(If you’re a corporate client, or you’re in the legal or medical industry, then they have other voice recognition products for you as well.)
I’ve been writing with Dragon NaturallySpeaking on this website for more than eight years. I normally dictate with Dragon Professional Individual v15, but for review purposes, I went out and bought a license for Dragon Home v15. (Right now I’m using Dragon Home version 15 to update this blog post in Google Chrome.)
So what’s the difference between Dragon Home v15 and Dragon Professional v15?
I’m preparing a complete review with screenshots comparing Dragon Home and Dragon professional, but it’s taking a little bit of time to get that out the door.
So here are some highlights of some of the major differences between the two versions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
(Please stay tuned. This post is a work in progress.)
The key differences are:
- It’s easier to create multiple user profiles and Dragon professional individual
- You have more tools in Dragon Professional Individual. (The toolbar is larger.)
- You can transcribe someone else’s recordings in Dragon Professional Individual. (You can’t do that in Dragon Home.)
- You can set a folder to be auto transcribed by Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional individual.
- You can set up custom commands (macros) in Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional.
- You have more complete control over your vocabulary in Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional. Sure you can train words in Dragon Home, but you can see the complete vocabulary list in Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional individual.
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional backs up your voice profile. (You can set a custom folder for at the back up to.)
At first glance, Dragon Home seems to be just as accurate as Dragon Professional Individual.
- I set up Dragon Home on my laptop and Dragon Professional Individual on my desktop computer.
- I wore two headsets at the same time with microphones on both sides of my head.
- I dictated the same blog post into the computer and it seems like Dragon NaturallySpeaking heard the same thing in both versions of the software. Stay tuned for more detailed analysis.
- Both versions save a voice file.
- Both versions let you choose between accuracy or speed when transcribing
It’s a lot easier to create and use multiple user profiles in Dragon Professional Individual than it is in Dragon Home.
Dragon is licensed for only one person per license, but sometimes you might want to create multiple user profiles.
- In the start menu, Dragon Home doesn’t give you an easy way to create multiple user profiles.
- On the other hand, it’s easy to set up multiple user profiles in Dragon Professional Individual (and in fact, you can use these user profiles to transcribe someone else’s recordings. You can’t do that in Dragon Home.)
Note: Dragon Home version 15 is different from Dragon Home version 13.
In Dragon Home v15, they’re really encouraging only one user profile.
- When you open Dragon Home, it doesn’t give you the option to choose from multiple user profiles unless you upgraded from Dragon Home v13 where you already had multiple user profiles.
- In this case, you get to see the open user profile window, but as you can see from the screenshot, you can’t create new user profiles from this window in Dragon Home version 15.
On the other hand, in Dragon Professional Individual, you have complete control to create new user profiles as well as to choose what folder they are found in. (This makes it easy for you to back up those folders to make sure you save your voice recognition files in case a disaster happens.)
By the way, if you try to be sneaky and import a new profile into your Dragon Home version 15, the software warns you that importing a new profile will delete your existing user profile Dragon Home version 15.
On the other hand, in Dragon Professional Individual version 15, you can import, export, backup and restore user profiles from the manage user profiles administrative menu.
The toolbar is larger in Dragon Professional Individual as opposed to Dragon Home v15
Although Dragon Home and Dragon Professional Individual both use the same speech transcription engine, you have a lot more features and options and Dragon Professional Individual.
The toolbar Dragon Home version 15 only has two buttons: tools and settings. Some of the tools have been moved into the tools option, but you’re missing a few key options that Dragon Professional Individual. Most notably, Dragon Professional Individual has:
- a button to manage user profiles
- a button focus around vocabulary options. (In Dragon Home v15, you have the ability to train specific words, but you don’t have the ability to see the entire vocabulary list or to import entire lists of words. You’ll need Dragon Professional Individual for that.)
- A button with more audio options. (In Dragon Home version 15, you can only do a microphone settings check when you first create your user profile. In Dragon Professional Individual, you can do a microphone settings check again to let Dragon adjust the volume levels if you move to a different room, or if you want to make sure your microphone is in the right place.)
Dragon Home v15 seems to be just as accurate as Dragon Professional Individual v15
Both Dragon Home v15 and Dragon Professional Individual v15 come with its own word processor called DragonPad.
I tend to use DragonPad when I dictate. For this experiment, I wore two heads at the same time. One headset was connected to a laptop running Dragon Home v15, and the other headset was connected to a desktop running Dragon Professional Individual v15. Here’s a screenshot from both computers showing a complete review post that I’m writing using DragonPad.
Although I haven’t crunched the numbers yet, I’m going to guess that both versions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking v15 will have the same accuracy rate.
