In the workplace, efficiency is crucial for success. The quicker you can produce results, the more you can focus on improving the more strategic aspects of your work. However, physically transcribing audio recordings, personal notes, verbal brainstorming ideas, and other documents is a tedious and time-consuming task that severely impacts the level of brainpower you can apply to other activities. Fortunately, there exists technology by the name of speech to text software. It allows you to type without your handsQ and use your voice to create documents. In this article, we discuss the best speech to text software available today in various categories of machine learning solutions.
5 Best Free Speech to Text Software List
Here is the list of our top five picks for the best free speech to text applications available on the internet.
1) Converse Smartly
We included Converse Smartly in this list of the best free speech to text software because of its powerful and robust technology. It can quickly and accurately convert any audio stream to text including dialogue or discourse from team meetings, conferences, interviews and seminars. It enables organisations and individuals to work faster and smarter with greater accuracy.
Created by Folio3, the primary aim behind Converse Smartly is to increase the workflow efficiency of any organisation. The app uses advanced speech recognition technology based on the IBM Watson Speech API and the Natural Language Processing ToolKit and is one of the best text to speech software with natural voices. Top features include:
– Speech Analysis
– Text Analysis
– Summary Generation
– Perform sentiment analysis
– Generate word cloud from input speech and writing
– Identify key entities and themes during speech or conversation
– Live Audio Transcription
– Detect multiple speakers
– Spot keywords
Compatibility: Any device with an internet connection, browser and internet connection
Price: Free trial version
2) Microsoft Dictate
Microsoft’s Dictate is here to prove that the even best text to speech software can be free and be just as good as premium software. Created by Microsoft Garage (a division of the company where employees get to work on their ideas as projects), this feature-rich application boasts the same advanced speech recognition technology that powers the Microsoft Cortana Virtual Assistant.
Dictate is essentially a Microsoft Office add-on and works well with Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. You can install it from the Microsoft store if you don’t already have it pre-installed with a copy of Microsoft 365. Once installed, you can access it through the “Dictation” tab that shows up in the top right of the Ribbon toolbar. The app supports voice commands for most standard operations such as typing or editing text, moving the cursor to a new line and adding punctuations either manually or automatically.
Furthermore, the app offers features such as visual feedback to specify that it is processing speech input. Microsoft dictates also supports dictation with real-time translation 60 different languages. Microsoft Dictate is compatible with Office versions 2013 and above and works well with Windows versions 8.1 and above.
Apps Compatibility: Windows devices only
Download Link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/garage/profiles/dictate/
3) Google Docs Voice Typing
Google Docs has now become an integral part of the lives of most content writers. Especially if already a google services user. So if you use Google products such as Gmail and Google Drive, and need an in-built, powerful, yet free dictation tool, consider using Google Docs or Google Slides and make use of their Google’s Voice Typing tool. It enables you to type with your voice and make use of over 100 view commands meant explicitly for editing and formatting your documents in any way you like. Including making bullet points, changing the style of the text, and moving the cursor to different parts of the material.
To use Voice Typing through Google Docs, all you have to do is click on the “Tools” button and then select “Voice Typing” then allow Google access to your laptop or PC’s microphone.
Compatibility: Any Google Chrome compatible device
Download Link: https://www.google.com/docs/about/
Otter can be used for taking notes and as a collaboration app that records and transcribes any audio source as long as the speech is coherent. Common data sources include meetings, interview and other voice interactions with data processing in real-time. Created by AISense, Otter uses Ambient Voice Intelligence for some of the smartest and most accurate speech recognition tools out there. Transcriptions are available within minutes so you can share them with your team almost immediately.
Compatibility: Android and iOS
Price: Free 600 minutes/month; $9.99 for 6,000 minutes/month
Get it from: https://otter.ai/login
Based on the Google speech-recognition engine, Speechnotes is a straight forward online tool for dictations and speech transcription. Since downloads, registrations or installations are unnecessary to use Speechnotes, so it is by far one of the more accessible dictation tools available on the internet.
