The Best Transcription Services Reviewed

Transcription services can help writers, journalists, content creators and business owners save time and money on painfully transcribing audio and video content.

Today's audio transcription services rely on humans, AI technology or combination or both.

Many automated transcription apps and transcription software suffice, but not all can do high-end jobs that a human transcriptionist can.

Manufacturing, legal, and medical sectors need an accurate transcription service that can capture even the most difficult of language on an audio file, even hard-to-hear background noise.

Transcription services replace what used to be people with trained dictation skills. One person spoke, the other listened and wrote or typed what was said. Now, AI is used to do this.

A human transcriber often reviews transcribed notes and checks for accuracy but generally, there are either automated transcription services or there is a human transcriptionist behind the job.

The goal of transcription services is to offer a hands-free service that will transcribe dictation that is one to one, regular conversations and business meetings as well. Being able to transcribe a business meeting helps when the team is looking for searchable documentation.

Doing this means that there are no questions about who said what. This helps generally with productivity as well as with customer engagement.

If you are looking for a transcription service, don’t just go with the cheapest product. Send them a sample document and check the error rates before commissioning a bigger project.

If the transcribed content ends up with a lot of errors, the point of the transcription service is lost. A rewrite is wasteful of time and money.

Transcription Services to Choose From

1. Rev

Rev offers a range of services that include both audio and video transcription along with captions, subtitles, and translations. If the work you need to be transcribed is straightforward, then it will only take a few hours to do.

Their basic transcriptions come with a great accuracy rate of 99%. This work costs $1.25 per minute. If you want translated subtitles, then the price jumps to $3-$7 per minute depending on what needs to be done.

Rev has a good balance between transcription speed and their error rate. This service is quick, but not so fast that their error rate increases. At Become a Writer Today, we use Rev regularly to transcribe podcasts and interviews.

Quality issues are rare, but it they happen, Rev will re-transcribe the audio or video in question for free.

Cost: From $1.25 per minute

Pros
  • Quick turnaround
  • Good accuracy
  • Subtitling ability
  • Excellent customer support
Cons
  • Occasional quality issues
  • More expensive than other transcription services

2. Temi

This transcription service offers AI transcriptions on a budget. It's owned by Rev, and it claims 10, 000 customers including big names like ESPN and PBS. Temi costs 0.25 cents per minute with no minimum time, subscriptions, or other fees.

Instead of relying on human transcribers, Temi uses speech recognition software. This software transcribes voice to text in as fast as 5 minutes. Temi claims accuracy ranges anywhere from 90-95% if the audio is clear.

Temi provides transcribed files with customers via a portal similar to Rev. You can download and clean them up.

This is a good service if you need once-off cheap transcriptions and accuracy isn't a big issue.

At Become a Writer Today, we tested Temi with some interviews and podcasts. We found the quality of AI transcriptions varied a lot. This AI service struggled with accents and unusual words. Our accuracy fell well below 95%.

In the end, we went back to Rev.

Cost: From $0.25 per minute

Pros
  • Quick turnaround
  • Cheap
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • AI still has lots of accuracy issues
  • Needs clean audio for accuracy
  • Struggles with non-US accents

3. GoTranscript

This company is based in the UK and offers quality transcription for a good price.

This company is perfect for more complex projects. It can do technical, scientific as well as other STEM projects that need higher accuracy rates.

GoTranscript offers a return of the product within 6-12 hours. They also guarantee a 99% accuracy rate on a clear submission.

Their prices vary depending on how fast the turnaround needs to be. They can go from 90 cents per minute up to $2.50. There is also a price of .06 cents per word if a translation is being done.

Cost: From $0.90 cents

Pros
  • Quick turnaround
  • Competitive costs
  • STEM transcribing
Cons
  • Time zones can be problematic for fast turnaround
  • Upload and download of files can be problematic

4. Otter-ai

This technology company based out of California uses AI as well as machine learning to do talk to text transcription. It can also show captions for live presentations as well as generating written copies of speeches.

Its newest transcription service is to make live notes for online platforms such as Zoom and Teams. Cost ranges from free for the basic tier up to $20 US per month. You can save money by availing of an annual instead of a monthly subscription.

Cost: From $1=8.33 per month

Pros
  • Great free plan
  • Solid accuracy rate
  • Easy to use apps
  • Speaker identification when cross conversation happens
Cons
  • Not all features have their kinks worked out yet
  • Missing advanced settings for accounts

5. Scribie

Great transcribing service that offers various plans. They have both automated and manual services.

Their turnaround is quick, and their manual services have an accuracy rate of 99% which is awesome. Automated services go from 10 cents per minute and manual from 80 cents.

These costs are based on a clean file whose speakers are accent-free. If the file is not clean, the background has noise, or the audio is poor then the cost goes up accordingly.

Scribie sends back a Word file that should be accurate up to 99% and is proofread and confidential. They also have a free automated service with 80-95% accuracy.

Cost: From $0.10 per minute

Pros
  • Automated and manual transcription
  • Solid accuracy rate for manual
  • Multiple plans to suit the job
  • Proofreading and confidential
Cons
  • Costs may increase depending on audio quality

Final Thoughts on the Best Transcription Services

A human transcription service remains the most accurate means of turning an audio or video file into editable text.

However, AI is gradually reducing the cost of transcriptions for business owners. Today, writers, journalists and business owners can pick from a variety of services to suit their budget and project needs.

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