Using Blue Microphone Snowball With Dragon Naturally Speaking I'm seeing good reviews for the Snowball when working with vocals. Does anyone have experience using this desktop microphone with Dragon Naturally Speaking for speech recognition? I'd like to replace my headset with a USB desktop microphone and would feel better if I knew someone else was doing it with good results.
asked by Joel K. Williams on September 2, 2010
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I never got a definitive answer here on Amazon regarding the Blue Snowball for speech recognition. I did get several informative responses from very knowledgeable sources at Knowbrainer, though. I'm copying what I think was the best here:

"I don't see any value in this microphone at $99. On the other side of the coin, the Samson Q7 is much better suited for speech recognition because it is specifically designed for such. It's cost at approximately $87 vs. its suitability for speech recognition employs the same principles as the Blue Microphone Snowball, uses the cardioid polar pattern and handles ambient noise reasonably well as high as 68 dB as long as the speaker is only one and a half to 2 inches from the microphone and microphone is trained for that noise level environment. The bottom line is that the cost-benefit for the Blue Microphone Snowball vs. the Samson Q7 simply doesn't cut it. You would be much better off with the Samson Q7, and much happier with it."

The Samson mentioned in the response I got is currently selling on Amazon for $45.00, new. Don't forget you'll have the added hassle and expense of a microphone stand, an XLR plug adapter to connect it to your computer, and some kind of sound card for use.(A USB-type was suggested to me.)

I'd be interested to hear what you decide to do. Good luck, Wendy.

Samson Q7 Handheld Dynamic Microphone
Joel K. Williams answered on March 21, 2011
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In case if anyone is still looking for a definite answer, yes this works great with Dragon Natural Speaking, much better than the original mic in Dragon's package.
Typical Amazon Customer answered on May 26, 2014
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I have the exact same question. Though billed as a musical instrument? or device? i want to speak my stories into a mic and see them typed out. I've been writing forever and I want to tell stories via microphone with dragon or any other device that will type for me. So Joel, so sorry no one answered. Myself, color me clueless. Such an obvious query but no answers?? Wendy
readernyc answered on March 21, 2011
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Firstly, I have never heard the folks who run Knowbrainer ever give a thumbs up to a microphone that was not expensive and that they did not sell. Having said that keep in mind that as the first video reviewer noted, your mouth needs to be close to the microphone to get good results. That means you are going to have to have a boom set up to even give it a good try. If you are not mobility impaired and can buy this locally so you can return it if it doesn't work, I would certainly give it a try. Otherwise most people find USB wireless microphones to give good, but not excellent results. My first choice is the Plantronics USB CS-50. However, this microphone is not sold anymore, but I could be mistaken. My second choice would be the Revo X-tag. maybe it is my pronunciation, but I find that both these microphones have some difficulty with the letters BDPV, particularly when used at the beginning of short words. For example I will not correct the following words: day may pay day may pay. Well, it only missed one, but one out of five is a 20% error rate.

when you listen to the playback in Dragon Premium version 11.5 with the Revo X-tag, you will be amazed how muddy it sounds. Nevertheless, on the Dragon website is an approved Dragon speech input device.

Keep in mind that if you are looking at the text on the screen as you are dictating, then your three or 4 feet away from your PC. Some of the wireless "solutions" using near studio quality wireless equipment at $400-$500 to bridge that three or 4 feet is ridiculous. Additionally, Knowbrainer used to have a satisfaction guaranteed sales/return policy. even at the top shelf prices, they have dropped this policy. At best you will get specialized tech support for the equipment vis-à-vis speech recognition that you might not get elsewhere at a much cheaper price.

Summary: if you are not mobility impaired, give this microphone to try after watching the first video review. Otherwise, try a USB wireless mic. FYI, they all include a mono sound card outside of the PC in their docking/recharge stand.

Dictated directly into a Google Chrome browser on Windows 7 with a Plantronics CS-50.
G. Girard answered on December 1, 2011
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