Finding the best transcription software is a tough task. Of course, you’re looking for speed and accuracy. But cost plays a part, as do the specific features your audio transcription software offers.
Plus, there are a ton of services available, which can make choosing transcription software seem daunting.
In this guide to the best transcription software, we split a range of speech-to-text software packages into several categories:
- The best human transcription
- The best real-time transcription
- The best for meeting transcription
- The best transcription software for ease of use
- The best for live captions
- The best transcription software for playback control
- The best software for accurate transcription
- And several more
What Is the Best Transcription Software for Audio and Video Files?
When choosing an audio or video transcription software, you have a bunch of factors to consider. How accurately does it transcribe your audio file? Does it offer human or automatic transcription? And what features do you get for your money?
With this list of our picks, you’ll find several transcription programs that meet your needs.
With its full range of human-based transcription services, GoTranscript is ideal for converting audio and video files into text. Its professional transcriptionists support multiple languages and guarantee exceptional levels of accuracy.
|Best For||Human transcription|
|Price||Starts at $0.77 per minute|
|Biggest Plus Point||Global team|
|Biggest Downside||No automated transcription|
Best Human Transcription Software
If you’re looking for the most accurate human transcription that also supports multiple languages, GoTranscript is your software of choice.
Its team of professionals can easily handle video and audio files, offering transcription services in over 60 languages. Plus, they offer a guarantee of 99% accuracy, which many automated solutions can’t match.
The organized dashboard makes the software easy to manage. What’s more, it allows you to define speaker labels if you have multiple speakers you want to track in the transcription.
- Human-powered transcription ensures accuracy
- A global team of experts offers transcription in over 60 languages
- Free trial up to $10
- Supports most file formats, as well as Dropbox and YouTube content
- Exceptional accuracy
- Low prices for human transcription
- Tons of languages supported
- Easy-to-use dashboard
- No autosaving when editing
- Turnaround time of five days
- No automatic transcription software tools
GoTranscript pricing varies depending on the specific service you use:
- Transcription – $0.77 per minute
- Captions – $1.11 per minute
- Translation – $0.06 per word
- Subtitles – $8.50 per minute
The software also offers a free trial good for up to $10 of services.
Trint is ideal for journalists, researchers, authors, and anybody else who needs real-time transcription. Custom pricing means you can adapt your plan as you see fit.
|Best For||Real-time transcription|
|Price||Starts at $50 per user per month|
|Biggest Plus Point||Flexible plans|
|Biggest Downside||No Android application|
Best Real-Time Transcription
Created by an award-winning journalist and foreign correspondent, Trint is designed with the needs of journalists in mind.
It’s a powerful real-time transcription and speech recognition software, making it perfect for transcribing as you talk. It supports multiple languages and offers flexible payment plans for its AI-based transcription services.
The platform is available on iOS and web devices, in addition to having cloud-based and Software as a Service (SaaS) options. Sadly, there’s no Android support at the time of writing.
- Transcriptions are available in 31 languages
- Allows you to share finished transcriptions in several file formats
- ISO-certified data security standards
- Useful tools support this AI transcription software
- It comes with a free trial
- Captures audio and transcribes in real time
- Flexible payment plans that you can pause at any time
- Integrates with Adobe Premiere Plus and several other apps
- No Android mobile application
- Not ideal for heavy transcription loads
- Some translations are worse than others
After a seven-day free trial, Trint offers the choice between Starter, Advanced, and Enterprise packages.
Prices start at $50 per user per month, with the Enterprise package offering custom pricing based on your needs.
Another great real-time transcription software, Otter.ai is great for transcribing meetings and lectures. Its compatibility options are ideal if you want to import and export transcripts.
|Best For||Transcribing meetings|
|Price||Offers free basic plan|
|Biggest Plus Point||A good range of transcription editing tools|
|Biggest Downside||Not the most accurate transcription software|
Best for Meeting Transcriptions
Otter.ai is a popular service for transcribing audio and video content automatically. Leveraging AI technology, it’s perfect for capturing audio and transcribing in real-time.
