You may have already used some form of speech-to-text software before without even realizing it. Have you ever written a text to someone by speaking it out loud to your phone instead of typing it out with your fingers? That’s speech-to-text in action.
Of course, your texting app isn’t designed to help you write longer content, so it’s not a great option if you’re looking for some dictation software for your business. That means the search is on. What’s the best speech-to-text software option available to you?
That’s just what we’ll cover on this page, as well as discussing what exactly dictation software is. All in all, we’ll cover the following:
Dictation (or speech-to-text) software is a type of tool that transcribes spoken words.
To use a dictation tool, you open it and start speaking aloud. The tool then records the words you say in text form. That means you can write messages, notes, and even whole articles without ever touching a keyboard.
When can you use dictation software?
So, when might dictation tools be useful? There are a few different cases where you might want to have this type of tool.
Firstly, you may just want it for convenience. Maybe you find you write better when you can sound out your thoughts aloud rather than typing them silently in a document. Or maybe you just want to be able to write a page while simultaneously doing something else with your hands.
For many people, though, it comes down to more than just convenience. If you have a hand injury—either a minor one or something more serious like carpal tunnel syndrome—you may not be able to type anything. The same goes for many disabled people. In that case, a speech-to-text tool is a must.
5 best speech-to-text software options
Now let’s get to why you’re here: To find the best speech-to-text tool for you. There are several different options out there, so we’ll list some of the top tools below and give a bit of info about them. Those tools include:
Now keep reading to learn a bit more about the best speech-to-text software!
First on our list of the best dictation software is Gboard. This tool is offered by Google, and it actually comes natively installed on all Android devices (though it’s available for iPhones as well).
In addition to typing out text for you, Gboard can perform searches on Google or Maps and even translate text from other languages. (It supports 916 different languages and dialects, by the way.)
Using it is super simple. When you pull up the keyboard in any app, you just press the microphone button in the top corner, and away you go.
2. Windows Speech
Price: Free (with Windows or Microsoft 365)
Windows Speech—also called Windows 11 Speech Recognition or Voice Typing—is a dictation tool for Windows computers. It comes automatically installed on all Windows devices, so you don’t have to pay to use it.
To use this tool, all you do is press Win + H. That’s it! You should see a little dialogue box open that lets you press a microphone button to start recording. Then you just start speaking, and it will transcribe what you say.
3. Apple Dictation
Price: Free (with Apple device)
Apple Dictation is basically just the Apple version of the previous two tools. It’s available on iPhones, iPads, and Macs. To use it on a mobile device, you just do exactly what you do with Gboard—pull up the keyboard and press the microphone button.
Meanwhile, on Mac, you have to enable it in System Preferences. Then, you can use a keyboard shortcut (the default one is usually to press Fn twice) to start dictating.
4. Amazon Transcribe
Amazon Transcribe is unquestionably one of the best dictation tools out there. It uses machine learning to enhance its functionality, giving it the ability to do things other tools can’t. For example, it can register multiple speakers and transcribe text separately for each one.
Pricing for Amazon Transcribe is very complicated. It’s a pay-as-you plan, where you pay a certain amount for each minute you use it. The price per minute changes as your total number of minutes increases, and it varies based on things like location and type of batch.
Price: $200+ for desktop, $15 per month for mobile
Dragon, a tool offered by Nuance, is another of the best dictation software options out there. It, like Amazon Transcribe, uses machine learning to improve over time as it learns to understand your voice better. It can also transcribe prerecorded audio files.
One nice thing about Dragon is that it’s available on both mobile and desktop devices. The mobile version, called Dragon Anywhere, costs $15 per month. For the desktop version, the price depends on which package you get, but the cheapest option is a flat fee of $200.
How to choose the best dictation tool for your business
So, with all the options given above—not to mention all the dictation tools not included on this list—how can you make sure you choose the best speech-to-text tool for your business?
There are a few big considerations you should focus on. Firstly, what can you afford? You may be able to rule out several options based solely on price. Then, think about what features you need. Are you happy as long as the basic dictation feature is there, or are there specialized functionalities you want?
Finally, take a look at some reviews. Maybe a particular tool seems good, but then you read some reviews that reveal it’s rather glitchy and hard to work with. After considering all these things, you should be able to pinpoint the best speech-to-text software option for you.
Learn more about the best digital tools with Nutshell
Now that you know about the best dictation software, you may want to track down some other types of software for your business as well.
One of the best software you can get for your business is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform like Nutshell. Nutshell has the essential CRM features businesses need to close more deals, like contact management and sales automation, plus more advanced features to accelerate growth.
Interested in seeing what Nutshell can do for you? Just check out our 14-day free trial today!