Voice Recognition Software: Ratings of Sources
Total of 33 Sources
For an explanation of how we rank reviews, see our ratings criteria page.
2011 Voice Recognition Software Review Product Comparisons
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentWhile we often criticize TopTenReviews.com's coverage in other categories, its report on voice recognition software provides direct, clearly referenced comparisons between multiple, currently available products. Although the individual reviews vary somewhat in detail and depth, the editors do a good job of identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each program and the resulting rankings are logical and well supported by tests. One shortcoming is that Windows Speech Recognition (for Windows Vista and Windows 7) is not included in the comparison chart, although the site does address it in a separate review.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium
by Sandra Vogel
Our AssessmentZDNet U.K.'s Sandra Vogel issues a comprehensive review of the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium software, from installation to final conclusions. She spends significant time detailing the software's initial setup, then moves on to using the software. Overall, she calls it an upgrade over NaturallySpeaking 10, but she says the new Dragon Sidebar needs tweaking.
Windows 7 Built-in Speech Recognition: A Review
by Nate Anderson
Our AssessmentNate Anderson reports on his experiences with the Windows Speech Recognition software included with Windows 7. Anderson is particularly impressed with the program's tutorial mode, and he says navigational commands work "almost flawlessly," although he ran into problems with non-Windows applications. At the end of the day, however, he says just enough errors slip in while dictating that he recommends serious users spend the money on Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Dragon Dictate 2.0 for Mac: The Ars Review
by Nate Anderson
Our AssessmentDragon Dictate's accuracy and depth of vocabulary impresses Ars Technica reviewer Nate Anderson, who notes that the program nails words like "Nehruvian" and "Engadget" out of the box. He also praises the macro editing tools as much improved since the MacSpeech days, although he notes that they're still below NaturallySpeaking's high standard. While he recommends Dictate as the best option on the Mac, he points people with access to Windows PCs towards NaturallySpeaking.
Reliable Dictation, Down to a 'T'
by David Pogue
Our AssessmentPogue takes a comprehensive look at Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 after bemoaning the effective lack of competition for the software. After skipping any training whatsoever, he reports the software translated one of his 1,300-word columns with 100 percent accuracy. Over a page is spent describing the program's new features and upgrades; he also addresses a few minor quibbles, such as the poor performance of the punctuation insertion tool. He ends up heartily recommending the product to anybody who doesn't already own NaturallySpeaking versions 9 or 10.
Finally, Professional Dictation Software for the Mac
by David Pogue
Our AssessmentDavid Pogue uses a lot of voice recognition tools, as evidenced by this excellent look at the Dragon Dictate software for the Mac. Overall, he says the program is just as responsive and accurate as the NaturallySpeaking software found on Windows computers, and he gushes about the powerful voice commands for three full paragraphs. Although Pogue calls Dictate the best voice recognition software for the Mac and heartily recommends the program, he says small glitches and an inability to mix typed and verbal commands – the so-called "Golden Rule" of Dictate – leaves it slightly inferior to NaturallySpeaking.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10
by Michael Muchmore
Our AssessmentDon't let the title fool you -- this seemingly single-product review is actually a very thorough, richly detailed head-to-head between Dragon's NaturallySpeaking version 10 and Windows Speech Recognition for Vista. Although both software programs have since been updated with new versions, the comparison is still relevant as updates were incremental. Michael Muchmore puts each program through a series of increasingly complex tests in transcription, system navigation and web browsing. Though both perform admirably, Dragon outshines Windows Speech Recognition on accuracy, speed and customizability. Muchmore asks whether it's worth it to buy Dragon's superior program when the Windows alternative is free. He concludes that for anyone who plans to use voice recognition technology in a serious way, it is.
