7 Best Transcription Software Tools to Convert Audio to Text (2023)

Constantly having to pause and rewind as you try to manually transcribe large audio or video files isn’t most people’s idea of fun. In fact, it’s time-consuming and tedious. That’s why there’s transcription software to do the job quickly and effectively for you.

With AI-assisted transcription software, extensive integrations, and mobile apps now available, there’s plenty of feature-rich options to choose between.

To help you get what you need from your transcriptions, we’ve made a list of the best transcription software available today.

Table of Contents hide

1. Otter.ai [AI-powered transcription assistant]

2. Grain [Helps capture meeting highlights]

3. Descript [Easy-to-use browser-based transcription software]

4. Sonix [Transcription software with audio editor]

(Video) 🔉 How to Convert Audio to Text - FREE & No Time Limits

5. Happy Scribe [Complete audio and video transcription software and editor]

What makes a great transcription software?

Turnaround time. Most software can transcribe your audio or video files in just a few minutes. The quickest software will transcribe your files within 10%-20% of the recording time. But, the key is to have a good balance between speed and accuracy.

Accuracy. Automated transcription software usually have accuracy levels around the 80% mark. But the software’s ability to decipher speech correctly will depend on how clear the speech is, whether there’s background noise, heavy accents, or multiple speakers. Top-tier transcription software should be able to handle these additional challenges and give you an accurate transcription.

Mobile apps. If you’re looking to record meetings or interviews on the go, a mobile app is a useful additional feature. Check to see if there are apps for Androids and iPhones or that the software is easy to use from the mobile browser.

Use cases. Some transcription software is built with recording Zoom meetings in mind while other software is best for generating video captions or transcribing podcasts. Always consider your specific use case and if it matches up with the software’s feature list.

6 best transcription software options you should check out

Here are some of the best transcription software with the above features and some extra bonuses.

1. Otter.ai [AI-powered transcription assistant]

7 Best Transcription Software Tools to Convert Audio to Text (1)

Since its inception in 2016, Otter.ai has transcribed over 150 million meetings, representing over 5 billion minutes of audio.

Geared towards busy people looking to save time, Otter can record conversations on your phone or web browser, as well as give you real-time streaming transcripts.

Aside from basic transcriptions, it gives you searchable notes with audio, text, images, speaker ID, and key phrases.

You can also train Otter to recognize certain voices for fast referencing in future transcriptions.

Tired of spending your whole day in back-to-back Zoom meetings? Send Otter Assistant to attend and take detailed notes while you get on with more pressing tasks.

The AI assistant scans Google and Outlook calendars for Zoom sessions, automatically signs in, and generates a live transcription that you can view and annotate either in real-time or after the meeting.


The main limitation is Otter only provides a monthly transcription quota of 6,000 minutes per user, even on their top-tier Enterprise plan. There’s no rollover either––if you don’t use all your minutes one month you can’t use them in the next month.

Pricing: Otter includes 600 minutes of free transcription per month. The Pro plan is $8.33/user/month billed annually, provides 6,000 minutes, and a maximum file duration of four hours. The Business plan is $20/user/month billed annually, and also includes a custom vocabulary of up to 2,000 words.

Best suited for: Solopreneurs and startup founders looking to save time by transcribing meetings.

2. Grain [Helps capture meeting highlights]

7 Best Transcription Software Tools to Convert Audio to Text (2)

Ever had a case of meeting amnesia? It’s easy to log out of a meeting and forget the key conversations and takeaways. Transcription software Grain is designed to help users capture and share knowledge from Zoom calls, so it’s easy to recall key information later.

Using Grain, anyone can record the most important moments in real-time even when they’re not the host.

The platform enables you to compress a 60-minute meeting into a three-minute video summary that you can share among other team members. Alternatively, you could combine clips from multiple video recordings to create in-depth video narratives or explainers––handy for team training, product demos, or strategy sessions.

Grain has an impressive list of Zapier integrations to ensure your video clips are used and distributed ultra-productively. You can create thousands of custom workflows to automatically put recordings, clips, and stories from Grain onto platforms like Slack, Notion, and Miro.

