and back-end (server-side) voice-to-text software solutions.
Text documents can be accessed by the author but also be distributed to other users for editing or review purposes. Winscribe supports multiple users, even across a widespread intranet. Extensive reports can be generated, helping to measure productivity.
The dictation software is ready to use immediately, and the learning curve is low. It is remarkably accurate, and it learns the specific speech patterns and dialects of each user. If one user makes corrections in punctuation or spelling, all other users immediately benefit from those improvements. Sadly, Winscribe does not perform well in noisy environments.
Use case. Winscribe is ideal for organizations that have multiple employees at multiple sites generating or reviewing documentation. Pricing options vary according to the unique needs of every client. Overall, reviewers often list Winscribe as the best dictation software concerning accuracy and interface.
5. Tazti Voice-To-Text Software
Tazti uses a very basic version of speech recognition technology. While it can be used to dictate documents, its main purpose is to enable voice commands to control Windows programs, games or manage the operating system, and files.
More than 300 voice commands can be created and managed. Tazti is particularly useful for browsing the Internet, but there are no read-back features. Tazti is not a free tool, and even authoritative reviewers battled to get Tazti to respond to pricing inquiries.
Use case. Users who hate using the keyboard or have poor keyboard skills will find Tazti useful for automating commands. It is especially popular with serious gamers. Only English is offered but you can choose between UK, USA and Australian dialects.
Final thoughts. When compared with its competitors, Tazti is in the lightweight division and best suited to users wanting to experiment with speech-to-text software.
Price: $80 | Availability: Desktop | App.
Recommended reading: Those still in need of good keyboarding skills may be interested in our round-up of best typing programs. Furthermore, we suggest looking into our lists of best productivity courses or project management software if you want to boost your productivity or learning further.
6. Express Dictate
Express Dictate does not feature voice-to-text technology and therefore does not automatically allow you to have your spoken words turned into text. Instead, it is a dictating system that allows you to create sound files that can be sent to a typist or used with transcription software.
Express Dictate is available for your PC or Mac but most reviewers find it rather pricey compared to the limited features it offers. No free trial version is available. However, it is easy to use, and the user interface is truly intuitive.
Use case. Anyone that spends a lot of time generating documentation can save time by dictating their documents and have someone else type them.
Price: Single license from $99. | Availability: Desktop | App.
Speechnotes is a delightful newcomer to the dictation software industry but it quickly gained quite a following of very satisfied users. Like other free voice-to-text software, Speechnotes uses Google Speech Recognition technology and supports all the languages that Google does.
Speechnotes works only in a Chrome browser but that is no problem since you can easily copy and paste text across a variety of programs.
The app is remarkably easy to use but there are a limited number of voice commands for editing, formatting and punctuation. There is no need to create a user account or register. Just go to their website and start using the dictation software. It works very well in conjunction with Grammarly too! Overall, it is accurate and easy to use.
Price: Free | Availability: Playstore.
8. Apple Dictation Software
Shipped as part of Apple’s mobile and desktop operating systems, some reviewers reckon that it is one of the top ten dictation software solutions. There is a big BUT, however.
Apple Dictation requires Internet access and you are limited to dictation sessions of only 30 seconds. To get rid of these serious limitations, you need to enable Enhanced Dictation, which requires OS X v. 10.9 or later or if you have an iPhone 6s or newer.
Apple Dictation is extremely accurate, even if you use only the basic version. It is easy to master the basic voice commands. You can even create your own custom commands.
Use case. Apple Dictation supports 31 languages but if you upgrade to Enhanced Dictation there are only 20 languages on offer. If you need professional dictation software, Apple Dictation will disappoint you. However, if you simply wish to automate some commands, you are sure to be delighted.
Price: Free in Mac OS and iOS. | Availability: Desktop | OS | iOS.
9. Windows Speech Recognition
Windows Speech Recognition has been around for quite a while but Microsoft’s earlier offerings were all but dismissed as “sluggish”, “inaccurate” and “a waste of time”. Initially, the technology was meant to issue voice commands to the Windows operating system and some supported software. With the start of Windows 10, a brand new version of Speech Recognition was introduced, including a dictation component.
Windows Speech Recognition works very well on its own but it is best when used in tandem with Cortana, another Microsoft Artificial Intelligence product. Reviewers warn that Windows Speech Recognition works very well with Microsoft products such as MS Word but it does not fare as well in non-Microsoft software products.
Use Case. Users that wish to automate Windows commands will find this voice-to-text software useful but those churning out professional documents will be frustrated. All the languages supported by Windows can be used.
