Best Transcription Software for 2022 - 10 Options Reviewed

Keelan Balderson Image
Keelan Balderson

Updated: August 02,2022

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Transcribing your audio and video content into text can be a tedious process. Today you’ll find the best transcription software to do all the hard work for you. We look at:

  • Transcription accuracy
  • Automated and professional services
  • Editing features
  • Pricing
  • And more!

Read on to learn more about 10 of the top transcription software solutions available today.

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Best for: Podcasters
Descript logo

1. Descript

  • Three hours for free
  • 50% to 90% accuracy
  • Cloud-hosted for sharing
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Business meetings and conferences
Sonix logo

2. Sonix

  • Supports 30+ languages
  • Useful integrations
  • All web-based
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Cost-effectiveness
Rev logo

3. Rev

  • High automated accuracy
  • 99% accurate human transcriptions
  • $1.50/minute professional service
  • Edit and collaborate
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Audio-only transcriptions
Audext logo

4. Audext

  • Very affordable
  • 60+ languages
  • Unlimited file size
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Human transcription services
Amberscript logo

5. Amberscript

  • 39 automated languages
  • 11 manually transcribed languages
  • 10 minutes free
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Transcribe audio in multiple languages
Transcribe logo

6. Transcribe

  • Automated and semi-manual approaches
  • Works offline
  • Over 80 languages
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Real-time text to speech
Nuance logo

7. Nuance

  • Dictate in real-time
  • Lightning-fast transcriptions
  • Lots of accessories
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Software for transcriptionists
Express Scribe logo

8. Express Scribe

  • Free non-commercial use
  • Foot pedal support
  • Works inside Word
Visit Website Full review
Best for: Editing transcriptions
Happy Scribe logo

9. Happy Scribe

  • Free manual editing features
  • Automatically identifies speakers
  • 85% accuracy
Visit Website Full review
Best for: iOS transcriptions
Trint logo

10. Trint

  • The best iOS app
  • Excellent editing features
  • Fast processing
Visit Website Full review
  • Descript – Best transcribing software for podcasters  

  • Sonix – Best audio transcription tools for businesses 

  • Rev – Best transcribing solution for cost-effectiveness

  • Audext – Best audio-to-text transcription software  

  • Amberscript – Best for human transcription services

  • Transcribe – Best for multiple language support

  • Nuance – Best recording and transcribing solution  

  • Express Scribe – Best software for transcriptionists

  • Happy Scribe – Best for editing transcriptions

  • Trint – Best iOS transcription app

Best for: Podcasters

1. Descript

Three hours for free

50% to 90% accuracy

Cloud-hosted for sharing

Descript is more than just a tool to transcribe audio. It’s a full podcasting app that supports audio and video recording, editing, and more. However, today we’ll look closer at its transcription options, as these come in two forms.

You can automate transcripts during recording or import a prerecorded file. It’s currently able to process 22 languages, with English speech accuracy between 50% and 90%. Precision ultimately depends on the quality and clarity of the underlying content, with strong accents and background noise being the primary culprit for poor results.

Nonetheless, this is a great range compared to similar solutions. Even if it’s not spot on, it’s accurate enough to speed up the manual process. Simply touch it up after the fact, instead of sitting there putting down each word yourself.

This all-in-one transcription platform generates a short web link to share with collaborators. Moreover, its cloud sync technology provides access from anywhere, displaying full version history, so collaborators can see when changes have been made.

Where Descript stands out is its professional transcription service. This second option lets you pay $2/minute for a guaranteed 99% accuracy and 24-hour average turnaround. 

On the other hand, automated transcription essentially costs just cents a minute. Furthermore, you can get three free transcription hours with no credit card on file. This way, you can determine if the accuracy is high enough before committing.

Keep in mind that even if you need it just for transcriptions, there’s no getting out of the full suite. This will set you back $15/mo ($12 if billed annually) for 10 hours of transcripts a month. Or, $30 ($24) for 30 hours and lots of extra features.

You can export your transcript document in Doc, RTF, SRT, and VTT. Meanwhile, if you already have your own transcription, you get to upload it to the cloud and sync it with the relevant media.

Descript is our pick for the best audio transcription software for podcasters. That’s because its transcriber is just one tool alongside a whole podcast editing suite. It’s perfect for those who want the whole experience, but the transcription tool gets extra points for high accuracy, free trial, and access to professional services.

