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Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 Premium PC Review - -

Installation 8.5
Ease of use 8.6
Usefulness 8.9
Value 8.9
Distributor: Mindscape
Review Date:
July 2011
James Wright


Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 Premium

The world's penultimate voice recognition software returns with several versions available to the end consumer such as Home, Mobile and Professional. The product that we are reviewing in this article is Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 that once again improves the capabilities of this software package and more importantly, better voice recognition. It should also be noted that the the Premium edition comes with a headset and even a Phillips Digital Voice Recorder.


  • Create documents, spreadsheets, reports, e-mails, schedule appointments, control applications and navigate the web using speech recognition, with up to 99% accuracy.

  • Dictate text into a range of applications including custom programs and instant messaging software.

  • Communicate more naturally and effectively by quickly and easily capturing thoughts and ideas in writing.

  • Text-to-speech technology reads on-screen text in a human-sounding synthesized speech.

  • Transcriptions are highlighted on the screen for easier proofreading and correction.

  • Speak exact commands such as 'Delete line', 'Copy,' 'Make that red,' or 'Open Microsoft Word' to complete the task.

  • Create custom commands for inserting frequently used text, graphics or automating routine data entry.

  • Personalise using custom word lists and voice commands that can be imported and exported.

  • Dragon Sidebar of commands makes it easier to access important features, commands and options.

  • Voice shortcuts allow users to quickly and easily create e-mail, schedule appointments and search the web for specific information or resources.

  • Features an ability to learn from corrections of misrecognitions whether the revisions are dictated or typed.

  • Compatible with a range of applications including Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Excel, Open Office Writer, Internet Explorer and Firefox.

  • Supports multiple audio input devices such as digital voice recorders and wireless headsets.

  • Ideal for professional, educational and home use.

  • Includes a noise-cancelling headset.

In laymen's terms, this program allows you to translate your voice into text and more importantly, the ability to control certain facets of your operating system such as opening programs and files. Compared to the home version, the premium adds some additional features such as the ability of transcribing digital recordings to text and even support for Bluetooth devices. The Premium version also allows for additional customisation commands. With that said the program is compatible with the Windows operating system, including Microsoft Office and even OpenOffice, however unfortunately this version is not compatible with the Mac.

Before we could test this program, we first needed to install the software package which was a relatively easy although long exercise. Once installed, we needed to setup an account for the Dragon and also train the software to recognise our voice. It should be noted that like previous versions, the more time you spend training the program, the better the voice recognition capabilities of the program will be.


System Requirements

  • Windows 7, Vista & XP, 2.5 GB of free hard drive space, 2GB of RAM, 1 GHz Intel Pentium processor, sound card supporting 16-bit recording and DVD-ROM.

However one interesting fact is that even if you only engage in the short training exercise, the voice recognition capabilities are considerably improved over the last version that we tested. Given that, the training of the program can be quite arduous and you need to ensure that you have some time to yourself and that you are not disturbed. You basically need to read a variety of set text boxes in order for the program to recognise your voice, pronunciation and accent.

Once we trained the program, we were ready to test Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11. On Windows 7, the software installs a dragon icon in the system tray and also the Dragon Slidebar which creates another ribbon on the top of your operating system. This allows you to tweak various facets of the software, edit settings, check your microphone levels and run diagnostics and scheduled times. Needless to say, lots of tweaking!

The program also features a new streamlined help system that has tips and lots of other information techniques to assist you with any queries that you might have. With that said, the learning curve of the program is relative low if you have prior computer knowledge but even if you don't, it's quiet an easy to use program.



We were actually quite surprised at how accurate the program recognised our commands in the operating system and more importantly, it was quite responsive. The first test that we did was navigating Windows 7 as we opened up programs and accessed the windows menu with considerable ease. For example, we opened up Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word by speaking into the microphone.


To an extent, you can even surf the internet as we accessed Google and loaded a few pages via the search engine. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter are also part of the equation which is kind of cool. In terms of some of your controls for example, some of the voice commands that you might use in Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 might be "Search eBay for video games" or "Load Starcraft 2" or "open My Documents". The scope is unlimited.

However where the program does shine is through Dictation and this review was actually written... err spoken with Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 with minimal editing later on.


In terms of accuracy when we completed the full tests for the program, we almost achieved full 99% accuracy as indicated by Nuisance and ours was around 98% which is very impressive. The new correcting and editing feature is far superior than the previous version as it now recognises simple and quick voice commands like "Underline Review Heading". For those words that it does not recognise, it's quite easy to add these words or phrases into the vocabulary of the program so next time, Dragon will have no issues.


If you are a slow typer, this program is perfect for you because it can definitely translate voice to text at considerable speeds. There are quite a few professionals where the dictation of this program would work wonders such as a writer, university students or people that write large reports. I have also heard that this program has been used with people with disabilities as it not only allows them to navigate windows and the associated programs but also surf the internet and communicate with others. I also recorded a lecturer with my iPhone and then translated the voice to text. It was not my perfect but it sure did beat writing notes.

In the end, Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium 11 is easily one of the best programs on the market and Nuisance continue to fine tune and refine this excellent voice recognition software. The accuracy and speed if this software package is unparalleled and its integration into Microsoft Windows is almost flawless.


This review only touches the surface of this powerful program. Recommended!


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