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Showing 1-10 of 768 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 916 reviews
on November 4, 2015
For at least five years -- possibly longer -- I've been using the speech recognition software that's built into almost every Windows operating system. Before that, I'd used Via Voice (from IBM) from its earliest days.

I wouldn't have considered Dragon (since its Windows counterpart is free), but I saw Dragon demonstrated as part of some training I watched, online. The instructor's results with Dragon were far better than what I'm accustomed to with Windows' speech recognition, even when it's been "trained" for years.

I researched Dragon options. I'm using Windows 7, so I was looking for great reviews from people using the same OS.

To me, it looked like Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 was the best for my purposes. (I'm a writer. I dictate my articles and books in my home office.) Not 11.5 or anything higher, but specifically version 11.

So, I bought this. As I installed it on my computer, I panicked. I have 2GB of RAM and the software advised me that was half of the 4GB they recommend.

I hoped my Blue Yeti microphone would offset any issues, during use.

I needn't have worried. I did use my Yeti microphone, and I did "train" the software with the four-minute reading from Alice in Wonderland.

Then, I tested Dragon in my Scrivener software.

Results: 100% accuracy, from the start.

I'm impressed and recommend this to anyone who wants genuinely smart speech recognition software. Free is good (Windows' alternative), but superb accuracy -- and the time it saves -- is what Dragon delivers. Totally worth it!
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on December 15, 2011
My husband and I both work as writers from home. I am a fast touch key typist with an average of 100 WPM documented. My husband, on the other hand, is a hunt and peck typist with less than 30 WPM. After much discussion, we decided that this product was necessary for him as his typing hasn't improved since we started our writing business and it was slowing down his earning potential as a result.

Out of the box, my husband saw an immediate improvement in his speed. But, how could he not? After all, his typing is painfully slow. Dragon allows him to work at a much faster rate, even an impressive rate!

The real test for me was how it did for my work. So, today, I used it exclusively to do my writing. I literally halved the time it took me to write an article from 10 minutes to 5 minutes using this software. However, my editing time increased because the Dragon software is actually less accurate than I am. However, even with the additional editing time, my writing time is reduced. In fact, I finished my work about 2 hours earlier than what is normal for me, which is pretty cool!

A major problem that I have with this software is that it doesn't respond to the commands. Corrections are a pain as well. I'm not sure how much this will change over time but it is a bit frustrating because at this point I have to vacillate between speaking and then using the mouse and keyboard. Also, I have to use a lot of references when I write and the software really has a difficult time with website addresses. I end up having to type them in by hand.

I would recommend this program completely. I read a couple of reviews that complained about how slow it was to translate their speech to text. I noticed this when I was on facebook a couple of times and when I used it on my laptop instead of my PC. I simply kept talking and when I got to a paragraph break I paused. The entire thing caught up to me without a single mistake. I would recommend not getting too caught up in watching what you are dictating and simply re-read each paragraph when it is complete. This helps you to complete your thoughts better as well as you don't get distracted by what's happening on the screen.

UPDATE - 3/4/03

We've used this product for quite a while now and there are some issues that don't seem to go away. As mentioned before, we run a writing company, which means we use the software all day long. Dragon doesn't like to be used all day and after about 3 hours it stops functioning correctly altogether. The fix? We turn off the program once an hour to give it a break. It's a pain but it works.

Another problem is that no matter how we train it, there are some words it doesn't get. Anytime my husband says in, Dragon types and. He's trained and trained and it still does it. There are several other words it can't seem to get either. Neither of us has a discernible accent -- we're both Americans, not southern or northern, kind of just plain speaking. It's also frustrating that it always writes you're when we say your. Basically, it's important to be a good editor after using the program.

Lastly, there are some reoccurring errors for which there are no fixes. Certain errors require us to turn off Dragon and try again. Others require a restart of the computer.

I still would recommend this program for anyone who is slow at typing. My husband has literally tripled his writing income since he started using it, so the program has more than paid for itself.

The command issues are still there, our fix is to turn them off and use the mouse for navigation. One funny thing was anytime I said list the program would try to insert a list, the same thing with table and other similar words. I tried it with the required command function "go to" or "select" but then it would struggle with me using those words in articles so I finally gave it up. For someone not using this for the same purposes that we do this may not be an issue.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon December 6, 2011
Saw this on Amazon for around $40 and I asked my daughter if I should buy this program. She hollered YES especially for that price. Well I am glad I listened to her as the purchase was an excellent one.

