|KnowBrainer Speech Recognition|
Topic Title: SpeechWare TBMK02 TableMike Review
Topic Summary: Review of new, high quality table-top microphone
Created On: 08/06/2008 07:42 PM
Status: Post and Reply
|- JonWahrenberger||- 08/06/2008 07:42 PM|
08/06/2008 07:42 PM
SpeechWare TBMK02 Review: A new desktop microphone is available – the SpeechWare TBMK02 – and I am happy to provide a preliminary review.
The TBMK02 “TableMike” is an extremely high quality desktop microphone with several features making it ideally suited for speech recognition software users, particularly those who cannot or choose not to wear or hold a microphone. It is marketed by a Belgian company, SpeechWare, who has a 10-year history in transcription solutions in Europe and is a leader in EU speech recognition products.
The suggested retail price of this microphone is $249.00.
Physical Set-up: Although it is packaged in two boxes, one for the base and one for the boom, it is assembled into a single integrated unit which features an fairly long (22 inch) boom, allowing the base to be stationed a good distance from your desk work surface. The boom attaches to the base with an XLR connection and allows easy removal of the boom for transportation or storage. The microphone connects to your PC via an included 8 ft. cord, which attaches to a USB port. It includes a jack for external speakers. An accessory jack to interface with a foot pedal is present but was not tested.
Features: Beyond the obvious, this microphone has several interesting features. It includes a built in USB sound card for the analog to digital conversion (USB interface with your PC) which works extremely well and shows a very low noise ceiling when used with Dragon software. It has an integrated speaker for voice or music playback, including volume controls, which makes it ideal if you plan to use this for VoIP applications. It has a volume control on the microphone (ideal results with Dragon are obtained when the volume is in the mid range setting.) The microphone can be turned on using one of two methods: 1) a simple push-to-talk button and 2) a button that allows you to toggle between always on or always off. The microphone includes an indicator light at the base of the microphone element that glows red when the microphone is active.
Speech Recognition Results:
Accuracy: This microphone provides uniquely good results with speech recognition software. During the audio set-up wizard we typically saw sound/noise ration in the low 20s and unusually low noise ceilings. Our own tests show solid 99-100% accuracy reading the "Rainbow Passage" and the ability to obtain this over a fairly wide ranges of distances of your mouth from the microphone element (high accuracy with distance between 3 inches and 10 inches, regardless of whether your head is pointed directly at the microphone element).
Noise cancelation: This is a highly directional microphone that is extremely good at external noise rejection. We tested this with a TV playing fairly loudly at about a 90 degree angle from the axis of the microphone, and it appeared to reject it almost entirely until the volume was so loud that bounce off of walls became a factor. We saw similar results with a highly curious and loquacious 6-year-old in the vicinity of the microphone
Summary: While on the expensive side, and considerably more expensive than its significantly smaller rival, the Buddy Desktop Microphone, this is a uniquely good microphone for speech recognition and provides noise cancelation and accuracy akin to that seen with the Sennheiser ME3 and other high quality headset microphones. Given the excellent accuracy over a range of distances from the microphone element and lack of need to place this on your head, this is an excellent choice for the user with physical limitations or for anyone that does not want to hold or wear a microphone when using speech recognition software or VoIP applications.
Disclosures: Speech Recognition Solutions has no relationship with SpeechWare and paid full price for the testing microphone!
Jon Wahrenberger, MD
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