In this article, we profile the best speech and voice recognition software program for your writing needs.
Voice recognition software can be an excellent tool for writers. Using speech-to-text software, you can dictate and transcribe your writing into digital form. This can help writers use their time more efficiently as they get their ideas onto paper.
Yet not all speech-to-text software is created equal. Most will work in a similar fashion, transcribing what you say in real-time, using voice commands for things like punctuation and spacing, but some are better than others because they make better use of artificial intelligence to improve the writing process.
Here is a list of the best voice recognition software options for writers who are interested in dictating their writing work.
- Best Speech and Voice Recognition Software for Writers
- 1. Dragon Naturallyspeaking
- 2. Otter.AI
- 3. Braina Pro
- 4. Cortana
- 5. Google Voice Typing
- 6. Apple Dictation
- Why You Can Trust Us
- Our Testing Criteria
- A Final Word on The Best Voice Recognition Software
- FAQs on Voice Recognition Software
- Voice Dictation Resources
Best Speech and Voice Recognition Software for Writers
If you are going to purchase voice recognition software, you can scour Amazon, but the number of options can be overwhelming. To narrow down your choices, check out this list.
1. Dragon Naturallyspeaking
Pricing: $14.99 per month
Dragon Naturallyspeaking is a group of apps from Nuance that regularly tops the list of top options for transcription. Dragon Professional Individual is a powerful and effective tool that can dictate at speeds of up to 160 words per minute. This is far faster than most people can type.
Dragon has an app, Dragon Anywhere, that can integrate with a mobile device. It works with macOS, Windows, iOS and Android. Several tiers are available via a monthly subscription free. It's also a good choice if you work on a Mac, as Dragon Naturallyspeaking is Windows-only.
But Dragon Professional Individual is the most popular for pro writers and business professionals.
Who It's For
Dragon Professional works well for individuals and professionals, especially freelancers and business pros.
Pricing: Free/from $8.33 per month
Otter is often called the best voice recognition app for startup businesses. It is a transcribing tool for speeches and conversations, so you can take it into your business meeting to get a quick transcript of what was said. Easily add speaker notes, audio files, images and video files to the transcript after the meeting.
Otter has a free version that has 600 minutes of transcription time a month. It also has several premium plans based on your needs.
Read our Otter.ai review
Who It's For
Otter works well for entrepreneurs who take phone calls or attend meetings regularly and need transcripts from those meetings. It also works for team collaboration that requires dictation.
3. Braina Pro
Pricing: $49 per year
Braina Pro is a virtual assistant software program that includes a speech recognition component. It will not only capture transcripts but also set alarms, find files on a computer and search the web. The program works with Windows and can be used to operate smart home features.
In addition to working as a virtual assistant, Braina provides text-to-speech functionality. It can read texts on your phone out loud to you as well.
Who It's For
The functionality of Braina means it works well for anyone who needs a computer-based office assistant that just happens to offer speech recognition. Many small-to-medium businesses can benefit from this program.
Read our Braina review
Cortana is a productivity assistant that comes with Microsoft 365. It also has a Chrome extension and mobile app that's compatible with iOS and Android. Cortana can handle several languages with its dictation program.
Through Cortana, you get the services of a comprehensive personal assistant. Use it to set alarms and calendar reminders, and transcribe notes when needed. If you have Microsoft 365, there is no cost to have and use Cortana.
Who It's For
Cortana works well for small to medium businesses and startups who are using Microsoft products and want to work a dictation tool into their workflows.
5. Google Voice Typing
If you are looking for a simple speech-to-text program that works with Google Docs and Google Sheet, Google Voice Typing is a good choice. It knows 43 languages and works quickly. It also has many built-in voice commands for formatting and even moving your mouse.
The transcription software in Google Voice Typing is very smart and can learn the context of your spoken words. Its speech recognition technology adapts quickly to the way you use it.
Who It's For
Google Voice Typing isn't designed for teams, but it works well for writers and solopreneurs.
6. Apple Dictation
Pricing: Free for Apple product users
Apple Dictation can use Siri to offer a speech-to-text setting. It works well for short dictation, because it only handles 30 seconds at a time. This makes it ideal for jotting down notes or sending short texts.
This program also has a voice-to-text feature that controls commands on a Mac computer. It doesn't work well for dictating large pieces of content, however.
Who It's For
Apple Dictation helps one-person businesses and startups who use macOS manage their computers well.
Why You Can Trust Us
I’ve written and published dozens of articles for newspapers, magazines and online publications including, Forbes and Lifehacker. I'm also a best-selling non-fiction author, a trained journalist and a copywriter.
Software like the options here forms a key part of my writing workflow for non-fiction. I use voice recognition software regularly and also ask freelance writers to provide their impressions.
Our Testing Criteria
We regularly update this roundup as the voice recognition software evolve. We test new features by writing articles, book chapters and blog posts.
These articles and other writing samples range from several hundred to several thousand words in length. Typically, we test them using the web, desktop and browser apps and plugins.
A Final Word on The Best Voice Recognition Software
Voice recognition software performs a number of functions for writers and professionals. For some, it is a tool used to jot down notes or send a quick text. For others, it is a replacement for typing.
The best voice recognition software is one that recognizes your natural language and quickly transcribes what you say into written or typed words. Experiment with your options to find one that will meet your needs well.
FAQs on Voice Recognition Software
How does voice recognition software work?
Voice recognition software recognizes your speech and uses artificial intelligence to transform that into typed words. Many programs also use voice commands to handle formatting and punctuation needs.
What is the best voice recognition software?
Dragon products regularly top the list of best voice recognition software because of their robust features, tutorials and integration into most operating systems. However, the best software for your needs will be the one that fits your budget and has the features you need for your work.