7 Best Transcription Software (Free Speech-to-Text)

One issue with transcription software programs is accuracy and efficiency. They are also costly, and people who want to transcribe their audio and videos into text.

An average person speaks 140 words per minute, but a transcriber, on average can transcribe 60 words per minute. It means that you will pay twice the cost of labor.

The problem I want to help you solve is the issue of the selection of automatic transcription programs. I used many transcription software programs before, and I still do. Today, I will share only the best AI-based transcription software guaranteed to deliver excellent output.

What Are the Best Transcriptions Software? (AI-Based)

Here are the best transcription software programs you should consider getting:

1. Descript

2. Sonix AI

3. Laxis

4. Capté

5. Veed

6. Subtitle Bee

7. Media.IO

1. Descript

Best for people who create content for online publications.

Unique Feature: Multiple tools for social media influencers.

Best Automatic Transcription Software - Descript

Descript is a multi-tool best for people who have a podcast or a YouTube channel. It is not just a transcription tool but also one that you can use for screen recording and video editing

Descript Features

  • Overdub – this feature allows you to create a voice from an AI, and then it will speak what is in your speech, giving you a different voice in your recordings.
  • Filler Word Removal – the AI will remove unnecessary words like “Uhm,” “ahem” etc. This process makes your transcript easier to read. Occasionally, software programs include this, and you need to remove it manually.
  • Subtitles – upload an audio or video file, and the system automatically creates a transcription. The accuracy is 95%, and you can customize how the subtitles look.
  • Remote Recording – you can record your guest even if he is not with you. The system can record your guest’s screen or camera even if he is using Skype, Zoom, or other software programs.
Descript Remote Recording screenshot

Overall, Descript is what I can call an all-in-one tool for social media influencers. You no longer need to hire a transcriber. All you need to do is upload your video to this tool, which will do the work. The rest is merely simple polish.

Pros of Descript

  • There is a free version where you can transcribe up to three hours
  • Unlimited screen recordings
  • It has a studio sound effect system
  • Includes invoicing and training

2. Sonix AI

Best for people who want transcription software for international deployment.

Unique Feature: The system can transcribe in many languages. Sonix Homepage screenshot

Sonix is one of the best free transcription software available today. Everything that you need is in this program. I can say without a doubt that this is the software you are looking for.

Sonix Features

  • 35 Languages – you can transcribe in more than 35 languages. Some examples are Arabic, Armenian, Catalan, Chinese, German, Hungarian, and Portuguese.
  • Transcript Editor – this editor is accessible via a browser, so you do not have to install the software on your computer.
  • Timestamps – the timestamps for the transcription are word per word if that is what you like. Because of this, you can quickly adjust if you want the subtitle to appear at a specific time in the video.
  • Speaker Labeling – the program is sophisticated enough to identify who is talking. Each paragraph in the transcript represents a new speaker, making it easier for the editor to make corrections.
  • Upload Transcript – if you already have a transcript, you can upload it, and the video and the program will sync them. The next step is to polish or edit that uploaded script to amend mistakes.
Sonix Notes screenshot

Sonix also supports notes and comments. In the editor, you can type your notes, but it will not affect the output of the transcription program. The note is something you or your colleague can use in the future.

Pros of Sonix

  • It has a free version
  • Can transcribe in many languages
  • There is a browser-based editor
  • Timestamps word by word

3. Laxis

Best for people who need to record and transcribe meetings.

Unique Feature: Can capture conversations and provides insights and key quotes in the meetings.

Laxis Homepage screenshot

Laxis is more than just a free transcription software program; it is a meeting assistant that makes it easy for you to create reports and transcribe audio from the meeting. It also helps you make better business decisions.

Laxis Features

  • Real-time Transcript and Tagging – the system can use your microphone to record conversations in a meeting and transcribe them as they go on. Then, as the organizer, you can tag some names and actions in video chats.
  • Audio Upload – You can upload the audio recording after your meeting. For example, you can upload MP3 or MP4. Once the upload is complete, Laxis will transcribe it for you.
  • Smart Summaries – the AI will extract information based on what it heard. Then, it will submit a report highlighting key conversations in the meeting. You can also personalize the template for this report.
  • Integrations – you can integrate the tool with other software programs like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams.
Laxis File Download screenshot

The very purpose of Laxis is to allow you to spend more time talking to people in the meeting than taking notes. With the reports you get, you can reinforce the action plans you discussed with your team members in the meeting.

Pros of Laxis

  • Has an auto-save feature
  • The transcript is searchable
  • It comes with a transcript editor
  • You can transcribe from audio to text

4. Capté

Best for people who want unlimited video downloads and customizable subtitles.

Unique Feature: The timecode of the system is precise.

Capte Homepage screenshot

Capté is a software program that is easy to use. It works by uploading a video or audio, and then the system will automatically do the transcription for you. It can also transcribe into different languages.

