Researching what is “the best transcription software” can be a little overwhelming. There are a lot of different answers. A lot of companies promote a “free” software, but free in a very limited capacity. Also speech to text software comes up in search results, like Dragon Naturally Speaking, but that isn’t a transcription software. That’s a dictation software. We covered the differences between dictation and transcription software in this article found here.
As an experienced transcriber I’ve compiled a short list of the best transcription & audio dictation software available today.
- Superior Sound Quality.
- You can customize your time code & there is an automated time stamps feature.
- Software can convert audio or video types to other formats automatically.
- You can type in an MS Word document as you playback your audio or video file.
- Great customer service.
- They usually respond via email in the same day and will even make changes or additions to the software upon request.
- Very affordable pay as you go price plan — as low as $1 per month.
- You can try the software for $10 for one month. Alternatively, sign-up for two years at $1/month or $24 total.
- Windows Only.
- Free Version is limited.
Update – 7/14/2017:
- Due to the positive response of this blog article, FTW kindly offered us a discount on their software.
- Click here to receive a 7% Discount when you purchase FTW Transcriber.
- Free to try & very affordable to buy at $39.99.
- Intuitive and easy to use. Great for beginners.
- Imports almost any audio or video file.
- Available on Mac or PC.
- Very difficult to customize your time stamps.
- Works with almost all audio & video formats.
- They have a software package that also comes with a very handy USB foot pedal.
- You can customize your time code setting.
- You can type in MS Word as you playback your audio or video file.
- Free software upgrades.
- Free technical support.
- Windows Only
- $179 price tag
- Software can be buggy at times.
- Works with all audio & video formats.
- Available on Mac or PC.
- Can set a custom time code.
- Price is $99 per license.
- You can “Transcribe + Take Notes”, according to their website. Inqscribe touts this as a good thing, however I disagree. I’d much prefer typing directly in MS Word as opposed to having export and convert the transcript after I’m done typing.
Best Dictation Software
- Best audio to text dictation software on the market.
- Fully customizable to suit your needs.
- The speech to text technology works very well.
- Works in any application where you would normally type.
- You can use this software to assist you in typing.
- Not a transcription software. It is a dictation software.
- Only accurate with one speaker at a time.
- Newer versions seem to be PC only without a Mac option.
Transcription Software Bundles
Currently you can buy Express Scribe bundled with a USB foot pedal.
This Express Scribe bundle includes both a foot pedal & a headset.
More Transcription Equipment
The WordSlinger Deluxe is specifically designed for audio transcription & spoken word. This focus on spoken word is achieved by the frequency response that’s built into the headset. Also, these headphones have built-in audio and volume controls. It comes with a 10 foot cord & plugs directly into a USB slot. It’s a great headset and retails for $59.95.
A pair of Bose wireless headphones with noise cancellation is an excellent investment, even though they are a little expensive.
When I get very difficult audio in, files with heavy background noise and distortion, these headphones can be a lifesaver. I’ve compared the audio using these headphones to a regular pair of headphones and the difference in clarity was incredible. With the Bose headphones I could hear words and conversations that were completely unintelligible on a regular pair of headphones.
A foot pedal for me is a big time saver. The reason you want a foot pedal is you can rewind, fast forward, and play the video with your foot. This means you don’t have to use your hands, the mouse, to control the video.
I do not want to stop typing and grab my mouse and hit the rewind button, or even use a keyboard shortcut, as I don’t want to get my hands out of position while typing. Using a mouse to control the video will slow you down significantly.
I use a USB foot pedal by Infinity, it works with every transcription software I use and every computer, both Mac and PC, I have. The Infinity USB foot pedal responsive, versatile, and well-priced. I’ve been using these for years and have never had any issues.
I hope this article was helpful. Comment below if you have a favorite audio transcription software and please leave any questions or comments you might have. If you have audio or video files that need to be transcribed please feel to request a quote or visit our transcription page. Happy transcribing!