Due to having a torn scapholunate ligament in both of my wrists, I’m a user of speech recognition software. That means that I, like many users of speech recognition software, fully understand just how important it is to have a good microphone set up. Literally it doesn’t matter how clearly you speak, if you have a rubbish microphone then using speech recognition software can be a tedious nightmare filled with nothing but frustration.
So yeah getting a good microphone is an absolute must for speech recognition software, especially if you’re going to use it for voice dictation purposes. I have talked previously about which I believe are the best microphones available, in this post I wish to talk about the best microphone setups.
Or rather is it better to just get one microphone, or is it better to have a couple. Also are some microphones better at some things than others, and are some better for some environments than others? The answer to these questions is of course it depends what you wish to use the speech recognition software for, and just how loud the ambient noise of the environment in which you will be using it in is.
With this in mind, these are what I believe to be the best options dependent upon planned use and environment.
Setup 1 – best microphone options for using speech recognition software for Internet browsing purposes alone
If all you wish to use speech recognition software for is for Internet browsing purposes, then in my view you don’t really require a brilliant microphone, that means one of the cheaper ones will likely do the job.
With this in mind for use for Internet browsing purposes alone in my view one of these two options will likely be suffice:
- Really quiet environment – FIFINE Computer desktop Microphone
- low to mid-level ambient noise – Dragon USB headset
- high level ambient noise – SpeechWare FlexyMike DEC
Setup 2 – best microphone options for voice dictation
People often mix up the term speech recognition software and voice dictation software, speech recognition software is a general term for all types of speech recognition software of which voice dictation software is included. Voice dictation software is basically software which allows you to write documents. So it is voice to text software. I am writing this using voice dictation software.
One of the most integral elements of getting the best out of voice dictation software is getting a microphone with really good accuracy. To say the least if you’re trying to write a document using voice dictation software and your microphone is good but not brilliant, the writing experience will to say the least be tedious and frustrating.
I know this because I originally went with the cheaper options assuming that there would not be that much of a difference. To say the least I was greatly wrong. With this in mind I would definitely say if the primary purpose of you using speech recognition software is for voice dictation purposes, that you should get a really good microphone.
That means that in my view it is more cost-effective to purchase an expensive one in the first place than buying a cheaper one only to inevitably then go on to buy a more expensive one because the accuracy of the cheaper one is rubbish.
These are the two that I would recommend, and to say the least for voice dictation purposes if there are better options out there for accuracy, I have not yet found them:
Setup 3 – best microphone option for using speech recognition software in noisy environments
Speech recognition software is not really designed to be used in noisy environments, but if you are in an environment which is relatively noisy, whether that be background noise like a loud computer fan, a loud air conditioning unit, noisy children, loud workmen next door, whatever, it is not the end of the world because there are options out there. Specifically options with really good noise cancelling built into the microphones.
In truth this is again one of those times where in my view the most cost-effective option is not to buy a cheap option, and in truth for noisy environments there is only really one option that will even in my view be remotely usable:
Setup 4 – best options for if you need sound
One of the great downsides of speech recognition software is the fact that if you need to use your speakers, either for listening to music or for editing sound or for whatever, you can’t really do so because it totally messes up the speech recognition software.
But of course there is a solution, and that is to use headphones. There are two ways to incorporate headphones into your setup for use with speech recognition software, one way is to just purchase headphones and use them along with whichever microphone you are using, which if you are using a desktop microphone likely will be the preferable option.
However, if you’re using a Headmic the last thing you want is to also be wearing headphones, which brings me to gaming headsets. Without a doubt gaming headsets are the best headphones with mic’s you will find, or at least I think that they are, and the best two options available in my view are the following:
- Best for Internet browsing alone – Sennheiser GSP 300 Closed Acoustic Gaming Headset
- Best all-rounder – Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset
Best combination options
If you can afford it without question having more than one microphone option can be highly beneficial, or at least I have found as such. With this in mind these are the best microphone combinations I have found.
Setup 1 – most cost-effective
For me a good microphone setup includes a desktop microphone option and a Headmic option, and allows for both easy use of browsing and really good accuracy for voice dictation purposes. It also allows for use in noisy environments and provides an option for listening to music or listening to whatever you need to listen to.
What I believe is the most cost-effective option which allows for all of the above is the following:
If you purchase both of the following, in my view it means that you have a desktop option which provides solid accuracy for browsing purposes, and you have a solid option for voice dictation purposes and for times when the environment is noisy. Also if you need to listen to music or whatever, all you have to do is simply use a cheap set of headphones.
Setup 2 – money is not a problem
If you don’t have to worry about how much things cost, then it gives you the power to have the best of all worlds with your microphone setup.
With this in mind these are what I believe to be best combination of microphones a person could buy for use with voice dictation software:
- Speechware USB 3 in 1 TableMike
- SpeechWare FlexyMike DEC
- Sennheiser GSP 500 Open Acoustic Gaming Headset
This combination literally combines the best of all worlds, you have the best desktop microphone, one which is perfectly capable of handling background noise for Internet browsing purposes, and in quiet environments is brilliant for voice dictation purposes, you have the best microphone full stop for voice dictation purposes, and you have the best headphone option which includes a microphone.
Speech recognition software can be brilliant but what can be difficult is working out how to get the best out of it. Hopefully this post will provided some ideas for how to create the best microphone setup for whatever it is you wish to use speech recognition software for.
That’s all from me for today, stay safe!