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Best for: Business meetings and conferences

2. Sonix

Supports 30+ languages

Useful integrations

All web-based

Sonix is our choice for best transcribing software for business meetings, conferences, and presentations. It catches our eye with fast automation, more than 30 supported languages and high-level accuracy.

It’s a web-based tool with a clean and straightforward interface. Simply click upload, and you can drag and drop a wide variety of audio and, depending on your plan, video files. If the default 4GB file size is too small, you can integrate a cloud storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox. It also integrates with Zapier, which is a staple for many businesses.

Its automated transcriber tool takes roughly 15% of the real-time length of the file to deliver results. I.e., a 10-minute recording can take as little as 1.5 minutes to process.

The transcript is then immediately available within the browser editor. Here you can correct any inaccuracies and then sync it to your media file for collaborative sharing.

Accuracy is high if you speak in a grammatically correct manner, and it heavily focuses on this style. Therefore, results can vary if your speech is more conversational or not well-prepared.

We do like that every word it transcribes gets an automatic timestamp, and clicking it begins playback. Moreover, you can easily add speaker labels and then automate future speaker identification. 

Other transcription tools include:

  • Comments 
  • Custom dictionary for your common slang or branding 
  • And the ability to upload an existing transcript for syncing and editing 

You can export text in file types like Doc, Txt, and PDF. Furthermore, the most widely used subtitle formats, SRT and VTT, are also available. 

Sonix has three types of pricing plans. Standard is pay-as-you-go and gives you a $10/hour transcription rate. It lacks extra features like multiple dictionaries, multitrack uploads, and the ability to edit in your subtitles to the video.

Premium is $22 per user/mo and $5/hour for transcriptions. It offers 50GB of storage space, tons of editing and sharing options, media analytics, bulk uploads, and staff permissions levels. Sonix also accommodates enterprise users if you contact sales staff directly.  

Every new account gets 30 minutes of transcription for free.

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Best for: Cost-effectiveness

3. Rev

High automated accuracy

99% accurate human transcriptions

$1.50/minute professional service

Rev.com is worth checking out if you’re looking for affordable yet powerful transcription services. It goes the automated and professional route. This gives you 99% accuracy from native English speakers or at least a helping hand from its AI-driven tool. 

However, its most noteworthy feature is the price. For just $1.50 per minute, Rev professionally transcribes virtually any audio or video file within 12 hours. This is fast by any comparison, but you can pay an extra $1.25 per minute for even quicker results. This is thanks to the tens of thousands of freelance transcribers poised to take your order. 

Its AI automated transcriber is just $0.25 per minute, with your first 45 minutes free. Accuracy here is comparable to other transcript generator software. It depends on background noise and overall quality, the clearness of the speech, and whether it contains heavy accents. At the least, it’ll generate fairly accurate text that you can edit within its free dashboard.

Here, you can adjust timing, change speaker names, and see helpful side-by-side comparisons. You also have full control over sharing and permissions. Invite team members to view, download, or edit any transcript with built-in email and short link generation options. 

You can also get a professional caption creation service that will add captions to your video file for $1.50/minute. More advanced subtitling is also available, with up to 15 supported languages. This costs between $5 and $12 per minute, depending on how many language options you want to be displayed. 

Rev also provides a tailored transcription solution for enterprise customers.

The entire service is cloud-based and begins with a simple drag-and-drop uploader. Alternatively, you can link to files on popular cloud services like Google Drive or video platforms like YouTube for conversion. Moreover, its apps for iOS and Android let you record audio directly for transcription instead of choosing a prerecorded file.

Rev has all the services you could need and is our pick for offering the best value for money. Our only nitpick is that the freelance transcribers who work for the company don’t rate it very highly.

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Best for: Audio-only transcriptions

4. Audext

Very affordable

60+ languages

Unlimited file size

This web-based audio-to-text software can transcribe your audio file at an excellent $5 per hour, which is roughly $0.08 per minute. It boasts an 80% average accuracy, though this always depends on the file’s quality and clearness of the speech.

Unlike other services, automation works for a staggering 60+ languages. It’s fast too, transcribing an hour of audio in roughly 10 minutes.

Other features include timestamping, speaker identification, and an internal editor in case accuracy isn’t quite high enough.

The catch is that this is audio-only. It cannot convert most video files, so you’ll need to go through extra steps if you intend to use the transcription for a video.

Audext also offers a professional transcribing system, where a native English speaker will perform the task with near-perfect accuracy. This costs a very affordable $1.20 per minute, but again isn’t focused on video and has a slower turnaround time compared to other services. You’ll see the completed transcript in your online account within three days.