This service offers a desktop application as well as apps for Android and iOS devices which gives you plenty of options for transcribing on the go.
Otter.ai also integrates with Cisco Webex, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet, making it the transcription software of choice for virtual meetings.
Also, this software also comes with tools that allow you to search for specific keywords and adjust payback speeds as you see fit.
- Real-time transcription that’s compatible with some of the leading virtual meeting software
- Speaker identification services
- Offers on-the-go usage thanks to the Android and iOS apps
- Transcription editing tools allow you to alter the output
- Supports several file formats, including mp3, PDF, txt, and Microsoft Word
- It comes with a free version
- Multiple integrations make it perfect for meetings
- Available as a web-based or mobile app
- Real-time and recorded file transcription
- A strong suite of transcription editing tools
- Poor transcription accuracy when compared to other automatic speech recognition software
- Sometimes struggles to identify the end of sentences
- Only supports English
- A little pricey
Otter.ai’s Basic tier gives you access to 300 monthly transcription minutes, with a maximum of 30 minutes per recording.
The Pro tier costs $8.33 per month and ups your usage to 1,200 monthly minutes with a limit of 90 minutes per conversation.
The Business tier increases usage to 6,000 monthly minutes with a limit of 240 minutes per conversation. That comes at $20 per month.
Finally, there’s an Enterprise tier that offers custom pricing based on your needs.
Best transcription software for ease of use
Ease of use is the name of the game when it comes to Descript. We love the all-in-one suite it provides, as it combines transcription, screen recording, podcasting, and video editing tools into one package.
|Best For||Ease of use|
|Price||Offers limited free version|
|Biggest Plus Point||Several tools in one|
|Biggest Downside||Poor transcription in languages other than English|
Some users want more than basic transcription services. For those people, Descript may be the best transcription software on the market.
In addition to its automatic transcription tools, Descript offers tools for podcasting, video editing, and screen recording. Plus, they’re all offered on a simple dashboard, which makes this a superb platform for beginners.
The handy free version allows you to get to grips with what the tool offers. In addition, the Descript developers have created a ton of tutorial videos that show you its main features.
- Automatically removes filler words like “um” and “like”
- Live training and video tutorials for your team
- Support for a range of tools
- SOC 2 Type 2 data security
- 95% accurate AI transcription supported by human transcribers
- Streamlines transcriptions by removing filler
- Extremely easy to use
- Plenty of support offered to new users
- Affordable pricing
- Offers remote recording options
- Poor automatic transcriptions for languages other than English
- No mobile apps for Android devices
Descript offers a limited free version that gives you an hour of transcription per month.
The Creator package increases that to 10 hours per month for $12. With the Pro tier, you get 30 hours per month for $24.
Also, Descript has an Enterprise tier for those who need more than the standard tiers and free version offers.
While Rev offers useful human transcription services, it’s the AI-drive live caption transcription that stands out for us. It delivers accurate results, making it one of our favorite automatic transcription services.
|Best For||Live captions|
|Price||Starts at $0.25/minute for automated transcription|
|Biggest Plus Point||Supports 88 languages|
|Biggest Downside||You may experience order delays|
Best for Live Captions
Rev built its reputation by offering some of the most accurate human transcriptions available. However, advances in the software have helped it find its way onto our list.
Its AI-generated transcription service can offer live captions for several video file formats. These services extend to virtual conferences, Zoom meetings, and video presentations.
This platform also offers transcription in over 15 languages, though it’s a little less reliable for some languages than others.
On the human transcription side of things, Rev offers 99% accuracy, though it may take a little longer to receive your transcription than it does with other services.
Still, if you want to add live captions to a video file, there are few better options available.
