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If you haven't experienced the early days of dictation and transcribing, consider yourself lucky. It was inaccurate, challenging, and pricey — making dictation more of a chore than a reward for both beginners and professionals.
Fortunately, the innovative speech-to-text apps built with dictation technology have made the task a lot easier. While not perfect, they show more than 90% accuracy. You can speak naturally, and the speech-to-text software will type the text for you — justifying the name 'speech to text.'
I've been testing and experimenting with the two feature-rich speech-to-text tools — Otter.ai and Dragon — to see how they differ based on different parameters. In this Otter.ai vs. Dragon comparison guide, I will dig deeper into both apps and test how they work to perform the same task.
Otter.ai is one of the great options for a casual recorder and transcriber. The web app works well — you will find the 'Record' and 'Import Audio/Video' options on the top-right of your screen.
While there aren't any advanced options to control the accuracy of transcription, you'll need to record in a fairly quiet environment to get a clear and accurate transcript.
There are also basic editing features: you can quickly speed up or slow down the playback speed and skip silences. Otter.ai goes beyond voice recording — you can upload any file, and it will take a bit of time to process everything.
Organizing recordings is straightforward, too — as Otter.ai segregates the recordings in the 'All Conversations' or 'My Conversations' folder.
I have tried recording and transcribing in a small, quiet room using Otter.ai, and here are the results:
While it did a pretty good job, I could see a few errors throughout the transcription, like identifying 'psychology' as 'psychologically.'
Back in 1990, Dragon released the first-ever dictation software — Dragon Dictate — followed by the launch of ‘Dragon Naturally Speaking’ in 1997. Thirty years later, we have the distinct cousin of that first iteration — Dragon by Nuance.
Dragon offers a variety of software packages and mobile apps for different use cases, including medical, legal, law enforcement, and more. One feature that I personally like about Dragon is its ability to handle specialized industry vocabulary.
The Dragon Anywhere is a professional-grade dictation app specifically built for mobile devices to create documents of any length on the go. Think of it like your assistant who can translate your spoken words into text. It's like getting the superpower to write your next novel while walking.
One huge drawback of Dragon is that Dragon Anywhere is only available in English (USA and Canada), German, and French. The Dragon desktop products are available in several languages — Spanish, Dutch, English, French, German, and Italian. This can be a challenge for users living in other locations.
Otter.ai is easier to use and less expensive compared to professional Dragon's voice-to-text converters. So, with the basics behind us, here we will have a quick look at the Otter.ai vs. Dragon comparison.
|Dragon Speech Recognition
|Best Use Case
|It is used by medical practitioners, lawyers, and other professionals to dictate and record notes faster.
|It is used by individuals and small teams to record conversations, generate meeting notes, and improve productivity.
Pro plan: $16.99 per month.
Business plan: $40 per month.
Custom enterprise plan.
|Dragon Anywhere: $15 per month or $150 per annum.
New Dragon Legal 16: $799 per license.
New Dragon Professional 16: $699 per license.
Dragon Professional Anywhere: Contact the sales team.
Dragon Legal Anywhere: Contact the sales team.
Dragon Law Enforcement: Contact the sales team.
|Free trial and free version are available.
|There is no free trial on most Dragon software packages or versions available.
Dragon Anywhere: A 7-day free trial is available.
|Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Google Calendar, and Dropbox.
|Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and Tablet.
|Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android, and Tablet.
|Support both audio and video media files for transcription.
Efficiently detects different speakers in the recording.
Cost-effective paid plans compared to Dragon Speech.
|It is powered by high recognition accuracy while dictating and transcribing.
Supports custom voice commands to automate multi-step workflows.
|Customer support options are limited as there is no phone or live chat available.
The free version is pretty limited to three transcriptions in a lifetime.
|It is more expensive compared to other popular dictation or transcription tools.
Cannot integrate with web conferencing platforms like Zoom, GMeet, or MS Teams.
The choice between Otter and Dragon will depend on your needs and preferences. For example, if you want an easy-to-use app that can store your conversations for later reference, Otter is a better option. Dragon is tailored to specific industry professionals who are willing to climb its steep learning curve and get their work done.
I'm constantly thinking and finding ways to write my thoughts while brainstorming, before and during meetings, and while researching for an article. But typing all my thoughts can be tedious and time-consuming, especially when my schedule is packed up.
This, to me, is what voice recording is for quickly converting my words into text so I can read them later. Both Otter.ai and Dragon do a solid job of transcribing spoken words into text. They also work as a personal journal or a place where you can store notes related to any project.
