Can I use the built-in mic of my laptop for Dragon?

Suitable headset for learning Dragon speech recognition

Unfortunately not!

Although the manufacturer promises that you can successfully use built-in laptop microphones for Dragon, I have found this to be incorrect.

I’ve tried with the built in microphone of my own Surface Pro and results were dismal.

Also, one of my clients created a new user profile using the built in mic of his laptop. He could not dictate successfully at all. When I came for his individual tuition for Dragon, we plugged in a suitable microphone (Jabra). Although werecalibrated the audio, recognition results remained subpar.

Microphone for Dragon speech recognitionThe only solution was to create a new user profile with a suitable microphone. I must say that I was quite surprised that choosing a new ‘source of dictation’ (i.e. mic) and checking that microphone via the Dragon settings was no solution to the poor recognition results. We had to create an entirely new profile.

Check out my microphone recommendations if you need a mic for Dragon.

Check here for microphone models that are approved by the manufacturer Nuance.

Let me know if your mileage varies

Do you agree with me that the built in mic is rubbish for Dragon?  I’d love to know; just put in a quick comment below. Thanks!

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.

  • I have found the built-in microphone of the Surface Pro 5 to provide the excellent voice recognition with Dragon Professional. I have wasted hundreds of dollars on “recommended” USB microphones the didn’t perform well at all and now sit in their original box used.

    • Hi Andrew, Thanks for sharing that.

      I personally have had the first Surface Pro, the Surface Pro 3 and now the Surface Pro 7. While I am a fan of the device and also use the built-in mic for Dragon on occasion, for me personally the mic’s sensitivity to surrounding noises drives me crazy if using for longer stretches.

      Your experience proves that different people have different opinions of the same device so thanks again for your comment.

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