Although its editor is a bit more scaled back and lacks some of the extras associated with video transcription software, it’s among the easiest to use.

Register an account, purchase hours or buy a subscription, and hit upload to locate your audio file. Then, opt for the automated or professional service and get notified of completion. Afterwards, you can proceed to use the editor or share the file with others.

If you intend to use the service regularly, the subscription is $30 a month. It permits two hours of transcription and a $5 rate for each additional hour thereafter.  

New users get 30 minutes transcribed for free.

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Best for: Human transcription services

5. Amberscript

39 automated languages

11 manually transcribed languages

10 minutes free

Amberscript provides an exhaustive range of online transcription tools and services, handling both audio and video. It separates prices between transcriptions and subtitles. Moreover, it offers automated and human solutions for both.

Automatic transcription takes all common file types and creates a “first draft” transcript in minutes, which you can edit online. 

At €15 per hour, this is quite pricey, especially since it doesn’t promise a particular accuracy percentage. However, Amberscript supports 39 languages, can easily identify different speakers, and works on desktop and mobile apps. Furthermore, you can transcribe 10 minutes for free to see if it does the job adequately.

If the audio transcription software works for you, consider the €50/month (€40 if billed annually) subscription. This provides three hours’ worth of transcriptions, so it’s only viable if you need such volume. 

You can get in-house professionals to do the work more accurately for €1 per minute. Amberscript’s professional service supports 15 languages and promises no errors. However, it doesn’t guarantee a set turnaround time until you submit a project. 

Subtitles work much the same way, and the automated option is priced exactly the same as a regular transcription. Obviously, the difference is subtitles are added to the video file itself once you’re happy with your edits.

The professional option is also priced the same for one language. However, if you require subtitle translation into different languages, the price is bumped up to $6 per minute. 

The automated video transcription software is a good place for anyone to start, while the human options are suitable for businesses, academia, media interviews, and more complex areas like journalism and law.  

This makes it our pick for the most thorough and accurate human service.

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Best for: Software to transcribe audio in multiple languages

6. Transcribe

Automated and semi-manual approaches

Works offline

Over 80 languages

Audio-to-text software isn’t always the most versatile when it comes to supporting lots of languages. That’s why Transcribe by Wreally immediately makes our list thanks to its 80+ available options and custom dictionaries.  

It’s suitable for everything from videos and lectures to recorded phone calls and voice notes – virtually any type of audio. Unlike other providers, it doesn’t offer professional human services. Instead, it takes a four-pronged software approach to ensure high-level accuracy.

You can upload your audio or video file the typical way and let the AI-driven system produce an automated transcript that you can touch up afterwards. However, if your audio isn’t clear enough, it provides a dictation option where you can listen back and repeat the audio more clearly for real-time text conversion.

This only works for single speakers as speech recognition is used to map your voice and aid accuracy. 

The third option is its audio typing software. You use its built-in player to slow down the audio at a rate you’re comfortable with and type it out manually. Or, if you’re a professional transcriptionist with a foot pedal, you can have full control over the tempo as you take down the words. 

Although Transcribe is web-based, the transcript editor and audio player continue to work without a web connection. It exports in Microsoft Doc or simple Txt files.

You also can create subtitles in common formats SRT and WebVTT, though these need to be applied to your video outside of Transcribe. 

The platform charges a flat $20 a year to make use of its self-transcription technology, while you’ll have to pay an extra $6 per hour of audio for the automated tool. Its free trial gives you full access for an entire week instead of limiting your transcription volume, which is impressive to see.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for software that translates audio from virtually any format and in many languages, this is the platform for you.

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Best for: Real-time text to speech

7. Nuance

Dictate in real-time

Lightning-fast transcriptions

Lots of accessories

Nuance’s Dragon software is much more than a program that converts audio to text. It has a full suite of tools aimed at individuals, businesses, and the legal industry. At its core is an unmatched real-time dictation engine.

It lets you use your computer mic, smartphone, or a compatible digital voice recorder to automatically capture speech into text. This is perfect for the times when speaking voice notes is easier than typing out your thoughts.

Furthermore, your voice becomes a powerful composer thanks to a versatile set of speech commands. You can draft emails, use Word, and even browse Chrome by speaking. We also found it quite easy to learn all the different commands, as you can go over them whenever you wish by just asking “what can I say?”

There are several accessories to accompany its desktop and smartphone audio-to-text software. For example, the $34.99 Dragon USB headset is a comfortable, noise-canceling solution that provides improved accuracy. And the $424 PowerMic III has endless recording and voice controls.