Speak Up, a Computer Is Listening
by David Pogue
Our AssessmentDavid Pogue, an unabashed voice recognition enthusiast, tests Dragon's NaturallySpeaking version 10, observing that the program is taking "voice control unmistakably closer to that holy grail of computing." Pogue's comparison of Windows Speech Recognition (Vista) and NaturallySpeaking 10 offers some brief insight into the similarities between the two products.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11
by Sean Carroll
Our AssessmentReviewer Sean Carroll opens his review talking about how much of a resource-hog Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 is on a computer, but quickly adds the disclaimer that the CPU-power (and money) is well spent if you spend a lot of time writing. He calls NaturallySpeaking 11 "scarily accurate" and more responsive than the previous iterations, although he never details his testing criteria. Carroll also praises the software's new Dragon Sidebar and command tools. In summary, although he recommends light users stick to the built-in Windows Speech Recognition tool, he gives Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 an Editors' Choice award and says power users will prefer this software.
by Jeffrey L. Wilson
Our AssessmentPCMag's review of the Dragon Dictation iPhone app suffers from the same problem as PCMag's review of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 – namely, it doesn't describe the testing methodology. That said, reviewer Jeffrey L. Wilson does an admirable job listing several pros and cons about the app in detail. He recommends Dragon Dictation to anybody who hates virtual keyboards and doesn't mind that a working Internet connection is required for the app to work.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Professional Review
by Aoife M. McEvoy
Our AssessmentVeteran Dragon NaturallySpeaking user Aoife M. McEvoy professes her love of the older Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Professional at the start of this standalone review, and her familiarity with the software shows. Aoife puts the software through several (undescribed) tests: without any training, she reports 96.3 percent accuracy from the software. Completing the initial training resulted in 97.8 percent accuracy after her first few thousand words, and the number jumped to 98.3 percent accuracy after further dictation and training. NaturallySpeaking's responsiveness and its ability to correctly translate garbled words and fast speech are also praised. A minor complaint is the slow speed of the correction process.
Dragon for PC vs Dragon Dictate for Mac
by Editors of Speakeasy Solutions Blog
Our AssessmentAlthough this review comparison is on the blog of a dictation software service provider, there doesn't seem to be a bit of bias in this look at the differences between the Mac and PC Dragon products. The author says straight away that while Dictate contains many of the same features as NaturallySpeaking, there are some key differences that make Dictate the lesser product, such as an inferior vocabulary editor and the "Golden Rule" that prohibits users from mixing typed and verbal commands. He warns that switching to Dictate may be frustrating for NaturallySpeaking users.
Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium Review
by Adam Banks
Our AssessmentThe focus of this review by Adam Banks is on the improvements in Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium. Considerable space is devoted to the large size of the program, the accent/dialect feature, the Dragon Sidebar and new verbal commands. All of the focus on features, however, comes with a price; Banks never describes his accuracy tests, although he notes that he observed a mistake every few sentences during use. The review reports some initial difficulty getting the microphone to work with Windows 7. Banks recommends NaturallySpeaking 11 to new dictation users, but cautions that owners of NaturallySpeaking 10 have little reason to upgrade.
Microsoft Windows Vista - Speech Recognition Features Make the Upgrade
by Glen Salzman
Our AssessmentThis review is exclusively devoted to Windows Speech Recognition. In that regard, it's good
and exceptionally informative. The shortcoming is the absence of a needed comparison with Dragon -- vague references to "the competition" are inadequate. Salzman reports the system resource usage of Vista's application and advises, "Without good hardware, the response time for Speech Recognition can become unbearable." With that caveat, he endorses the software.
Voice Recognition - Dragon
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentConsumer reviews of the various editions of Dragon products on Amazon.com are varied and insightful. Unlike the almost overwhelmingly positive critical reviews, end users report more mixed results. While the majority of reviews rate the Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 products highly, there are also several 1-star reviews, most of which cite installation problems and poor technical support as the main cause of frustration. Dragon Dictate fares worse, with a 3-star average. Poor technical support is again cited as a major problem, as is overall sluggishness and the "Golden Rule." Several people express their frustration at the hard to use error-correction interface.
Why It's Time to Reconsider Speech Recognition
by John Brandon
Our AssessmentThis write-up fails to rate, rank or directly compare voice recognition programs, with the exception of vague contrast between the versions of Windows Speech Recognition offered in Windows Vista and Windows 7. Subjective claims for the quality of each program are made, and each system is reported upon favorably. A brief overview of each program's features and capabilities is helpful.
