Best Services for Audio to Text Transcription

By Jack SteinLast Updated January 25, 2021
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From creating meeting transcripts to crafting media subtitles, there are plenty of reasons why you’d need an easy way to transcribe audio files into text. If you find yourself without the time to go through the files on your own, you can rest assured that there are now plenty of transcription services to help simplify the once-painstaking process. Whether you prefer an AI-run service that handles transcription in mere minutes or that irreplaceable human touch, you'll find plenty of options to choose from on our comprehensive list.

Otter | Best for Automatic Meeting Notes

Gone are the days when you had to know shorthand to stand the faintest chance of transcribing a conversation to text in real-time. Enter Otter — a personal, AI-powered assistant that can automatically generate notes for you during meetings, lectures, interviews and anything in between.

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So, how do you get started? Simply log onto Otter from your browser or download the app on your smartphone and start exploring the platform’s features. Not only can Otter transcribe live audio to text in a matter of minutes, but it will also provide you with a summary of keywords from your transcript as well as an audio recording.

Otter also allows you to make edits to each transcript, tag speakers, search by keyword and share your transcripted files with your peers. As an added bonus, it also features cross voice identification, which makes identifying multiple speakers a cinch regardless of whether you’re at an in-person meeting or attending a video conference. If you're looking for an incredibly fast turnaround time with an impressively high accuracy rate, Otter is a great choice.

Rev | Best For Accuracy and Closed-Caption Services

When it comes to accuracy, Rev is one of the top audio to text transcription services out there. Unlike services that rely on AI-based technology, Rev puts your audio into the hands of human transcribers — all of whom convert your audio to text with an impressive 99% accuracy rate. Another thing that sets Rev apart from the competition? Their fast turnaround, despite that incredible accuracy. More often than not, you can expect to receive your transcription within 12 hours.

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Rev tends to be an especially popular choice for those in the entertainment industry and is often used to transcribe closed-captions and subtitles for movies, TV shows, YouTube and other forms of visual media. Rev can also translate and/or transcribe audio into a wide variety of foreign languages, which is definitely helpful if you're looking to generate subtitles for a foreign media market. And, due to video conferencing's recent rise in popularity, Rev now offers a service called Zoom Live Captions, a feature that creates closed-captioning for your Zoom meetings in real-time.

Scribie | Best For Flexible Options

Can’t choose between a human-based or AI-generated transcription service? Scribie offers both options. Each time you log on to transcribe new audio to text, you'll be presented with both options, meaning you can switch things up depending upon your deadlines, price point and other concerns.

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If you’re looking to spare your wallet, the AI-based automatic transcription service, which offers a 30-minute turnaround for audio under two hours, is the way to go. It’s fast, but is it accurate? Well, if your audio file is pretty clear, you can expect a 95% accuracy rate. However, if your file features multiple speakers, various accents and/or background noise, that accuracy might dip a bit to 80%. Maybe price is no obstacle to you? If so, you can opt for Scribie’s (higher-priced) human transcribers, who will convert your file to text within 36 hours, all while hitting an impressive 99% accuracy rate.

Scribie also offers a few interesting extras, such as verbatim transcribing, which takes sounds and non-verbal communication into account. All of this to say, Scribie is a great all-around option with a wide variety of options for folks looking to transcribe meetings, conferences, lectures and podcasts.

Temi | Best for Quick Results

Another great service is Temi, which transcribes audio to text through the power of automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology. Although its accuracy rates may not be as high as those of competitors, Temi scores points for both speed and affordability. In fact, if you don't mind doing a little self-editing, you can get your transcription results back in as little as five minutes.

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As far as making those tweaks goes, Temi allows users to log into an easy-to-use editing system. Although self-editing isn’t optimal, this system does make correcting small errors, fixing typos and adding timestamps a cinch. Users found that multiple speakers, background noise and various accents can impact the service’s accuracy. But if you want to give Temi a test drive, the service offers a pretty robust trial offer.

iScribed | Best for Legal and Medical Transcripts

If you're in the legal or medical fields, iScribed is one of the best options out there. The company offers a wide array of audio to text services, including one that's specifically geared toward business translation. All of their transcribers are thoroughly vetted and trained, and, if needed, they’ll sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which is especially helpful for confidential projects.

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Another added bonus? iScribed is a one-stop shop for general transcription, translation, subtitles, captioning and content-writing services. Although not all of their services are competitively priced, iScribed does guarantee quite a bit of accuracy. While the company’s 48-hour turnaround might be a little longer than those offered by other services, it does win points for a higher standard of customer service. For example, when you send your audio files to iScribed, it will be assigned to two transcribers; this ensures that each transcript is double-checked, which is especially beneficial when you’re dealing with sensitive or high-priority material.

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