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Superb accuracy, beware poor headset
on August 27, 2012
I have been testing speech recognition on the PC for some years. Yes, I remember spending ages training software to my voice and still ending up with a system that made constant errors. By contrast, the current Dragon (and to be fair version 11 and 11.5 as well) are superb. Setup takes only a few minutes, and provided you have a good microphone and a quiet environment it makes few mistakes. In fact, I am dictating this review in Dragon 12 and so far it is perfect.
If Dragon does need correction, and there always will be corrections either because of ambiguous words or simply because you make a mistake, the correction box is also very good.
Fundamentally then, this is excellent software and I do not know of anything better for windows. However I did find a few annoyances. First, I could not get good results from the supplied headset. Dragon's own software reported the microphone either as failed or just acceptable. For my test, I went back to an older Plantronics headset that came with an earlier version of Dragon.
Another thing I found annoying is that just occasionally Dragon pauses for a significant time while parsing your speech.
There are a couple of other things for which I do not blame Dragon. One is that it only partially works with Windows 8; that is, it is fine for standard Windows desktop software but does not seem to work in the new "Metro" environment. Second, the Dragon add-in causes Word 2013 preview to crash. That is understandable since Windows 8 is only just finished and Office 2013 is unfinished; but worth noting if either of these is important to you.
Another question is whether it is worth upgrading. My view is that the upgrade from 11 is probably worth it, but from 11.5 hard to justify unless you need one of the new features.
Disclosure: I am a professional writer and was sent this for review.