Dragon naturally speaking Home Vs Premium I am looking to buy one or the other version and not sure which is most reliable or most effective. I am a writer and my main purpose would be to dictate or copy my audio files from speaking engagements. I would appreciate input of experiences with either version
[UPDATED] asked by Elaine on October 18, 2010
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I can't tell you if either Premium or Home edition of DNS 11 is more reliable. Looking at the reviews of both versions, you can see some people have no problems. Others have major problems. I don't see a good way to predict how well it would work for you, other than trying the software.

In my review on amazon, which you can read here if you haven't already:
I do spell out the specific features that Premium has that Home does not. One feature that might help you, if it works well, since you want to use voice recognition software to transcribe speaking engagements, is the feature of Premium that allows transcription from **certain** supported digital voice recorders. (I haven't tried using a digital voice recorder with DNS, but I suspect if you have a different digital voice recorder other than one supported by Nuance, it may not work at all. My review suggests a link to check Nuance's website for which ones it says DNS supports.)

Do you want to transcribe your own voice with DNS at speaking engagements, or the voices of others? Premium DNS 11 would probably work well if you placed a supported digital voice recorder on a lectern while you gave a speech.

But if, as I suspect, you primarily want to use DNS to transcribe the speeches of OTHER people at engagements, though I haven't tried this myself, I would predict that no version of DNS 11 would be very effective. DNS is only licensed to transcribe speech for one user. If you choose to ignore the terms of the license, each speaker still is supposed to create his or her own user profile in DNS reading a sample script to help the software accurately transcribe that one voice, which isn't something you can easily do before transcribing other speakers. The software can only load one user profile at a time, not automatically switch back and forth during a discussion with several different people speaking. Add in the challenge of picking up inflections of a voice from halfway across a big room and the accuracy will drop further. I don't think there is software that can accurately transcribe a discussion yet.
Hal Lancer answered on October 19, 2010

Dear Readers,

I've been in the industry for long enough to see great strides of improvement. Here's my long and short of it.

Long story: The strides are disappointing, because the industry lacks compassion, and operates from a profit motive which is devoid of wisdom. Secondly, the user culture seems to tolerate poorer results (reference cable television, cell phone coverage; computer manufacturers). Users are handed "improvements" which are merely changes metered out for profit motives only.

Short story:
Some real people need perfect transcription results without compromising quality.
Other real people need good enough results and spend time with software, and say "it's just a computer."

Which are you?

Alan Kelly, of VerbatimIT
Alan answered on October 24, 2010

Dragon 11 is not designed to transcribe other voices--it only works with yours (after you have trained it). Many have bought the software and think that it will do this--but unfortunately they did not research it .. (or the company didn't make it clear enough..?)

Home v.s. Premium--the Premium allows you to [export] your profile. So if you install it on another computer, you can [import] it (so both will "sync"). Home won't let you do that.

I am extremely happy with it. Use it daily. The profile gets quite large (I set it to save the wave data, too). It's now, believe it or not, 19 GB.

I had a terrible cold the other week, and it still works. http://www.flickr.com/photos/little_pooky/5057402315/
W. Jalanugraha answered on October 29, 2010

is premium any better than home or what? i want it to use myself for email and to operate my computer and write books or reviews for amazon. do i have to spend the extra for premium i have a usb head set by logitech..thanks anyone..
buddaman1260 answered on January 8, 2011

The Premium version--you can save the profile and thus export it to the hard drive (or whatever that will hold it) so it can be used (import) to another machine.

The home version, I believe you can't do that-and you're tied to that machine alone.

I let mine get quite big (I use it daily and turned off the "limit the size" or something like that option off--my profile is now 20 GB (not MB, but GB!).

The USB headset by Logitec is quite comfortable. I used it until recently (upgraded to the wireless one). The Microsoft one is good too, but seem to be very tight when worn. (I'm referring to the USB one). You may have to manually set the volume for it in Windows. Right click the little speaker icon. Make sure it's the recording and playing hardware. Then check the level setting(s). The play back shouldn't be that high (too loud), but the microphone, set it at least 50%.

The program is licensed to one user but it's not really mentioned how many times it can be activated. A user mentioned five times although I can't imagine someone would have five machines to do that. I have two.

By the way, the program is quite accurate. Even if it makes one or so mistakes per paragraph--it's so much better than having to type it.

p.s. Unfortunately I typed this reply. The wireless USB headset is dead because I forgot to plug it in to charge the battery. Duh.
W. Jalanugraha answered on January 8, 2011

There appears to be a double-standard in the domain of both users and industry pundits regarding expectations and deliveries of voice to text software.

One standard is the industry promotion of its products claiming convenience and even accuracy, but under-delivering accuracy, always far from 100% accuracy.

Another standard is devoted or dreamy-eyed users accepting the flaws of machine transcription due to the "performer" being a machine, and thereby expecting less than the same person would expect of a human doing the job.

Why? Because it's only a computer, or because spending hours on end training and re-training will have to make it better, or because users are obsessed with a machine solution?

Voice to text technologies are abundant, but for a perfectly transcribed document, not a "trashscript" created by "best guess" software you need a human.

For the best results, put your money down and your faith in humans to know better who said what and render the transcript faithfully.

Good luck.
Alan answered on January 9, 2011

Elaine, I am in the same boat as you, but so far the only major difference seems to be the exporting of your profile and transcribing other voices. I am a home user, retired and do not have any need for this except to be able to speak emails and letters. I assume I can print out my letters after recording. ( I am also concerned if I can use my Yahoo email account instead of Outlook.)
Therefore, I am going with the 11 version. It really depends on your needs. That seems to be what it boils down to for each person.
Carolyn Gunter answered on November 6, 2011

I just added more RAM to my machine (Intel i7 CPU). Now it has 24 GB DDR3. Dragon seems to be running faster even while I am running more than one programs in the background (Power Director 10 rendering a video and Lightroom 3 exporting a bunch of files at the same time.)

I wish they did make a 64 bit version of Dragon. Wonder if it will work better.
W. Jalanugraha answered on November 6, 2011

Here is Nuance's matrix that describes the difference between versions.


One key difference is that the Premium version allows you save custom words. This may sound like a minor thing but sometimes the way you want to pronounce a common word differs from their dictionary and you have to "program" the pronunciation yourself. Home does not allow this. I personally find the vast difference in price is worth it.

You also get the ability to use different audio sources (i.e. transcribe an mp3, bluetooth headset, USB mic, webcam, etc.) Currently I'm using my logitech webcam rather than a headset and the accuracy is phenomenal. This program surpasses by a large margin the built in Windows Speech Recognition program. If you do a lot of writing or just plan to, you'll appreciate the program whichever version you use.

I feel like sending a donation or tip to Nuance!
L. Lee answered on January 2, 2013

I just bought the home addition and just found out it only works for word documents, can't be used for excel or powerpoint. Also the license is only for 1 computer so if you work on multiple computers it won't work.
Clarence H. answered on March 11, 2013
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