Perhaps you want to dictate your messages or texts in general from your phone or PC, but you see that the microphone is quite awful, it sounds terrible and sounds don’t come as you expect.
Yeah, don’t worry either you don’t have a bad voice, it’s just your microphone.
With so many alternatives available, I’ll break down the list of my top 3 best voice dictation microphones and provide you with some background information regarding them
Let’s leap and look at those headphones without wasting any time.
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Top 3 Best Dictation Microphones
3. Nuance PowerMic III – Best Value
At most, Nuance is most likely not a name you hear often when it comes to audio gadgets. Things take a turn when it comes to dictation headphones.
Specifically created to increase physician productivity, the Nuance PowerMic III is a handheld speech recognition microphone.
It goes further than that. It will improve Dragon’s speech recognition and dictation speed, which is obviously what it is designed for, and it will do so with an integrated thumb-control operating system.
What I mean is that this is the most recent model in Nuance’s PowerMic range, and it has an excellent ergonomic design, making it superior to Nuance’s prior model.
With only the buttons visible, it essentially resembles a black remote control in terms of design, there’s nothing to see here, just what we seek, we don’t want anything flashy anyway.
Here, the mouse input, now a tiny touch sensor — steals the show by offering a unique experience while dictating, browsing, reviewing, and revising speech recognition-generated content compared to its predecessor.
It is a plug-and-play system, thus no additional drivers or speech recognition software are required. It comes with a USB cord that is around nine feet long, you just plug it and you’re good to go, there’s no rocket science behind it.
Overall, it’s an excellent speech recognition microphone that will substantially improve users’ productivity, including doctors. After all, that is its major goal. It gives users simple control over both speech recognition and manual dictation.
Definitely one of my favorite handheld dictation microphones.
- Frequency Response Input/Output Microphone: 20 – 16,000 Hz
- Speaker: 500 – 5,000 Hz
- Signal-to-Noise Ratio: +70db
- Great Ergonomic Design
- Easy To Use
- Reasonably Priced
- Great Mouse Input
- Great Desktop Microphone
- Some people might find the plasticky design and appearance distracting
2. Olympus RecMic II RM-4010P – Best Mid-Range
We have an Olympus speech recognition microphone to boost the ante a little.
Although Olympus is more frequently linked with cameras, the RM-4010P Pro is powerful proof of the brand’s prowess in the recording and speech recognition microphone market as well.
This is the most modern professional speech recognition microphone from Olympus, it features a dual-microphone design that was created to cancel handling noises and other sounds that are louder than what people can hear.
Compared to the above alternative, it looks much nicer. It is more compact and aesthetically beautiful.
It is uniquely designed with a triple-layer studio-quality filter that helps mask any unwelcome noises when dictating. Problematic noises like breathing noise, environmental noise, etc. won’t bother you at all, Olympus promises us on that part.
This speech recognition microphone is quite serious about what it does, as evidenced by the triple-layer filter technology that is also used in professional studio recording microphones.
The RecMic II is easily programmable with third-party apps, including online applications, without the need for Olympus software, and it may be used as a USB Keyboard for simple control by switching modes.
The fact that it is specifically made for heavy users and completely eliminates the need for a mouse makes this Olympus speech recognition microphone a great option.
- Frequency Response: 200 Hz to 9 kHz
- Maximum Output: 350 mW
- Input Level: 85 dB
- Sensitivity: -39 dBV
- Great Performance
- Great Triple Layer Technology
- Great Design
- High quality Sound
- The price is not that friendly
- It could have been more feature-packed
1. Philips SpeechMike – Best High-End
There is one speech recognition microphone that will always be the best when it comes to microphones for speech recognition or, let’s say, dictation.
A name that practically appears on every list.
That’s none other than Philips SpeechMike. This is a premium air wireless microphone that is feature-packed and comes with a bigger price tag which is understandable due to its capabilities.
The Speechmike Premium Air continues Philips’ tradition of producing top-notch dictation microphones.
It has a free-floating microphone, which is designed to be detached from the device to minimize background noise. It also features a fantastic internal noise reduction filter that rivals those of professional microphones.
Its ergonomic design prevents fatigue even if you hold it for a prolonged period of time. Also, it looks fairly good and it is quite compact. I would go as far as saying it looks better than both of the above options.
Using the inbuilt Dragon Mode, you can freely configure the buttons on the device. It gives you the chance to arrange the buttons however you choose.