Dragon Dictation Review
by Ben Boychuk
Our AssessmentBen Boychuk does a thorough job of describing what he likes about Dragon Dictation, as well as what he doesn't like – namely, the app's reliance on Internet connectivity and its 30 second dictation limit. What he doesn't do, however, is conduct any formal testing or comparison studies against other software. Boychuk ends up recommending the app, giving Dragon Dictation "four out of five mice." In addition, about 15 user reviews on the site rate the app 4 out of 5 stars overall.
Vlingo – Voice App Review
by Jeffrey Battersby
Our AssessmentMacworld doesn't include any rigorous testing during their review, but reviewer Jeffrey Battersby thoroughly details both the good and the bad features of the Vlingo voice app. Two of the major highlights of the app, according to the report, are its responsive voice commands and its ability to learn from its mistakes. On the other side of the coin, Battersby finds himself needing to click the screen more often than he liked. Only a single user reviewed the Vlingo app on Macworld, rating it 2 stars out of 5.
Google Search Review
by Ben Boychuk
Our AssessmentBen Boychuk's review of the Google Mobile app follows the same basic structure as his Dragon Dictate review: Boychuk succinctly describes everything he likes and doesn't like about the application, though it doesn't appear that formal testing took place. Although he says the voice recognition works well and rates the app 4 out of 5 mice overall, he says usability limitations with other Google services make Google Mobile useful only for basic web searching.
Voice Recognition Software
by Steve Pavlina
Our AssessmentPersonal development blogger Steve Pavlina is a fan of voice recognition's potential for maximizing productivity, even if he is less than enthused with most currently available software. Because of his dissatisfaction with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, he decides to try Windows Speech Recognition and is pleasantly surprised. Pavlina finds that the program is more accurate than other (unidentified) systems on the market, though its reliability falters when used in conjunction with non-Microsoft programs.
Got Vista? Voice Recognition Is Built In
by Lecia Monsen
Our AssessmentAlthough Windows Speech Recognition is not included in TopTenReviews.com's report on top voice recognition software, it is covered separately in this brief review. Lecia Monsen describes the voice recognition capabilities of Vista as superior to "many" of those ranked on the site's voice recognition software matrix. There's no indication of how Windows Speech Recognition ranks, however, though Monsen lists accuracy, speed, features and program support as reasons to be impressed with the module.
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentOnce you move outside the top competitors in the voice recognition field, the reviews markedly thin out. In fact, this TopTenReviews.com review covering e-Speaking is the only report we could find for the program, other than a single blog post. The review is in-depth, if not directly comparative to other software. Overall, the TopTenReviews.com editors decide e-Speaking is decent, but nothing special, dictating with slightly less accuracy and registering commands with slightly less speed than Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 and Windows Speech Recognition. They label the software "mediocre" and "functional."
Talking Desktop Review
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentThis thorough examination follows the standard voice recognition review criteria as the other reports on the site; Talking Desktop is rated based on Features, Commands, Dictation, Accuracy, Ease of Use and Help/Support. Talking Desktop fails to impress the editors in any of the categories other than Help/Support. Sluggish commands and dictation coupled with an 86 percent accuracy score in comparative tests lead editors to label the software as merely "serviceable." Despite this, Talking Desktop was awarded the Bronze Metal in TopTenReviews.com's 2011 voice recognition round-up.
by Editors of TopTenReviews.com
Our AssessmentIt almost seems unfair to place Tazti in the same category of software as the Dragons and Windows Speech Recognitions of the world - the freeware program focuses exclusively on voice commands and provides no dictation support whatsoever. The software's extensive list of preprogrammed commands for opening programs and websites is given accolades, as is the ability to create custom commands, but the lack of dictation leads the TopTenReview.com editors to suggest avoiding the program for everyday use.It almost seems unfair to place Tazti in the same category of software as the Dragons and Windows Speech Recognitions of the world – the freeware program focuses exclusively on voice commands and provides no dictation support whatsoever. The software's extensive list of preprogrammed commands for opening programs and websites is given accolades, as is the ability to create custom commands, but the lack of dictation leads the TopTenReview.com editors to suggest avoiding the program for everyday use.