Grain is meant for video meeting recordings and transcriptions, which means it’s not for other transcription tasks.

Pricing: Users can do up to five free recordings each month. The Unlimited plan is $36/user/month billed annually and includes unlimited recordings and storage.

Best suited for: Zoom users who want to record and transcribe meetings without having to host.

3. Descript [Easy-to-use browser-based transcription software]

7 Best Transcription Software Tools to Convert Audio to Text (3)

Descript is an excellent choice if you want an easy-to-use transcription software that quickly and effectively converts your audio files into text. Simply drag and drop your audio file into Descript’s editor and the software transcribes it within minutes.

Need to collaborate with other team members? Share the transcribed project with a web link and enable collaborators to comment or edit with a Google Docs-style system.

Another cool feature is you can easily add in Speaker labels with their AI-powered speaker detective. You can also edit out filler words and silent pauses with a single click.

If you have a job that requires a human touch, Descript also has human transcriptionists on stand-by.

(Video) How to Transcribe Audio to Text in Microsoft Word

The main downside is that there’s no live customer support. If you need some extra help you’ll have to rely on their product articles or submit a request.

Pricing: New users can get three free hours of transcription. Billed annually, a Creator plan is $12/user/month and includes 10 hours of transcription each month. A Pro plan is $24/user/month billed annually, and includes 30 hours of transcription each month.

Best suited for: Users looking for a collaborative audio editor and transcription software.

4. Sonix [Transcription software with audio editor]

7 Best Transcription Software Tools to Convert Audio to Text (4)

Designed to record meetings and presentations, Sonix aims to make transcribing and editing audio files fast, simple, and affordable.

If you already have an existing transcription, you can include it along with the audio or video file upload so the software more quickly completes the process and improves accuracy.

Typically fast at processing files, Sonix usually takes between 10% and 20% of the time to transcribe as the recording lasts.

You don’t need to wait for the processing either––Sonix sends you an email when the work is done, along with a link to the new transcription.

A helpful feature is that each line of text comes with timestamps, making it easy for you to reference points within the audio and check for accuracy.

If you’re looking to publish audio and video content to your website, use the SEO-friendly media player to include searchable text alongside your audio content to improve your rankings.

With a global vocabulary, Sonix can recognize 40+ languages and distinguish between different dialects and variants.

The main limitation is that currently, there isn’t a mobile app to help with transcriptions on the go.

Pricing: Standard pay-as-you-go transcriptions are $10/hour. A Premium plan is $5/hour plus $22/user/month.

Best suited for: Occasional users looking for a budget-friendly transcription service.

5. Happy Scribe [Complete audio and video transcription software and editor]

7 Best Transcription Software Tools to Convert Audio to Text (5)

Transcribing your videos, podcasts, and interviews is a great way to repurpose your content, optimize it for search (Google doesn’t rank based on audio), and make it more accessible. Happy Scribe makes it easy for you to upload an audio or video file within the dashboard before it quickly takes care of the rest.

(Video) Best Automatic Transcription Audio To Text That Can Make Money

Use the Interactive Editor to review and edit your subtitles before you download or publish your content. The Natural Subtitle Engine generates subtitles that are accurate and easy to read, so even if viewers have their sound off, they can engage with your video content.

There’s support for over 120 languages so whether your content is recorded in Dutch, Latvian, or Mandarin, Happy Scribe will give you an accurate transcript.

Once the transcription is done, you can download it in a variety of formats including as a PDF, Word doc, or to upload on your site or share with the team.

Right now, Happy Scribe’s integrations are limited––there’s no integration to popular platforms like Zoom.

Pricing: Automatic transcriptions and subtitles are €0.20/minute while more accurate human-led services are €1.70/minute.

Best suited for: Creators and marketers who want to improve accessibility and SEO visibility on their online video content.

6. Rev [Complete AI and human powered transcription software]

7 Best Transcription Software Tools to Convert Audio to Text (6)

Powered by people and AI, Rev combines the best of human talent with exciting speech-to-text AI. Dividing its services and pricing by the type of transcription, Rev offers automated speech-to-text transcription, rough draft, foreign subtitles, English captions for videos, and live captions for Zoom.