Speechnotes is incredibly user-friendly too — it automatically capitalises the beginning of your sentence, AutoSaves your documents, and has the option for you to dictate and type all at the same time. You’re your work is complete; you can manage your documents in a multitude of ways. You can either send it out through email, print and file it, export it to Google Drive, or download the files onto your computer.
Compatibility: Any device with Google Chrome installed and a microphone
Price: Free with an option to donate and upgrade to premium
Download Link: https://speechnotes.co/
8 Speech to Text Software Free Download for Windows 10
6) Window’s Speech Recognition (WSR):
Window’s Speech Recognition (WSR) is a good software for speech recognition, especially because it is specifically designed to work with Windows, and works best in its newest update with Windows 10. Most people reviewed it as good, not great, but also claimed that it is at par with Google Docs Voice Typing (GDVT) and is a Windows version of the same level.
The advantages specific to WSR are that it has computer automation and related features, because it is especially integrated into and designed for the Windows operating system, it has complete control over the computer and its features, like sleep or shutdown options, etc. In addition, it gives the user text editing options, whereby any mistakes can be there and then corrected.
Though, some downsides include the fact that it is not the most accurate voice recognition software available in the market, as its accuracy is on the weaker side, and it cannot be freely used with other operating systems is need be for a change.
Its unique selling point would be the fact that it can control the whole computer through the software options, and can edit as you go. It is also free of cost, without additional charges, and works fine with Windows 10.
Temi is a tool used for speech to text transcription, and is a highly advanced version of speech recognition software. It works when you upload any kind of file, be it audio or video, and it transcribes it in under five minutes. Eventually, the files can be stored in MS Word or PDF formats that especially belong to Windows, and can even be emailed.
This transcription tool gives ease of use to its users, who are effortlessly able to adjust the sound, speed of playback, skip any part if need be, and add timestamps too.
However, the quality of the transcription depends on the sound quality of the uploaded file, and the better the sound quality, the more accurate the results. Additionally, if files are too large, it may take a lot of time to transcribe, and crosses the five minute set benchmark. It also has a little difficulty understanding multiple different accents.
A unique point of Temi is that it has been built by speech recognition experts who are also masters of machine learning. There is a little cost attached if there is need of the whole software, though, multiple shorter trial versions are available for free. Journalists, bloggers and podcasters or authors can best use this tool for their field of work.
8) Microsoft Bing Speech API
This Microsoft API is used for transcription purposes of the speech into text of any kind of audio streams that are fed to it. What this application does it, that it either displays whatever the transcribed text is, or it can follow and act upon the command given in the speech. It is best used in scenarios requiring conversion, dictation or an interactive participation, and gives great recognition results.
There are two important features to it: the REST APIs, where developers can use calls, HTTP format and use the service. Or else, there are Client Libraries also available for downloading, that belong to various platforms such as Windows, iOS, Android, etc. for any kind of integration.
It has great accuracy, is highly easy to use, and not very expensive, with a free trial version also available to check it before making a minimal purchase. One of its major advantages is that it supports multiple languages, for example, about 5 languages in conversation mode and 15 languages when it comes into dictation mode, so multilingual transcription is also possible.
Though, it gives the most accurate results when used in a continuous and real-time form, and may be slower in transcribing than other software.
Kaldi is a free speech-to-text software for Windows and Linux operating systems and available under the Apache License. The software was developed at John Hopkins University and was meant to offer super high-quality speech recognition solutions for multiple languages and domains.
It’s one of the few speech recognition software that is fully supported by leading technologies including deep neural networks and others. Kaldi comes with full support for general linear algebra, as well as, offers an extensible design for features-space discriminative training.
The code of the software was released back in 2014 and since then the platform is known for its intuitive interface and highest-quality standard for speech to text conversion.
Simon is a technologically advanced and highly flexible speech recognition software, available for Windows and Linux free of cost. The software offers high-level customization for all applications, thus can be used with all systems wherever speech recognition is required. What’s even better is that Simon isn’t bounded by any language, and can work with high accuracy with all major dialects. The software essentially brings in the automation to replace the mouse and keyboard.