While Otter.ai is better suited for individuals with less frequent dictation needs, Dragon is custom-designed for specific industries and goes beyond one software package. Some popular ones include Dragon Legal, Dragon Law Enforcement, and Dragon Medical One.
If you want a voice-to-text transcription service that records your thoughts or interviews on the go, Otter.ai's mobile app might make sense. I tried Otter's mobile application to record and transcribe a quick audio. Tap on the lower-right microphone button and then choose 'New Recording.'
As you speak, the words will appear on your screen, which eliminates the hassle of stopping by and typing everything yourself. If you have any important ideas, tap the 'Highlight' icon — and if you want to add any picture on the go, open your phone's camera and insert any image you like.
Dragon Anywhere, Nuance's mobile app, is the only version available with a free trial. It includes a load of features — that aren't available in most other dictation apps — such as Words that let you add words that are hard to recognize and spell out.
For example, let's say most AI dictation apps spell 'nauseous' inaccurately. To avoid this, you can train Dragon Anywhere using your voice and add 'nauseous' to the Words category. This helps the tool to transcribe the tricky words accurately.
If you're on a tight budget, it's pretty easy to choose between the two speech-to-text apps: Otter.ai is a cost-effective voice-to-text app with different plans — free Basic plan, Pro plan starting at $16.99 per month, Business plan starting at $40 per month, and a custom Enterprise plan.
Dragon Anywhere, on the other hand, is going to cost you, even for the basic monthly plan, starting at $15 per month. Although you can trial run the Dragon Anywhere for 7 days, a credit card is required. After the free trial ends, your monthly subscription of $15 will begin. That said if you are signing up for the free trial to test the app, make sure you cancel it.
Otter is a more general-purpose recording and transcribing tool, whereas the Dragon Speech Recognition suite by Nuance is designed for medical practitioners, lawyers, and other professionals.
The main difference between Otter and Dragon Speech is their intended use. For example, Otter is suited for those who want to transcribe meeting notes for later reference, whereas Dragon Speech helps professionals dictate and record notes faster than typing.
Otter AI meeting assistant can help you record, transcribe, and summarize meetings — without the hassle of manually taking important notes in the middle of conversations. However, Otter.ai falls short in terms of accuracy, feature-rich paid plans, and more.
Notta is a powerful voice-to-text app that's more than a simple recording and transcribing tool. It also has a set of collaboration features to help teams improve productivity and keep important information available to anyone who needs it. With a higher accuracy rate of 98.86%, Notta transcribes audio and video files in minutes without making any errors.
All the Dragon products are cloud-based, which means you'll need a stable Internet connection to perform dictation and most other actions. Once the documents are stored locally on your device, you can view documents or edit them even when you are not connected to the Internet.
Both Otter.ai and Dragon come with a powerful set of features, but you need to shell out a lot of money to use them. The limitations of Otter.ai and Dragon make people search for their alternatives.
Notta is one such AI meeting assistant and productivity tool that edges ahead in accuracy and integrations. It also has a free plan — something which is limited in the case of Otter and Dragon — to help users test the tool before they upgrade to the paid plan.
Try Notta - the best meeting transcription tool - to record and transcribe in-person or virtual conversations in real time.
Multiple Integrations: Notta handles integrations to Google or Microsoft well — so you can automatically record and transcribe all the scheduled meetings. It also integrates with Notion or Salesforce to save and export conversations in one click.
High Accuracy: Otter.ai offers an accuracy of 85-95%, but sometimes might interpret some words accurately. Notta is probably Otter.ai's most feature-rich competitor. If you want to eliminate the lengthy editing process after transcription with highly accurate software (98.86% accuracy rate), Notta is the app for the job.
Notta Bot: The AI meeting assistant of Notta joins the live Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, or Microsoft Teams conversations to transcribe them in real-time. Once the Notta Bot enters the meetings, it will transcribe and save transcripts on the dashboard — which can then be shared with team members.
Like Otter.ai, I used Notta to record and transcribe the same audio, and here's the Otter vs. Notta accuracy comparison.
Most academicians and professionals often compare Otter.ai and Dragon Speech on different grounds. These dictation tools help you easily write on the go -- without the need for a physical keyboard. On a broader level, Dragon Speech is considered a little hefty on the pocket as it was developed for industries like education, law enforcement, and legal.
On the other hand, Otter.ai comes with built-in features that help you transcribe existing media files and live meetings. If you are tired of comparing Otter.ai with Dragon and are looking for a tool that combines the voice-to-text transcription features of Otter.ai and Dragon, I highly recommend checking out Notta.
Notta is a great way to transcribe meetings, summarize lengthy meeting discussions into short texts, and record voice for future reference. Go ahead and sign up for a free Notta account today and threefold your meeting productivity.