July 21

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14 Best Transcription Software In 2021 (Reviews & Comparison)

By Hanson Cheng

July 21, 2021


It's undeniable.

Transcription software has come to the fore in online business. People transcribe tons of audio and videos every day as part of their workflow.

To help you do your finest work, I've curated a list of the best transcription software on the market.

But first...

What Is Transcription Software 

Transcription software converts human speech into a text transcript or copy.

The speech can be in audio or video form. You can do transcription manually or automatically.

4 Benefits Of Transcription Services

Using transcription programs has many benefits including:

1. Speed

Machine transcription is way faster than human transcription.

2. Cheap

Transcription software is cheaper than manual transcription.

3. Reach

When you transcribe and translate content into another language, you increase your reach.

4. Curation

For digital marketers, turning audios into text changes content into another format you can use at any stage of the funnel.

14 Best Transcription Software Tools Features Overview 

With the basics done and dusted, let's go straight into the different transcription tools and what they offer.

Used by Time Warner and Wall Street Journal, Transcribe is a renowned artificial intelligence-driven software that transcribes audio and video files into text.

Available in over 60 languages, the transcription software helps you convert phone calls, interviews, videos, lectures, podcasts, meetings, or any recorded speech into text.

Transcribe Features

  • Automated Service: simply upload your video and let the software do the rest.
  • Self Transcription: use manual transcription to slow down your audio to get every word.
  • Auto Loop: automatically stop and restart your audio as you edit your transcript.
  • Autosave: the system auto-saves your content in your browser’s local storage.
  • Foot Pedal Support: free your hands by controlling audio playback with your foot.

PROS

  • Their audio player and editor work without an internet connection.
  • You can generate subtitles in multiple formats.
  • The transcription service is secure and keeps every audio or video file on your computer.

CONS

  • It struggles with thick regional accents.
  • Grammar can be an issue.

Self Transcription 

PLAN

$20

a year 

Automatic Transcription

PLAN

$20

a year plus $6 an hour

Happy Scribe uses the latest speech-to-text technology to convert audio to text in minutes.

Their transcription service produces highly accurate transcripts.

Over 100k users and teams of all sizes trust Happy Scribe for automated transcription services.

Happy Scribe Features

  • GDPR Compliant: they encrypt all data at both ends to secure all your text files and audio files are secure.
  • Machine Translation: auto-translate your transcription into 10 popular languages.
  • Interactive Editor: change text, and adjust playback or time with ease.
  • Speaker Identification: the system picks a new speaker in multi-speaker videos and starts a new paragraph. 

PROS

  • You can import audio or video files from other platforms.
  • It supports workspaces collaboration for you to share files with team members.
  • The transcription service integrates with YouTube, Zapier, and more.
  • Transcription is available in a whopping 119+ languages.

CONS

  • No subscription model pricing so the service expensive for regular users.
  • The vocabulary feature misfires for some words.

Automatic

PLAN

$0.20

per minute

Human-made

PLAN

$1.70

per minute

3. Zoom

Best known as an online meeting platform, Zoom also offers a transcription service.

Zoom Transcription Services auto-generate accurate transcriptions of an audio or video file. They pride themselves on providing fast, accurate, and affordable transcription services.

Zoom Features

  • Accuracy: Zoom delivers accurate results that match industry standards.
  • Fast Turnaround: you get the transcript of your audio file (or video file) within 24 hours.
  • Private And Secure: they keep your encrypted dictation files at HIPPA level confidentiality standards.
  • Quality Assurance: each transcript goes through three layers of editing and proofing.
  • Multiple Languages: automatic transcription supports up to 10 languages.

PROS

  • It comes free with Education, Business, or Enterprise subscription.
  • They accept payments through PayPal and Wave.
  • They can produce documents with your company’s style, formatting, and letterhead.
  • The transcription software supports virtually audio/video formats.

CONS

  • They support a mere 10 languages.
  • No cassette tapes support.

