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  • Voice Recognition
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    $167.99 list($199.99)
    1. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking
    $989.99 $848.00 list()
    $87.99 list($109.99)
    3. ScanSoft Dragon Naturally Speaking
    $129.99 $129.88 list($149.99)
    4. iListen with Headset/Microphone
    $84.99 list($99.99)
    5. iListen
    $35.69 list($199.99)
    6. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Preferred
    $179.99 $179.62 list($199.99)
    7. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking
    $159.99 $99.99 list($189.99)
    8. IBM ViaVoice Pro USB Edition
    $69.99 $62.99 list($79.99)
    9. IBM VIAVOICE Advanced 10.0
    $29.99 list($34.95)
    10. Microsoft Voice Command for Pocket
    $114.99 $109.88 list($129.99)
    11. IBM VIAVOICE for Mac OS X USB
    $44.99 $43.36 list($49.99)
    12. IBM VIAVOICE Simply Dictation
    $34.99 list($39.99)
    13. Talk It Type It
    $42.99 $29.99 list($49.99)
    14. IBM VIAVOICE Standard v.10
    $79.99 $74.00 list($99.99)
    15. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Standard
    $539.99 $538.90 list($595.00)
    16. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional
    $169.99 list($199.99)
    17. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred
    $13.98 list($49.99)
    18. iSpeak
    $34.99 $10.84 list($39.99)
    19. iSpeak - Text to Audio/MP3

    1. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Preferred
    list price: $199.99
    our price: $167.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0003009IK
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 62
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Speech recognition software for dictating, editing, and controlling applications
    • Listen to incoming e-mail read aloud; search the Web by speaking URLs and links
    • Use dictation shortcuts to insert text or bitmaps with a single voice command
    • Dictate directly into a PC or any Scansoft-approved handheld digital recorder
    • Works with Corel WordPerfect and virtually all Windows-based applications

    2. ScanSoft DRAGON NATURALLY SPEAKING MED ( A709A-X00-8.0 )

    our price: $989.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006I5EYI
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    3. ScanSoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8 Standard
    list price: $109.99
    our price: $87.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00030096W
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 244
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Surf the Internet by voice
    • Faster than typing
    • 20% more accurate than before
    • Works with all your favorite applications
    • A noise-canceling microphone included

    4. iListen with Headset/Microphone
    list price: $149.99
    our price: $129.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000C6EOQ
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: MacSpeech, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 1253
    Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Speech recognition software
    • Dictation in normal tone of voice and at a normal pace
    • Dictate, format and edit directly in any application
    • Correct and Update your Voice Model in almost any Application
    • Easy to install, train and use

    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars works for me!
    I do some pretty arcane dictation with lots of technical vocabulary, and have found the system up to my demands. I have worked at training the system, and it keeps on improving. I do find some of the interfaces a bit awkward to work with compared to the system I use with my PC (Naturally Speaking Standard Edition), but then, I've worked with that system somewhat longer. If the recognition of iListen improves with use as well as Naturally Speaking has, I will change my rating to 5 stars.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Be glad I didn't enter this with iListen
    I purchased iListen about three years ago. I found that it might have been useful for verbal commands to control computer functions, but it was useless for dictation. I upgraded to version 1.2.1, patiently went through at least three, new "training" sessions, and still was unable to create useable text via verbal input. When iListen kept sending me e-mail solicitations, I offered to upgrade if they could demonstrate that they had improved accuracy. They replied, "Because there are so many variables, and everyone has a different definition of what is acceptable results, all sales of iListen software are final."

    My definition of acceptable dictation was that accuracy was sufficient to permit replication upon proof reading. I would accept errors, but not so different from what I had said that I could not reconstruct my text from its translation. It never even came close. Perhaps my voice is incompatible with iListen, and maybe it will translate your speech accurately. In either case, remember, all sales are final. ... Read more

    5. iListen
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $84.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000C6EOL
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: MacSpeech, Inc.
    Sales Rank: 1487
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Dictate, transcribe, edit, format, and speech navigate within any application
    • Transcription can generate text from WAV and AIFF audio files
    • Easily correct, update, and teach iListen new words and phrases
    • Extensive vocabulary of more than 330,000 words
    • Offers multiple profiles and is Internet ready and AppleScript compatible

    6. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Preferred
    list price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008A6CF
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 419
    Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 7 offers home and small office users powerful speech-recognition features to maximize their productivity. After completing about 5 minutes of training, you can talk to your computer and watch your words instantly appear in virtually any Windows-based application, including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Outlook Express, Internet Explorer and Corel WordPerfect. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 is the most accurate Dragon NaturallySpeaking ever, and the easiest to use.

    With this versatile program, you can launch programs, create documents and reports, and manage your desktop--all by voice. Simply dictate into a ScanSoft certified Pocket PC or handheld digital recorder, and then automatically transcribe your dictated speech when you synch with your PC. Use RealSpeak Proofing to have your documents read back to you in the most natural sounding synthesized voice available, or simply have your own recorded dictation played back for you. END ... Read more

    Reviews (26)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Un-naturally Not-Speaking
    ScanSoft says Dragon is "fully integrated" into Excel. NOT! It doesn't know about named-ranges or sheet names. It's difficult to select blocks of cells, and damn-near impossible to enter your own formulas. Docs say you can use "compute end formula." Absolute, pure BS!

