[Athen] Microphones and MacSpeech Dictate

Shelley Haven rmhaven at stanford.edu
Fri Feb 27 21:01:53 PST 2009

Hey, Sean!

I use Dictate with a VXi TalkPro XPress which seems to work fine.
The XPress is what originally shipped with iListen and when I
"crossgraded" to Dictate, they just shipped me the software.

However, I asked technical support at MacSpeech last September what
is the brand of the generic "quality USB headset microphone" that
ships with Dictate, and what features the VXi Talk Pros offer to
justify the higher price. I was told that boxed versions now ship
with either the VXi Parrot or the Plantronics Audio 400. (A quick
check in the Stanford Bookstore shows it to be a Plantronics Audio
610, though.) She also said:

>The major difference is in the sensitivity of the mics. The

>TalkPros are much more sensitive and therefore are the better choice

>for people who will use Dictate in a noisier environment or who

>speak with a softer voice. If either of these scenarios are not

>you, then the Plantronics headset should be just fine. To be

>considered MacSpeech certified the mic had to get a minimum level of

>accuracy before we would endorse it.

Based on this, I advised a college student I was working with to
purchase the regular boxed version with the Audio 610. We got
excellent recognition accuracy during the initial training (this was
with Dictate 1.0, BTW).

Hope this helps,

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant
Sunnyvale, CA

At 11:02 AM -0800 2/27/09, Sean Keegan wrote:

>Is anyone using MacSpeech Dictate and can provide some feedback on

>the USB microphone that ships with the product?


>I am curious as to the functionality and if you would recommend a

>different microphone with MacSpeech Dictate. From the MacSpeech

>page, you can "upgrade" your mic to a VXi TalkPro series, xTag, or

>Samsontech Airline. Wanted to get some feedback as to any

>real-world experiences before I commit.



>Take care,



>Sean Keegan

>Associate Director, Assistive Technology

>Office of Accessible Education - Stanford University


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