5 Best Dictation Software & Apps In 2024 (Free & Paid)

Best Dictation Softwares

I understand that you may have a lot of ideas, and it can be tedious to put them into words one by one.

For some of us, storytelling comes more naturally than writing. In today’s fast-paced world, being efficient with our time is crucial.

If you spend the whole day trying to write a few pages or editing documents and have nothing called a personal life.

Just talk and let these Dictation software do the job for you.

Yes, channel the inner storyteller (that you are in front of your friends), and you can forget about your deadlines.

Because you will have your work done in minutes.

What to Consider When Choosing Dictation Software?

I cannot emphasize how much time I have saved writing by using simple voice commands and speech-to-text (STT) engine tools to write long paragraphs.

But I needed to find out (the hard way) when I started what to look for when choosing a good Dictation Software.

All tools cater to the specific needs of the user. But there are a few things a dictation software should have.

  1. Efficient Voice Commands: Any dictation software should support a range of voice commands to navigate and control the application. This feature enhances hands-free operation, allowing users to focus on their content creation without interruptions.
  2. Transcription Capabilities: This feature allows the software to convert spoken words from recordings into written text, saving time and effort. Why even use dictation software if it cannot transcribe what you say efficiently?
  3. Noise Cancellation: Noise cancellation technology is crucial for accurate transcription, especially in environments with background noise.
    Dictation software equipped with effective noise cancellation ensures that the software can accurately distinguish spoken words from ambient sounds. You do not want the software to catch and write down the bark of a street dog or the horn of a car passing nearby.
  4. Custom Vocabulary: The ability to create a custom vocabulary enhances the software’s accuracy by adapting to specific terms, names, or industry jargon. This feature is particularly beneficial for professionals in specialized fields.
  5. Cloud Storage: Cloud storage integration allows you to access dictated documents seamlessly from multiple devices. This feature ensures that your work is not tied to a single device and can be easily accessed and edited anywhere with an internet connection.

Keeping the basics in mind, here is a list of the best dictation software I have personally tested and recommended.

Best Dictation Software (Top 5 Tested and Recommended)

Here are the top speech-to-text software for different needs, along with their best features and prices.

1. Dragon Speech Recognition

Dragon Speech Recognition, developed by Nuance Communications, is one of the market’s oldest and most renowned dictation software.

It uses advanced speech recognition technology to convert spoken words into text with remarkable accuracy and speed.  

Dragon Speech Recognition

Here are some of its best features:

  • Exceptional Accuracy
  • Adaptation to user’s voice over time. 
  • Custom Vocabulary created by the user
  • Efficient Voice Commands (for opening menu, sharing, or even short forms of text previously saved)
  • Audio/ Recording Transcription Capabilities
  • Has software for specific professions (e.g., writers, journalists, lawyers), namely Dragon Legal, Dragon Medical One, etc. 
  • Compatible with various applications and platforms, including Microsoft Office Suite, Google Docs, and different email clients.
  • Accessible across various operating systems (e.g., Windows, Mac, Android, iOS)
  • It has a mobile app version (Dragon Anywhere)
  • Supports around eight different languages. 

Pricing Plans: Although Dragon is one of the best, it comes with a price. Dragon Anywhere (iOS and Android) costs $15/month, and desktop packages are from $ 200 to $500.

2. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word Voice Typing is a feature integrated into Microsoft Word that allows users to dictate text using their voice instead of typing it manually.

Dictation- talk with ease in MS office

This feature employs speech recognition technology to transcribe spoken words into written text directly within Word.

Here are some of the best features:  

  • Mostly Accurate
  • User-friendly feature with easy accessibility in Word
  • Multilingual Support for over nine languages.
  • Recognizes voice commands for Punctuation and formatting. 
  • Real-time transcription and display of words. 
  • It can be used in desktop and mobile app versions as well. 

Pricing Plan: The best part of using Microsoft Word voice typing is that it is built into Word. So it’s free for all users.

3. Apple Dictation

Now, this tool is for you if you are an Apple user. Apple Dictation is a built-in feature on Apple devices, including Mac computers, iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch.

Apple dictation

The device’s microphone allows users to convert spoken words into written text. 

Here are some of its best features:

  • Integration with all Apple Devices
  • Supports multiple languages 
  • Pretty accurate
  • Supports offline Dictation
  • Has voice commands and custom vocabulary. 
  • Good privacy for those who have privacy concerns. 

Pricing Plans: It’s free software, integrated into all Apple devices, and must not be separately installed.

