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Group test: what's the best speech-recognition software?

The best software to let you go keyboard free

PC Advisor reviews the best speech-recognition software you can use.

5. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 9.0 Preferred

  • Reviewed on: 5 October 06
  • RRP: £150 inc. VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

The time and effort required to master voice-recognition software means that it doesn't yet offer a tempting alternative to employing touch typists. But for those who can't or won't type, the levels of accuracy and the control over your PC offered by NaturallySpeaking 9.0 Preferred make it an indispensable tool.

4. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 Professional review

  • Reviewed on: 1 October 08
  • RRP: £121.78 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

If you need a break from your keyboard, give Dragon a try. As in the past, it's sometimes quicker to accomplish a task by poking at the keyboard (say, when using Dragon's correction feature to fix a flubbed word) or by clicking the mouse (for example, on a link in a Google search results page), but Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 gives you the best software yet for getting work done using your voice. That's why Dragon's a keeper.

3. Voice Reader Studio

  • Reviewed on: 30 January 08
  • RRP: €499 inc VAT (+ €16 delivery within Europe)
  • Rating: Rated 7 out of 10

It is not entirely accurate to compare Voice Reader Studio is aimed at businesses that may wish to include text to voice for applications. If you want to learn a foreign language, go with one of the Voice Reader Home options. Should you need to offer audio files via the web then the Studio version is a must. As text-to-speech packages go, it's a belter.

2. Expressivo 1.3

  • Reviewed on: 30 January 08
  • RRP: $49 (about £25)
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

For personal use, Expressivo 1.3 is generally appealing and easy to use in terms of its interface, but we weren't too enamoured by listening to Ivo's Jennifer voice. There are restrictions on publishing your audio files as well as the foreign language options. However, at around £30, this program offers a lot.

1. Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium

  • Reviewed on: 19 August 10
  • RRP: £130.82 inc VAT
  • Rating: Rated 8 out of 10

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium is, quite simply, the best speech-recognition software there is, limited only by the nature of this type of program. It's unlikely to be a compelling upgrade for version 10 users, but if you require dictation and navigation by speech, look no further.

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