Since Dragon came into existence, it’s always been accompanied by a headset. While the idea of wearing a headset may trouble some people, who are afraid they may look like air traffic controllers or as if they’re in a call centre, there’s actually a lot of practical wisdom to them. For starters, they make it possible to work hands-free. You want to be able to shuffle papers about, grab a pen, jot a note or even kick your feet up if no one’s looking.
As time has gone by, headsets have evolved. The original aux-in 3.5mm headset jack made way for USB headsets, which are still preferred today. The jack headset, while usable is more susceptible to electrical interference. A low buzzing noise can have adverse effects on accuracy. Just imagine the sound wave and how much sharper it would be without any buzzing. This clarity can help Dragon interpret sounds, especially those that are very similar. Sound quality is a major factor when considering a microphone. Consistency is another, which is why we keep coming back to a USB headset. Typically these headsets have booms that keep the microphone about a thumb’s width away from the mouth. This consistency also improves accuracy and maintains sound levels.
While wired USB headsets have been the default choice for more than a decade, wireless technology has come a long way. Nowadays you can get amazing sound quality from Bluetooth and DECT technology. Being able to be wire-free is a major benefit but bear in mind that you will have to monitor your headset’s battery. Docking it in the charging cradle should ensure you maintain a good level of talk time for dictation purposes. It’s great to be able to pace around the room dictating if this is something you could imagine yourself doing.
More recent versions of Dragon have made it possible to incorporate your array microphone directly from the laptop itself. This would be the best solution in an ideal world. However, it only really suits users in incredibly quiet sound environments. Having a microphone 30cm away from your mouth is not the same as having it 2cm away from your mouth. Getting the nuances of your recorded voice may be a bit more difficult if you are sitting at a distance. While this can generate good results, they’re usually not as good as simply starting with a USB headset. Moreover, when you have any additional environmental sounds… the noise-cancelling headset does a much better job of filtering out these distracting noises.
In any event, if Dragon perceives a noticeable drop in your sound quality, it will indicate this to you with a pop-up message. Our recommendation is the wired USB headset for new users, followed by the wireless headset for more experienced users. If you’re adamant about not wearing a headband, we also have wired handheld microphones that deliver great results. Get in touch with us to find out which headsets or microphones were rate best. We can provide you with the hardware that gets the best results and has the highest ratings in combination with speech recognition.