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on October 27, 2011
I use these for Dragon Naturally Speaking 11.5 on a Dell laptop. They worked pretty well when I first got them, but sometimes the other sounds in the room (breathing, typing, dog walking around, etc.) would mess with the quality. But, then I went on the Andrea website and downloaded the free Andrea AudioCommand center, which has an updated driver and improved noise cancellation. Now this headset works perfectly with Dragon, and blocks out everything but my voice. My only complaint, but not worthy of one less star, is that the mute switch should have a clip on it, so that I could clip it to my clothes, as sometimes it flops around.
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on December 2, 2010
I use this headset mainly for voice recognition with Dragon Naturally Speaking. The accuracy is fairly good and if a text is only spoken, it works really well. That would be 5 stars. The problem with this headset is, that it records ambient noises like typing noise and breathing noise (unfortunately) very well. That causes Dragon Naturally Speaking (version 11) to take this noises as input. If I am speaking text as well as typing certain words in between (because I use words that DNS does not know - I am a programmer) and if I breath normally, DNS is constantly working when I am typing or breahing and often regognizes words like "in" from the typing or my breathing. Even if DNS does not recognize word, the cursor is often set back to the mouse position. That makes working with this headset nearly impossible for me if I have to type while writing or if I breath to loud for the mic. That is two stars less.

What's strange is, that the ambient noise filters coming with the Andrea Audio Commander obviously do not work very well. The Andrea support confirmed that the filters do not go well with DNS and I should turn them off. Wat's the point in having filters I cannot use?
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on December 9, 2011
I purchased this headset as an upgrade for the basic one that comes with the Dragon voice recognition software. This headset seems sturdier, is very comfortable, and the quality of sound is good. People told me they could hear me well on the other end of phone calls, too.

When this headset worked, it was wonderful. I have a job where I use Dragon for writing reports, and this headset worked well for that. I also left the headset on all day and used it when making phone calls with Skype.

So why only 3 stars if I love this headset? There were times that although the headset was plugged in and I had used it previously in the same work session with no issues, when all of sudden the audio would drop. I would get a phone call from a client, answer the call on Skype, and they could hear me (so the microphone was working), but I had no audio at all. When this would happen, I would no longer have audio on anything (when using, all computer sound also went through the headset), so it was not just the Skype connection. Usually all it would take to fix the issue was just to unplug it and plug it back in, but it was frustrating.

You may notice that I am writing in past tense as to my use of this product. That is because I purchased it about a year ago, and it has since stopped working all together. First, the volume control stopped working - I had to work with it a little louder than I'd like, but the volume on the headset would stay the same even with adjustments to the headset and my computer volume. Annoying, but workable. Then, it began to cut out. When I lost audio, I realized that I could hear snippets if I held up the wires connecting to the earpieces, so I'm guessing the wires had come loose or worn through.

For now, I'm back to my original Skype handset for calls, and the Dragon headset for dictating (the Dragon headset was not comfortable enough for all day wear). Would I buy this product again? Probably. I haven't found a better headset out there for the price. I did use it pretty much every day for a year, and most headsets in this price range probably wouldn't stand up to that either.
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on March 21, 2011
The USB headset really improves recognition accuracy of Dragon naturally speaking dictation software. I have several headsets for dictation. I tested them against each other reading the same paragraph. I have the earlier version USB NC-7100 which has much heavier wire between the headset and the computer. In my experience the wire is the first point of failure in a headset. It gets noisy when you move and recognition accuracy goes down.

The wire for the 181 is heavier than most headsets. I haven't had any problems with it and have used it for 6 months. Sound quality is great on playback of dictation and recognition accuracy is good in Dragon Naturally Speaking 10.

This is a good headset. I use it everyday for dictation to Dragon Naturally speaking. I hang it up in between uses to keep the wires off the floor.
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on April 16, 2011
Excellent with Dragon Medical voice recognition; quality as good as overrated Sennheiser ME3 ( of which I own 2 sets)
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on January 18, 2012
I also use this product with Dragon NaturallySpeaking (currently using version 10.5). I have been using Dragon for more than 10 years, starting with version 3. The program has gotten more accurate. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for this headset. I used a half dozen different brands over the years, and have found this to be the least accurate. I bought it because of its price and the fact that Nuance rated it as completely compatible with their Dragon program (along with reviews on the web). I'm afraid I can't concur, and will be switching back to my VXI Parrot headsets, which are considerably more expensive. In the grand scheme of things, getting rid of the aggravation of constant corrections will be worth it.
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This is recommended by Know-Brainer, the leading Dragon user forum. I bought it on that basis, and I am quite satisfied. There are $200 headsets that would probably work better, but this definitely is a big improvement over the most of what is out there. It works quite well for me, and I do recommend it as a budget choice that gets you 95% of where you want to be, at a fraction of the price of the other Dragon-recommended mics.
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on April 14, 2015
I used this with dragon software and it works well. My problem is that it lasted two years and the microphone boom broke from the ear piece. I examined the construction and is just plastic with a screw. It is a wonder it did not break sooner. Too much pressure with the boom on a flimsy piece of plastic. Also the pad fell off the other side long before. I would just stick it back on and work with the headset and do it again. Overall the electronics are good but the quality is poor.
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on November 4, 2012
I paid approximately $39.00 plus $12.00 shipping. Considering the price of the unit I feel that overall it is five star worthy. To match both the headphones and microphone other manufacturers charge from 150.00 to $200.00 or more. The combination of the built-in USB adapter and microphone provides excellent voice-recognition when used with Dragon NaturallySpeaking but as with all such hardware, it does requires tweaking in both the position on your face and software settings to perfect and reduce/eliminate errors. Andrea Electronics provides FREE driver and control software via their support site that I strongly recommend you install and keep it updated.

PRO: Great "budget buy" that will get the task done. Lightweight, easy to wear for hours on end. Excellent microphone response, acceptable audio from speaker. FREE drivers, control software and updates are downloadable from Andrea Electronics' web site.

CON: Build is mostly plastic and will not stand up to much abuse. While this is not an issue for me I can see where the headband could be a bit tight on those with 7 1/2" or larger heads. $12.00 for shipping $39.00 item is a bit high in my opinion.

A word of purchase caution worth note. This was my second order of the NC-181VM. The first order appeared to be at best an "open box" or "recertified" item and it failed miserably and thus was promptly returned.
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VINE VOICEon March 24, 2012
I have been using this with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 and it works well for speech recognition. The most useful thing about this headset is the hard mute button which you can use for all those interruptions while dictating.

The biggest problem I ran into this headset is that it is not recognized by all computers. I have been unable to use it on an HP Pavilion p6-2100 Desktop PC because the computer does not recognize the USB sound card. Surprisingly, it works on HP Pavilion p7-1220 Desktop and on Bootcamp Windows 7 on Apple MacBook Air MC966LL/A 13.3-Inch Laptop (NEWEST VERSION).

And it is very reasonably priced.
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