Voice files are saved in both versions of Dragon NaturallySpeaking
What’s even cooler is that both Dragon Home v15, and Dragon Professional Individual v15 save the voice recording file (.DRA) when you save your work from DragonPad.
It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is.
When you fix a mistake in Dragon NaturallySpeaking, you can get the voice software to playback what you said. As you fix mistakes, Dragon NaturallySpeaking gets better and better and it updates your user profile.
Dragon Professional Individual has always saved your voice recording file. This means you could close your work and then open up the file at a later date and you could still play back and fix mistakes. I don’t think previous versions of Dragon Home let you play back what you said as you try to fix and train Dragon.
But we can see here from the following screenshots that both Dragon Home v15 and Dragon Professional Individual v15 save your text file as well as your voice recording (.DRA) file that goes with it. It’s a big deal. Makes life a lot easier. Trust me.
Both Dragon Home and Dragon Professional Individual let you choose between accuracy or speed when transcribing
I’m a little bit embarrassed to say I had no idea this was a thing. If you open up the options window, and then choose miscellaneous, there is a slider that lets you choose between speed and accuracy in both Dragon Home and Dragon Professional Individual.
This means if your computer is a little bit slow, you might want to move the slider over to the fastest response side. On the other hand, if your computer has a lot of processing power, you might want your voice dictation software to be a little bit more accurate. In this review, I set both Dragon Home v15 and Dragon Professional Individual v15 to the most accurate setting, as seen in the screenshots below.
Right now, based on writing this review wearing two headsets and using two computers running Dragon NaturallySpeaking at the same time, it seems as though both Dragon Home and Dragon Professional Individual have pretty much the same accuracy rate.
Can I still get Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium v13?
Here is Nuance’s official note saying goodbye to Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium.
In a nutshell…
- They stopped selling Dragon Premium 13 in Aug 2018
- People who bought Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium have a perpetual license and they can keep on using, but they will stop updating the software after Jan 2019.
- They are now focusing on Dragon Home 15, Dragon Professional 15 Individual, and then their industry products for legal, medical, law enforcement, etc.
Having said all of that, you may still be able to purchase Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium from the Nuance site here:
Difference Between Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home and Premium / Student v13
The following information is kept up for archival and reference purposes. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the differences between Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home vs Professional!
So, you’re thinking about getting Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but you’re not sure what’s the difference between Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home vs Premium vs their Student versions?
No problem. We got you.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking is voice recognition software for your PC. You talk, and the computer listens and types down what you say.
- Best part is that you don’t need an internet connection to transcribe and dictate.
- Worst part is that Dragon NaturallySpeaking isn’t free.
Sure, you can also control your mouse, search for things on the internet, or send emails, all without touching a keyboard, but I don’t really use any of these features. I just write blog posts with it.
For the past few years, I have been using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium.
Overall, I find the speech recognition is excellent. It gets on average 97-98% of my words correct when I am dictating in Microsoft Word. This means, on average, I only have to correct 2 or 3 words for every 100 words that I say.
Before you continue reading, please note that I am compensated by Nuance for my reviews of Dragon NaturallySpeaking. What does this mean, exactly?
- I purchased Dragon NaturallySpeaking independently in 2010. (In fact, I also canceled an order for Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 and got a full refund, but that’s another story.)
- I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to write many of the posts on this blog. Here’s how I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking and here’s a list of posts written with the speech software.
- I signed up to be part of Nuance’s affiliate program. If you decide to buy Dragon NaturallySpeaking through a link on this site, I get a finder’s fee (commission) if, and only if, you click on one of the links on this site. This does not affect the price you pay. The commission is paid separately by Nuance. The price you pay is the same whether or not you click through one of the links on this website. Here are the disclosure and privacy policies for this website.
- The views and opinions expressed are based purely on my own individual experience. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.
- See for yourself. Click here for the direct link to the official Nuance PDF: Dragon NaturallySpeaking feature matrix comparison page (PDF) comparing Dragon Home, Dragon Premium, Dragon Professional, and Dragon Legal
Not sure what’s the difference between Dragon NaturallySpeaking home and premium (or student/teacher) editions?
Here are some things to know:
1. Dragon NaturallySpeaking comes in four different editions:
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking Professional
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal
The average person only needs to decide between Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home vs Premium.
If you are a medical or legal professional, there are different versions of the voice recognition software with specific vocabulary sets for those industries.
2. Dragon NaturallySpeaking “PREMIUM” comes in a couple of different flavours:
If you want Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium, then you can choose from any of the following different types of Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium:
- A physical shipment costs $199.99
- A digital download costs $199.99 (headset not included)
Upgrading (to a new version) usually costs $149.99(Upgrading to Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 13 is no longer offered as Nuance is encouraging everyone to upgrade to Dragon Professional Individual. Goodbye Dragon Premium!)