The technology behind Simon includes KDE libraries, along with HTK, and CMU SPHINX. The software is available open-source and free of cost for Windows and Linux operating systems. Apart from being a speech recognition software, Simon also allows controlling computers through voice commands. The software is equally suited for disabled people. The strong architecture behind Simon means it can easily be used with all languages and dialects. Simon can be used to control various software and applications including media centers, emails, web browsers, etc.
Verbit brings advanced transcription and captioning features using artificial intelligence (AI). The software specifically is meant to help enterprises, and educational institutes in faster, and precise speech-to-text conversion.
The software leverage multiple speech models including neural network models, and AI algorithms to suppress the background noise and improve the accuracy of the transcription by understanding the speakers regardless of accent. The AI algorithms also enable software to identify and incorporate contextual events from the speech.
Overall, Verbit is an ideal solution for transcription services, even though the software does offer direct speech-to-text service.
12) Speech Texter (Web Chrome, Android)
The application offers easy transcription of speech, with great accuracy. The platform does allow live transcription, where you can click start and begin talking. Once the transcription is done, the text is shown in the main window with the “Result Confidence Wheel”, showing the estimated percent of accurately transcribed words.
Vocola3 is yet another great free speech-to-text converter. The software works in association with “Window Speech Recognition”, which helps to improve the accuracy and speed of the transcription service.
To be able to use the software, you would have to activate Windows Speech Recognition, before installing the Vocola3. Once the software is installed, simply turn on the settings of Vocol3 from the system tray and you are good to start transcribing. To further improve the features and functionalities of the software, different extensions can also be integrated into the Vocola3.
Best Free and Paid Speech to Text Software for Windows in 2021
14) Dragon Professional Individual
Dragon by far the gold standard when it comes to speech recognition software even today. Filled with several features and extensive customisation capabilities, Dragon Professional Individual is without question the best speech to text software available in the industry. Using deep learning technology allows the program to adapt to the user’s voice and environmental variations in real-time. Dragon automatically adds frequently used words and phrases to an internal repository to minimise the number of corrections.
Furthermore, using the Smart Format Rules, users can easily configure how they want specific items (e.g. dates, phone numbers) to appear. Dragon Professional Individual’s advanced personalisation features allow for maximum flexibility coupled with efficiency and productivity. You can also import or export custom lists for words, acronyms and various business-specific terms. If that was not enough, you could even configure custom voice commands to do the actions you do most often. Or quickly inserting frequently used content (e.g. text, graphics) in documents, and even create time-saving macros to automate multi-step tasks with simple voice commands.
Compatibility: Any device with windows version 7 and up.
15) Windows Dictation
If you would like a reliable speech to text software for Windows 10, you don’t even need to look elsewhere, as Microsoft’s newest OS already comes with one. The new and improved dictation feature lets you capture all your thoughts and ideas using only your voice both quickly and accurately. Furthermore, due to the deep integration between the app and Windows, Dictation works seamlessly with just about any text field in Windows 10. To start using the app, select a text field and press the “Windows + H” keys in combination to launch the dictation toolbar.
To insert any particular letter, number, punctuation mark, and symbols by just saying their names (e.g. to enter $, say “dollar symbol” or “dollar sign”). Dictation also supports numerous voice commands that allow you to select/edit text, move the cursor to a specified location, and more. However, Dragon is not available in any language besides U.S. English, and you require an internet connection.
Compatibility: Any devices with Windows version 8.1 and up
Get it from Windows or visit:
16) Briana Pro
Braina Pro is a personal virtual assistant with artificial intelligence as its backbone. The app can process over 100 languages and can automate various computer tasks, set alarms and reminders. Furthermore, Briana Pro can also serve as a dictionary and thesaurus with text to speech options as well.
Compatibility: Any devices with Windows installed and a microphone
Download Link: https://www.brainasoft.com/braina/download.html
Best Free Trial Speech to Text Apps for Android
17) Gboard Voice Typing
Of the many keyboard apps available for Android, Gboard is arguably the most popular and is one of the best free text to speech software available. Google’s keyboard comes with several attractive features, such as glide typing and one-handed mode. But aside from these, it also boasts robust speech recognition capabilities. You can use your voice for anything and everything from writing emails to responding to text messages. Gboard’s Voice Typing works with any Android app that accepts text input. To use the feature, all you have to do is tap the microphone icon (located at the right side of Gboard’s suggestion strip), and start dictating when “Speak now” is displayed.