While there are quirks, and it takes training, Dragon is very easy to use in dictation mode. So far I have used the program for word processing only, but Dragon is supposed to be able to help navigate your computer through various functions online.

As to word processing: the program does very well. All you have to is connect the included headset with mike and start dictating. The commands are very simple such as "Cap Apple" or "New line". You can also specify opening parenthesis by stating "open paren" followed by "close paren". You then dictate your copy and Dragon happily types what what you say.

Sometimes you get some funny statements or words as Dragon is confused by similar sounding words such as to or two. You do have to check to make sure similar sounding words are what you wanted typed. This happens rarely but it does happen.

Overall, Dragon has sped up my typing speed and has made writing less tedious.

Highly recommend
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on October 23, 2010
Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking software is an excellent product. It has very good accuracy (though it sometimes confuses homonyms); however, one should be careful not to have too many loud noises in the room when dictating (the program will sometimes stall or write incorrect characters)and to speak at a good pace (actually speaking very slowly will cause the product to make more errors). One thing I don't like about Dragon is that there is no trial or demo version. As a result, in order to utilize the program, one has to buy it first. This does not seem like a very good move on Nuance's part. They could probably get more buyers if they offered, say, a 30 day trial or something like that. The best thing about the program, however, is the fact that is less than $100, which makes it very affordable. As a doctoral student, it saves me a lot of time working on draft papers---time that could be spent researching. Finally,the headset works very well with the software and one is probably better off using the ones that come with the software rather than buying another set of headphones. For individuals who need to write a lot, this software is a very useful tool.
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on November 8, 2011
(After all this time, it still thinks I'm yelling "fark you" at it.)

The first problem is the claim that this product is 99% accurate right out-of-the-box. That suggests that there is almost no room for improvement, and even after spending a few hours with this product, the user will see that there needs to be a LOT of improvement. The good news is that after about 12 hours of training/corrections, this becomes a pretty decent dictation product. And it's not terrible for browsing the web.

However, it's not really excellent for anything but dictation. One of the reasons is that whereas you can correct its errors in ordinary dictation, you can't correct it when it misinterprets one of your commands like "switch to next window" or "press delete".

Another serious weakness is the documentation. It's shoddy and has holes. For instance there is a table listing descriptions and spoken commands for type used just today, and in one row there is a description but no spoken command for it. Earlier, I was trying to find information on "roaming profiles" in the help documentation, and the only information provided was a single sentence instructing me to "see master roaming profiles", but of course there was no documentation on that term. In fact the only place a description of roaming profiles is given is on the website, and they don't even offer instructions how to do it; they just say that "your IT department will be able to manage it". Worst of all, the documentation lists commands which I think the software can't interpret. For example "list Windows" never produces any results, always gets interpreted as something like "click Windows"; meanwhile, I found that "list programs" does what I would expect "list Windows" to do.

All my complaints notwithstanding, I have found that some of the complaints I read on here are in error (user error). For example, it does work in Microsoft Word (quite well) or any other text input program.
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on April 10, 2011
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003VNCRNQ/ref=cm_cr_rev_prod_img

I was excited to get this product but was soon disappointed. Dragon had a hard time understanding. I have 3 different microphones (1 headset came with the software, 1 an expensive headset, and 1 desktop microphone. Dragon would miss identify words so I added them manually but it still didn't get the word. Then, after a while it didn't do anything, even when I would say a command; nothing, kaput. There have been several emails to the help area but that wasn't helpful at all. After a few suggestions, the responses went back to the beginning and started suggesting the aids from the beginning. I gave up and uninstalled the software. That left a conflict behind that made my laptop make a loud noise from the speakers. I had to uninstall a sound mixer.