Verdict. Prepare for a tedious and long learning curve before the dictation software works properly. Serious users will be better off with another product.
Price: Free. | Availability: Desktop.
10. Google Docs Voice Typing
Firmly embedded in all the latest versions of Chrome, Google Docs Voice Typing offers yet another free tool that allows you to create a variety of documents by means of voice dictation.
State of the art voice-to-text technology allows you to dictate into Google docs, edit text, format it and issue a variety of voice commands instead of using a keyboard.
There is a bit of a learning curve, especially because the voice commands cannot be customized. One serious issue is the fact that this dictation software does not fare well with punctuation. However, as you dictate, you can edit the text.
Use case. If you use Google docs, this feature will help you automate much of what you do. Remember; you can always copy and paste from Google docs into another app.
Google supports a stunning array of languages, all of them available for use in this excellent Google docs feature. Overall, this is the best dictation software for habitual Google docs users but not as sophisticated as other voice-to-text software.
Price: Free | Availability: Desktop | App.
Available for use on iPhone and iPad exclusively, SpeechRecognizer is yet another voice-to-text software that promises to convert your spoken words accurately and quickly into text. It only works if you are online, however.
More than 40 languages are supported and it is easy to copy and paste the dictated text into other apps. Once you have dictated the text, you can hear it read back to you, helping you review your document’s flow. No offline activities are available.
Price: Free | Availability: App.
Dictation.io is free for use only in a Chrome environment. It piggybacks on Google Speech Recognition and therefore supports all the numerous languages that Google does. For free dictation software, Dictation.io certainly offers a high level of accuracy. Numerous satisfied users and most reviewers give it the thumbs up.
Dictation.io stores all your documents locally in your browser; nothing is uploaded to the cloud. Voice commands can be used to perform editing and insert punctuation, but the software does not allow you to customize these commands or create new ones.
Use case. Dictation.io is not meant to control your applications and is therefore only useful to users that wish to create documents, make notes and browse the Google search engine.
Dictastion.io is definitely worth a try and certainly one of the best free dictation software around.
Price: Free and donation based. | Availability: Web.
Gboard is an innovative app that will find favor with those that find tapping on their touch screens onerous and slow. It offers users a unique technology called “Glide Typing”. Gboard also offers an excellent dictation software keyboard solution that is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems.
All the languages supported by Google can be used with this voice-to-text software app. Gboard is free and also offers many productivity-enhancing features. Glide Typing may take some time to get used to. However, users that took the time to master Gboard say that it saves them time.
Price: Free | Availability: Store.
How To Choose the Best Dictation Software?
Ask yourself these questions:
- What exactly do you need voice-to-text software to do for you?
- Are you willing to pay for more extensive features or will you be happy with a basic service?
- Are you willing to spend some time teaching the dictation software your specific dialect and preferences?
- Will you be dictating material that contains highly technical or scientific terms?
- Do you want to access dictation software from different devices and have your files synchronized?
- Is your working environment noisy?
Best Dictation Software 2021 – Verdict
Wrapping up our tour of the best dictation software in 2021. Voice-to-text software has come a long way but what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Once you get used to your chosen software, it will save you a lot of time. Perhaps it is best to try a few free versions first or opt for trial versions where they are available.
Physically disabled people will definitely find dictation software to be liberating. In time, the keyboard may just disappear altogether! So, is voice-to-text software worth the time and effort? Definitely.
Best Dictation Software of 2021
- Dragon Home | ★★★★★
- Dragon Pro | ★★★★☆
- Braina | ★★★★☆
- Tazti | ★★★★☆
- Winscribe | ★★★★☆
- Express Dictate | ★★★☆☆
- Speechnotes | ★★★★☆
- Apple Dictation | ★★★☆☆
- Google Voice Typing | ★★★★☆
- Windows Speech to Text | ★★★☆☆
- Dictation.io | ★★★★☆
- Gboard | ★★★★☆
- Speech Recognizer | ★★★☆☆
The race and market for the best dictation software are changing rapidly. And while certain software was once state of the art, they might not be the one to go for a solution in the near future. We currently keep our eyes on upcoming voice-to-text software, frameworks, and AI assistants such as VA Framework, Kara, MyCroft or Sepia. Once they have settled a bit we will consider including them in this round-up here.
What is the best dictation software in your opinion? How to use it? Do you think it increases productivity or simply shifts the workflow? Let us know in the comments below.
If you wish to increase productivity or learn about strategies to learn faster, please use the links above in order to explore our round-up reviews.