    In Outlook, docs say the command "Open Mail" and "close mail". Dragon hears "Open Male" and "close male." Sorry, the message doesn't open! Docs: "Check Mail", or "get Mail," results: doesn't work.

    Using Internet Explorer is almost impossible, at first. After a few hours, you can almost navigate dual web site.

    Great toy. But it does NOT work as advertised. Save your money! If you're not disabled, and have no need for voice recognition software, caveat emptor!

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's Like A Great Arm And No Hands...
    To Whomever it may concern:

    This is a great tool. I would love to have one. I think many people would, especially if they write a lot. Still, I am a MacIntosh user and cannot use this platform. ...or so I think.

    Go Figure,

    1-0 out of 5 stars Worst product
    After installation, the product wouldn't even launch - says dns files not found. I tried calling them and looked into their website - NO USE. I spent 3 hours for NOTHING.

    This is a worst product with NO Support. I will return this DAMN product and demand my money back.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent recognition but commands need work
    I purchased the software because it's getting very difficult to use the keyboard and mouse due to a neuromuscular disease. I have the software for two days now and it is doing well for replacing the keyboard. I have what Doctors call a "thick speech" and people have a hard time understand what I'm saying. The teaching tool is working well, and already the program understands me almost as well as people.

    The one thing I was hoping would be a little better, is the commands. Navigating around windows without using a mouse is difficult and it doesn't work well with Microsoft Outlook unless you have a professional version. It's good with Internet Explorer but surfing the Web with other browsers is rather difficult if you're trying to avoid using a mouse. It would be nice if you could download program specific commands from a web site or create your own macros.

    My final thoughts,
    This is proving to be a valuable tool for replacing the keyboard, but I am finding myself searching for a different method to replace the mouse.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Bug Free but Tedious
    I appear to be the oddball, because my experience with Dragon Naturally Speaking has been the opposite of the other reviews on the site.

    The good news is that I'm running it on Windows XP (Home) and have NOT had any of the technical problems mentioned by others, although the software is resource intensive (it can slow the system down). But I didn't expect anything else from voice recognition software, which involves a very complex task.

    The bad news is that, after properly training the software for an extended period and using it for a couple of months, I've pretty much stopped using it because it is tedious to use. The error rate is still between 5-10%. Although that doesn't sound like a lot, it means every 10th or 20th word is wrong. What's more, the errors are not always obvious (e.g. they are real words and are not detected by spell check, but they make your writing sound like you're on serious drugs). The result is that proofing your work is a tedious task at best.

    I type fairly quickly (50-60 WPM) and with reasonable accuracy. My typos are easily identified by spell check (I don't tend to insert the wrong, but correctly spelled, word the way Naturally Speaking does!). Ergo, I can type and proof faster than I can dictate and proof, which defeats the main reason I bought Naturally Speaking (to speed up my reply to sometimes voluminous email correspondence).

    My conclusion: The "state of the art" for voice recognition is not yet where it needs to be to pay off for a halfway decent typist. On the other hand, if you're a poor typist or have a physical handicap that makes typing difficult or impossible, it might be worth a try. ... Read more

    7. ScanSoft Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical Upgrade from Versions 6/7
    list price: $199.99
    our price: $179.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006IJH82
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 4073
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8.0 Medical Upgrade from Medical .Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical truly delivers on the promise of speech recognition in healthcare. Never has a release of Dragon NaturallySpeaking been as accurate - Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical is 25% more accurate than the previous release, and delivers up to 99% accuracy! Now healthcare professionals can truly eliminate the high cost and long turnaround time associated with manual transcription of patient notes. The result is lower costs and better patient care.Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical will fit right into your enterprise IT infrastructure. The new Roaming User feature lets you access your unique #34user profile#34 from any workstation in your organization's network, so you can #34roam#34 your hospital, clinic or practice and always have access to the power of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical also comes with a complete library of 14 medical specialty vocabularies, as well as the tools to further customize vocabularies for a specific practice. Finally, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical will work with just about any Electronic Medical Record (EMR) application. ... Read more


    • Create simple commands that will automate complex, multi-step tasks and use templates to speed up clinical documentation. Just say a single word or phrase and let your computer do the rest.
    • With a 25% increase in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking┬« 8 Medical is up to 99% accurate-just as accurate as many manual transcriptionists.
    • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical comes with specialty vocabularies for Radiology, Cardiology, Surgery, General Medical, Family Practice, ObGyn, Neurology, Pathology, Orthopedic, Emergency, Mental Health, Oncology, Pediatrics and Gastroenterology.
    • You can even access your unique Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Medical "profile" from any PC on your organization's local area network.
    • Be productive on-the-go! Import recordings from any ScanSoft-certified handheld device for automatic transcription and have a third party editor quickly and easily make corrections.

    8. IBM ViaVoice Pro USB Edition
    list price: $189.99
    our price: $159.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000A58IX
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 2934
    Average Customer Review: 2.86 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Powerful dictation software that works with most Microsoft applications
    • Create macros that run across multiple applications; you control their speed
    • Supports the use of select digital handheld recorders
    • Works with IBM ViaVoice and VoiceMarks
    • Noise-canceling USB headset microphone included

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
    I see on this site that most people did not like this product. Well, I did. At first it was a dissapointment, but after I did lots of voice testing and corrections, it was great. No hands are needed and it is relitivley fast. Great Buy.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Crashes, crashes, crashes - DO NOT BUY
    Installed ViaVoice 10 in Windows XP Pro...

