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
- $150 to $179 price tag depending on Amazon’s price.
- 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
This Express Scribe bundle includes both a foot pedal & a headset.
Currently you can buy Express Scribe bundled with a USB foot pedal.
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.
These lightweight headphones are perfect for dictating in Dragon’s NaturallySpeaking software. You can also use them on Skype or Google Voice or just listen to music with them. They are very comfortable & lightweight, also, they do a great job of blocking out exterior noises.
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!