Normal

PLAN

$1.50

(1-2 Speakers) 

Difficult

PLAN

$2.00

(3-4 Speakers)

Focus Group

PLAN

$3.00

(5+ Speakers)

4. Rev

Trusted by over 170k customers across all industries, Rev is one of the best human-based service providers around.

They rely on human transcribers.

Rev is a super-fast, cheap, accurate, and easy-to-use solution. But Rev is more than a transcription service. They also do top-notch subtitles and captioning.

Rev Features

  • Native Professionals: 50,000+ native English pros grasp all language nuances.
  • Compliant: Rev is FCC and ADA compliant so your info is secure.
  • Voice Recorder: record audio using an in-built voice recorder app for IOS and Android devices.
  • Foreign Subtitles: add subtitles to your videos in multiple foreign languages.

PROS

  • They deliver transcripts from audio files under 30 minutes in only 12 hours.
  • Their service can handle diverse accents and background noise.
  • They use a simple, upfront pricing system.
  • Rev automatically adds real-time captions to Zoom meetings and webinars.

CONS

  • No free version.
  • Formatting of transcripts needs polishing up.

Automated Transcription

PLAN

$0.25

per minute

Transcription

PLAN

$1.25

per minute

Captions

PLAN

$1.25

per minute

Foreign Subtitles

PLAN

$3-7

per minute

Express Scribe is another decent transcription software to consider.

Besides the paid solution, they have a powerful free version. Express Scribe is best known for transcribing audio and video recordings using PCs and Mac devices. Their pedal support and keyboard hotkeys deserve special mention for speeding up transcriptions.

Express Scribe Features

  • Multiple File Formats: the service supports 45+ audio and video formats.
  • Variable Speed Playback: set the speed that’s perfect for you.
  • Speech Recognition: supports speech recognition software like Dragon Naturally Speaking.
  • FastFox Expander: includes an automatic text expander for common phrases.

PROS

  • The text editor plays nice with Microsoft Word and other major word processors.
  • They provide a specialized service for the medical and legal industries.
  • You can automatically receive and send files to speed up your workflow.
  • It’s intuitive to use for both newbies and veterans.

CONS

  • Hard to customize your time stamps.
  • They have bare-bones features compared to feature-rich competitors.

Express Scribe

PLAN

$34.99

one-time payment

6. Temi

Temi transcription services use advanced automatic speech recognition software to provide swift speech-to-text transcription in 5 minutes.

It’s recognized as the cheapest, easiest, and fastest solution on the market. Temi allows you to transcribe audio, video, and podcasts with pinpoint accuracy.

Temi Features

  • Custom Timestamps: add tailored timestamps at any point as you wish.
  • High-quality Transcripts: get up to 95% accuracy from audios with minimal background noise.
  • Export: save and export your transcript as PDF, Word, VVT, SRT, and more.
  • Free Editing: edit transcripts in minutes using the free transcription editor.

PROS

  • Their free audio transcription software is feature-rich.
  • Straightforward pricing: no subscriptions, no minimum, no hidden charges.
  • You can work with any audio and video type.
  • They have a short turnaround time—get your completed transcript in minutes for excellent audio quality.

CONS

  • Their transcription services have limited customization options.
  • The automated transcription process produces incorrect transcriptions.

Temi

PLAN

$0.25

per minute

Sonix provides the best transcription services by machine.

Their powerful machine transcription produces accurate transcription fast. Plus, the service is available in 40+ countries. It’s used by giant companies like Google, Microsoft, and IBM.

Sonix Features

  • Automated Translation: get automated translation of your transcripts in 30 languages.
  • Customizable Subtitles: the program gives you flexible subtitles you can fine-tune.
  • Collaboration Features: multi-user access for everyone to edit the uploaded audio. 
  • Share And Publish: publish full transcripts in seconds using the media player.