Capté Features

Capte Language Editor editing panel for time
  • Languages – there are ten languages you can choose from. If your audio is French, you can make the software translate it to English.
  • Customizable Subtitles – you can make your subtitles stand out by changing the background color, font, and font color.
  • Intuitive Navigation – the text editor has four tabs, so you will only see options you currently need for your actions.
  • Audio and Video Files Export – you can export the subtitles in SRT format; there is also an option to export the video that already has the subtitle.
  • Export Quality – You can download the video with the subtitle in different quality types like 720p, 1080p, and 4K resolution.
  • Storage – you can store your videos for a particular duration, between ten days and one year. The video storage duration depends on your plan. You must download the videos, or they will disappear from the cloud.

Capté is free to use, but there are some limitations on their free account. If you use it free, there is a watermark indicating the name of the Capté brand.

Capte Subtitle Customization change background and font styles

Pros of Capté

  • High precision levels of timecoding the captions
  • Customizable subtitles
  • Automatic transcription and translation to other languages

5. Veed

Best for people who consistently upload content less than 10 minutes long.

Unique Feature: Veed offers unlimited projects for files and video lengths that do not exceed their desired capacity.

Veed Homepage screenshot

Veed is an audio and video transcription service, but you will not work with a person. Instead, it allows you to do an automatic transcription of video files.

With Veed, you upload your audio files or video files, and the system will do the rest of the transcription. It is up to you now how you want to make the subtitles look on screen.

Veed Features

Veed Customization screenshot
  • File Storage – you can store audio or video file in the cloud.
  • Text Animations – make the subtitle texts move
  • Export Quality – you can export the video or audio file in 4K, 1080p, or 720p.
  • Stock Files – there are files like animations and stock images, and videos that you can use.
  • Languages – no need to hire transcription services providers; the program acts like a transcription service expert that comes with automatic language translation.

You can hire a person to perform transcription services for you, but the task has limitations now. Instead of listening to the audio file, the person does not have to transcribe audio manually.

All he has to do is customize the output, such as the spelling, time, and look of the subtitles with the transcription tools.

Veed Project Sharing assign roles to people

Pros of Veed

  • Easy to use
  • Has a storage system in the cloud
  • Unlimited file downloads
  • Comes with a video compressor and converter

6. Subtitle Bee

Best for people who do not do a lot of video transcription services.

Unique Feature: Big video upload size of 1GB for the free account.

Subtitle Bee Homepage screenshot

Subtitle Bee is an automatic transcription tool that allows you to add subtitles to your texts. Transcribing audio and video has never been easier.

The free plan has some limitations, and you may not get all the transcription services you are looking for. However, with the paid plan, you can use the audio and video transcription service as much as possible

Subtitle Bee Features

Subtitle Bee Customization screenshot
  • Fast Captions – it takes only a few minutes to transcribe an audio or video file
  • Customization – you can add a logo or change the font size and color of the transcription with the transcription tools
  • Social Media Ready – you can share the final video file on social media; very few transcription tools can do this.
  • Priority Support – you will enjoy the benefits of customer service if you need help.

I highly recommend this product to people who need transcription tools instead of paying for transcription services.

Lastly, it has language options, but then these translations have limitations. You can only translate to three languages at the Starter Plan. For the Business Plan, your limit is 15 language translations per video.

Subtitle Bee Language Translation how to add new language

Pros of Subtitle Bee

  • Has translation to other languages
  • Customizable logos on the video
  • You can change the fonts and colors for your video files
  • The subtitle files are in SRT and TXT formats

7. Media.IO

Best for people who also need video editing tools.

Unique Feature: It has a full suite of video editing tools; it does not only offer transcription services.

Media IO Homepage screenshot

Media.IO is not just a tool where you can get transcription services. It has a wide range of tools that you can use to edit and convert video and audio files into other formats.

If you hate manual transcription, this tool is what I recommend. Apart from adding subtitles automatically, you also have the means to convert and edit your video.

Media.IO Features

Media IO Audio Edit screenshot
  • Chrome Extension – you can download and install a browser extension, so you do not have to go to the website all the time.
  • Customization Options – you can change the layout, font, and other elements of the subtitles in your video.
  • File Burning – after the automatic transcription, you can burn the file to a disc in many types of formats
  • Cross-platform Compatibility – you can use this transcription service program in Mac, Windows, and Android operating systems.
  • Multiple Languages – you can select from more than 90 languages.

As far as language transcription is concerned, the tool will not translate one language into another. It will only transcribe the language. It means that if your audio is Chinese, the tool will transcribe it to Chinese, not English.

Pros of Media.IO

Media IO Customization screenshot
  • It has a lot of tools that can enhance your video
  • you can trim a video file or an audio file
  • The audio and video transcription service tool is easy to use
  • You can convert your video or audio files

8. Kapwing

Best for people who need a robust video editor and transcription service.

Unique Feature: It has a full suite of features for editing a video.

Kapwing Homepage screenshot

Kapwing is primarily a video editing software program. However, they recently added an AI-based subtitle program to their website. Now, you can upload videos, and the program will produce a subtitle for you.

