Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Home Review

Updated April 30, 2013
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Home
Bottom Line

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home is a prudent choice for those looking to make an entry into using voice-recognition technology but don't want to spend a lot of money, or for someone who needs a basic, more scaled-down version of the best of the best, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of its stronger brother, but it's still top of the line in its class.

Ease of use

Climb the learning curve. Nuance Communications' Dragon products are becoming easier to use with every new release, but you'll still have to spend some time getting to know the software before it performs up to its potential. There is real-time customer support available through live chat or by phone during business hours. User manuals and a detailed knowledge base on the web are also great resources.

ProsHighly accurate, Helpful support optionsConsFewer features than premium version, Requires a lot of computer memory, Definite learning curve

BestBuy.com customers give good feedback about Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home, but many note that getting up to speed is not as simple as just installing the software. There is definitely a time investment required if you want it to function optimally.

A helpful tutorial will guide you through the proper dictation, enunciation and commands that will enable you to get the best performance out of the program. Most reviewers conclude that the best way to defeat the dragon is to go through the training before getting started. It doesn't take long, but will pay dividends on the back end.


Lower price, same high quality. In terms of accuracy, TopTenReviews.com rates Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home the same as the more expensive Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium. The price differential is due to extra features, not because the Home version is an inferior product. The advertised accuracy rate is 99 percent, but independent testing places it at about 93 percent, which is still not too shabby because that is up to three times faster than manual typing.

A Nuance-approved headset is included with purchase, but you still may need to be in a quiet place to dictate if you're worried about background noise interfering with your commands or speech. A better noise-canceling microphone might be worthwhile if you tend to work in heavily trafficked spaces. Some users also experience difficulties with the native microphone.

Amazon.com customers have had good interactions with customer support. One owner wrote, "The service far exceeded my expectations. The person on the other end of the phone was polite, patient, and took the time to walk me through a number of commands to attempt to fix the problem."


From nice to have to need to have. Most reviewers and customers who have tried Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home agreed that it vastly improved their productivity. You can use it to dictate, browse the web, create documents and navigate Gmail and Hotmail with complete voice control for the actions you use most often. You can even use an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch (4th gen), or an Android device as a remote microphone when you're on the run.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home adapts to your speech and intuitively adjusts itself the more you use it. The same Smart Format Rules from the Premium version are available with Dragon Naturally Speaking Home, giving you more control over how your text looks. Smart Format Rules are cool because the software asks you what you prefer for formatting, abbreviations and numbers rather than assuming. And once you've set these rules, you don't have to worry about being asked again, though you can always amend them.

Though Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home doesn't interface with as many common PC applications as the premium version, and it does not have features like transcribing audio files, learning contact names, playback, read back and voice-controlled editing, it's still a valuable tool, and it will help you complete tasks faster than ever.

Our Sources

1. TopTenReviews.com

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 11, Editors of TopTenReviews.com Undated

Reviewers here compare Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium and Talking Desktop. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 gets their Silver Award, with a rating of 8.83 out of 10 overall.

2. Amazon.com

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 12.0, English, Reviewers on Amazon.com, As of June 2013

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home is rated an overall 3.7 out of 5 stars by about 450 users. Customers are satisfied overall, with a few outliers who complain about bugs. The overwhelming sentiment was that the product is efficient and accurate, though somewhat difficult to learn initially.

3. BestBuy.com

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 12, Reviewers on BestBuy.com, As of June 2013

At BestBuy.com, Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home is rated an overall 4 out of 5 stars by more than 20 users. Customers compliment its accuracy, but they note that there is a learning curve when getting started. On user says it "cut my work time by 60 percent."

4. SouthernGirlRamblings.com

Blogging Just Got Easier with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home Edition, Kecia Hambrick, Dec. 20, 2012

Blogger Kecia Hambrick reviews Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home 12 (after receiving it free from the company), explaining how she used the software for blogging and other tasks. She is impressed with its ability to effectively handle her strong regional accent.

5. WorkingOnTheGo.net

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Home Edition (PC) Our Review, Rosemary O'Shaughnessy, Sept. 1, 2011

Reviewer Rosemary O'Shaughnessy is impressed with the product's accuracy, and she contends that it is a good stepping-stone to take before jumping into Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium. No tests or comparisons are done, just a simple overview of the features and some customer comments. The author points out that she is a consumer, not a tech expert.