Being a wireless microphone it comes with a smart docking station which is an innovative docking station that rewards quick charging and quick pairing.
There is also a touch sensor mouse, which makes it simple to navigate and control software.
If you can get beyond the expensive price tag, this speech recognition microphone offers dictation performance that is unmatched by any other.
- Frequency response: 200 – 12 000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -37 dBV
- Signal-to-noise ratio: > 70 dBA
- Wireless technology: ISM Band 2.4 GHz.
- Wireless Connectivity/ USB Connection
- High Quality Microphone
- Feature Packed
- Great Design
- Great Performance
- The price can be a bit too much for a speech recognition microphone
- Sometimes it over vibrates which is unnecessary
Dictation Microphone Buying Guide: Choosing the Right One
Before I carry on with the buying guide and tell you which are the things that you should pay attention to the most, let’s find out what exactly a dictation microphone is.
What is a Dictation Microphone?
Dictation microphones, as their name suggests, are designed to capture your speech at a distance, record it, and play it back to you in high-quality content.
They are perfect for interviews, lectures, talks, and many other situations.
Buying the right one can be daunting since the market offering is limited and there are a lot of knock-offs who can’t pick your voice right.
Since professional dictation is used the majority of the time, having the correct microphone will make your job a lot simpler.
Let’s highlight the factors that you will need to pay attention to the most when buying a dictation microphone.
Noise Cancellation and Noise Reduction Features
Let’s start with the most problematic aspect, noisy environment. Since this is essentially a microphone designed to sit on your desk or be held in your hand, it can be quite difficult to isolate your voice from other sounds.
So that it only picks up your voice and not background noise, you want a microphone with built-in noise reduction and noise isolation characteristics.
Basically, noise isolation and noise reduction maintain voice quality even in busy environments by blocking background noises. To stop undesired noises from being heard, always verify that your dictation microphone has a noise isolation feature.
Ergonomics and Design
The design of the microphone will be the next crucial component.
Yes, this is something I would never have thought to say about a microphone, but it is crucial when discussing dictation mics.
The three microphones listed above are designed for professionals; whether you’re a teacher who records your lectures, a doctor, or whoever else, you’ll be holding one of them in your hand.
Even if you could just leave it on the desk, having it in your possession will free you up to complete other tasks at the same time.
Therefore, since lectures are typically lengthy and take a while to complete, you want the microphone to stay put comfortably in your palm without putting any pressure, or tiring out your hand.
The Sensitivity Rating
You might say right away that a high-sensitivity microphone is better.
Since this is a topic that I frequently hear people discuss, a high-sensitivity microphone is not necessarily preferable.
Low sensitivity microphones are typically superior for recording loud, isolated sounds. On the other hand, for recording ambient, silent noises, high-sensitivity microphones are typically preferable.
So with that being said what we need to seek in this case is a low-sensitivity microphone so it can capture our speech while isolating the lower sounds that come from the background.
Compatibility is something else that is quite important when it comes to microphones.
For the Philips microphone that I have listed, due to it being wireless you won’t have a problem connecting it to your phone or laptop.
Still, even a wired microphone includes an audio jack you will find a port of audio jack pretty much on any device, be it a computer or a phone.
But yeah thanks to the modern technology and improved software of PCs and Phones, you won’t have trouble simply plug and play your microphone
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are Dictation Microphones Expensive?
In my opinion, I think they are fairly priced. Why am I saying this?
Well they are feature-rich and they are not your average microphone, they have different technology that is not found on your standard microphone, which helps on reducing noises and gives us the best sound quality possible.
Can I Use The Microphone of My Headphones for Dictation?
You can pretty much use any microphone to dictate your speech. But the real question here is, will the outcome be good?
No, it won’t, it will be awful. A normal microphone won’t pick your voice as well as a microphone that is made solely for that purpose.
Nearly at the end of the article, we arrived. My parting advice to you is to trust the three microphones mentioned above because they have shown to be a reliable option for dictation.
Although they are excellent, you might not find them useful or appealing. Research is still something you can do to find a solution.
Once more, I believe that other standard microphones will have trouble with speech recognition and dictation because they weren’t designed for such purposes.
Regardless of your decision, I wish you the best and hope this article was useful to you.
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Happy reading. That’s everything for now.
Composer & Audio Engineer
I’m a composer and audio engineer crafting sonic magic. Combining my skills in rhythm, harmony, and sound synthesis to create the ultimate auditory experience.