    And sometimes it opens and sometimes it doesn't. Mainly doesn't.

    Then I find this...via Google..


    After launching Dragon or ViaVoice and clicking a link in one of the menus, the system locks up or freezes. Other symptoms include Dragon NaturallySpeaking's Select-and-Say or ViaVoice's dictation and commands fail in Microsoft Office XP applications, such as Word and Microsoft Outlook.


    Microsoft Office XP's "Alternate User Input" installs a background process called CTFMON.exe which can interfere with Dragon or ViaVoice. The following information was taken from the Microsoft website:

    "...Ctfmon.exe monitors the active windows and provides text input service support for speech recognition, handwriting recognition, keyboard, translation, and other alternative user input technologies...."

    And you can get NO, repeat, NO, help from ScanSoft.


    2-0 out of 5 stars do not buy it if you have mcafee internet security soft ware
    IBM viavoice usbpro has major conflict issues with mcafee internet security suite(6.)Ibm redirects you to scansoft that has a lousy support which is charged to your credit card after the first free query;their online knowledge database is sparse and the tech personell seem to be reading their answers from algorhythms with background knowledge barely above the average customer's; Mcafee has a more extensive online database but no free tech support phone calls; problems of conflict between the softwares were related to TCP/IP port (viavoice apparently works through an open port) and to speech engine conflicts;none could resolve these issues;such issues in my opinion can only be resolved by interdisciplinary programmers;short of this the choice is one software verses the other

    2-0 out of 5 stars Terrible Support - Many Installation Problems
    An earlier ViaVoice installation 3 years ago went fine and the product was pretty useful and accurate enough for my purposes.

    ViaVoice version 10 however has been a nightmare. I still have not been able to install it on a Win2K-SP4 computer. I am a fairly advanced computer programmer/systems person with 20+ years of experience.

    Support is virtually non-existent from Scansoft. My 30 days of free support from IBM where I purchased the product has not been honored. All support has to come from Scansoft.

    Great features, if you can access them. I am seriously thinking of demanding my money back. Washington State has some very consumer friendly laws regarding "Fitness for Purpose", one more reason I am grateful to live in the Northwest.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Incompatible with Word 2003
    I have used ViaVoice Ver10 Pro USB for a little over a year with great results. On a fast computer system it keeps up with you almost no matter the speed of your speaking. It does occassionally crash. There seems to be a problem with it writing back to memory. IBM was unable to find the problem. It had done this on other computers as well. I've used it with MS Office XP Pro on my old computer. I upgraded to a new computer with MS Office Small Business Ed 2003 only to find that ViaVoice is not compatible with the components. I spent $9.95 in tech support only to be told that! They said that they plan to put that info on their website(Scansoft is now the tech support for this product). To date they haven't. Guess, they want to sell as many copies as possible before they make a patch. Anyway, if you're planning to use this with Office 2003 or higher it will not work and tech support will do nothing to help you except take your money.
    Update: 5/5/2004: I contacted ScanSoft to find out if they are making a patch to make it compatable with Word 2003. Their standard answer is "We're working on it." If you go to their website you will find that they still haven't put in a disclaimer that it doesn't work with all Word editions. It just says that it does work with Word. I wonder how many refunds they are giving out for false advertising? I'm also surprised that the major PC magazines haven't picked up on this. ... Read more

    9. IBM VIAVOICE Advanced 10.0
    list price: $79.99
    our price: $69.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000A58IW
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 1543
    Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Feature-rich voice recognition product for experienced PC users
    • Surf the Web with voice activated linkage; create e-mails
    • Transcription support for digital handheld recorders
    • Portable navigation macros; dictate into many PC applications
    • Noise-canceling headset microphone included

    Reviews (1)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Good recognition, but very unstable program
    This is my first experience with dictation software, so I don't have anything to compare it to. All I can do is offer observations of how it has worked for me.

    Training this software takes quite a long time; a few hours if you want to get maximum performance. I actually wouldn't mind so much, except that you need to retrain it every time you buy a new microphone or work in an environment with a different sound level. For me, this has meant having to train the software several times. Reading the provided material so the software can sample your voice is actually kind of fun, but after you've done it a few times, it is exceptionally tedious.

    The headphones which come with the software are adequate, but I've heard you can get better recognition with a higher quality set.

    My biggest complaint about the software is that it consumes a tremendous amount of system resources on your computer. I can not be running any other programs at the same time, or it crashes. I am using a computer with a 1.40 GHz Centrino processor with 512MB of RAM. Even when I am running only IBM ViaVoice and MS Word, I clearly run into performance issues. After a while my computer starts to bog down and I have to restart it.

    Another complaint is that it types with unusual quirks which it seems it would have been easy for IBM to have prevented. For example, it often fails to capitalize the first word in a sentence, especially when dictating in chat software. And for some reason, when you dictate for a passage to be in quotation marks, it leaves a space between the quotation marks and the words inside the quote. And sometimes, for some words, it is impossible to get the software to recognize that you are dictating a word, and not issuing a command.