- Offers automated and manual transcription services
- Live captioning for Zoom and other video formats
- Simple pricing that ensures you get what you pay for
- 24/7 customer support from its professional transcriptionists
- Clear, convenient, and simple
- Transparent pricing
- Offers affordable rates
- Excellent AI-driven live transcriptions
- Delays for manual transcription happen more often than we’d like
- The translation isn’t perfect for other languages
- Human transcribers occasionally make mistakes due to accents or industry-specific terms
Rev keeps things simple with its pricing. Fees start from $1.50 per minute for human transcription and $0.25 per minute for automated. If you want live captions for your Zoom meeting, you’ll pay $20 per meeting host.
6. Express Scribe
Best for Playback Control
As one of the older software packages for transcribing audio on the market, Express Scribe has developed a range of tools that make it one of the best transcription services.
Available on both Mac and Windows, the software supports over 45 video and audio formats. This makes it ideal for transcribing everything from lectures and interviews to movies and simple voice notes.
But it’s the USB foot pedal support that makes this software stand out. Plug in your foot pedals, and you get full control over your playback. Speed things up to increase the words per minute or slow things down when you have a tough passage for Express Scribe to transcribe.
- Offers video and audio transcription
- Support for a huge number of audio and video file formats
- Allows you to use USB foot pedals to dictate playback speed
- Includes automated tools for sending and receiving files
- Exceptional file format support
- Ideal for professional transcribers
- It comes in free and paid varieties
- Low system requirements
- Hotkeys allow for a mouse-free experience
- Customer support can leave a lot to be desired
- Doesn’t currently have a cloud-based or web version
- It may get confusing for new users
Express Scribe Basic is available at a flat price of $70, with the Professional version costing $80 per license. You also have the option of bundling the software with other NCH tools, which can save you some money on those extra packages.
Best for Accurate Automation
So, you don’t want to deal with the hassles of self-transcription, but you’ve also heard that many automated solutions aren’t as accurate as you’d like. Where do you turn?
Sonix is our choice for an automatic transcription service that prioritizes accuracy above all else. Used by major companies, including Adobe and Warner Bros, Sonix is one of the most powerful automated transcription software packages around.
The user-friendly interface is ideal for less tech-savvy users. Plus, it’s just as effective for transcribing video recordings as it is when transcribing audio. Just upload files using the simple interface and let Sonix do the rest for you.
Combine this ease of use with a set of editing features that allow you to eliminate background noise, and you have a strong AI transcription service.
- Transcribes audio video files without hiccups
- Supports 35 languages
- Features automation tools for subtitles and captioning
- Useful file-sharing and publishing tools
- Integrated with Zoom, Adobe Premiere, and several other software packages
- Produces encrypted dictation files with two-factor authentication for access
- Extremely accurate automated transcription
- Compatible with a range of software packages
- Useful editing tools help you create clean recordings
- No mobile apps for people who transcribe on the go
- Grammar-driven to the point of extremes
- It becomes expensive if you use the Premium tier
Sonix offers three pricing tiers, starting with Standard. Offering a pay-as-you-go service, Standard costs $10 per hour. The Premium tier cuts the hourly price to $5 but tacks on a $22 per month subscription fee. A customizable Enterprise tier is available for bulk transcription.
Best for Affordability
If simple and cheap are what you’re looking for, InqScribe delivers. This software is available for Windows and Mac users, allowing you to transcribe audio and video files from almost any storage device.
InqScribe supports several file formats, including XML, HTML, and YouTube. Plus, its intuitive interface allows you to operate it mouse-free. Professionals will also love the compatibility with USB foot pedals, which provides plenty of playback flexibility.
The major downside is that InqScribe doesn’t have dedicated customer support. However, there’s a healthy community that serves as a knowledge base, as well as a handy user guide, to help you along.
- Notetaking tools allow you to type as you transcribe
- Allows multiple languages on a single document
- Use keystroke shortcuts to insert frequently used text
- USB foot pedal functionality
- Supports multiple languages
- Affordable when compared to many other tools
- Excellent notetaking capabilities
- Easy to use
- No automated transcription support
- Lacks traditional customer support
- Only available for Mac and Windows
There are no complicated subscription fees to deal with when buying InqScribe. A flat fee of $99 nets you a license to use the software. Bulk discounts are available when buying five or more copies.
