Whether you spent years dictating your work documents or you simply want to find an easier way to browse the internet, chances are you heard of Nuance Dragon speech-to-text software.
Previously known as Dragon Naturally Speaking, this software is the industry leader in speech recognition.
Typing all the time is not good for you. It’s time to spare yourself (or your employees) the painful effects of repetitive strain injury and carpal tunnel syndrome. Go for the best – and get yourself a Dragon license.
Dragon comes in many versions adjusted to particular kinds of users. You may quickly realize that picking the right version of the software isn’t as simple as it seems.
So what exactly do you get with Dragon Home, and what makes Dragon Professional different? Read on for an in-depth comparison between the Home and Professional versions.
To Each Their Own
All versions of Dragon come with the same basic set of speech-to-text functionalities. But as their name suggests, the Home and Professional versions are geared towards completely different types of users.
Nuance Dragon Home
The Home version is designed for personal use. It’s aimed towards families and students who are looking for an easier way to:
- browse the internet
- communicate through email and social media
- complete school assignments
While Nuance doesn’t explicitly forbid using the software for work, you may find the Home version’s features too limited for professional use.
Nunace Dragon Professional
On the other hand, Dragon Professional comes with a wide variety of functions that make office life easier and complete tasks faster.
Geared towards individual professionals or entire businesses, Dragon Professional brings a set of unique tools to the table.
It lets you:
- Fill out forms, sheets, and documents using voice commands
- Turn recordings into editable text
- Import custom vocabulary to suit your particular industry
Dragon Professional comes with everything that the Home version has and so much more.
Both Home and Professional versions come with a common set of basic features.
In fact, it could be said that Dragon Home is the baseline Dragon product – it contains the most essential features and not much more. Professional and other advanced versions of Dragon come with everything Home covers, plus additional functions and industry-specific features.
The basic features that are included in both Home and Professional versions of Nuance Dragon software are:
- A high level of speech recognition accuracy from the first use – the software works great even if you’re in a noisy environment or speak with an accent. However, Dragon gets even better with time. Their Deep Learning technology adapts to your voice, accent, and speech patterns, making the program more accurate the more you use it.
- A set of commands that doesn’t only allow you to write through
dictation, but to format and edit as well. Create bold and underlined text with simple voice commands, and choose how exactly Dragon writes down abbreviations, numbers, and dates.
- The tools let you browse the web, post, and comment on social media, and send emails using voice commands. We speak three times as fast as we type – so why waste time and effort doing things the old-fashioned way?
- You don’t have to proofread the text – proof-listen to it instead. Dragon reads the dictated text back to you to help you make sure the program got everything right.
If you have a good microphone (I recommend a high-quality lapel mic), you can almost say goodbye to your keyboard. This thing will improve your typing speed by 300%.
Get a free USB headset when you purchase Dragon Home or Dragon Professional Individual and and moreover, you can get Dragon Anywhere App for no additional cost (worth $150, £109.99, €150).
Additional Features in Nuance Dragon Professional
Dragon Professional comes in a few versions – you can choose between the Individual and the Group version, opt for Dragon Anywhere (the cloud-based service you can access from any device), or pick an industry-specific version.
Currently, they cover banking and financial services, social services (with HIPAA compliant features), law enforcement, and legal professions. Dragon also has a Medical version, which is specifically designed for physicians and medical transcriptionists.
Each covers industry-specific vocabulary and is thoroughly adapted to each profession’s needs.
No matter which type of Dragon Professional you choose, it comes with a plethora of additional features that are designed to make work life easier.
So, along with all the features in the Home version, Dragon Professional also comes with:
- Custom-made voice commands that you can set up yourself, to make working in your particular business software smoother. Whether those are time-saving macros that help you automate your work or voice commands that insert specific graphics or frequently-used text, the ability to adapt commands to your personal style of doing business will help you retain authenticity.
- Access to a vocabulary editor that lets you import and export custom word lists – ideal for professionals who need to use niche vocabulary, acronyms, and industry-specific language.
- Complete voice control over creating, formatting, and editing documents in programs like Microsoft Excel.
- Transcribe your recordings – you don’t have to speak directly to Dragon to create your
dictation. Simply make voice recordings of your meetings, phone calls, or brainstorming sessions, and let the program transcribe them to editable text later on. The program supports a variety of audio formats, including .wav, .mp3, .wma, .dss, .ds2, and .m4a.
- Sync options for their cloud-based Dragon Anywhere mobile app (so you don’t have to be glued to your PC to work on that project) and support for their Nuance PowerMic for extra comfortable use.
- Create multiple users and train the software to understand the voices of different people from your office.
- Volume discounts – get Nuance Dragon Professional software for your entire office for a discounted price, and manage all the licenses on the network.
With Dragon, You Get What You Pay For
By now, it’s obvious that Dragon Professional is far superior to the basic Dragon Home in terms of functionality. But that’s clearly reflected in the price as well.
The current price for the Home version is $200, while you’ll need to set $500 aside for a Dragon Professional license.
While it may seem expensive upfront, you only need to pay for the program once and use it forever – no hidden costs or additional charges.
There’s no difference in system requirements between Dragon Home and Professional versions.
Both come to you in the form of a digital download, and your computer needs to have an equivalent of or better specifications than these:
- RAM: Minimum of 4GB.
- CPU: Intel® dual core or equivalent AMD processor. Faster processors yield faster performance.
- Free hard disk space: 8GB.
- Supporting operating systems: Microsoft Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 (32-bit and 64-bit).
- Web browsers: Internet Explorer 11 or higher, or a current version of Chrome or Firefox.
- Sound card: Sound card that supports 16-bit recording.
You can use any built-in microphone – but I recommend going for a transcription headset for the best dictation accuracy.
As a writer and content creator, I personally love working with Dragon Professional Individual.
What’s your experience with Dragon? Which version works best for you? Let me know in the comments!