    IBM's ViaVoice is considerably cheaper than the competition. Unfortunately, I have no idea if the higher price of the competing products is justified by being a higher-quality product. ViaVoice is probably adequate for most casual dictating needs. If you've never used dictation software before, it's really impressive the way it can usually understand what you're saying. The more you use it, the better it gets at recognizing what you are saying, and the better you will get to at enunciating in a way it can understand. After a few months of casual usage, I would say my software is hitting 90 to 95% accuracy.

    The bottom line is, for the price, this is pretty good software (though I sure do wish it was more stable). If you use dictation a lot and know that the competing products are better quality, they would be worth the price. But for a casual user, this software is fine. ... Read more

    10. Microsoft Voice Command for Pocket PC & Pocket PC Phone Edition
    list price: $34.95
    our price: $29.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001XU8E4
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Microsoft
    Sales Rank: 628
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Transforms Pocket PCs into virtual personal assistants
    • Voice-controlled phone, contact lookup, media player, and more
    • State-of-the-art speech technology; no voice training required
    • Conversational style that asks questions if more information is needed
    • Hands-free use of a mobile device; convenient and efficient

    11. IBM VIAVOICE for Mac OS X USB
    list price: $129.99
    our price: $114.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000A58IY
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 3480
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Brings natural, continuous speech voice dictation to Mac OS X
    • OS X/Aqua human interface look and feel
    • Dictate, correct, edit, and format by voice text within SpeakPad
    • Create customized voice commands in favorite Mac applications
    • Noise-canceling USB headset microphone included

    Reviews (2)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Wrong Product for panther
    I can't get the microphone to even record. I think this version is incompatible with Panther, or I may have a faulty product. I am a very experienced Mac user and actually read manuals and web sites for support. It's possible that the correct product is actually IBM ViaVoice for Mac X USB, v. 3. It's a $30 upgrade from this version. Neither Scansoft nor Amazon makes this clear from looking at this page!

    To give this product a fair review, it needs to be repesented correctly on this site as not being the latest version for Mac.

    If I am wrong about this, I will correct it in a further review very soon.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Has never worked well in OS X
    Due to a spinal cord injury, my hands do not work. Obviously, typing is difficult, especially extended word processing. I use my computer 8-10 hours/day for work, email, etc., and frequently need to type more than a few lines. So, Viavoice seems to be the obvious choice for me. I have owned viavoice and each upgrade since the first version. Despite updates, this program has never worked well on OS X. On a few occasions I have gotten it to operate briefly, but usually it crashes, fails to open, does not respond, or dissappoints me in some other way.

    Training the program is a long process, and the fact that I cannot use it now is ridiculous. I consider myself a mac expert, and use many programs. I have never been more frustrated with a program than I am with this one. Support is poor, and updaters are few-and don't help.

    Save your money and more importantly your time-don't buy this program.. ... Read more

    12. IBM VIAVOICE Simply Dictation Mac OS X
    list price: $49.99
    our price: $44.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000A58JR
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 1296
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Use your voice to dictate, edit, and correct text
    • 160,000 word vocabulary; G4 processors optimization
    • Audio edit documents with Text-to-Speech feature
    • Easily transfer documents into other text-based programs
    • Great for creating letters, stories, reports, memos, and email

    13. Talk It Type It
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $34.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0001Y7I9G
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: PC Treasures
    Sales Rank: 1761
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Dictate directly into any Windows application; types up to 150 words a minute
    • Built-in, 60,000-word vocabulary and the ability to easily add new words
    • Avoid or compensate for repetitive-motion injuries
    • Makes online chats and Instant Messages even easier
    • Great for letters, homework, reports, and more

    14. IBM VIAVOICE Standard v.10
    list price: $49.99
    our price: $42.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000A58IV
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: ScanSoft
    Sales Rank: 2811
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Voice recognition with essential dictation, command, and control features
    • Use IBM ViaVoice SpeakPad to dictate letters, reports, memos, or faxes
    • Easily transfer SpeakPad documents to other text-based applications
    • 300,000 vocabulary and backup English dictionary words
    • Includes noise-canceling headset microphone

    Reviews (1)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Getting Pretty Good
    I thought that voice recognition software had finally reached the point where I would buy it. Based on my research IBM seemed to be the best. The Standard version really is all you need for dictation of reports, articles, letters, etc. Email will require a more advanced version.

    It actually works quite well. The key is to spend time at the beginning to train it to your voice and to correct each error. Now its not going to be like Star Wars (Scotty: "A keyboard, how quaint.") but it works and has greatly reduced my Carpal Tunnel wrist pain.

    Not quite 5 stars, I am a tough critic, but worth the money and I am using it daily in my work. ... Read more

    15. Dragon Naturally Speaking 7 Standard
    list price: $99.99
    our price: $79.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00008A6CE
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 844
    Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    Dragon NaturallySpeaking Standard 7 is speech-recognition software that offers home users powerful new features to maximize their productivity and have more fun with PCs. After completing about five minutes of training, you can talk to your computer and watch your words instantly appear in virtually all Windows based applications, including popular e-mail, word processor, and web browsing applications. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 7 is the most accurate Dragon NaturallySpeaking ever, and the easiest to use.

