With Dragon Premium voice recognition software, commands are easy to add, and you can dictate either with a microphone headset or just speak into your computer’s microphone. There are still some technical aspects that aren't fine-tuned, such as the speed with which the software downloads and setting up some of the programs within it. But its command capabilities and user-friendliness still earns it our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Transferring speech to text is tricky, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium rises to the challenge. When we tested the software, it scored a 90 percent on its word dictation. That is the best dictation score apart from our highest-ranking product, and the errors were very minor. We selected a generic voice for each dictation program on our lineup and tried to speak as clearly as possible when we tested each. Some voice-to-text programs have features to help the software become accustomed to your voice, and Dragon Premium is one of them. However, we chose to test the software before profiling a voice, and it still scored higher than most other voice recognition software.
You should keep in mind that simply saying sentences the way you speak them to other people is not going to give you a neatly written document. If you want to add punctuation, you need to tell the software to add it, or else your writing will look like a stream of consciousness. This slowed down the dictation process and took some getting used to. If you haven't used voice recognition software before, practicing on the tutorials a few times should give you a good start in learning how to be patient with it.
It is also easy to correct text with Dragon Premium. If you have an advanced vocabulary or need to take notes that have esoteric terminology, from something such as a medical class, and the software does not transcribe some words correctly, then you can go back and spell out the word. There is also a dictation box that shows what the software has written, and you can transfer that text to another part of your computer, such as your email or Microsoft Word.
Dragon Premium has more features than most of its competitors, so you can learn more advanced voice recognition tools than if you decided to get a low-ranked software system. However, some tools are automatic so they don't require you to master anything.
One of these features is voice transcription. You can record yourself or someone else talking on another device, and then play the device for your Dragon Premium software, and it will dictate words being played. This will come in handy if you are in class and your teacher is not near enough to your laptop for the software to transcribe what is being said, but you still want to have the notes. You can just record the teacher’s voice on another device and the software can take it down later.
Dragon Premium, like its sister systems Dragon Pro, Home and Dictate, has accent support for different dialects of English. You do not need to worry about trying to pronounce your words in a different way, because the software will be able to discern your speech.
There is also a helpful status icon in the software system that is not obstructive and gives you access to the software’s main tools. It shows you whether or not the microphone is on, and whether the software is in command mode or dictation mode.
There are a number of commands that come with the software, but Dragon Premium still gives you the ability to add more. Most of the commands are associated with grammar and corrections or moving the screen, but you can program the software to open your email, open projects and begin games.
The commands feature also gives you the option to correct it if it gets confused about what you mean. It will number whatever your options are, and all you have to do is say the number in order to make the program perform the task.
Getting help with the software is easy. The Nuance website is laid out neatly, with each type of software given its own page with technical information and tips about how to learn the program. There is also an online chat service that connects you to representatives from Nuance, all of whom seemed well informed and polite when we contacted them.
The site also has several tutorials that walk you through the software, and they are updated to include Version 13, with specific videos for Dragon Premium. You can also download the user guide directly from the company website.
The only underlying problem is that given the difficulties we experienced getting the software to work, you are probably going to need a lot of help in the beginning. It took over 90 minutes to fully download it. The computer became slow and unresponsive during a lot of that time. When it was up and running, there were times when it paused unexpectedly. Even though that it to be expected from such complicated software, we still found it to be a hindrance compared to other software we reviewed.
With features designed to make dictation easy and adaptable, Dragon Premium more than earns its place as one of our top products. We wish that getting the software running could be a little less arduous, but we still think its features and dictation expertise raise it to nearly the top of the voice recognition pile.
It accurately incorporates commands with its voice-adaptation program.
Downloading the software and using its tools are complicated.
Dragon Premium's command capabilities make voice recognition much easier, but it comes at the price of a lot of time setting up.