If that price seems high, the software might not be the best option for you. Dragon Professional Individual starts at $500 with 12 months of free access to the Anywhere mobile app for iOS and Android. Anywhere itself costs $15 a month or $150 for a year upfront. You get a week’s free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. 

What you’re really paying for are the speech-to-text and voice control features. Its prerecorded audio transcription tools are actually its weak point. Accuracy is average at best, the transcription editor is basic, and the initial output is just a wall of text. It doesn’t distinguish speakers and is intended for one individual speaking clearly into the mic. 

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Best for: Software for transcriptionists

8. Express Scribe

Free non-commercial use

Foot pedal support

Works inside Word

Express Scribe’s real-time transcription software is aimed at professional transcriptionists and those who want a little more control. Instead of relying on automation with spotty accuracy, it supports your manual efforts by slowing down the audio or video. Moreover, you can change the speed on the fly, so you’re at an optimum pace. It does it without messing with the pitch, so the sound never becomes warped or unclear.

Variable playback coincides with foot pedal support, so you can simply tap your foot to pause, resume, speed up, and slow down your audio. Most importantly, this keeps your hands free to stay focused on typing.

The Windows and Mac software contains a player, source and transcript file manager, and a text editor. It also functions as an add-on for the likes of Microsoft Word, so you can work within a familiar environment.

Those looking for free software to transcribe audio to text will be pleased to learn that individuals can download it without paying a dime. This supports common audio formats, including WAV, MP3, and WMA. None of the features are restricted. The premium editions are simply for commercial licenses. These are $34.99 for individual professionals and $39.95 for businesses. 

Other helpful features include the ability to automatically transfer files from CD, digital voice recorders, FTP servers, and email. Moreover, when you mark a transcription as complete, it can also be automatically emailed to a boss, client, or collaborator. 

While Express Scribe doesn’t provide automated results or human transcribers to do the work for you, it’s by far the best free transcription software for manual transcriptionists.

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Best for: Editing transcriptions

9. Happy Scribe

Free manual editing features

Automatically identifies speakers

85% accuracy

There is lots of competent video and audio file transcription software out there. However, Happy Scribe makes our list because of its intuitive and powerful editing platform

It’s one of the fastest we’ve used. You don’t even have to use your own source files, as it can process content from video sites like YouTube and Vimeo. If you drag and drop your audio or video file, it fully processes it in less than half the real-time duration. Of course, that’s of no use if accuracy is low, but Happy Scribe is also one of the best at getting it right. 

Unless you have a particularly low-quality or incoherent file, the bulk of it will be transcribed correctly. Furthermore, its AI-driven automation tool highlights remaining potentially inaccurate areas within the text. This is typically when sentences don’t make grammatical sense, words are recognized as out of place, or cannot be understood at all.

You can immediately home in on these areas with synced timecoding to quickly play back and correct them manually if needed. If you’re using slang or an accent that throws off the AI, you can program personalized vocabulary so it recognizes those words in the future. 

Unlike some transcribing programs, Happy Scribe automatically handles multiple speakers and lets you add tags manually too. This is perfect for interviews, podcasts, and conferences.

When complete, it exports text in common document or subtitle formats and can convert transcripts into multiple languages. 

Sharing transcripts with collaborators is also easy, as the whole platform is cloud-based. There are seemingly no file size limits either. Developers can further make use of API access to integrate the platform with an existing workflow. 

For those who don’t have the budget for the automatic transcriber tool or just want to speed up the human process, all manual editing features can be accessed free of charge

Alternatively, premium pricing is just €0.20 per minute for both transcription and subtitles, promising up to 85% accuracy.

You can also pay for human-made transcripts at €2.00/minute, with 99% accuracy and a 24-hour average turnaround. Human translation services for subtitles cost quite a bit more, at €20.85 per minute.

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Best for: iOS transcriptions

10. Trint

The best iOS app

Excellent editing features

Fast processing

Trint’s digital transcription software works flawlessly on iOS devices, giving you a powerful automated solution while on the go. Just like the browser version, users can import audio or video files in one step, with transcriptions sometimes processing quicker than three times the actual duration.

What takes things to the next level is its in-app recording feature. Simply pull up the app, hit record, and generate an automated transcription in one swoop. 

You can even transcribe outbound phone calls, which is perfect for journalists interviewing over the phone, confirming the details of important appointments, or for training purposes in a business setting. The downside is there’s no Android version.