If you by it, beware. They give 30 days to return. I would suggest returning it early because they won't take it after 30 days; even-though I spent all that time trying to make it work. I checked my computer and it came with a speech to text program and it is so much better than Dragon!
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on December 31, 2011
I first used Dragon many years ago when it came bundled with WordPerfect. If I'm not mistaken, it was about the time that Scansoft, Inc. bought Speechworks and became Nuance. I was then a Survey Mapper and had to create or copy Survey legal descriptions. They weren't to complicated, as documents go, just a lot of therefores, aforementioneds, cardinal calls (bearings and distances) and regular words. Anyway, it worked great for me in those days, but in my experince, it didn't like womens voices for some reason or noisy rooms, still, I had no complaints and being a one finger per hand typer, it sure did boost my prodoctivity.
FAST FORWARD to today.. As mentioned, the older versions I tried didn't like higher pitched voices, i.e., my wife, but I took a chance and got it for her as a Christmas gift. But this version (11.5 Home) took right to her and she was really surprised at how well it picked up on her voice and accent. She was initially skeptical of this software, because she had tried to use various older versions with not so good results. This software is more than just a toy to her as she has had Rheumatiod Arthritis for many years and also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 5 years ago. Quite simply, this software allows her to carry on and do quite a bit more with the computer. It isn't perfect, but I don't know to many typists that are.

TIPS:
At first, you will be preoccupied with watching the text, but try and just speak like you would type.

The software will want to look through your documents, emails and contacts, but you don't have to allow that. It will work fine.

You will be asked to pick an accent. Be honest with the software and don't try to over enunciate or you will be disapointed when you start talking in your normal way of speaking.

SUMMARY:
We are both very pleased with the price and performance of this software. I won't guarantee that this will work for you, but I will recomend that you try it.
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on December 24, 2010
A couple of months ago I decided to give Dragon a try to make report writing easier. Overall, the software is adequate and does get 'smarter' the more one uses it as it learns your particular voice characteristics. Most of my reports include names of people. Dragon falls short on names that can also be adjectives and won't capitalize them unless the name is the first word in the sentence. A real irritant. The names do display correctly all the time if a possessive. The software has crashed twice and both times tech support was amateurish in its efforts to assist. The first crash resulted in an error having to do with a communications port. The second crash was after my 'profile' became 'corrupted'. Re-installing the software from scratch got all up and running, but I had to set up everything all over each time; a real pain. I'm using a new, very fast, computer, but Dragon's 'correct' commands execute very slowly; by my standards, anyhow. Dragon and Word disagree on the spelling of quite a few words.

Ideally, Dragon would work with zero effort on the part of the user and just display each word spoken correctly in the proper context, but that's far from the case. For the money, it's an ok value, but just.
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on January 4, 2012
This is a great program and works as advertised. I only had one problem setting it up and that had to do with needing to have Visuall C++ Runtime installed. When I first tried to install the program, I got an error message saying that Runtime was not installed, but not giving any direction on how to rectify the problem. After a little looking around on the web, though, I figured out how to start the install program in compatibility mode (right click on the program's setup file)and that walked me through Dragon's installation of Runtime and then the program itself.

I did the speech training and have been using the program this morning to write a letter. It is remarkable accurate, and since it is possible to teach the program specific names or technical terms, it gets "smarter" as you go along. I'm having a little problem getting the program to distinguish between dictation and commands, but since I've been using it in combination with the mouse, this hasn't really been a problem. This WOULD be a problem for someone with limited or no use of their hands, who had to rely completely on voice commands. I expect that I will learn to speak commands, when I need them, in a way the program will understand.

The great American novelist Henry James would have loved this program. In the second half of his career, at the beginning of the 20th century, he employed a series of typists to take dictation. There are critics who say the practice ruined his style, but then there were critics who said the same thing about imaginative writing when authors first started using word processing software. James's sentences got longer and more complex when dictating; so far, it seems to me that my sentences are somewhat shorter, using fewer subordinate elements or parenthetical insertions, but that's probably because I'm not used to composing this way. In any case, technically, with the noted glitch in installation, the program is brilliant.
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on July 22, 2015
I am the "hunt and peck" typist so this software saves lots of time when needing to take notes out of print material or when typing a letter. I don't use the fancier features, I use it for simple dictation, and for that, Dragon works well. It also learns your way of speaking and adjusts over time, given you create a profile and save the changes. It does make hilarious interpretations of what you say at times (for example the word "pornography" gets typed as "per knocker fee," which just sounds wrong and cracks me up every time). Sometimes if I sneeze or cough, it will type words (apparently Dragon thinks my sneezes sound like "him and him and him"). Also, at times it suffers from common internet typos like not using they're/ their at the appropriate moments. I still have to proofread just in case Dragon misheard my statements but most of the time it is because I talk fast and don't always pause in between words.

If there downsides to Dragon, I'd have to say this version does not work on anything later than Windows 7 (I tried uploading it to my Windows 8 tablet). Also, Nuance was aggressive for a while for trying to sell upgrades but they seem to have backed off now.
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