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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 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 November 10, 2016
Over the past four or five years, I have bought about six (6) of the Andrea NC-181VMUSB head set devices. After about 1.5 years or less time, I had had to replace each one because the foam pad that sits on the side of the head set wears out. In the past, I would just go online and replace the entire head set, but on this day, November 11, 2016, I contacted Andrea Communication directly in order to buy the foam pad that needs to be replaced. Although the person to whom I spoke was very nice, I was advised that Andrea Communication does not carry any replacement pads and that they were unaware of this problem. I asked them if they could obtain a replace pad, at my expense, and mail one to me. But, again, not being aware of this problem, they did not have any on hand or any means of obtaining any replacement pads. They did suggest that I go to a craft store and buy some foam and cut out a piece and glue it on the pad!!!. I am posting this negative review because although I love the sound quality of the product, it is hard for me to imagine that they would not have foreseen that the foam pad would wear out and need to be replaced. Perhaps, if I had posted a negative review some years ago, I would not have to deal with this problem today.
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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 June 21, 2017
This headset works surprisingly well. It's easily adjusted and doesn't leave my head hurting after using it for a long time for schoolwork. The cord is plenty long so you're not tethered a foot from the computer. The mute and volume control is handy and works well. The mic is sensitive and the earphone is well padded.
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on April 8, 2015
Works great and is very comfortable.

I bought this microphone/headset combination to use with Dragon Naturally Speaking. So far it’s worked great for that.
I’m really surprised at how comfortable it is. Most of the single earpiece headsets that I’ve used are very uncomfortable, especially if you have to wear them for a long period of time. I’ve worn this headset for hours at a time and it’s never bothered my year.
The mic has worked great with Dragon. But I don’t really know that it takes much of a mic to work with Dragon.
I like the location of the mic button. For me it’s just at the right height to bring my hand over and press the button to mute the mic.
The cord that comes with it is plenty long enough to reach my computer with the set up that I have.
I had no problems getting the mic set up properly and working; just download the software and follow the instructions. The audio commander software is really quite useful.
This microphone/headset combination has done everything I wanted it to do. I can find no reason not to give it 5 stars.
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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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on June 30, 2012
The Andrea NC-181VM is a big improvement over the Andrea NC-91 that came with Dragon Naturally Speaking. It has greatly improved speech recognition. I don't know all the technicalities but I notice several obvious improvements.

* It has its own USB sound card and it works very well. Using this card via the USB works a lot better than using the old microphone input plug on the PC.
* The cord is longer and more flexible so I don't have to fight with it. There is a inline mute button.
* The cord must be better shielded; I had to be careful to keep the NC-91 cord away from power cords and speaker leads or it would not work very well. This is not easy to do on the crowded back of a PC tower.
* The microphone seems more sensitive, even if I lower my voice.

I haven't had many any serious complaints but there are 2 minor ones
* Occasionally the mic is a little too sensitive and Dragon will translate my breathing into little words like "his" or "she". This is easily prevented by using the inline cord switch to mute the mic.
* The set initially tries to route all the sound into the headphone. This would not be a problem for most, but my work requires me to use the PC speakers. This was solved by a little tinkering with the sound settings.

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on November 19, 2017
It does not work well for Dragon when it comes to the most important aspect which is noise cancellation.
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on October 24, 2017
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