KnowBrainer Speech Recognition
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Topic Title: Mountable microphone recommendation?
Topic Summary:
Created On: 07/18/2018 09:47 PM
Status: Post and Reply
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 Mountable microphone recommendation?   - jrp3 - 07/18/2018 09:47 PM  
 Mountable microphone recommendation?   - Lunis Orcutt - 07/19/2018 11:25 AM  
 Mountable microphone recommendation?   - jrp3 - 07/19/2018 03:23 PM  
 Mountable microphone recommendation?   - Lunis Orcutt - 07/19/2018 04:00 PM  
 Mountable microphone recommendation?   - mwarddoc - 05/21/2020 03:43 AM  
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 07/18/2018 09:47 PM
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jrp3
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Hey everyone,

I'm in the process of rebuilding my entire computing setup, transitioning over to a rig where my monitors are mounted on a rolling table – such that they can roll over next to me when I am lying in bed, but I can also pull up to them in my wheelchair more traditionally. As part of this process, I'm also looking to improve my microphone situation.

Currently, I use a Buddy DesktopMic 7G, which has served me relatively reliably for the past couple years. However, it's not super well-suited to this new setup, because it can't be positioned anywhere on the table that is close enough to pick me up consistently when the table is next to my bed, and it's only slightly better when I'm in my chair. We're talking about 36 inches away at the closest. I'm well aware that, barrring the use of a desktop microphone like this one, the easy recommendation is to go for a high quality headset. This isn't an option for me, though, because I need something that I can just pull up to and start using without having to have assistance putting it on my head.

So, based on these constraints, I'm thinking that I would like to use some kind of mountable microphone that I can put on an articulated boom arm. I already have a Blue Yeti Pro, which I got for recording interviews, which I thought I would try. But it's honestly a bit larger than I would prefer, and reading threads here, it also seems like the general consensus is that it won't do a very good job for dictation, even though it's a fantastic microphone more generally speaking.

Are there any mountable USB microphones, in the vein of the Blue Snowball (in terms of general form factor) that you can recommend? I get that the Snowball isn't ideal for dictation either, but that's the general style I'm looking for. I really just need:

 

  • USB connectivity
  • The ability to mount (i.e. a threaded hole like most studio mics have)
  • The smallest footprint possible

 

I'd appreciate any insight or recommendations!

 07/19/2018 11:25 AM
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Lunis Orcutt
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Joined: 10/01/2006

Buddy microphones (which we no longer recommend) do not include auto gain control (automatically amplifies your microphone input level when more than 9 inches away from your microphone). You might want to check out the SpeechWare 9-in-1 TableMike (with extendable boom), SpeechWare 6-in-1 TableMike  and SpeechWare 3-in-1 TableMike. You can also use the SpeechWare TwistMike Gooseneck which has a longer Gooseneck and includes a clamp to fasten to your table but if you're going to use this microphone, we would additionally recommend adding a SpeechWare SpeechMatic MultiAdapter (external USB soundcard) which includes the previously mentioned auto gain control.

Every USB microphone manufacturer claims that their microphones are ideally suited to speech recognition (think White House spin/advertising) but most
preferred speech recognition microphones are built specifically for speech recognition, from the ground up. Microphones such as the Blue Snowball were designed for VoIP applications, like Skype, which has lower requirements.

Perchance, are you using a notebook computer? If so, you might consider checking out the SpeechWare TravelMike which has a much smaller footprint than anything you are currently using and also includes auto gain control.

PS: We strongly recommend that you fill out your forum member profile, which you will see at the top of this page because microphone performance varies between versions and editions of Dragon. For example, all Dragon 15 editions include auto gain control to automatically extend your range and is the default setting. This functionality is also included in Ver. 13 and 14 but is not the default setting and not typically mentioned by the manufacturer but available nevertheless.



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 07/19/2018 03:23 PM
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jrp3
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Thank you for the response, Lunis. These all seem like very high quality microphones.

 

However, unless I am missing something, it doesn't sound like any of them are actually mountable as per my request. I'm hoping to get something that is a self-contained module, stylistically similar to the Yeti (for example), but obviously more suitable for speech recognition. I'm hoping to have something suitable to be attached to and articulating arm, so that it can easily be adjusted/positioned to be close to me, in a variety of different seating arrangements.

 

I understand that many of these high-quality microphones can allow you to dictate from a distance with gain adjustment, so that the pickup can remain in one position, but I expect my environment has enough background noise that maintaining proximity will dramatically help accuracy.

As for my profile, the reason I have not filled it out is that I actually use Dragon in a variety of different settings. Between my home PC, my personal laptop, my work desktop, and work laptop, I'm running a bunch of different combinations of hardware, versions of Windows, and versions of Dragon. But for the record, this current microphone recommendation is for a desktop PC with Windows 10 and DPI 15.
 07/19/2018 04:00 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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DPI 15.3 can be installed/activated on as many as 5 computers so I would replace older installations of Dragon with DPI 15.3. By default, DPI 15.3 also includes auto gain control which means that many of your microphones will pick up over a longer distance but environmental noise is definitely an enemy for TableMikes



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 05/21/2020 03:43 AM
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mwarddoc
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I don't know if this would work for you, but I recently purchased the Phillips Speechmike Premium Air, and have been impressed with its ability to be used in various random locations and interactions.

I get excellent recognition as well as noise cancelling with it lying on my lap, or on the desktop, and while I use it most of the time by picking it up and dictating into it, I can also simply dictate with it laying on the desktop, off to the side of my screen. it is about 12-18 inches from my mouth when these various random positions are used. I find that the recognition is just as good as if I am holding it in my hand and dictating.

If mounted in the charging dock and paired to the desktop, you may be able to dictate into it without picking it up after setting up the software properly. There is a foot pedal control that connects to the dock as well, but I'm not sure how much benefit that would be. I am using it almost exclusively with the Air Connector, and not using the charging dock method at all, except to charge the device of course.

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mwarddoc
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