Speech to text software converts audio and video files into text format. Typically, such software was originally made for desktops. However, as mobile phones have advanced in capability, it is possible to transcribe files on your smartphone or tablet.
This means that speech to text converters can be used by professionals from all walks of life. What’s more, their affordability, particularly those that work on mobile, make them useful for students. Today, instead of writing notes, all a student has to do is record their lecturer or get a voice or audio file and then convert it to text.
In this article, we will look at the top 10 speech to text converters and their uses. We have divided them into 2 groups showing:
- Best paid speech to text software
- Best speech to text software that you can use for free
There is something for everyone here, so have a read and take your pick:
Top paid speech to text converters
If you are looking for a pro-level, paid speech to text solution, dragon professional is for you.
At $300, Nuance ensured they left nothing to chance and packed this application with powerful features. Dragon professional transcribes at a speed equivalent to 160 wpm typing speed for a great business-grade experience.
This app is also great for individuals. The voice typing feature is especially useful for freelancers and other professionals, who may constantly need to type and manage documents while on the move.
You can do useful things with dragon professional such as:
- Editing documents
- Creating spreadsheets
- Voice search on the browser
- Import custom word lists
- Transcribe files on your mobile and transfer to your computer
- Voice typing
If you need an app that guarantees 99% accuracy straight out of the box, this app is for you. That is of course if you can afford the significant $300 that the app is priced at. But, for an app that delivers such accurate results without needing any training, this app is well worth the investment. Just plug and play and it will naturally adapt to your voice and words
Verbit is a transcription application that is not only fast and simple, but also smart, thanks to being AI-powered. It’s great for boosting teamwork among enterprise teams and large institutions such as schools.
Some key features include:
- High accuracy. This is not only because of the use of varied speech models, but also because Verbit uses human transcribers
- Ability to translate regardless of accent
- You can use it in real-time and get results after a session.
- Use it with zoom. Verbit’s Live room works with zoom to provide transcripts and captions for your zoom meetings
- Eliminates background noise
- It can integrate contextual information such as news, into a recording
- For imported recordings, you can monitor the progress and status of your job any time
- Access to reports, including usage reports and billing
- Edit, update and share files. Editing capabilities include adding comments and requesting reviews
- Access to a customer success manager
- You can manage users and permissions to keep your work highly secure
- Turnaround time for transcription can range from around 4 hours to a few days depending on the industry
Pricing and plans: Contact the Verbit team
Speechmatics is an automatic speech recognition and speech to text software with the “flexibility to be deployed anywhere”. This means that it is suitable for on-premise use if you are concerned about the security of your files, or, you can also use Speechmatics software as a service solution (SaaS). It has a wide variety of applications including transcription of media broadcast and use in call centers.
Speechmatics works on live audio and video as well as with existing files.
Key features include:
- Automatic speech recognition
- High accuracy recordings and transcriptions regardless of accent
- Use of Keyword triggers
- Speaker identification
- Generate transcripts that are searchable and editable
- Adjustable timestamps
- You can highlight or add comments
- Custom dictionary
- Transcription lead time in minutes
- Covers multiple languages
Pricing: Contact the team
Just press record is an easy to use cloud-based, voice recorder and transcription tool that in just one tap, supports voice recording and transcription in 30 languages on iOS devices.
Just press record can be used by anyone with an iOS device to manage everything from to-do lists, to calendar, documents and emails.
- Easy to set up and use; no need to create an account
- It offers unlimited recording time, making it a great companion for study and work
- Transcribe speech to text that is searchable, editable and sharable
- Share audio and text files with other iOS apps
- Organize and view recordings and files in a comprehensive manner
- Edit straight from the app
- Great for team collaboration if you work with multi-lingual teams
- Punctuation recognition
It works well on the Apple Watch too:
- If you don’t have your iPhone, record on your Apple watch
- Easy to use and responsive even on a small screen
- Automatic sync of recordings done on the Apple watch
- Playback for up to 12 recordings
Free speech to text converters
If you want to transcribe your files but don’t want to spend on software, here are some great options to choose from:
Gboard is a free, easy to use text to speech converter made for Android and iOS devices. Gboard was first developed as a virtual keyboard, but its speech input option and high responsiveness make it quite powerful, which is why it makes this list.
Gboard isn’t a transcription tool per se, but it does everything a transcription tool does, and then some. And because it’s a keyboard, it will allow you to type physically or with voice, edit, translate, save and export work on pretty much any software you have on your smartphone.
Some great and useful features that come with Gboard include:
- Use voice command to trigger and input images into text
- Capture audio and translate files with google translate, for more than 900 languages
- Voice-activated web search
- Easy searching with predictive results
- You can share graphics, including GIFs and emojis
- Predictive typing based on context
- Unlike other apps, Gboard doesn’t feature adverts, making it nuisance free when you want to capture files on your mobile devices while on the move.
6. Windows 10 Speech Recognition (WSR)
Image Source (Windows Central)
This is a speech recognition software that is fully integrated into Microsoft’s Windows 10 OS. If you are already using Windows on your desktop, then WSR will come at no extra cost
The one downside of Windows speech recognition is that it doesn’t measure up to the accuracy levels experienced on most other apps. However, if you aren’t pressed for time, and intend to use the software more frequently, you can give train it by giving it access to your files or read more text to it.
Unlike Cortana (Windows voice assistant), windows speech recognition has many more capabilities including:
- Executing commands via voice on text, emails, forms and desktop user interface
- Custom dictionary, including custom language models
To use windows speech recognition, you have to turn it on in the control panel and go through a few steps to set it up.
If you spend a lot of time in meetings or holding interviews, you no doubt find it useful to record what is said. The problem is, after a meeting or interview, it can be quite challenging to go through voice recordings. That is where transcribe comes in. If your recording device is an iPad or iPhone, you can use transcribe to convert any audio or video files to text.
Transcribe is AI-powered. It comes with the following features:
- Record voice while transcribing at the same time
- Automatic voice and video transcription
- Adding captions to videos, even those in foreign languages
- Transcribes in more that 120 languages
- Supports file import from Dropbox
- You can export transcribed text into different file formats
If you are on the pro version, you get 3 hours of free transcription monthly, and can sync up to 50gb of files
Lilyspeech is a lightweight speech to text tool that works on Google Chrome. It is easy to install, requires no sign up to use and transcribes text with a 99.5% accuracy.
To use LilySpeech, press Ctrl+D and start speaking with your normal voice. Lily will dictate in real-time, use punctuation such as comma and period, and respond to voice commands such as, “next paragraph”.
Once done with dictation and transcription, you can issue further voice instructions to perform various operations such as copy and pasting transcribed text to email.
The use of custom words makes Lilyspeech even more accurate, as you can teach the application to recognize web addresses, industry jargon, names of people, and businesses, among other unusual words.
Price: You can use the free package or buy LilySpeech Premium for $29.99/year
That’s it for now! As you can see, there are quite a number of options to choose from, whether you want to transcribe on your iOS, Android or Windows device. Most of these apps will fit into your natural workflow, meaning therefore that you can simply start using them without much of a learning curve.