    This comprehensive program allows you to launch programs, create, edit and format documents, and manage the desktop--all by voice. It is fully integrated with Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, and AOL, and lets you surf the web, write e-mails, chat on-line all by speaking. Dragon NaturallySpeaking represents a significant step forward in the accuracy, speed, and ease-of-use of speech recognition technology. ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    3-0 out of 5 stars Decent recognition, poor compatibility, terrible support
    Version 7.0 preferred has excellent voice-recognition. However there are some glaring incompatibilities that make the product almost unusable. For example; I have XP Pro service pack two and the latest upgrades to Internet Explorer 6.0. With NaturallySpeaking running, whether I use voice or mouse to click on favorites and select a link, IE completely locks up. Therefore I have to shut down NaturallySpeaking before I can use Internet Explorer, and then restart it when I'm finished browsing. As mentioned by other reviewers ScanSoft charges USD19.95 for each support call after the first -- even to report a glaring bug such as the one mentioned above. This is unconscionable. Based on their support policies alone I would have to say stay away from their products.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I'm pleased...
    I have been using this software about a month. The improvement in accuracy has been nothing short of amazing. Yes, like other reviewers who have had good results, I spent the time and patience it took to train the system. I'm just a little annoyed that ScanSoft has recently dropped the price of its Preferred version, and not offered those of use with the Standard version an opportunity to upgrade at a reasonable price. But, as I build the recognition vocabulary, and since I don't work with Microsoft Office apps (I use Text Pad to review the spelling and spacing of the dictated materials), I'm not sure that the higher-priced version would have been that much more useful, given my work habits.

    3-0 out of 5 stars getting much better, but still plenty of glitches
    I've already reviewed this product, about a month ago, but since then the accuracy has improved dramatically, as it has learnt to recognise my speech. I often speak sentence after sentence with hardly a correction. Most of my gripes still apply though. And it seems to have good and bad days -- probably affected by microphone position among other things.

    I use it less select half the time, to avoid voice strain. But when I have a lot of typing to do it's a great relief for my hands, and quite good speed.

    One annoying thing, which I didn't mention before, is when it repeatedly makes the same mistake when trying to correct a word. For example I said " hi Sandra" which it rendered as "bystander". When I selected this it did not offer the correct option so I spoke again and this time got "high Sandro". I selected Sandro, and said Sandra (as Sandra was not on the list of options), and the program typed Sandro, or centre, again and again until I used the spelling tool. "Hi" also took a few attempts. My point is 1: the list of options often neglects obvious ones, and 2: if I've already rejected Sandro and centre for this occurrence of this word, the program should be able to remember that and not just repeat those mistakes.

    (for reference, I'm using the Australian module.)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    It often writes absolute nonsense -- a decent grammar check of the kind that Microsoft Word has had for years would eliminate about half of that, and it pathetic that Dragon has not included this already. (Example: with a grammar check, it would have detected that "it pathetic" is not something I likely to say, and would have tried a different option like "it's". See? there it is again, "I likely".)

    And if I say "select that" to bring up the correction menu (which often doesn't work, but anyway...) and wanted to choose item number four, I say "choose four"... but instead of putting in the fourth option, it types "choose for" or "choose four" or "shoes for".

    These are minor example. Examples. Often the mistakes a much more dramatic. Are much more dramatic.

    Love got a lot of effort... try again: although I go to a lot of effort to try and train the program, the accuracy is still very disappointed. (Disappointing!) It's generally much slower than typing because I spent so much time going back to correct mistakes.

    And the Dragon Pad editor is not very good - can't do multiple undos (ie go back before the last edit).

    Conclusion: Not good enough! Get it together, Dragon!

    I'll give it two stars though because it believed it has ["at least it has"...i gave up and typed this] a module for non-US accent. Accent. Accent. Accent. Accent. Accent. Then. Damn. Accents.

    I still use the program about half the time that I work catered computer... workout for...workout for... work at the computer, because it does relieve the strain on my hands and wrists. But not all the time because data does give me voice strain. I'm sure the voice strain would be much less if I could just dictate without constantly having to go back and give edit commands (or give the same command 6 times before giving up).

    By the way some tips to prevent voice strain are found at: (...)

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Boon for Carpal Tunnel Sufferers
    I'm a direct response copywriter, which means that I often have to key in great quantities of text. Unfortunately, I am also a sufferer of carpal tunnel syndrome.

    Although I've only had this program for a few days, I find it has taken a lot of the stress out of inputting copy.

    As another user suggested, it seems best to dictate the words, and use your mouse or keyboard for formatting.

    The program works very well with e-mail and word processing. But as an added bonus, it seems to give you control over most functions of any Windows program!

    For example, when your desktop is on the screen, you say "open Microsoft Word," and the program opens. Whoah, beam me up, Scotty! I would imagine that this program could be very useful to people with injuries or disabilities, not to mention "lending a hand" when your hands are full.

    The program does make some recognition errors, but then I do suffer a bit from marble-mouth myself. Fortunately, it's easy to correct mistakes by selecting the words in error, and then saying the correct word or selecting one of the choices the program presents you.

    Surprisingly, the program invites you to speak at your normal speed. Not to slow down as some earlier dictation programs forced you to do. There are also some passages they give you to read into the supplied headset microphone to improve the accuracy of the recognition.

    They say it takes about two weeks to optimize the program for your speaking pattern. I find the other challenge is simply getting used to dictation; as a touch typist and self-employed individual, I'm not accustomed to dictating documents to a secretary!