PROS

  • You can integrate your workflow by connecting to Google Docs, Zoom, and other tools.
  • They provide watertight enterprise-grade security for all online content.
  • Sonix gives you perfect transcription in a fast turnaround time.
  • You can organize content easily with multi-folder nesting.

CONS

  • No mobile app so you can’t access the service via a mobile device.
  • Expensive since they charge a subscription fee and a transcription fee.

Standard

PLAN

$10

an hour

(Pay-as-you-go)

Premium

PLAN

$5

an hour plus $22 per user/month

(Frequent Transcription)

Need a free transcription service?

Then look no further than oTranscribe. oTranscribe is a free app that takes the pain out of transcribing an audio file. It’s best suited to journalists who use it to transcribe interviews.

oTranscribe Features

  • Free Transcription: save money by transcribing for free.
  • Word/QuickTime Integration: no more switching between a word document and Quicktime.
  • AutoSave: automatically save all your content to your browser as you work.
  • Interactive Timestamps: easily navigate your transcript with dynamic timestamps.

PROS

  • It’s free open-source software.
  • You can pause, rewind, and fast forward from your keyboard.
  • Their export feature allows you to export files to Google Docs and Markdown.
  • It’s secure since your content never leaves your computer.

CONS

  • No automatic transcription, you do everything manually.
  • Since they use local driver storage, the downside is you cannot access your saved transcripts from another computer.

oTranscribe

PLAN

FREE

Descript is one of the best transcription services in the industry.

They have a dual service that combines meticulous human professional transcriptionists with the lightning-fast speed of AI-powered transcription. Like most valued services in the space, Descript has it all: recording, transcription, collaboration, editing, and more.

Descript Features

  • Transcription: blazingly fast and accurate automatic transcription.
  • Pro Transcriptionists: human transcriptionists deliver 99% accurate work.
  • Cloud Sync: you and your team can access content instantly from anywhere.
  • Video Editing: easily add titles, music, animation, and more.

PROS

  • Their transcriptionists turn in work within 24 hours.
  • Descript has convenient Google Docs style commenting on audio and video.
  • They make collaboration a breeze—share with stakeholders via a link.
  • You can add speaker labels in a flash using the AI-powered Speaker Detective.

CONS

  • Descript only transcribes in English which is very limiting.
  • Their subtitling options don’t have enough wiggle room for customization

Descript

PLAN

$2.00

a minute

10. Trint

Whether you are a podcaster who wants to turn your episodes into blog posts or a freelance journalist rushing to meet a deadline, Trint transcription software has got your back.

You can create transcripts, edit them, and share them in multiple languages.

Trint Features

  • Multiple Languages: increase your global reach by sharing content in up to 31 languages.
  • Pinpoint Accuracy: get laser-accurate transcripts from the AI voice recognition software.
  • User-Friendly Interface: merge transcription into your workflow using the simple intuitive interface.
  • Editing: editing transcripts is easy: add markers, custom vocabulary, and speaker names. 

PROS

  • You can capture content on the go with the Trint for iPhone app.
  • A quick search function using specific words or key quotes.
  • You can export and share your transcript as a Word doc, CSV, or other formats.
  • The service includes full video and podcast production.

CONS

  • Unsuitable for complex transcription tasks.
  • The tool is expensive with plans starting at $12.

Starter

PLAN

$12

monthly (84 files a year)

Advanced

PLAN

$24

monthly (Unlimited)

Pro

PLAN

$36

monthly

(Unlimited + Multi-User Editing)

Pro Team

PLAN

$36

monthly

(Unlimited + Multi-User Editing + Workspaces)

11. Otter

Otter helps users capture important conversations. 

With the AI-powered Otter engine, you can produce rich notes from your meetings, interviews, lectures, and other vital conversations. They have commendable search tools.