Best for Flexible Pricing
No matter what your budget may be, Audext can provide affordable transcription services for your audio or video file. Its flexible plans allow you to subscribe for regular transcriptions or pay for a one-off service as and when you need it.
Accuracy is a little hit-and-miss, though. Audext’s Professional service offers 99% accuracy, but this drops to 80% for its automatic transcriptions. Still, the software has a built-in text editor that allows you to fix mistakes. Plus, you can place timestamps wherever you need them.
- Built-in text editor for finding and replacing key phrases
- The platform supports mp3, mp4, .wav, and several other audio file formats
- Rapid turnaround times of 10 minutes per hour of audio
- Speaker identification
- Flexible transcription methods
- Pricing options for all needs
- Fast and fairly accurate
- A user-friendly dashboard makes it ideal for novices
- A strong community of human transcribers
- Less accurate than other automated transcription platforms
- Three-day wait for professional transcriptions
Pricing varies depending on the number of hours you need to transcribe. Expect to pay $12 per hour if you’re making a one-time subscription. The cost drops to $5 per hour with a subscription.
Speaking of subscriptions, Audext offers a free Classic Tier that gives you 30 free trial minutes over seven days. The Subscription tier costs $30 per month, with an Enterprise package also available.
Best for Speed
Speed is in the name, and it’s exactly what you get with SpeedScriber. Offering an automated service, this transcription software is only available for macOS devices. It’ll transcribe most video or audio files in a matter of minutes and offers quick uploads for your imported files.
Security is also a strong point, as the software is PCI DSS and GDPR compliant. Customer support is extensive, with live chat and support tickets available, as well as a regularly updated knowledge base.
- Fast importing from Finder and Apple Final Cut Pro X
- Rapid transcription
- Editing, printing, and exporting tools
- Built to run perfectly on your macOS device
- One of the fastest transcription packages available
- It comes with 15 minutes of free transcription
- Integrates with several major video editing platforms
- Only available for macOS
- Speed doesn’t always mean accuracy
SpeedScriber keeps things simple when it comes to pricing. You’ll pay $0.50 for every minute of audio you need to transcribe.
11. Transcribe by Wreally
Best for Security
If you’re transcribing sensitive material, you need to know that your software offers top-notch security. The platform offers self-transcription and automatic transcription services. With self-transcription, the text you enter never leaves your computer. If you go down the automatic route, Transcribe by Wreally deletes your audio and video files as soon as it finishes generating your transcription.
Beyond its security features, Transcribe offers over 60 languages and three transcription methods. Magical Automatic Transcriptions handles the automated side of things, while Self Transcription and Voice Type with Dictation allows you to handle the transcription yourself.
- Intelligent security features
- Compatible with USB foot pedal tools
- Allows you to work offline
- You can export files in .doc or .txt formats for use in Microsoft Word or Google Docs
- The most secure transcription software available
- Auto looping allows you to control playback
- Creates subtitles automatically
- You don’t have to be online to use it
- One of the most expensive transcription platforms
Transcribe by Wreally offers affordable pricing for self-transcription, with users paying $20 per year. However, costs can ramp up quickly for automatic transcription. In addition to paying $20 per year, you pay $6 per hour.
Best for Audio Transcription
With TEMI, you get software that delivers superb sound while offering automated services that achieve between 90% and 95% accuracy. It’s compatible with a wide range of audio file formats, meaning you can import almost any type of audio file and get a transcription in minutes.
In addition to its audio file compatibility, TEMI integrates with Zapier and delivers files in Word, PDF, VVT, and several other formats. The file editing and sharing tools also make it a good choice if collaboration is key to your project.
