Whether you’re looking for a microphone to use with Windows 10 speech recognition or you want to find the best mic for Dragon dictation software (Medical, Legal, or any other version), this article will help you!
After 37 hours of extensive research, testing, and interviews with the owners, we’ve come up with a list of the best microphones for dictation and speech recognition.
10 Best Microphones for Speech Recognition
Here are the list of the best microphones for dictation and speech recognition:
Philips SMP4000 SpeechMike Air
It’s a professional wireless handheld microphone that shows the best accuracy, low error rates and designed specifically for speech recognition.
Sennheiser MB Pro 2
If you prefer headsets, go for Sennheiser. The accuracy is great and the headset is comfortable to wear for long hours.
SpeechWare 3-in-1 TableMike
Not the cheapest desktop microphone, but it definitely does the job.
1. Philips SMP4000 SpeechMike Air – Best Bluetooth Wireless Microphone for Speech RecognitionCHECK PRICE
Number one mic on our list is Philips SMP4000 SpeechMike Air. It is a professional wireless handheld microphone that was created for working with speech recognition software.
👍 The quality of the recordings is insanely good. You won’t believe me, but the voice on the recordings really sounds like it’s been recorded in a studio on a professional mic.
💬 The same goes for speech recognition. Because the microphone is so great, the accuracy in speech recognition software is almost 100% perfect.
🔇 The microphone in this device is free floating which means it’s decoupled from the device itself. It helps to eliminate unwanted noises.
Notice that although it’s wireless it isn’t using Bluetooth. Which is important in our case. It uses a special lossless wireless transmission technology. Because of it, the quality of the sound from this mic sounds so so good and the response is instant. With other microphones, you’re going to experience a delay between your dictation and the actual input into the software. With Philips SMP4000 SpeechMike Air the input is instant.
✅ The ergonomic design and especially the customizable control buttons make the dictation process even better. Whether you work with Dragon Naturally Speaking or any other dictation software, these would help you improve the workflow.
🖱️ And if you have want to use this for Windows 10 speech recognition, you can customize the buttons in a way that it replaces the mouse! It’s especially useful for people with wrists problems or for people with back problems who can’t sit in front of a computer for hours.
This device’s design is really well thought out. It’s made of special kind of antibacterial plastics which ensures your safety from the germs for at least 5 years. I’m not sure, but it may be very important for doctors and other medical professionals who use Dragon Medical in their work.
🔋 The battery life is very long compared to other wireless mics. You can use it for at least 20 hours per single charge. I don’t know who may need it for dictation for 20 hours, but if you do, it can last that long 😀
And when your battery is low, you simply put the device in the station and it charges wirelessly. You don’t any cables!
🥇 We hope you now realize why Philips SMP4000 SpeechMike Air is THE best wireless microphone for dictation and speech recognition. If it fits your budget, buy it. You won’t find anything better. I promise.CHECK PRICE
2. Sennheiser MB Pro 2 – A Wireless Headset for Speech RecognitionCHECK PRICE
Before we jump into the details, we recommend checking out our guide on the best wireless headsets for speech recognition and Dragon Naturally Speaking in particular.
Now, to the Sennheiser MB Pro 2:
The MB Pro 2 is really awesome, and by using it you can be assured that the words will flow from your mind to the screen almost automatically!
This is because you have the power of the German engineering behind you! No more taking two tries to get your point across! You can communicate with confidence!
And if that wasn’t enough, you also have 8 levels of sound reduction technology, allowing your soft, whispery voice to be crystal clear in all situations. If you are not sure whether or not you’d like this product, I suggest you try it and find out for yourself.
Your words will sound clearer and be much more powerful with less effort. It’s truly amazing what this product can do for your voice and how it comes through in person.
The MB Pro 2 headset is wireless so you can easily move around while using it. I was pleased with the MB Pro 2’s wireless range. It reached around 82 feet before it began to cut out.
The noise-cancelling feature allows you to reduce or completely eliminate background noises around you so that the microphone only picks up what’s in front of you.
This is excellent for any speaker or person who needs speech recognition to work properly, and especially good for those who need it to work well while surrounded by a lot of ambient noise.
For someone on a strict budget, you might be better off buying a slightly cheaper product with fewer features.
The Sennheiser MB Pro 2 Bluetooth Wireless Noise-Canceling Headset is simply an exceptional quality headset, and my top pick for anyone who needs wireless quality while in an environment with a lot of background noise.
3. Nuance Dictaphone PowerMic 3 – Best Handheld Microphones for Dragon Naturally SpeakingCHECK PRICE
There are two versions of this microphone. One is a Medical edition and the other is a non-healthcare version. The difference between them is in the firmware. The Nuance Dictaphone PowerMic 3 non-medical edition is not supposed to work with the Medical version of the Dragon software. But most users say it works great with Dragon Medical. Other than that, there’s no difference. The specs and experience are the same.