- The student teacher edition costs $99.99 (digital download, so headset is not included)
- The wireless edition costs $299.99 (Plantronics Callisto Bluetooth headset)
- The dictate anywhere mobile version costs $299.99 and you get a Philips digital voice recorder
All of these different packages of Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium come with the exact same software. The only difference is the price you pay and what audio device / hardware you get bundled with the software.
In other words, Dragon NaturallySpeaking student/teacher education edition is exactly the same as Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium.
(Remember that the student/teacher version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking is the same as Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium so we can just focus on the difference between Dragon NaturallySpeaking home and premium editions.)
Here’s a quick summary from the Dragon comparison chart on the Nuance website:
- Both Dragon NaturallySpeaking home and premium/education editions lets you turn your voice into text
- Both home and premium editions let you click, move, or drag the mouse just with voice commands.
- You can use the voice recognition software with a web browser or with word processing software (i.e Microsoft Word, OpenOffice writer, and WordPerfect)
The following features are not available in Dragon NaturallySpeaking home. (You’ll need Dragon premium or educational versions to do the following:)
- Use Dragon Natural Language Commands in Excel or PowerPoint. In other words, talk to your computer to give it instructions. (You can only give commands to Microsoft Word if you have Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home edition.) I personally never give voice commands other than basic formatting (i.e. new paragraph), but you might. (Jump down to see how I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking.)
- Playback your speech and documents for advanced correction and editing. (I use this feature a lot. Scroll down here to see how I use the playback command.)
- Use your user profile with more than one type of audio input device. (With Dragon NaturallySpeaking home edition, apparently you’re only allowed to use one type of audio input. With Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium, I can use my user profile with a USB headset, a Bluetooth headset, and enhanced Bluetooth headset, or a mobile dictation recording device.)
- If you want to use a Bluetooth wireless headset, you’ll need to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium. (Right now, I’m using a USB headset. The old bluetooth Calisto headset that came with Dragon 11 worked fine for me, but I’m having problems with the Dragon 12 enhanced bluetooth headset. Scroll down here for more info about my experience with audio devices.)
What’s the difference between Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium and Professional editions?
By the way, if you’re wondering what’s the difference between Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium in Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional, you get the following three features in Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional:
- You get advanced custom commands. Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium lets you create custom text and graphic commands. You can insert frequently used text and/or graphics just with your voice. There are a few different ways to save time using customized shortcuts, right now, I’m using Breevy, but if money was no issue, I’d check out Dragon NaturallySpeaking professional because it allows you to add variables to these text or graphic commands to create more sophisticated voice commands and automate routine tasks.
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium also gives you enterprise profile management for corporations and large businesses.
- Finally the Professional Edition lets you save synchronized audio from your dictation in Microsoft Word or DragonPad so you get an additional file along the transcribed text file.
How accurate is Dragon NaturallySpeaking? Does it really work?
Most of the blog posts on this classroom technology site were written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking with a 97 to 98% word recognition accuracy.
Here’s what I do:
- I turn on Dragon NaturallySpeaking and do the audio checks to make sure the microphone is positioned correctly and so the voice recognition software can adjust volume settings.
- I turn off most of the background processes on my computer (i.e. Dropbox, one note, etc.)
- I ask my cat to leave. No, seriously. Here’s why.
- I write my first draft using Dragon NaturallySpeaking with Microsoft Word on my Windows machine. Right now, I mostly use my USB headset.
- I talk to my computer, and then at the end of the post, I check for transcription errors.
- If I read something that doesn’t make sense, I move to that sentence and use the playback command. (The playback command is only available with Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium. It is not available with the Dragon NaturallySpeaking home edition. Click here to see the Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking Feature Matrix PDF for more information.)
- As I corrected Dragon NaturallySpeaking recognition errors, I keep track of the number of word errors and punctuation/capitalization errors that the voice recognition software made.
- At this point, I am done with my first draft, so I upload it to the blog, and I make revisions, fix the formatting and images/links, etc.
- At the bottom of each post, I include the total number of words in the original draft of the post, the number of word errors, punctuation errors, and a few examples of mistakes. (This paragraph isn’t included when I calculate the number of words in the document.)
- Sometimes, as I go through this process, I make changes to the original draft. I might change my wording, add or delete sentences, or otherwise revise my work. I do all of this tweaking in WordPress (Google Chrome) so that’s why the total number of words in the final draft might differ from the total number of words I calculate the accuracy of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Here’s what I don’t do. A few things to note:
There are a few things you can do with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, but I personally don’t.
1. Even though you can control your entire computer using your voice only, I really only use Dragon NaturallySpeaking for dictation.