Kapwing Features

  • Online Program – there is no need to download and install the software. Upload your files and let the program do the work.
  • Customization – you can change the font size, type, and position of the subtitles.
  • High Resolution – you can download the video in high Resolution once the subtitles are complete.
  • Storage – you can store your content in the cloud, making it accessible to other people.
  • File Download – you can download the SRT files of the subtitles if that is the only thing that you need

The thing with Kapwing is that the free program has some limitations. For example, you can only transcribe a maximum of ten minutes. There is also a watermark if you are not a paying subscriber.

Best Transcription software - Kapwing Text Options

Pros of Kapwing

  • Complete video editing tools
  • Has a free plan
  • Has an image background editor
  • Access to all tools even at the free plan

What is Transcription Software?

A transcription software program is a tool that allows you to convert human oral words into text. The industry calls this speech-to-text. A transcriptionist replays parts of a video or audio and then manually types the text.

Transcription is often visible in movie dubbings or what many people call sub-titles. It is an excellent method to reach out to the deaf and hard of hearing, so they can watch a video and understand what the actors are saying.

Some transcription software programs are manual, but many today are already AI-assisted. An AI-assisted transcription software program does the entire transcription, and the human’s role is to merely correct what the computer missed.

Transcription software is different from a word processor. There are special buttons, hotkeys, and functions in transcription software not available in a word processing program like Microsoft Word. Some transcription software programs can even do real-time transcription.

How to Choose the Best Transcription Software

Before choosing the best transcription software program, there are some elements I want to share with you to help you make a better decision. Below are some of my tips on how to choose the best transcription software.

1. Accuracy

The first thing you must check is the accuracy of the AI-assisted transcription software. The computer, or algorithm, must understand how a person talks and what he is saying and be able to translate that into meaningful text.

It is similar to picking the best Amazon accounting software. Spelling and context are equally important. For example, the person on the video may say, “There it is!” In this case, the software must spell “there” that way, not “their.”

Accuracy can only happen from a highly functional system—something of high quality. Please pick one from my list as I have used all these.

2. Processing Time

Processing time refers to the time the computer takes to “listen” to the video or audio and then produce the transcription.

What is the ideal processing time? On average, the transcription software must finish transcribing an hour-long video in less than half an hour.

Do not pick any transcription service that takes 24 hours to complete. You are better off hiring someone if the AI takes this long.

3. Save in Cloud

One of the best things transcription software programs must have is storage and data availability, which can only happen in a cloud platform.

With this feature, the audio and video files you upload stay in the software program, accessible to anybody. Then, you can leave it at that and come back tomorrow.

4. Security

Data security is also an essential factor to consider. Indeed, you do not want people to get your transcribed data for free.

Pick a company that offers high levels of security, such as password-protected accounts and two-factor authentication systems.

5. Price

Finally, consider the price. Transcription software or an automated transcription service should not be expensive. If you must pay an amount equal to what it would take a human to do the job, get the human option.

Software programs must do the job right at the correct cost. We develop technology to improve efficiency without compromising integrity and quality.

There is no specific price that I can recommend for automated transcription services, but I recommend that you review the prices of the best transcription software program I have on this list.

Benefits of Using Transcription Software Programs

Why should you even bother using a transcription software program? Below are some of the benefits of using the best transcription software programs.

1. Add Content Value

With transcription software, you can convert speech to text. What it means is you are now able to reach out to more people.

There are some people like me who prefer to watch content that has sub-titles. It is easier to understand the content if there is something that I can read.

With sub-titles, people that watch the video are getting more value. They can read the script in their language or turn off the subtitles if it bothers them. It is the reason why Netflix and other streaming services have sub-titles in their movies.

2. Increase Productivity

Without transcription software programs, your employees will do the transcription manually. Most likely, they will type on Microsoft Notepad or Word.

This strategy leads to complicated problems. The employee must enter the code for the exact time in the video where the speech should show, which is really cumbersome.

Just imagine the amount of time they waste doing this. With AI-assisted transcription software, the computer does about 95% of the transcription, and your employee only has to make corrections.

3. Increased Income

Many people do not want to attend seminars because these activities are expensive. The keynote speakers charge a lot of money, so you must recover that from the registration fee.

One option you can provide is to offer an audio version of the seminar. In this offer, the consumer will pay a small amount, and then he can access the audio version of the entire workshop. However, he cannot watch the video.

Because you can transcribe audio, you can sell the seminar’s content to people who are hesitant to pay the full fee for the video seminar. As such, you can expect added sales.

Wrap Up

To be able to choose the right one, I suggest that you identify the features that best fit your business need and the frequency by which you will use them.

Descript is what I recommend as the best all-in-one tool, especially for social media influencers. For YouTubers and those who make online courses, Veed is one of the best to consider.

Here is our list of the best Automatic Transcription Software to convert speech to text for free:

1. Descript – Best for people who create content for online publications

2. Sonix AI – Best for people who want transcription software for international deployment

3. Laxis – Best for people who need to record and transcribe meetings

4. Capté – Best for people who want unlimited video downloads and customizable subtitles

5. Veed – Best for people who consistently upload content less than 10 minutes long

6. Subtitle Bee – Best for people who do not do a lot of video transcription services

7. Media.IO – Best for people who also need video editing tools

8. Kapwing – Best for people who need a robust video editor and transcription service

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