Bluetooth Headset Microphone for dictation.
I’ve been looking at getting a Bluetooth Headset microphone I can use while I’m walking to dictate into my iPhone. I already have wired microphones I can use including the marvellous Giant Squid clip-on microphone, but I’ve heard people having good success with Bluetooth microphones. You have the large over ear type of microphones like the Logitech H 600 and the H 800 and both of these are raised highly on the DragonDictate compatibility page. The H600 can be bought for around about €80 and I didn’t really want to spend that much. A number of people on the Dragon Authors Facebook have said they are getting good results with the cheap headsets. I had a look at a few and there were some available at around €15-€20. These are the sort that hang over one ear and have the microphone on a small boom extending out towards your mouth. I got one called the EX 01 and it’s kind of worked. I’ve decided to send back because it didn’t work well enough. I performed a number of tests on the Bluetooth Headset Microphone and compared it with my wired microphones by looking at the waveforms in an audio editor and also seeing how good it was for the dictation. It proved to be difficult to pair up with my iPhone as sometimes I thought I was recording with that microphone, but I wasn’t. The recording was going through the microphone on the iPhone itself. The way the small boom sticks out means that the microphone will rub against your skin while you are walking. This is not good as it introduces scratchy sounds which interfere with the dictation process. So that’s why it’s going back. I’m not sure if I would be tempted to dish out the €80 to get the expensive Logitech device.
GiantSquid or Samson microphone for dictating
I have a good microphone in the form of the Samson C03U which is a good quality USB condenser microphone (Samson C03U Multi-Pattern USB Studio Condenser Microphone). It records my voice perfectly for dictation even when my mouth is up to 30 cm away from the microphone. When I’m using it for podcasting I use good microphone technique by having my mouth closer and speaking over the top of it to avoid the popping sounds. I have a large sponge filter over the top of the microphone as well. This is what I use daily for my dictation into Day One journalling application, Ulysses for the writing and into Amadeus Pro if I’m doing a podcast.
Setting up DragonDictate for Transcription
When you’re using a different microphone it’s a good idea to set up DragonDictate specifically for that microphone. You have to record something at least 90 seconds long and the more you can read into it the better. The way to start doing this is by going to the menu item at the top of your screen and choosing to Manage Profiles. This will open up the setup window and you’ll see an area to the lower right for Transcription Sources.
What you do is to click on the plus button and you see the dialog to name the profile. I used the name of the iPhone with the mic used – Nymeria with Giant Squid. Dragon then requires you to add the audio file you made so it can start the training. It will convert the speech to text. You then select the first portion of text in the results and a box will pop up. Press play to listen back to your recording of that section. If it is all correct click on Accept. If it has missed words of guessed incorrectly make the changes with the keyboard and then click accept. You are able to repeat the playback if necessary.
When you Accept the text it moves on automatically to the next section. Do the same again. Rinse and Repeat until finished. When you have gone through all of the text you may click on the blue Train button to the right above the converted text. In the instructions it says not to add punctuation symbols but my audio had them in anyway and it has not been a problem.
Training the software while using your Bluetooth Headset Microphone will take a few minutes to complete. When it is finished you are ready to go. Choose the transcription profile you use most often to be the default. When the training is finished the converted text will pop up in TextEdit application ready for you to work with.
You will still need to edit that text if it is to be used in one of your documents.