I would rather use my mouse and keyboard shortcuts to control the computer because I find it quicker. (Having said that, if you’re using Dragon NaturallySpeaking because of a physical impairment, you should know that you’re able to control your computer with just with your words.)
The keyboard shortcut that I use the most is the plus sign (+) to turn the microphone on and off.
2. Right now, I’m not using the Bluetooth wireless headset that I got with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I use my own USB headset.
It’s pretty cool using a Bluetooth headset to talk to your computer. You feel like you’re talking to a computer in Star Trek. When I first got Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11 Premium, I got the wireless version and I loved it: “pace around and do other things and our words magically appear on the screen.”
There have been a few times when I’ve been connected to my computer with my USB headset and I’ve just narrowly escaped breaking my computer when I walk away. (The phone rang, you rush to get it, crash!)
Note: On my Windows 8 machine, I have no problems with the older BT300 Calisto headset that came with Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11. But right now, when I can’t get the new enhanced bluetooth BT 300 II calisto headset to work properly. (You can dictate just fine, but when I try to correct mistakes with my voice, Dragon NaturallySpeaking seems to lag or hang.)
3. I don’t use Dragon NaturallySpeaking to surf the net.
In fact, I’ve disabled the Dragon NaturallySpeaking plug-in for Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. I never used to have this problem, but right now, if I go to YouTube or another video site, Internet Explorer will crash and say that the Dragon NaturallySpeaking plug-in is not responding. This happens to me, even if Dragon NaturallySpeaking isn’t turned on. I don’t surf the net with Dragon NaturallySpeaking, so I just disabled the plug-in.
4. Right now, I’m not correcting my mistakes using the Dragon NaturallySpeaking commands.
This goes against the basic training rule I’ve heard from people who teach students to use Dragon NaturallySpeaking: the more you train Dragon by correcting your mistakes (with your voice), the more accurate Dragon NaturallySpeaking gets.
Over the past two years, I dutifully went back and corrected mistakes using my voice, trying to train Dragon NaturallySpeaking. I would give commands like €œcorrect that€ so Dragon would know when it heard me incorrectly and would do better next time.
But right now, I have a theory that Dragon NaturallySpeaking works really well straight out of the box and in the classroom situation, students correcting in a noisy environment might actually make their user profile worse.
(In fact, a recent blog post I wrote with a brand new Dragon NaturallySpeaking user profile with NO training correctly transcribed 98% of the words.)
So, this post you’re reading was also written using a brand-new user profile with absolutely no training. And, if you click here, you see that it’s actually quite accurate: Dragon NaturallySpeaking got 98.3% of the words correct.
After this little experiment is done, I probably will go back to correcting my mistakes and teaching Dragon in my quiet office, but for right now, it’s neat to see that Dragon NaturallySpeaking is incredibly accurate without any training whatsoever.
(Note: the only time I might train Dragon NaturallySpeaking right now is if I had to teach Dragon a new word with a unique pronunciation like a student’s name.)
Here’s a list of posts that I wrote using Dragon NaturallySpeaking
So, now that you know a little bit of how I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking, here’s a list of posts that I use Dragon with.
Over the years, I’ve used Dragon with different audio devices: Bluetooth headsets, a USB headset. I’ve also used different versions of Dragon (11, 11.5, 12, 12.5, 13, 15) on different versions of Windows.
You can use the search tool to see how accurate the Dragon voice software is. You can filter by audio device, version, date.
THIS FEATURE IS COMING SOON! STAY TUNED!
I recently got an email from Nuance, the people who make Dragon NaturallySpeaking voice recognition software, letting me know that they are having a summer sale.
It’s a pretty good deal, so if you’ve been waiting to buy speech recognition software, now is a good time to check it out:
Dragon NaturallySpeaking summer promotions:
You can now save $40 on Dragon NaturallySpeaking home edition.
- It currently sells for $59.99 (regular price $99.99).
- Click here to see the difference between the home edition and the premium editions.
Save $60 on Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium for Windows
- DNS Premium sells for $139.99. (Regular price of $199.99.)
- This post was written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium. I generally get around a 97-98% word recognition rate. Click here to see how accurate the voice recognition software was in this post.
- (I’m not a Mac user, but the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Dictate for Macs is also on sale for $139.99. (Regular price $199.99)
Finally, if you’re a teacher or student, you can save an additional $40 off the sale price by getting the Dragon NaturallySpeaking Education Edition.
- Nuance offers student licensing and teacher discounts on the Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium product.
- You can save $100 off the regular price of $199.99 for Dragon NaturallySpeaking premium.
- In other words, the Dragon NaturallySpeaking student teacher edition only cost $99.99.
- Please note, this educational discount is only available to qualified students, faculty, and staff. It is a digital download, but you have to prove your education status.
Psst. Dragon NaturallySpeaking doesn’t go on sale very often.