The transcript editor easily syncs audio/video files to the text, while a highlight tool enables you to identify the most important speech and quotes.

There’s also a Transcription App and Voice Recorder available for iPhone and Android for projects on the go.

Share an editable version with your teammates or share a read-only version so users can keep track of your changes. Integrations with Google Drive and Dropbox make it great for team collaboration and seamless movement between different work projects.

The downside is the web interface is a little dated-looking and could do with some updating to make it more user-friendly.

Pricing: Automated transcriptions start at $0.25/minute.

Best suited for: Users requiring transcripts for one-off projects who don’t need a subscription.

Which is the best transcription software overall?

Transcription software can be a lifesaver when you need to go through that meeting recording, upload a captioned video or repurpose a podcast. Each software option has a different set of strengths and features suited to different use cases.

Before you choose your transcription software, make sure to consider its unique features and integrations and whether they’re right for your projects.

(Video) How to Transcribe Audio/Video Files to Text for FREE (no time limits) using Google Docs or MS Word

If you’re looking to improve your business’s tech stack, you should take a look at the AppSumo Store. We have lifetime and annual deals on some of the best software available.


Is there a program that will transcribe audio to text? ›

There are two primary options to convert audio into text. You can either use Rev's auto audio transcription (voice recognition online software) or human audio transcription services (human-based transcription). Our online transcription software is quicker and more affordable, but less accurate than human transcription.

Which is the best audio to text software? ›

The best dictation software
  • Apple Dictation for a free app for Apple devices.
  • Windows 10 Speech Recognition for a free app for Windows users.
  • Dragon by Nuance for a customizable dictation app.
  • Google Docs voice typing for dictating in Google Docs.
  • Gboard for a free mobile dictation app.
  • SpeechTexter for occasional use.

What is the best transcription tool? ›

Top 10 Free Transcription Software in 2022
  • Otter.ai.
  • Vowel.
  • Fireflies.ai.
  • Sonix (sonix.ai)
  • Murf.ai.
  • Trint.
  • Maestra.
  • Google Cloud Speech-to-Text.

What is the best way to convert audio to text? ›

Tech how-to: 5 easy ways to convert audio files to text
  1. Otter.ai. Transcription software can be pretty expensive depending on the features it offers, but if you're looking for a free or affordable way to get the job done, check out Otter.io. ...
  2. Transcribe in Word. ...
  3. Dragon Anywhere. ...
  4. Amazon Transcribe. ...
  5. Google Keyboard.
28 Mar 2022

What is the fastest way to transcribe audio to text? ›

Here are 5 of the best ways to transcribe audio files to text to help you out:
  1. Use a Human Transcription Service. Best Human-Based Services. ...
  2. Try Automated Transcription Software. ...
  3. Try Microsoft Word's Transcription Feature. ...
  4. Manually Transcribe Your Audio Into Text. ...
  5. Check Out Google Keyboard.
15 Aug 2022

How do I manually transcribe audio to text? ›

How to Transcribe Audio to Text
  1. Upload Your Audio File. ...
  2. Choose Custom Transcription Options. ...
  3. Receive & Download Your Text File. ...
  4. Set Up. ...
  5. Find Your Shorthand. ...
  6. Write What You Hear. ...
  7. Edit Your Text File. ...
  8. Export the Correct File.

What is the most accurate voice to text? ›

The best speech-to-text software makes it simple and easy to convert speech into text, and can be available for both desktop and mobile devices.
The best paid for speech to text apps of 2022 in full:
  1. Dragon Anywhere. ...
  2. Dragon Professional. ...
  3. Otter. ...
  4. Verbit. ...
  5. Speechmatics. ...
  6. Braina Pro. ...
  7. Amazon Transcribe. ...
  8. Microsoft Azure Speech to Text.
1 Nov 2022

How can I transcribe audio to text for free? ›

Step 1: Open Google docs and select 'tools,' then 'voice typing. ' ‍Step 2: Select your language, then click the microphone icon. Step 3: Play the audio you want to transcribe and Google should automatically start transcribing.