    The only reason I'm not giving this program five stars is because of the developer's stingy user support, as reported by other users here. When are manufacturers going to learn that it is imperative to provide a toll-free number for customers to call with product problems, and that customers should NOT be charged for the privilege either?

    Still, until another developer creates a product as good as this, NaturallySpeaking is probably the only game in town. ... Read more

    16. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional Upgrade from Preferred Versions 6-8
    list price: $595.00
    our price: $539.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0006I5EXY
    Catlog: Software
    Manufacturer: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 3639
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Product Description

    Scansoft Dragon Naturally Speaking 8.0 Professional Upgrade from Preferred .Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional will save you and your organization money because it enables everyone to create documents up to four times faster than typing and protects against repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome that increase insurance premiums and temporary labor costs. It's simple: you and your employees can use Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional to create documents and e-mails, write reports and fill out forms, without having to type at all. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional is fully integrated in the Microsoft Office applications you use: Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint. In fact, it works with just about any Windows application ... Read more


    • Install and manage Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional from a central network location. You can even access your unique Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional "profile" from any PC on your organization's local area network.
    • With a 25% increase in accuracy, Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 is up to 99% accurate and frequently more accurate than typing.
    • That means you can create documents and e-mails about three times faster with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional.
    • Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 Professional will help protect people in your organization from repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome - injuries that can cost tens of thousands of dollars in insurance premiums and temporary labor costs.
    • Simply install the Dragon NaturallySpeaking CD, and in just a few minutes, you'll be creating documents, e-mails and filling out forms by voice! We even include a free noise-canceling microphone.

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great program perfect for the disabled - enjoy handsfree
    If you're reading this. You are interested in buying Dragon NaturallySpeaking version eight if you are. I highly recommend it! I had versions of Dragon software, dating back to 1995. Let me tell you the software was clunky back then, being a quadriplegic, I used it to type and move the mouse. But as soon as I got a touchpad mouse. I dropped Dragon altogether. Step forward almost 10 years, I decided that I needed to send longer e-mails than two sentences (because that's all I could type, it gets tiring using only one hand and one knuckle on that hand). So I took the plunge drop the cash on Dragon, and after three days am totally satisfied.

    I added up and running and dictating in less than 20 minutes. The accuracy is amazing I'm actually typing this by voice. Since I can use a touchpad, I do not use the Dragon NaturallySpeaking for mouse commands. But for dictating it is perfect and quick!!!

    I'm using it with a 2 GHz processor, and it is fine. Getting it set up was a little quirky with my Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS. I'm actually using it with a tabletop condenser microphone, not the heads that they came with it (which I found to be quite uncomfortable). Since I'm unable to get the headset on my head, but a tabletop mike is working perfect.

    So I recommend this product anyone who has a disability that makes typing difficult. Anybody who doesn't want to learn to type (though I think he would be lazy, just suck it up and learn). The software is leaps and bounds above previous versions go for it! Enjoy! ... Read more

    17. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred 6.0
    list price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000064130
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Scansoft
    Sales Rank: 3988
    Average Customer Review: 3.32 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred speech recognition software enables small office, home office, business, and educational users to create documents, spreadsheets, and e-mail by voice command. Integrated with Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, and Corel WordPerfect, Dragon NaturallySpeaking works with virtually all Windows-based applications.

    Dragon NaturallySpeaking lets you listen to incoming e-mail and documents being read aloud, search the Web, access information, chat with instant messenger programs, or navigate Web pages by speaking URLs and links. Create dictation shortcuts that enable you to insert blocks of texts or bitmaps--such as your name, title, and signature--by voice. You can even dictate directly into a PC or a ScanSoft-approved handheld digital recorder. ... Read more

    Reviews (19)

    2-0 out of 5 stars A minimally good product that doesn't meet its claims
    I bought this product to help my visually impaired brother get better use from his computer.
    One of the things I wanted it to do was read his email for him. Contrary to the implication of its advertising, it doesn't read the very commonly used AOL email.
    It also does not allow selection of a default print size on its Dragon Pad to be increased.
    Dragon is also very bad about providing on-line support unless paid for. I requested help on these two items agreeing to pay; response was that the software just doesn't do these things; and goodbye.
    I don't know how good later versions of ViaVoice are, but an early version was certainly able to read AOL email.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Patience Rewarded
    This is a breakthrough product. I had Dragon version 3 on a Pentium 2, and it was so frustrating that I gave up. I think that was most people's response to earlier versions of voice recognition software. Part of the problem was processor speed and memory. Now, with a 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 and 256 MB it is at last a reasonable and workable software.

    However the training described in the advertising is optimistic unto misleading. The user files continue to accumulate corrections and understandings of the user's speech. It is after several hours of dictating and making corrections that it becomes reliable. The longer one uses it the fewer edits one needs to make.

    By pronouncing clearly and rapidly the user can get very high accuracy. It is counter-intuitive that it should be more accurate for more rapid, more continuous speech, but that is how it works.

    The integration of the Preferred version with Word, Excel, Access, and Internet Explorer makes it useful and convenient, and keeps it from being a novelty. For instance, I am dictating this in IExplorer and it has required very few edits. I expect that dictated documents will always require some edits but it will save tremendous amounts of typing and time.

    For people who do large amounts of typing this product is invaluable - a real breakthrough. The few hours spent training the software will be rewarded amply by months spent dictating instead of typing.

