Headsets For Mac Speech Recognition

Mac Voice Recognition Headsets

Shopping for the best headset with mic for your Apple dictation and speech recgonition needs? Both single-ear mono, and dual driver stereo headsets with boom microphones are available. Mono headsets are often preferred by business users who must also manage phone calls and converse with coworkers. Dual-ear binaural models might be preferred by those who do more than just speech recognition. They might also want full range stereo music playback, Skype calling, and other computer audio playback capabilities as well.

  • USB Wired Headset For Mac Speech
  • RF Wireless Headset For Mac Speech
  • Bluetooth Headset For Mac Speech
  • Analog Headsets For Mac Speech

Apple Compatible USB Headsets

USB connected headsets provide Macintosh dictation users a straight-forward, reliable and robust connection delivering pristine, pure digital stereo audio capture and playback from a single USB cable.

Sennheiser Wideband USB Headset

Optimized For Mac Speech And VOIP


Apple Compatible Wireless Headsets

Due to the many limitations of Bluetooth which made it less than ideal for voice recognition tasks, RF Radio-Frequency based wireless headsets are the preferred choice. Free from the tangle of wires and supporting far greater operating range than Bluetooth, it's better suited for voice recognition needs. The higher bandwidth of an RF signal also meant NO compression of the audio signal is needed - ideal for accurate dictation sessions. They ship with a dedicated USB RF receiver dongle to communicate with the headset.

Andrea Wireless RF Speech Headset

Fold Flat Design - Boom Microphone


Apple Compatible Bluetooth Headsets

For much of the recent computer speech recognition era, Bluetooth headsets were NOT RECOMMENDED nor bundled with voice control sofware for technical reasons. In the Bluetooth 1.x and 2.x era the voice compression codecs used to compress the audio signal were optimized only for cell-phone calls. Bluetooth's limited bandwidth and these codecs were just not sufficient to properly reproduce the full-frequency nuances of speech that are needed for accurate dictation. The limited 10 meter (30 feet - and usually far less) Bluetooth transmission range is another limiting factor. Bluetooth still doesnt' give much freedom to roam before signal breakup / dropoff occur. Susceptibility to elecronic interference from nearby gadgets is another gotcha that makes it less than ideal.

HQ Bluetooth + USB Headset

Creative Labs Premium Audio Quality


However, the arrival of Bluetooth 4.0 introduced smarter, extended frequency HD audio codecs that didn't throw away critical bits of data essential speech recognition needs. These high-definition HD Bluetooth audio codecs can now allow a much cleaner and higher resolution digital waveform to capture the subtleties of spoken word accurately. Indeed Dragon has recently and optionally begun offering software / hardware bundles of Dragon Dictate for Mac that include a HD Bluetooth headset - an indication of their willingness to support using a HD Bluetooth headset for speech recognition for the first time.

Apple Compatible 4-Pole TRRS Analog Headsets

Traditionally, 1/8" 3.5mm analog headsets have been rather problematic and confusing on the Macintosh platform for several reasons. For many years Apple used non-standard Line-Level microphone input voltages that were incompatible with the vast majority of Windows PC headsets and microphones that are/were available. Secondly, on many Mac computers Apple eschewed the standard PC practice of having 2 separate audio jacks: One for a 2-pole mono microphone input and another for a 3-pole stereo headset output - and combined them into one.

In recent years and largely spurred by the advancing iPhone, Apple started leaning towards a FOUR-POLE unifying 1/8" 3.5mm TRRS plug so that iPhone earbuds could have inline microphone support for IOS devices. They've since adopted this 4-pole jack on all more recent MacBooks and Mac desktops. For those who don't want a bulky over-the-head unit, 4-Pole analog mic headsets allow for minimal, earbud style.

Recommended Headsets Optimal For Speech

Nuance Communications, maker of Dragon Dictate and Naturally Speaking for Mac and PC maintains an online database of wired, USB, RF and Bluetooth headsets, microphones and digital voice recorders organized by accracy ratings that might help your selection of the best models: It can be found here.