Otter Features

  • Record: record audios for transcription on your phone or browser.
  • Live Transcribe: get live streaming transcripts in minutes complete with text, audio, images, and speaker identification.
  • Share: export and share notes to keep everyone on your team in sync.
  • Meetings: skip note-taking in meetings and use live transcriptions instead.

PROS

  • The software comes with 600 minutes of free transcription per month.
  • You can train the system to recognize voices and special terms.
  • They have a useful feature that takes notes during Zoom meetings and shares them with participants.
  • Otter plays nice with Dropbox, Google calendar, and your other favorite tools.

CONS

  • Otter is expensive compared to other transcription software.
  • While live transcription is great, it falls short of the high standards set by human-based services.

Pro

PLAN

$8.33

per month

Business

PLAN

$20

per month

Deliver Health offers specialized transcription services to health practitioners.

They have built a reputation for security, reliability, accuracy, and speed. The software is vital for precise clinical documentation that drives revenue.

Deliver Health Features

  • Speech Recognition: the elite speech recognition software reduces turnaround times.
  • Accuracy: medical specialists review transcriptions to ensure accuracy.
  • Cloud-Based: they keep all your files securely in the cloud and scan them weekly so they stay free from cyber threats.
  • Multiple Input: many input options including speech and smartphone dictation.

PROS

  • All transcripts go through an independently audited Quality Assurance process.
  • They have flexible document distribution options via print, fax, or email.
  • The system integrates with your EHR.
  • You have an experienced Medical Language Specialist ready to serve you. Th

CONS

Deliver Health Pricing

Contact vendor.

13. Audext

Audext is an advanced automatic transcription software of choice for many.

The slick voice-to-text software converts audio files to text fast. From business meeting recordings to interviews, podcasts, and in-person recordings, Audext transcribes it all.

Audext Features

  • Native Editor: adjust playback speed, highlight words, and edit at your leisure.
  • Super Fast: Audext is up to 200x faster than manual transcription services.
  • Speaker Identification: the system easily picks who is speaking for precise transcriptions.
  • Multiple Formats support all well-known audio and video formats: WAV, MP3, M4A, and others.

PROS

  • They have a fast turnaround time: get your transcript in minutes.
  • There’s no need for you to go through the hassle of installing software on your computer.
  • You can save your document in DOCX or TXT format.
  • Their minimalistic interface is easy to use.

CONS

  • It’s sometimes sluggish when working with extensive files.
  • The software doesn’t work well with Ubuntu Budgie.

Audext

PLAN

$30

per month for 2 hours of subscription 

($5 for each additional hour)

Inqscribe ranks on top of the charts for free transcription service providers.

Surprisingly, their free version is nothing but basic. It offers premium capabilities like foot pedal support, exportation in multiple formats, and more.

Inqscribe Features

  • Transcribe and Type Notes: easily insert timecodes and type anywhere in your transcript.
  • Video/Audio Support: you can video or audio files from your hard drive, flash drive, or CD.
  • Mouse-Free Control: control media playback to match your typing speed using the foot pedal.
  • Export Transcripts: export your work using formats like Premiere, Final Cut Pro, DVD Studio Pro, YouTube, XML. HTML.

PROS

  • With multi-language support, you can work in any of the popular world languages.
  • An easy, delightful user interface anyone can master.
  • You can insert frequently used text in one stroke using custom snippets.
  • You can put timestamps or type anywhere in the transcript.

CONS

  • The Mac version isn’t as smooth as the Windows one.
  • Their program doesn’t work with other editors.

Insqscribe

PLAN

$99

one time payment

Transcription Software: An Invaluable Business Asset

There you are.

My top picks of the best transcription software. 

Used well, audio transcription software can help you save a ton of time and money. Plus, you dice audio recordings into text copy you can use in your content marketing campaigns.

Transcribe your way to a better business.

Last Updated on September 10, 2021 by Hanson Cheng

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Hanson Cheng

About the author

Living in Bali with my Fiancee and puppy, (Alina and Pickles). Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter. Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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