Transcription services are divided into services that are just a mechanism to connect those who need transcription with those who do the work and those who use software solutions typically based on AI. And some companies offer both with a big cost difference between one that needs people and the other that doesn’t.
Speechmatics is of the AI variant and they pride themselves on the quality of the code that converts audio into written text and even provides real-time transcription.
To be clear, many companies talk about their AI technology and how accurate it is at converting the sounds people make into documents. Our analysis shows that Speechmatics is one of the few that doesn’t exaggerate the performance of their code.
Speechmatics: subscriptions and prices
Speechmatists pride themselves on being different, which is why they don’t get involved in the cost-per-minute game of upfront pricing.
This choice is largely the actions of a company looking to sell to companies, with the scope of the agreement they make determining the price, and it may not be based entirely on the amount of transcription performed.
That said, as a rule, the cost of transcription decreases as volume increases, and Speechmatics’ sales team can best explain how beneficial it is to have this service partner with your company.
The exact price you pay is unique to the exact requirements, what special tools are required, and what features are required, along with the amount of transcription that is expected to be performed.
If circumstances change, Speechmatics can dynamically adjust costs to those circumstances and tailor the solution precisely to the customer.
It is relatively easy for experienced developers to transcribe for a specific language spoken with a common dialect, accent and well-known regional vocabulary, but Speechmatics is not one of them.
At the time of writing this review, Speechmatics can transcribe Arabic, Bulgarian, Cantonese, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian , Lithuanian, Malay, Mandarin (Traditional and Simplified), Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish.
And it also supports multiple dialects within many of the languages. Therefore, for example, it can understand English as it is spoken by Americans, Australians and Irish, just as well as it can interpret an English person.
The transcription process can be a batch operation where recorded audio input and documents are created, or a real-time option where live audio can be analyzed to provide closed captioning for a TV channel or streamed broadcast.
When it transcribes audio, it has the logic to apply proper punctuation to the text, using periods, commands, and other appropriate symbols.
But for the Enterprise customer who wants full control, Speechmatics is highly configurable. This flexibility can be critical if that company uses language specific to the industry they operate in. Special words and meanings, a custom interface, and even how it handles “taboo words” can all be customized.
Where Speechmatics is not what most would expect from a transcription system, is that it is not immediately ready to use.
The setup process is part of the learning model, and how complicated that can be depends a lot on how the customer wants to use Speechmatics.
For most customers, this will involve creating a unique interface that links to Speechmatics through its API and then handles the processing and delivery of the transcribed audio back to the user.
As part of the package, Speechmatics has an implementation team that can help the customer decide exactly how they want to use this technology and where the mission-critical parts of the process will be located.
Deployment options include access to Speechmatics cloud, using a public cloud, on-premises installation, or a combination of the three.
What is somewhat disappointing is that Speechmatics does not provide a general purpose interface that customers can then modify. Instead, the idea is for companies to generate software solutions in-house and then use the Speechmatic API to integrate the transcription technology into their workflow.
This requirement assumes a level of IS resources from the client and also limits how quickly transcription can be made available to those who need it. In an effort to facilitate and accelerate this phase, Speechatics can connect customers with a regional local partner who can provide access to pre-built user interfaces and the knowledge on how best to customize them.
But the usefulness of these options depends on the systems the customer uses and whether the prebuilt interfaces are intended to work in that environment.
Many companies claim to have powerful transcription software that can do a near-perfect job with the click of a button (and command line input), but Speechmatics is that software in reality.
Although it is not easy to test, because the demo has to key in twice long command lines with built-in encryption keys, the results are remarkable.
Along with other classic recordings, we use the opening paragraphs of the first Harry Potter book as read by the national treasure named Stephen Fry.
While testing many transcription tools, we’ve seen every conceivable error and slaying of ‘Dursley’s’ and ‘Dudley’, but not here. In the entire passage, only one thing went wrong, where it called a company called Grunnings “Runnings”.
But this is the best result we’ve ever seen for this test, by a significant margin.
On a more challenging audio quality test, the AI seems to have a remarkable ability to accurately identify words, even when the speaker is muffled or distorted by the outdoor location.
The accuracy is impressive, but what also stood out was how quickly the transcription flips, taking just a few seconds to process a few minutes of audio with ease.
While we haven’t explored these features, applying a custom word dictionary to the account can further increase speed and accuracy, ensuring fast turnaround times and transcripts requiring only minor tweaking.
The process engine also has an uncanny knack for distinguishing multiple speakers, even if they share a common accent.
Overall, it doesn’t get much better than this in AI transcription quality, and it’s superior to some of the man-made transcriptions we’ve come across.
Speechmatics: final verdict
Sometimes getting the best solution requires an investment of time and money, which has never been more true than with Speechmatics.
While it doesn’t offer a turnkey solution in the conventional sense, that limitation keeps those who want to use it from throwing money at a problem and expecting the transcription company to solve all workflow problems. with the use of this technology.
All things considered, Speechmatics is one of the best speech-to-text transcription programs we’ve used. There is no free trial or free plan available, but you can request a demo if needed. Overall, the transcription engine is extremely powerful and provides fast, accurate real-time and batch transcriptions.
In addition, Speechmatics comes with a selection of advanced features, including the ability to recognize a wide variety of accents. You can also add custom words to your personal dictionary and the punctuation tools are really impressive.
Overall, Speechmatics is a powerful option worth considering for larger companies with high transcription volumes. For accurate pricing, please contact the company’s sales team directly.
Speechmatics is primarily designed for large-scale transcription needs, but it’s not a great ideal for personal or small business users. It could be modified to be more attractive to them, but Speechmatics prefers to use it for Enterprise customers.
Looking at the broader scope of AI transcription tools, Otter and Brainia Pro are the only comparable ones.
Otter offers 600 minutes of free speech-to-text for casual users, and paid plans start from $8.33 per month.
Braina Pro (a year is $79, and a lifetime license is $199 for a single user) offers plenty of management and editing tools in addition to core speech-to-text features.
Learn more about Speechmatics’ competitors in our Best Speech-to-Text Software guide.