Any errors in the transcribed text can be manually corrected. You can also use Gboard’s Voice Typing functionality to replace words in any document or message. For this, select the target word, and tap the microphone icon. Once “Speak now” is displayed, say the new word to have it replace the existing word. Gboard supports dictation in multiple languages and offers offline use as well.
Compatibility: Any Android device
18) Dragon Anywhere
Dragon Anywhere brings you superior dictation capabilities wherever you may be with high-quality speech recognition and desktop apps. Although an internet connection is a must, it is a small price to pay for this versatile software. Dragon Anywhere is the mobile version built for both Android and iOS devices, which is rare. However, Dragon anywhere is not ‘lite’ in any way and offers fully-formed dictation capabilities powered by the cloud.
The app also facilitates removing and adding boilerplate chunks of text with a single command along with auto-syncing of custom vocabularies between the mobile app and desktop Dragon software. However, you can only translate text from within Dragon Anywhere. You cannot use it in other apps and directly input your text. Nonetheless, even with these limitations, it is still an excellent application to use for all your speech to text needs.
Compatibility: Android, iOS | Features: Dictation, sync with Dragon Professional and cloud services
Price: 7-day free trial; 12 months @ $149.99/year; 1 month @ $14.99/month
Best Free Speech to Text Apps for Mac/iPhone/iOS Devices
19) Apple Dictation
Apple Dictation is one of the best free speech to text software that comes built-in with most Apple devices. It uses Siri’s servers to process up to 30 seconds of speech at a time (remember to connect to the internet). Apple Dictate is the ideal option for quickly getting your thoughts down on paper. Still, if you want to create content with longer for your voice and you’ve upgraded your Mac’s operating system to version 10.9 or later, then the better option would be Enhanced Dictation.
Furthermore, Apple Dictate helps you transcribe speech to text without an internet connection and is especially handy when faced with time constraints. With more than 70 voice commands, you can effectively control all your Mac’s actions, including typing, editing, and formatting for any document.
Get it from the Mac device’s Apple Menu by going to System Preferences, then click on keyboard and then go to dictation.
20) Voice Texting Pro
Voice Texting Pro is a professional app built by Sparking Apps with a 4+ rating App Store. It requires iOS version 5.1.1 or later since that app works best on the iPhone 5. Furthermore, much like most Apple software, the app prioritises the User Interface (UI) above all else, so it is effortless to use. All of its features are available from a single screen, and there are many in-app purchases available, including voice texting and adding languages.
Compatibility: Mac/iOS devices
Get it from the Apple App Store or https://apps.apple.com/us/app/voice-texting-pro/id542300792
Best speech to text Software FAQs:
Is there speech to text on Microsoft Word?
Yes, dictation technology is available for Microsoft Word independently and as a part of Windows 10. Just press the Windows and H key to launch the toolbar and start speaking. However, it is best to use the Microsoft Office speech to text tool since it will work seamlessly with any Office product. Here’s how you can activate the dictation feature if you are an Office 365 subscriber https://support.office.com/en-us/article/dictate-your-documents-d4fd296e-8f15-4168-afec-1f95b13a6408.
What is the best voice recognition software for Mac?
The best text to speech software for Mac systems is the built-in Apple Dictation software. It is also one of the best text to speech software with natural voices. To use it, go to the Apple menu to activate and enjoy.
In recent years, dictation software has become a staple for individuals and organisations alike as it becomes more readily available. It has become more comfortable to use, less expensive, and once you become experienced enough, it can significantly increase writing speed and make you more productive. Even if you’re not using the best speech to text software, it is still a necessary tool for people with accessibility issues or people trying to prevent repetitive stress disorders from typing too much.
However, remember that dictation may not always be right for every ask. It is best to use it for writing speeches, dialogue or commentary. Dictation can also be used effectively for making lists and writing notes.
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