Is there an app that can transcribe audio to text free? ›

Live Transcribe is easy to use, all you need is a Wi-Fi or network connection. It's free of charge to download on over 1.8 billion Android devices operating on 5.0 Lollipop and above.

How long does it take to transcribe 1 hour of audio? ›

For professional transcriptionist, the average time to transcribe one audio hour ranges from 2-3 hours. Some of the most qualified transcriptionists can transcribe up to 30 minutes of audio in an hour.

How long does it take a beginner to transcribe 1 hour of audio? ›

When it comes to individual transcribers, the average time to transcribe one hour of audio is approximately four hours. But, some transcribers quote four hours as the minimum since it can easily reach 10 hours. Transcription time by audio hour varies so much mostly because each audio file is different.

How long does it take to transcribe 12 minutes of audio? ›

Generally, the industry standard for transcribing one hour of audio is four hours. That means you should expect any audio that is less than 15 minutes to be transcribed within an hour.

How do I transcribe audio to words? ›

You can transcribe speech in two ways: Record directly in Word. Upload an audio file.
Upload an audio file
  1. Make sure you're signed in to Microsoft 365, using the new Microsoft Edge or Chrome.
  2. Go to Home > Dictate dropdown > Transcribe.
  3. In the Transcribe pane, select Upload audio.
  4. Choose an audio file from the file picker.

What is the most realistic voice changer? ›

Best Real-Time Voice Changers
  • Voicemod.
  • NCH Voxal Voice Changer.
  • MorphVOX JR.
  • AV Voice Changer Software Diamond.
  • Clownfish Voice Changer.

How can I improve my voice to text accuracy? ›

Eliminate echoes and noises. Another measure that may improve your computer's voice-recognition accuracy is to eliminate background noise by installing carpeting, tapestries, or soundproofing material to reduce sounds and noises that might interfere with your computer's ability to understand you.

Are there perfect voice changers? ›

Voicemod. Voicemod is one of the best voice changers. You can add real-time voice effects to plenty of programs like Discord, Skype, TeamSpeak, and many more, along with the same features for several games such as Fortnite, Among Us, Minecraft, CS: GO, Valorant, League of Legends, and many more.

How do you transcribe like a pro? ›

How To Transcribe Interviews Like a Pro
  1. Exactly verbatim: Type exactly what is said, including every “um,” “uh,” and “hmmm.”
  2. Intelligent verbatim: Type exactly what is said, EXCEPT for filler words that do not change the meaning. ...
  3. Edited transcription: Skip irrelevant sentences that don't relate to the evaluation.
9 Jul 2020

How long does it take to transcribe 4 hours? ›

The short answer: The industry standard is four hours of transcription time for one hour of clear audio, or a 4:1 ratio – that is, one hour of transcription time for a 15-minute-long recording.

How long does it take to transcribe 30 minutes of audio? ›

Various factors affect how long it takes. As a very broad rule of thumb, many transcribers say it takes four hours for every one hour of audio. Obviously, if you're wondering how long to transcribe 30 minutes of audio file, around two hours.

Is there a free app that will transcribe audio? ›

Otter. If you're looking for an app for automatically transcribing audio to text for free, Otter is a great option. Marketing itself as an app that makes taking meeting notes easier, Otter's automatic recording and transcribing features are ideal for recording lectures, meetings and even zoom meetings.

How can I convert audio to text for free? ›

How to Transcribe MP3 to Text:
  1. Upload an MP3 file. Upload your MP3 file to VEED. ...
  2. Convert to text. Under Subtitles, click on 'Auto Transcribe', select your preferred language, and you're done! ...
  3. Download your text file.

How do I transcribe audio to text in Word? ›

Record in Word
  1. Make sure you're signed in to Microsoft 365, using the new Microsoft Edge or Chrome.
  2. Go to Home > Dictate dropdown > Transcribe.
  3. In the Transcribe pane, select Start recording.
  4. Wait for the pause icon to be outlined in blue and the timestamp to start incrementing to let you know that recording has begun.


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