PROS / This affordable software has a high rate of accuracy.
CONS / It does not have voice transcription tools.
VERDICT / Dragon Home is simple to use, accurate and a perfect fit for a home office.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home is among the top voice recognition software on the market. This highly accurate, affordable dictation software specializes in home use, which is unlike professional-focused software that costs significantly more and has extraneous features.
Dragon Home is compatible with most Windows-based applications like Microsoft Word, Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook Express and Windows Mail. It also includes a word processor called DragonPad, which is similar to WordPad and can be completely controlled by voice. So even if your computer doesn’t have a word processing program installed on it, you can effectively use this software. You can also opt to download free office software, like Open Office, and dictate documents that are compatible with Microsoft Word. You have the option to automate commas and periods, specify alternate written forms, use Word properties and take advantage of the formatting feature, which allows you to format text with your voice.
A punctuation tool will insert commas and periods naturally without a command. You can turn this tool off and on with your voice, by saying “autopunctuation on” and “autopunctuation off.” Whether autopunctuation is on or off, you will have to command the software to add other punctuation such as question marks, exclamation points and hyphens. Dictating punctuation through commands gives you more control over where punctuation appears, and even if the natural punctuation function is activated you can insert commas and periods on your own with the proper command.
A headset microphone is included with this voice recognition software when you purchase the physical set rather than the downloaded version. You can also use USB microphones. When you are using the microphone, it will go to sleep after a certain length of silence.
It has basic speech-to-text functions: You can open and close programs, navigate programs and folders, switch or minimize windows, and change settings with your voice in this Dragon Home version. You can also choose the self-paced option, which allows for easy printing and uninterrupted reading of text during the voice training, which helps the software become accustomed to your voice and speech patterns. You can select, correct and format text. You can move the cursor and punctuate text with your voice quickly with commands like, “insert before death – tragic.” and “italicize – The Catcher in the Rye.” This makes for fast editing of a document.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home is easy to use. While it's slightly disappointing that you cannot transcribe a recording into written text using this software, it’s understandable that software in this price range isn’t going to have everything.
We tested this program to see how well it dictates, and it received 86 percent accuracy. That is just slightly below the highest-ranked software on our lineup and above the average, which is around 79 percent. The accuracy is good enough that you don't have to continually spell-check the dictation.
You can talk to a customer service representative in real time through Nuance's live chat support, consult the company's knowledgebase or read the online user guide. You can also reach the company via telephone during business hours and email whenever you wish. Like most of the Dragon products, it has extremely good support services, and Dragon Home has the advantage of being one of the simpler Dragon products, so you likely won't have to spend much time scrolling through the user manual.
Dragon Home is voice recognition software with high accuracy. It has enough features to stand on its own as a home product without missing the professional features. It lacks voice transcription, but it’s solid voice recognition software that's affordable and has a lot of the functionality of pricier Nuance packages. You can use voice commands to dictate documents and emails as well as navigating websites and a variety of applications. This is a solid software package that ranks up there with the best.