    I strongly recommend using a USB microphone. With an analog microphone the user-trained files are dependent on the sound card. With USB they can be copied to other computers, such as laptops. (And you thought cellphone users were annoying - just wait until people are dictating to laptops on airplanes.)

    If one uses Microsoft Outlook for correspondence, be sure to select Word as your editor because Dragon does not work with the default editor. (Tools-->Options-->Mail Format-->Use Word as Editor).

    This is billed as protecting one's hands from wearing out from overuse. But bear in mind - voices wear out too.

    If one sets Dragon to maximum accuracy it becomes somewhat frustratingly slow. This is not caused by insufficient memory as I thought (I added 512 MB - didn't help). It is a processor speed limitation. Which I take to mean that the glory days of voice recognition lie ahead of us. When Intel's and AMD's marketing wars will have brought us 10 , 20, or 100 GHz processors, we will be able to turn to our "Scotty" computer and say, as we always dreamed of saying, "Beam me up, Scotty" - and it will do it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Follow these tips and it'll work great!
    I just bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking about two weeks ago and I've already had a lot of success with it. If you're considering this product, I'd highly recommend it. Initially, I bought it because I'm a lawyer and do a lot of dictating anyway. But I also like to see the words on the screen, which is why I sometimes prefer to type things myself. I figured that Dragon NaturallySpeaking would be the best of both worlds. So far, it's worked pretty well for me. But keep in mind that the software doesn't work perfectly right out of the box. Based on my brief experience with the product, there are several keys to success.

    The first is to put in the time doing the voice-recognition training. Unless you teach the software to recognize your voice, it just won't work correctly. There's simply no getting around this. Although it may seem tedious at first, the training will pay off. (Besides, some of the training exercises on the software are very entertaining. For example, you can read President Kennedy's inspiring inaugural address or an excerpt from Dogbert's hilarious book on how to improve your management skills.) I spent at least an hour or two training the software when it first arrived and, believe me, it was time well spent. After the initial training period, the more you use it the better it gets because it is constantly "learning" from its mistakes. As another reviewer has suggested, it probably takes about two months before you'll be really impressed with the product's potential. (I'm pretty impressed after only two weeks!)

    The second is to buy a decent microphone. A lot of reviewers recommend a USB microphone, but an expensive USB model probably isn't necessary. I have an analog microphone (a Plantronics .Audio 90) and it works just fine. This particular model was far less expensive than most USB microphones that I've seen. The key is to find one that will allow you to position the microphone correctly in relation to your mouth. As the instructions tell you, the positioning of the microphone is essential. Frankly, the one that was included with the software just wasn't up to the task. It always seemed to be too close to my mouth and I was getting very poor results. But as soon as I started using the Plantronics, the accuracy of the software improved dramatically. Trust me, you'll be a a lot happier with the software if you spend a few extra bucks on a good microphone.

    Third, although it may seem counterintuitive, you should always speak quickly and naturally when dictating, rather than one word at a time. For some reason, the software is far more accurate when you do. Of course, this is a two-edged sword. If you're really "on a roll," and speaking quickly, the software is very accurate. On the other hand, when you just want to insert a word here or there, it isn't always as accurate as it could be. Consequently, I find that you still have to do some mouse movements when editing your documents. So, although Dragon NaturallySpeaking promises virtually hands-free operation of your computer, don't expect miracles, at least not at first.

    Finally, until you really start to master the product, you should probably use the text editor that's included with the software. It's called "DragonPad," and I've found that the voice recognition is somewhat more accurate when used with this program than it is with, say, Word or Outlook. Don't ask me why. Besides, it's really not that much of a bother. You can simply cut and paste from DragonPad into whatever application you may be using. When you first start using Dragon NaturallySpeaking, the increased accuracy is worth the extra step. You tend to get less frustrated when it's working the way it's supposed to. Shortly, however, I plan to "wean" myself off of DragonPad and start using Word and Outlook more frequently.

    I hope that these tips help. Have fun, and remember that practice makes perfect. (Yes, this review was dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking.)

    5-0 out of 5 stars As accurate as my typing
    I type fast but not very accurate. Also, my hands get tired quickly. This software is the answer. After training, it recognizes my voice at about the same accuracy of my typing. I have to go back and make corrections, but I have to do that wiht my typing also. Plus, the correction process lets me proof my document to make sure I am happy with it. Now if you are a professional secretary, your typing accuracy and endurance would be better than the speech recognition in this program. But if you aren't, it's a time saver.

    The only knock I have against it is that it doesn't work in Outlook Express. I just got a flier for version 7, and it is supposed to work with outlook express, so I'll purchase it for that purpose.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Still not there
    Voice recognition is a promise, not a reality and 6.0 demonstrates this fact. It will decades before one can truely dictate to a computer. Pass this one. ... Read more

    18. iSpeak
    list price: $49.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00007KFT3
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Fonix
    Sales Rank: 4086
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • You can listen to any email, websites, documents, articles, or your own text as you type it
    • Record the synthesized speech and save it as an MP3 or. wav to listen to later
    • Increase your productivity by freeing up your hands -- you can listen to email or documents while jogging or taking a walk
    • Useful for getting a feel of how any presentation or speech will sound
    • Good for teaching English as a second language

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Even better ..
    then version 2!! Especially the ATT voices are a big surplus, does sound like a human beeing now!