Of course, Trint doesn’t limit itself just to iPhone transcription tools. It also functions as a comprehensive cloud-based solution that you can access anywhere from any device with a browser. For example, using it on desktop lets you drag and drop audio and video files for automatic transcribing.

Accuracy is not the best, especially with complex audio, lots of speakers, poor quality, or heavy accents. We put it about average when it comes to raw results. However, its editor is one of the better ones, naturally breaking up text, assigning speakers, and giving timestamps. Accuracy can be improved over time with a custom vocab builder. 

Furthermore, you can easily make corrections by replaying the audio and going to the corresponding text. Other tools include adding your own speaker names, putting comments in the margins, highlighting text, etc.

Particularly long transcripts benefit from a section-by-section greenlight feature, so you know where you left off and can easily share work with other team members.  

Trint offers a unique approach to subtitles. It creates “Trint players,” which are embeddable videos that include a text overlay in the same manner as karaoke. Furthermore, the transcript is included neatly below to “unlock SEO”. This is a great little feature for web publishing. 

This digital transcription software is quite pricey over two plans. Both come with a 7-day trial period and access to the mobile app:

  • Starter: €55/mo (€44 if billed annually) for up to 7 separate files per month and 3 users in a team.
  • Advanced: €65/mo (€52 if billed annually) for unlimited transcriptions and teams of up to 15 users.

You can also negotiate a custom enterprise solution. 

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How To Choose the Right Software

There are many differences between competing recording and transcribing software, so it’s important to pick the right solution for your needs. 

Here’s what to look out for:

Price

Most software is in the cloud and charged based on the length of the audio you wish to transcribe. Occasionally, you might also find a subscription model that saves money for high-volume users or a more traditional one-off or yearly software license. 

Automated transcription should be less than a dollar a minute unless some exceptional features are included. Likewise, anything more than a couple of dollars a minute for human transcription is reaching the high-end of the market. 

It’s rare to find entirely free transcription software, but you’ll definitely want a free trial before parting with any cash.  

Automation vs. Manual

The bulk of the software on this page offers automation, but this doesn’t appeal to everyone. Accuracy is never 100% and will require fine-tuning.

Those with complex audio, or professionals who prefer transcribing themselves, can benefit from manual tools like variable speed, foot pedal support, and transcription editors. 

Accuracy

Not every automated transcription solution provides the same accurate results. They might use different methods, AI, custom dictionaries, etc. A good editor can also make a poor transcription infinitely easier to work with. 

All the options on our list do an average to great job but remember to avoid “single speaker” solutions if your audio contains multiple speakers and/or conversations between multiple people.

Background noise, strong dialects, slang, lots of interjecting speakers, and overall low-quality audio files will all impact automated software.

Professional Services

If you’re working with complex audio, professional human services, i.e., paying a real person to listen and transcribe your audio, is the better option. And that’s especially true if you don’t have the time to do any editing yourself. Extras might include subtitles and translations to different languages. Many software suites come with professional transcribers as an additional service. 

Audio and Video

Are you working with just audio files, or do you need to transcribe the audio from a video too? Remember to double-check, as not all software supports the latter. 

The best video transcription software usually includes tools for adding subtitles or at least exporting subtitle-ready files for adding to the video using other software.  

Supported Files

What audio and video file formats does the software support? The most common audio file types, e.g., MP3, will always be compatible, but if you’re using a source that’s quite obscure, make sure to check the full list before committing. 

Subtitling

Transcribing audio into text is one thing, but many users seek this solution to create subtitles. Fortunately, a lot of software can export a transcription in common subtitle formats like SRT or VTT. Others go a step further and will apply them to your video and even offer translations in various languages. 

Desktop and Mobile Support

Online transcription tools are now the norm. They offer the benefit of cloud storage, link sharing, and integration with third-party video sites and other services.

Mobile apps are also on the rise to make it easy to transcribe while on the go or utilize your phone’s mic.

However, if you want offline access to tools, you’ll want to focus on downloadable software for PC or Mac. 

Wrap Up

Today we looked at 10 of the best transcription software solutions available on the web. They cover audio and video, automation and human transcription services, multiple languages, and mobile support. Now you can quickly and efficiently turn any audio content into accessible transcriptions

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Keelan Balderson

Keelan Balderson

A qualified journalist and longtime web content writer, Keelan has a passion for exploring information and learning new things. If he's not writing or pushing his own brands, you'll find him watching pro wrestling or trying not to rant about politics online.

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