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Dragon Professional review

Advanced dictation technology for all users

screenshot of the dragon website
(Image: © Nuance)

TechRadar Verdict

With Dragon Professional Individual, you can experience the best dictation software in the market, but it comes at a price.


  • +

    Adaptive speech technology

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    Voice commands


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    High price tag

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    Only suited to single users

The best speech-to-text software makes it easy for you to speed up the time it takes to produce reports, documents, or even compose daily emails. The aim of the software is to make written tasks quicker so you can concentrate on other tasks, and in our Dragon Professional review, we’ll be examining an industry leader. 

With Dragon Professional, the clue’s in the name. It’s a powerful voice-to-text tool aimed at experienced professional users. The technology goes beyond simple dictation tasks and enables users to edit documents, explore the internet, and more using just their voice. Read on to learn whether investing in Dragon Professional could benefit your business. 

Dragon Professional: Plans and pricing

There are two download options for the latest version of Dragon Professional—Dragon Professional Individual, v15. Existing users will be able to make the most of any new features added since their original purchase, while new users will gain access to the full suite of features available in the software. 

The first option is an upgrade for customers who are currently using an old version of the software. The v15 Upgrade package costs $150 and enables users of Dragon Professional editions v12 and beyond and Dragon Professional Individual v14 to access the latest version of the software. 

If you are a new user, you’ll need to purchase the full-software package Dragon Professional Individual, v15, at a cost of $300. There are no other tiers. After payment, you can download the software directly. 

screenshot of the dragon website

Dragon Professional is an expensive dictation software. (Image credit: Nuance)

 Dragon Professional: Features 

Dragon Professional is the best-known and most feature-rich dictation technology available.

One of Dragon Professional’s standout features is its adaptive voice technology, Deep Learning. Dragon adapts its technology to suit your voice or environmental situation. For example, it will alter the sensitivity of speakers in a more noisy setting. 

The software learns certain phrases and individual words that you use regularly to ensure corrections are kept to a minimum. Using what it calls Smart Format Rules, Dragon learns how you want to lay out phrases like dates, phone numbers, and abbreviations. 

Dragon Professional's speech recognition capabilities don’t stop at dictation. They help with voice-activated commands too. The software enables you to create documents and toggle through tasks just using your voice.

You can even use your voice to apply formatting to text. For example, it’s possible to make certain phrases bold or underlined.  

Customization on Dragon Profesional makes the software more user-friendly and individualized. This advanced personalization ensures that users can include industry-specific and other unusual terms and that the software won’t make mistakes along the way. 

This is a particularly useful feature for business users who work in professions that require complex language. Your word lists can be exported, and it’s possible to create custom voice commands, too. 

It’s possible to dictate text on separate devices and then upload it to Dragon Professional while on the go. You can use any technology that can create an audio file in the following formats: .mp3, .aif, .aiff, .wav, .mp4, .m4a, or .m4v. 

screenshot of the dragon website

(Image credit: Nuance)

Dragon Professional: Interface and in use 

Dragon Professional is currently only available for Windows. The setup process is very straightforward. After downloading the software, go through the standard Windows installation process. Once it’s installed, you’ll be guided through a helpful, interactive tutorial that we found refreshingly clear and very useful. 

The Dragon Professional interface is extremely bare-bones. The entire system is located at the top of the screen, although you are free to move it, and consists of a handful of functions and a very obvious, red recording button. 

We found operating the system easy and quick to understand, thanks in no small part to the particularly useful tutorial that we completed at the start of the installation process. 

One major downside is that there is no mobile app. Instead, you have to purchase another product, Dragon Anywhere, so you can utilize Dragon’s dictation software from a mobile device. 

screenshot of dragon on windows desktop

Dragon Professional has a very simple interface. (Image credit: Nuance)

Dragon Professional: Support

You can access dedicated support for Dragon Professional through an online support site. There are a wide range of cheat sheets, user guides, and additional resources such as admin guides, data sheets and whitepapers. 

For further support you can contact the tech team directly, Monday to Friday, between 9 am and 8 pm EST/EDT. You can also access online support via a dedicated customer portal. 

screenshot of nuance support website

Dragon Professional has a number of support options. (Image credit: Nuance)

Dragon Professional: Security 

Dragon Professional's parent company, Nuance, has a comprehensive privacy policy that ensures the confidentiality of the data you create on its software. As well as adhering to common data protection laws such as the GDPR, the company commits to further, more niche regulations too.

Two of these are the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, both of which regulate the collection, usage, and storage of personal data moving from the European Union, the United Kingdom and Switzerland to the United States.

screenshot of nuance privacy policy

Dragon Professional follows parent company Nuance’s privacy policy.  (Image credit: Nuance)

The competition 

Dragon Professional is the leading dictation software on the market, but there are alternatives. One of those is Lilly Speech. Although Lilly Speech doesn’t have the same advanced features as Dragon Profesional, it is far cheaper. A year's subscription costs just $29.00.

Other users may prefer Otter. This powerful, AI-driven software is a serious competitor to Dragon. Although cheaper than Dragon, with the Basic plan free forever and the premium plan costing $8.33 per month, it’s still expensive to access all the features available.

What makes Otter stand out is the fact that the package includes mobile apps and is compatible with Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. 

Final verdict 

Dragon Professional is an incredible product. Over the years it has expanded its offerings considerably and today is the leading product of its kind on the market. That said, it is very expensive, and there are other options that provide a similar service for far less initial cost.  

Kieron Allen
Kieron Allen

Kieron is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade of experience writing for magazines in print and online. Today, his focus is on cybersecurity, blockchain, and emerging tech.