If you’re using speech recognition software professionally, we highly recommend this handheld microphone. It is designed specifically for dictation and voice typing. And here’s why it’s better than the others:
The Nuance PowerMic III Speech recognition handheld microphone is a great device if you’re looking for something that gives you a full keyboard, mouse, and microphone all rolled into one unit.
You don’t have to get back to the computer and manually check if everything is typed right. The ergonomic design of this device allows you to easily control the software, blow up the word count, and improve the dictation workflow. Easy, thumb controlled dictation means users will not have to stop working to make adjustments.
You don’t need to buy a new soundcard or anything for it to work on your PC. It uses plug-and-play installation so it is very simple to use. The fact that it connects via USB makes the installation very easy and bypasses the need to install a new soundcard so you can be sure the microphone will work at all times.
The accuracy is outstanding! Thanks to the unidirectional microphone noise cancelation works better than in the other microphones. The error rates go down and you spend less time editing the text.
With such precision, you will be much faster and more productive!
The only downside is the cord length. It comes with a 3 ft cord which is not as convenient as wireless microphones. But there are also 9ft and longer coiled cord available.
4. Nuance Dictaphone PowerMic 2 – Best Microphone For Dragon MedicalCHECK PRICE
This one is a predecessor for Nuance Dictaphone PowerMic 3. It has all the benefits of the PowerMic noise canceling technology and provide excellent accuracy.
However, there are also downsides to it compared to the PowerMic III.
First, this microphone firmware is designed to work in DMPE or Dragon Medical 10. Which means the programmable buttons wouldn’t work with any software except Dragon Medical. They won’t be functional and can’t be customized.
The microphone, speaker, and mouse would still work and show excellent performance.
If you’re planning on using this microphone with Dragon Medical, it would be a perfect choice to dictate medical reports or reply to patient cases. But regardless of your software version, this is a great handheld mic.
5. Philips LFH 3500 SpeechMike – Best Handheld Microphones for Dictation and Speech RecognitionCHECK PRICE
Philips LFH 3500 is a rather expensive handheld microphone. But it is definitely worth the price! And here’s why:
The microphone is free-floating and decoupled from the device’s housing which allows for better sound quality when recording. Basically, it means the microphone is not connected directly to the device but instead rests loosely which helps to cancel out surrounding sounds and greatly improve speech recognition results.
The microphone is hidden behind a grille made of thin metal that functions as a pop filter. A pop filter is an extra layer of protection that cuts out really annoying and loud sounds when you talk on your microphone, mainly ‘p’ and ‘t’ sounds.
On top of that, it has an integrated motion sensor that mutes the microphone when not in use and controls the volume level. This basically means that the microphone is automatically turned off after a long period of non-use and saves battery life.
Well, all-in-all, this microphone seems like a good choice. Philips always makes high quality products so I think you will be happy with your purchase. You can trust that this microphone will perform well. It is easy to use and to carry around, the sound quality is superb.
In conclusion, this Philips model should be a great asset to your workflow. If you are looking for a durable, solid microphone that works well then you have found it in the Philips LFH 3500.
6. SpeechWare – Best Desktop Microphone for Speech Recognition
The SpeechWare 3-in-1 TableMate is a portable desktop microphone designed to record audio from any source, including your computer, smartphone, tablet, or other devices.
The flexible gooseneck can be bent in any direction, and allows for maximum voice clarity. The TableMate mic also features a 3.5mm input jack, allowing you to connect a wide range of other audio sources.
It’s an excellent way to ensure that your voice commands are accurately recognized by your computer. The mic’s digital signal processor (DSP) ensures that the voice data is delivered in the clearest way possible, and can be used for dictation, gaming, or other purposes.
The microphone requires no software or drivers and can be used with any system that supports USB or 3.5mm input jacks.
The SpeechWare mic can be used as a desktop microphone for speech recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking.CHECK PRICE
7. Jounivo Desktop Microphone – A Cheaper AlternativeCHECK PRICE
Dictation is the easiest and most convenient way to take advantage of your speech recognition software. The Jounivo is a high-quality microphone that offers great voice quality and noise reduction for an excellent dictation experience.
It has a solid and lightweight metal construction, flexible gooseneck, and a mute button with an LED indicator.
The mute button lets you turn off the microphone with just one click, so you don’t have to constantly adjust the volume or wait for it to shut off automatically.
The flexible gooseneck lets you position the microphone for the best voice pick-up.
The omnidirectional condenser mic allows you to record audio from multiple directions and suppresses noise from a single direction.
It’s the perfect mic for anyone who needs to dictate memos, conversations, or any other spoken audio.
Jounivo microphone is compatible with all Windows and Mac operating systems and requires no software or drivers to operate. It’s plug-and-play ready out of the box.
