Should I buy a new microphone for Dragon?

Microphone for Dragon speech recognition

First of all: if you are sure you need a new microphone, check out my recommendations. But perhaps you are not sure yet? Please read on then.

A couple of weeks ago I had a conversation with one of my clients about whether he should buy a new microphone for Dragon.

This gentleman has been an online client of mine for quite a few years already and is a member of the Dutch equivalent of the LearnSpeechRecognition Academy.

He contacted me, inquiring after one of the microphones I sell in my web shop here in the Netherlands. It concerned the TableMike, which happens to be my favourite desktop microphone for Dragon.

He wondered if it would give them better recognition results than his current microphone.

While I am happy to sell anyone this lovely microphone, I did enquire about his current mic. The advantage of being a client of mine for a longer period, is that I remember some of the developments that my clients have gone through.

For this client, I remembered him being wildly happy with his then-new Sennheiser wireless microphone about two years ago. He didn’t buy from me that time, but shared his positive experience.

To buy or not to buy a new microphone for Dragon?

Rather than immediately sell this gentleman my favourite tabletop microphone, I asked some more details. I reminded him about how happy he was with his Sennheiser microphone when he just got it. What has changed, that he wasn’t happy any more.

He told me that recognition rates had dropped and he wasn’t as pleased with the results in Dragon as he used to be.

Barring some component breaking down, usually wireless microphones remain consistent in their quality throughout their lifetimes.

Before deciding to buy a new microphone, I counselled this client to create a new speech profile. Sometimes recognition rates in speech profiles deteriorate, unfortunately. It isn’t always clear why this happens, but usually it is easily fixed by transferring custom words and commands to a new speech profile and starting afresh.

Most people create a new user profile in Dragon when they get a new mic. That would be my advice, too.

So suddenly, people start afresh with a Dragon user profile AND a new microphone. Any recognition improvements get attributed to the shiny new microphone that they just purchased.

Now, I’m not saying that you can’t improve your results by buying a new mic. On the contrary, a good quality microphone is a necessity for good recognition.

Still, if you change both the microphone and the user profile, it might just be that part of the improvement in how well Dragon recognises you is due to the new user profile. And not your shiny new microphone!

Sometimes it just isn’t the microphone…

So if you were previously enthusiastic about microphone and suddenly you think you’ll need a new one because you are not so happy any more with its results… It could save you a lot of money to just try and create a new user profile with your current microphone.

It will take you only 10 minutes to create a new user profile and test it.

If you are not sure how to do that, I have this free mini course about getting started with Dragon which covers the entire procedure. Why not give it a try?

Let me know how you got on in the comments of this post. I always appreciate hearing back from you.

Janneke den Draak

Janneke den Draak

Hi, I'm Janneke and I'm your go-to person for Dragon and Apple speech recognition software help.

When I got severe repetitive strain injury issues over 20 years ago, I didn't want to give up using the computer. So I learned all about controlling the PC with speech recognition and dictating my documents and emails.

I've now been a speech recognition software trainer and consultant for almost two decades, teaching over 2000 people handsfree productivity!

My online courses for Apple Voice Control and Dragon offer self-paced learning and I also love running my membership for Dragon users. For those in need of an intensive training or custom speech command creation, I am available for one-on-one calls.

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