4. Google Docs Voice Typing

Google Docs Voice Typing is a feature integrated into the Google Docs platform that allows users to dictate text using their voice instead of typing manually.

Google Voice typing personal dictionary

This feature is free for all Google Docs users, making it a convenient and accessible tool for many individuals and professions.

Some of its best features include:

  • Text Accuracy
  • Multi-Language Support
  • Google Docs Voice Typing transcribes words into text in real-time.
  • Free software 
  • Google Docs Voice Typing is accessible across various devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. 
  • Google regularly updates its speech recognition technology to improve accuracy and performance. 

Pricing Plans: Free software.

5. Otter.ai

Otter.ai is an innovative AI-powered transcription service.

It is designed to convert speech to text and improve the process of transcribing meetings, interviews, lectures, and any other spoken content, making it easily accessible and searchable.

Some of the best features are:

  • Real-Time Transcription
  • Accurate Speech Recognition
  •  Once the transcription is complete, Otter.ai generates a searchable transcript. Users can easily search for specific keywords or phrases within the transcript, making it convenient to locate relevant information quickly.
  • Otter.ai can identify and differentiate between multiple speakers in a conversation or recording. This feature is handy in meetings or interviews where various participants speak.
  • Editing and collaboration tools within the platform, add comments, highlight important sections, and share transcripts with collaborators.
  • Otter.ai integrates with various productivity tools and platforms, including Google Workspace, Zoom, Dropbox, and Microsoft Teams. 
  • AI-Powered Summarization
  • Mobile application available
  • Mac supported.

Pricing Plans: Free plan is available with Free plan available for 300 minutes/month of transcription. Pro plan starts at $16.99.

What is dictation software?

Dictation software, also known as speech recognition software, is a technology that converts spoken words into text. 

This process, facilitated by a speech-to-text (STT) engine, enables users to dictate, command, or speak freely, with the software transcribing their spoken words into written text. 

This technology has evolved significantly, offering a range of features to cater to the diverse needs of specific professions (e.g., writers, journalists, lawyers).

Why Use Speech Recognition Software?

Short answer: Save time, my friend – live life. 

Now, in reality, the benefits of using dictation software are multifaceted. 

Firstly, it dramatically reduces the time to finish the same piece of work that would take the whole day to complete. 

Secondly, this can be a game-changer for professions where time is of the essence, such as journalism or legal documentation. 

Third, dictation software aids individuals, even those with a disability, to write what they want. 

Finally, you can skip a whole setup to start writing; you can do it whenever and wherever you desire with dictation software. 

Tips for using voice recognition software

If you are new to dictation software, here are a few tips on how to use voice commands and transcription capabilities for increased productivity using dictation software. 

  1. Most voice recognition software has a training feature that allows it to adapt to your voice and speech patterns. Take the time to go through the training process to improve accuracy.
  2. Enunciate your words clearly and speak moderately. Avoid talking too fast or too slow, as this can affect the accuracy of the transcription.
  3. Use a good-quality microphone to ensure precise audio input. 
  4. Minimize background noise and distractions when using voice recognition software. 
  5. Learn the commands specific to the software you use to navigate menus, format text, and perform other actions to minimize effort and work efficiently. 
  6. Even the most accurate voice recognition software may occasionally make mistakes. Always proofread and edit the transcribed text to correct errors and ensure accuracy.
  7. Consider customizing the software’s vocabulary to improve accuracy if your work involves specialized terminology or industry-specific jargon. 

Conclusion: Best Dictation Software

Now that I have discussed some free and paid dictation software options for various budgets, I’m sure you know which tool will be perfect for you.

Dictation software is one of the innovative tools that will save you time and work efficiently. So why waste effort trying to do the thing that can be done more efficiently?

Happy Writing (or talking)!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which is the best voice recognition tool?

There are many dictation software in the market. The most notable ones are Dragon, Microsoft Word voice typing, Otter.ai, and Apple Dictation.

How can I use the best dictation software for free?

For Apple users, Apple Dictation comes integrated with all Apple devices for free. For desktop users, Google Docs or Microsoft Word voice typing is free.

Which is the best dictation software for Mac?

All Mac and iOS devices have Apple Dictation that can be used for free as dictation software. Other tools like Dragon Speech Recognition or Otter.ai can also be used on Mac devices.

Is Dragon the best speech-to-text tool?

Dragon Speech Recognition is one of the best dictation tools in the market. It has many versions specific to different professions and is almost 99% accurate.

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