    Have fun with it ... Read more

    19. iSpeak - Text to Audio/MP3
    list price: $39.99
    our price: $34.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00009ZLJH
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: Fonix
    Sales Rank: 4409
    Average Customer Review: 1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan


    • Award-winning AT&T natural voices
    • Drag and Speak technology; new text-to-speech voice technology
    • Intuitive MP3 exporting capabilities; listening to MP3 files is now easier and more productive
    • Listen to your email directly from AOL 7.0, Microsoft Outlook 2000, and Outlook Express 6.
    • Automatically reads text copied to the clipboard or directly from Microsoft Word

    Reviews (1)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Nobody home at this company
    Voice is ok. But control tags to insert pauses in text don't work, even when you follow the documentation's simple recommendations. Nobody at the company is monitoring or responding to their website support email. Not hooked on Fonix here. ... Read more


    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00005NVWE
    Catlog: Software
    Publisher: IBM
    Sales Rank: 4518
    Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan Product Description

    ViaVoice Personal Edition 9.0 is for beginners in speech recognition. Setup is quick and easy, and dictation accuracy has never been better. The more you use ViaVoice, the better the program will recognize your voice. And it comes with a noise-canceling headset microphone that plugs into the microphone jack on the sound card of your computer.

    Begin by creating a Personal Voice Model so ViaVoice can learn how you pronounce the words you use. Fine-tune your voice model for improved dictation accuracy through the Recognition Wizard. By using the microphone headset and SpeakPad, the ViaVoice speech-enabled word processor, you can talk to your computer instead of typing. Or dictate, edit, and format text directly in Microsoft Word 97, 2000, and 2002.

    ViaVoice Personal Edition 9.0 can recognize new words as you use them, and adds them to the 160,000-word vocabulary, improving dictation accuracy the more you use the program. With the Text to Speech feature, ViaVoice can read back your typed and dictated text, making editing your documents easier. An improved Analyze My Documents feature allows ViaVoice to recognize your writing style and the words you use frequently, leading to greater accuracy. Also, use basic voice commands to access the Web and its contents in Internet Explorer using ViaVoice. ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    4-0 out of 5 stars IBM ViaVoice for Windows-Release 9
    This comes with a noise-canceling headset that includes a microphone. It is not by IBM. It works with Microsoft Word 2002 the best, but will also allow dictation to other software. Your words can be read back to you by an agent which is actually a robot that appears when you summon it. It can also read back aloud words that you didn't type; in other words, any text it "sees" which is rather ingenius. It will make corrections if you speak over it when you see an error. You can also teach ViaVoice new words after it has learned to recognize your voice and inflections in your speech by creating your voice model. IBM gives you a 95-page User's Guide with black and white pictures to illustrate procedures.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Free -Shipping, Fun for the Price, Not really worth anything
    I got this product free with a coupon on the site. Aside from shipping which was almost nothing, now I have something cool to show my friends. After all it was free. It comes with a headset microphone which is alright but too short and uncomfortable. The software is ok but still having trouble making out simple things. Not to mention, if you want to dictate places, names, etc FORGET IT. I typed a paper about 4x faster than I can use this to write it. Kind of fun how wrong it is. Don't spend you money, but if it's still free you can order it for a kick.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very promising piece of software.
    I got ViaVoice...I have to say that it is very fun to use. And with every word it seems that it gets more precise. I still have to finish the voice analyzations, but even so the software is getting very good at understanding what I'm saying. I even tried to trick it a few times with some nonsense words that I use to "talk" to my cats. I even taught it to understand some bad words. LOL If you know what I mean. Voice recognition software isn't at the level of StarTrek yet, but it's getting there. There is one problem I have though. At startup it prevents either MSN Messenger or MSNBC News Alert from starting up. And sometimes prevent's Norton AntiVirus Auto Protect from starting up. You can fix this by just starting the features mentioned manually, but it can be a pain in the butt. Though, it's nothing to uninstall ViaVoice over. Not a bad package...

    5-0 out of 5 stars ViaVoice is a great product which is very useful.
    I am very pleased with the performance of IBM ViaVoice. The technology upon which this package is based is obviously very sophisticated and powerful. I have been using ViaVoice for just over a month and the recognition rate is very high. Since the software provides for correction of any recognition errors, ViaVoice progressively refines my speech profile, resulting in a higher accuracy rate. Thus the accuracy is now significantly better than when I first started using the package. The vocabulary is amazingly big, including most proper names. Correction of any errors is quick and easy.

    I can dictate to Speak Pad (which is the ViaVoice document processing program), or I can dictate directly into Word 2000. It is both easier and faster to use ViaVoice rather than having to key-enter text. I do have to copy and paste text in order to send out an e-mail or post a message on an Internet bulletin board. But that is simple and it certainly beats having to key-enter my message. I definitely believe that voice recognition has come of age and is an excellent application for anyone who composes messages frequently. Considering the very reasonable price of the Personal Edition of ViaVoice, I believe it is an excellent buy.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Installation Problems
    This software looks great on paper and I've read plenty of positive reviews, but I'm having major installation problems that IBM's technical support team seems incapable is solving. Halfway through the voice analyzation procedure, the software simply stops recording, thus rendering itself useless. I'm very disappointed with ViaVoice and will return it for a refund. ... Read more

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