Voice Recognition Software: Just "Talk It Out"
by Jeff Muendel
Our AssessmentPractical eCommerce is a blog aimed at smaller businesses with an e-commerce element. In the website's look at voice recognition software, Jeff Muendel describes his experience of recommending Windows Speech Recognition to an e-commerce client. Muendel stresses the importance of a high-quality microphone and admits that the system is imperfect, but describes it as powerful, with a high level of functionality and good accuracy.
Review: Dragon Dictate 2.0 For Mac
by Brad Moon
Our AssessmentBrad Moon approaches Dragon Dictate for the Mac as a voice recognition virgin, having never used dictation software before. As such, he spends more time describing the installation – especially the dialect feature – and his experience with the dictation mode rather than actually testing the product. In fact, he never even touches the verbal navigation commands. Despite the lack of formal testing, Moon says Nuance's 99 percent accuracy claim "wasn't blowing smoke." He critiques several aspects of the software, including the pesky "Golden Rule" mentioned by every Dragon Dictate reviewer and the program's decreased accuracy when he was sick and had a raspy voice.
Windows Phone 7 Tips and Tricks (XIII) – Speech Recognition
by Cosmin Vasile
Our AssessmentCosmin Vasile's brief article does a good job of running through the basic features and operations of Windows Phone 7, but fails to list what she likes – or doesn't like – about the function she's describing.
Dragon Dictation Review
by Spanner Spencer
Our AssessmentThis basic review is more a list of impressions and opinions rather than a formal report. Spanner Spencer praises the app's accuracy and responsiveness and appreciates that the app handled his Yorkshire accent with minimal fuss. He warns that users of Dragon NaturallySpeaking will find the app "seriously simplified," but goes on to say that the app "suggests the days of typing on your iPhone screen are coming to an end." In the final verdict, he rates Dragon Dictation 5 out of 5 stars in every category but features, which he gives 4 stars.
by Editors of KnowYourCell.com
Our AssessmentKnowYourCell.com is a sister site to KnowYourMobile.com, which reviewed the Dragon Dictation app. The report for Vlingo is decidedly less enthusiastic than the report for Dragon Dictation. Although Vlingo allows you to use verbal commands to control certain programs and websites, its accuracy is noted as something less than perfect, although still admirable. Editors complain about the frequent need to push buttons on-screen, which means it's not totally hands-free. This mirrors criticism we found on other websites.
Review: Dragon Dictation
by Victor Marks
Our AssessmentVictor Marks spends more time talking about how the Dragon Dictation app works than what he thinks about it. The review relies on screenshots rather than in-depth analysis to make an impression. Marks never details what he likes about Dragon Dictation – in fact, he spends a lot of time talking about what he doesn't like – but he awards the app 4 out of 5 stars.
E-Speaking and Voice Recognition
Our AssessmentThis very brief, blog-like review is submitted by an e-Speaking user who relies on voice recognition due to physical limitations. After an unsuccessful attempt to install a budget-priced edition of Dragon NaturallySpeaking and a frustrating process of being unable to obtain any other Dragon or competing voice recognition product at an affordable price, this contributor downloaded e-Speaking online for a 15-day free trial and ultimate price of $14. The contributor is pleased with e-Speaking's dictation and web browsing capabilities, and recommends obtaining a good-quality microphone to improve accuracy.
Windows 7 Speech Recognition: Say What?
by Martin Heller
Our AssessmentIn this brief, lightweight review, Martin Heller describes a week spent using Windows Speech Recognition. Although he doesn't get into details, he says the program's accuracy is "good enough to serve the purpose." Heller closes the article by saying that he wouldn't hesitate to use Windows Speech Recognition again if he needed to.
Top 10 Smart Phone Apps – Nuance Voice Control
by Laptop Magazine Editors
Our AssessmentLaptop Magazine's website offers a brief, cursory look at Nuance Voice Control app. Editors say the app handles basic functions, such as making phone calls and web surfing, decently enough, but stumbles when asked to perform anything more complex. The report also notes that users may encounter difficulty in getting the app to hear their voice.