8. Andrea – Best USB Microphone for Speech Recognition
This one is designed for speech recognition and specifically, the Dragon Naturally Speaking software.
It’s a professional dictation microphone that provides high accuracy, enhanced intelligibility for VoIP applications, and high definition audio for crisp, clear sound quality.
Convenient controls are easy to reach and use without even having to get up from the machine you’re dictating on.
This headsets features a flexible microphone boom that enables accurate microphone placement.
The windsock adds to its functionality by minimizing breath popping sounds, ensuring clear audio recording in challenging conditions such as in meetings or when speaking over noisy background in cafe or office.
With all the professional features, it’s very affordable for such a comprehensive system. At this price, why aren’t you giving it a try today?CHECK PRICE
9. Sony ECMCS3 – Best Microphone for Cortana
Sony ECMCS3 is a simple microphone that simply does the job. It is not too expensive and very simple to use. For Cortana you probably wouldn’t need a super professional mic, so we chose this great option.
If you do need a professional mic, feel free to buy any of the microphones that we mention in this article.
Now, let’s see why Sony might be a good choice for you:
This microphone is designed to fit conveniently in the users pocket or around their neck. This makes it easy to hold at all times and eliminates accidental dropage which can damage the internal components of the microphone and make it unusable.
It is a clip microphone and is very clear for an inexpensive mic. The detachable clip allows users to quickly attach the microphone to their shirt or pants pocket so it is always on hand when needed for recording.
It has a flexible clip that rotates 360 degrees. You can point it toward your mouth, away from your mouth, up to the sky. It’s really great because most mics require perfect placement in order to work.
If you need a handy microphone for any situations, this mic would be a smart buy.CHECK PRICE
10. Koss CS100 – Best Budget Microphone for Speech Recognition
We’ll be honest, this headset is here for the price. It’s super cheap. But it works OK.
It catches everything you say and the quality of the recordings is decent. It’s not the most convenient headset in terms of workflow, but it does the job!
Headset is lightweight and adjustable which makes it easy to use and it’s comfortable enough to wear for hours.
The microphone direction is also adjustable. If you’re not satisfied with the qulity, try to adjust the mic direction so that you talk directly into it. It helps to reduce the background noise to a certain extent and catch your voice.
Koss CS100 is great value for the money. It does the job and works OK with Windows 10 speech recognition, different version of Dragon Naturally Speaking, Rosetta, Skype, or any other software that requires clear voice input.CHECK PRICE
Buyer’s Guide: What to consider when choosing the best microphones for speech recognition
When choosing a microphone, you should think about what’s important for your specific use case. I believe, your requirements can be divided into two main areas: the area of sound (in terms of quality) and the area of convenience. Let’s start with the sound.
When talking about the quality of sound there are two aspects that most people forget: polar patterns and noise reduction. As a user of a dictation device, you might ask what that has to do with a microphone? Let me explain.
There are two main types of polar patterns, omnidirectional and unidirectional. There is also a figure-8, and a hypercardioid pattern but it’s not that commonly used.
First is omnidirectional. As the name suggests, the sound waves travel in all directions and not just towards a specific direction. This means that they pick up sounds coming from all directions. You could use it if you want to pick up room ambience. However, this pattern may come with problems if the recording has other noises like from the streets.
The second pattern is unidirectional, or cardioid. This pattern uses a microphone element that picks up sound in the forward direction and rejects or attenuates sounds coming from the sides and rear. This can be useful if you want to reduce unwanted noises. It’s especially good for speech recognition as it can reduce sound from the rear and sides, although it doesn’t fully eliminate them.
This is the best pattern for recording dictation or voice. This pattern rejects sounds coming from all directions except the front direction. The rear and sides are rejected, which means you will hear less noise in the background and more clear vocals. What’s more, you can get a stronger sound signal with this polar pattern than with the other two.
Next, you need to consider how far away you are going to be from the microphone. Generally speaking, the closer you are to the microphone the better it will pick up your voice. The farther away, the more natural echo you’ll get in your recordings.
Are you going to be moving from one room to another while dictating or will you be sitting in one place?
The best microphone polar pattern to use for speech recognition would be the cardioid pattern. You want to get a strong signal so that there is little noise and less interference from the room you are recording in. Cardioid picks up only sounds coming from the front while rejecting other sounds, which makes it a very effective polar pattern for recording dictation and speech recognition.
This is subjective. It totally depends on your preferences. In our article we’ve tried to cover the best affordable microphones of all types of usage. There are professional handheld microphones, more convenient headsets with great adjustable microphones, and desktop and wired options.
For handheld mics ergonomics is important. How good the mic feels in the hand. How convenient the control buttons are. All of that and more. Our top pick gets 10 out of 10 points for all criteria. For others, it’s up to you to decide if they’re good enough to use for long hours.