Monday, June 1, 2015

New Grundig Digta SonicMic 3 speech recognition microphone

I was recently sent the new Grundig Digta SonicMic 3 to test. I performed the test using Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Professional Edition with a profile that has been trained and used extensively by me.

Upon unboxing, I first noticed the microphone resembles its competitors much more closely than the previous Grundig offering. Slightly longer than the Philips SpeechMike, the microphone rests comfortably in your hand. Ergonomically, the microphone is excellent. While holding the SonicMic in your hand, your thumb lands perfectly on the record/stop button and your index finger rests naturally on the trigger button on the bottom of microphone. All buttons are comfortably in reach, and laid out in a fashion that will be familiar to users of either the Philips SpeechMike or Olympus DirectRec series microphones.

New users of handheld microphones for speech recognition programs will find the SonicMic 3 intuitive to set up and use with their version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

All buttons are programmable using a free add-on program called Digta Configurator Desk. This program is designed so that the end-user can easily program each button individually to perform just about any action they may desire. Dragon commands and actions such as toggle microphone on/off are at the forefront of the program and increase efficiency while using Dragon NaturallySpeaking dramatically.

Programmability options include the ability to set multiple functions for each button depending on the user action. Short presses, long presses, holding, and release of the buttons can all trigger different actions. This gives the user a seemingly endless array of choices when setting up the microphone. Once set, the programming options can be simply saved and exported to additional microphones making implementation and integration across an organization simple and seamless.

The microphone is a matte black with gloss black buttons and comes in two configurations. The top model includes a digital trackpad to control the cursor, as well as right and left mouse buttons. The basic model is the same, but lacks the cursor control. Healthcare professionals using an Electronic Health Record program, or EHR / EMR should opt for the trackpad version, as radio buttons, drop down options, and sepearate data entry fields require significant cursor and mouse movement. A trackpad will allow seamless navigation within and EMR or CMS program.

The DigtaSonic 3 also includes an integrated sound card and speaker to allow high-quality playback right in your hand. each version also comes with Grundig's dictation management software DigtaSoft Pro. DigtaSoft Pro allows voice file creation, encryption and transfer to a transcriptionist or typist for those not using voice recognition software.

The microphone sent to me to test was the basic model without the trackpad control. While I would like to had the trackpad version to test, I envision that that method of cursor control will be at least as accurate, if not more so, then the trackball of the SpeechMike and DirectRec competition. I base this assumption upon my use of similar technology on BlackBerry phones. The digital trackpad was one feature BlackBerry got right.

As far as speech recognition accuracy, the Digta SonicMic 3 performed admirably. Earning 6 Dragons in tests performed by Nuance, the SonicMic 3 is at the top of its class where accuracy is concerned. I found it to be at least as good if not better than the other options I have at my disposal. I can see this microphone becoming one of my favorites. My overall impression of the Grundig Digta SonicMic 3 is that this is an easy to use, comfortable and accurate addition to the handheld speech recognition microphone arena.

We are currently awaiting pricing and stock availability notification.  We have been promised that the Grundig SonicMic 3 will be priced at a level that will be ultra competitive.  We will keep you posted upon arrival.

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