- Excellent tools for recording clear and accurate audio
- Automatic transcription with a high accuracy percentage
- Available for mobile devices as well as desktop
- Useful editing tools allow you to alter transcriptions after creation
- Ideal for recording audio away from home
- The free trial offers 45 minutes of transcription
- Crisp audio quality on recordings
- TLS 1.2 data encryption
- Only available in English
- Not as accurate as manual transcription
TEMI has a simple price structure, charging just $0.25 per minute. You don’t have to worry about subscription or service fees.
Best for Large Files
Most transcription software easily handles files that have a couple of hours of audio. But what if you need to transcribe more than that? Costs can skyrocket when you have a large file, which is why you need software that is made for files of all sizes.
Happyscribe fills that niche by offering human and automatic transcription for files of all sizes. It comes with an interactive text editor, as well as timestamping and speaker identification features. Most importantly, it places no restrictions on the size of the audio or video file you upload.
- Unrestricted transcription is ideal for any file size
- Support for 62 languages
- Integrates with popular platforms, including YouTube and Zapier
- Simple collaboration tools
- Great for large audio and video files
- A wide range of import and export options
- Built-in text editing tools
- One-click sharing
- Less than 90% accuracy for automated transcriptions
- Additional charges for subtitling service
Automatic transcription starts at $0.25 per minute, meaning you’ll pay $15 per hour of audio. The price increases to $2.25 per minute for manual transcription, with subtitles setting you back $24.79 per minute.
Best Free Transcription Service
People who want a quick and easy transcription may not want to pay, especially if accuracy isn’t a major concern. oTranscribe has got you covered if you fall into this category. As an open-source platform, it gives you a range of free tools for self-transcription.
These tools include pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding, all of which you can control with a keyboard. It also offers YouTube support and exporting to Google Drive. Audio and video format compatibility varies depending on the browser you use when accessing the software.
- Several useful playback control tools
- Local storage to enhance security
- Allows you to create your own keyboard shortcuts
- It uses a single window to simplify transcription
- It doesn’t cost a penny to use
- Local storage ensures data security
- A dedicated community you can access via Twitter and email
- You need to be online to export to Google Drive
- Only imports OTR file format
- No automated services
You can put your wallet away with oTranscribe, as the software is free to use.
Best Transcription Software for Voiceovers
Maestra is a little different from most transcription packages. It’s a text-to-speech app that happens to have a built-in text editor. This combination of features makes it useable as a transcription platform, especially for those who wish to create voiceovers.
Once you’ve inserted your text, Maestra reads it back to you using a range of natural-sounding AI voices. You can make quick edits if the voiceover doesn’t work. Plus, the software supports 50 languages and allows you to add voiceover files to your videos instantly.
- Automatic voiceovers in dozens of languages
- Easy subtitle exporting in .txt, .cap, .vtt, and .srt formats
- High-end data encryption technologies secure your text
- Team-based channels enhance collaboration
- Works as both a text-to-speech and transcription software
- Large selection of voices to choose from
- It makes it easy to create video voiceovers
- High cost
- Matching text to video may require some extra work
Maestra offers pay-as-you-go transcription in addition to subscription options. You’ll pay $10 per hour on the pay-as-you-go service, with this hourly rate falling to $5 if you subscribe to the Premium tier. However, a Premium subscription adds a $29 per month charge. Enterprise solutions are available for businesses.
Find the Best Transcription Software for Your Audio or Video File
Choosing the right transcription service depends as much on your needs as on the service’s features. If you’re looking for video transcription programs, a software package that focuses on audio files or self-transcription won’t do the job. But if transcribing a video recording isn’t a concern, you may get greater accuracy from a program that only offers audio transcription.
Some software packages offer media playback, such as an integrated video player. While that’s great for crafting voiceovers, it’s a little too much for people who aren’t interested in video. The point is that your needs take priority over any software’s feature list.
With the 15 options we’ve examined in this article, you’re sure to find the right transcription software. Our advice is to write a list of the most important features and start your search by looking for a platform that matches that feature list. Make your choice based on your budget and your needs, and you’ll start transcribing audio and video files in no time.