Speech-to-text smart apps – don’t miss a word!

What is a speech-to-text app?

Modern technology certainly makes life easier for people with a hearing impairment. Of course, there are the amazing hearing aids that are available, and are constantly being improved upon. But what about the many apps designed to enhance communication?

In this blog we look at some of the best speech-to-text apps designed to ensure you never miss a word in your conversations or meetings.

Speech-to-text, or voice-to-text, apps use voice recognition software (and usually an active internet connection) to convert what’s being said into text, either on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. Alongside apps that are purpose-designed for people with hearing challenges, there are also note-taking apps that, although they’re designed for business use, do a similar job. Here’s a quick lowdown on some of the different types.

Purpose-designed apps

  • Live Transcribe is a free speech-to-text app from Google (it’s only available on Android). It enables you to decide on the displayed text size and background colour to make reading text easier, and you can pair it with external wireless microphones so a speaker can be sitting some distance from you and you’ll still be able to capture and read what they’re saying on your phone. Live Transcribe also works in 70 languages so you can have bilingual conversations.
  • TextHearpersonal has versions for both Android and Apple devices. The Android version is free to use, the Apple version requires you to pay for blocks of time. It is also multilingual.
  • Hearing Helper is a free Apple-only app. You press a button on the screen to capture and caption what is being said, so it’s best for short bursts of use. The text can also be enlarged.
  • Ava offers a group conversation option, with the captions of what individuals are saying, alongside their name. It’s free to use up to a certain monthly limit, after which the host has to pay.

Note-taking apps

If you use a business note-taking/dictation app, it’s worth remembering that your conversations will be stored as recordings and transcriptions – after all, that’s the point of the app – so it’s worth deleting these afterwards.

  • Dragon Anywhere is a popular paid-for app with a high level of accuracy. It works on Android and Apple devices.
  • Speechnotes is great for capturing long conversations as it won’t stop recording even if there are pauses in speech. It’s free and available on Android.
  • Otter Voice requires an account to be set up, but then offers 600 free minutes per month. Individual sessions are limited to 40 minutes of transcription, but you can just start a new recording if you reach the limit.

Our advice is to try out some of the free apps first to get the hang of how they work. You may find a favourite among them. We’d love to hear your feedback and recommendations.

If you would like to book in to discuss your hearing or hearing aids then please get in touch:

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