speech to text apps: a man with glasses has his mouth open and letters are flying out

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This post is about the best speech to text apps and is updated from a 2020 post. Affiliate links may be present – doesn’t cost you more, helps keep this blog going and does not affect my rating of the product (- I use captions too; I’m not going to recommend junk for the sake of making a few pennies). 

This post is meant to serve as a resource for deaf or Deaf people (hearing impaired, hard of hearing) who need to understand what is being said. Some the side benefit of being helpful to hearing people who want to record information.

This is available in a downloadable PDF for my patrons, linked here.

It’s also at the end of this post for people who benefit from access to PDF’s.

Speech to Text Apps

Speech to text apps – or live captions, auto captions – are useful for pretty much everyone in some capacity. If you are hearing, they can record your notes, translate content, help with communication. For us hearing impaired in any capacity – deaf, Deaf, hard of hearing – they serve as a vital communication tool to help us  understand what people are saying. They take the speech (that others are saying) and put it into written form.

Some Pointers on the Apps Listed:

  • When possible, these apps are linked to the iOS (Apple) store. It is indicated in each app if it is available through Android.
  • All of the speech to text apps are FREE, but some of them require a subscription after a certain amount of trial has passed.
  • The apps that were created specifically to help us deaf in speech to text are listed first; the apps that were created by and for hearing and just incidentally help us deaf, are listed after.

All of the apps were installed on my phone and I tried then out before listing.

Speech to Text Apps Created for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing

Product Image Product Name / Description Price / Primary Button
  • Description:

    Ava is an app designed to empower people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing by allowing to follow conversations in real time. The app provides 24/7 real-time captioning (with up to 95% accuracy, based on artificial intelligence), on your smartphone.

  • Description:

    Type it. Show it. BuzzCards is an app designed to help deaf people communicate easily with people who don’t know sign language. The app works like a deck of flashcards. You type the message and show it to the person with whom you are communicating. You can write and save cards with the message.

  • Description:

    Otter records and takes meeting notes for you in real-time, so you can stay focused on the conversation and rest assured that all information (e.g. actions, highlights, photos, attendees) is captured, easily searchable, and shareable with your team. Otter.ai is also available online.

  • Description:

    A fast & simple way to display your messages in large text. Communicate across distances. Pass messages silently. Grab attention when sound isn’t an option! CARDZILLA Features • Large & clear text, easy to read. • No scroll design, text automatically resizes as you type!

  • Description:

    This app performs live captioning of speech. To use the app, just hit the microphone button and begin speaking. The spoken words are converted to text and displayed on the screen. To stop the captioning, press the microphone button again. Use this app to help communicate and record what was said.

  • Description:

    Big Note is used to communicate with people by typing text. There is a seek bar to decrease or increase/decrease text size. Easy to keep the communication going on by shaking the phone or swipe from right to left. Speech to Text with the ease of reading the highlighted text

  • Description:

    Capture, edit, share, and collaborate on your notes on any device, anywhere. With the dictation feature, can work as a speech to text app, and can save the notes.

  • Description:

    Microsoft Translator is a free, personal translation app for 60+ languages, to translate text, voice, conversations, camera photos and screenshots. You can even download languages for offline translation for free to use when you travel! • Text translation into over 60 languages

Description:

Ava is an app designed to empower people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing by allowing to follow conversations in real time. The app provides 24/7 real-time captioning (with up to 95% accuracy, based on artificial intelligence), on your smartphone.

Free, with In-App Purchases
Description:

Type it. Show it. BuzzCards is an app designed to help deaf people communicate easily with people who don’t know sign language. The app works like a deck of flashcards. You type the message and show it to the person with whom you are communicating. You can write and save cards with the message.

Free
Description:

Otter records and takes meeting notes for you in real-time, so you can stay focused on the conversation and rest assured that all information (e.g. actions, highlights, photos, attendees) is captured, easily searchable, and shareable with your team. Otter.ai is also available online.

Free, with In-App Purchases
Description:

A fast & simple way to display your messages in large text. Communicate across distances. Pass messages silently. Grab attention when sound isn’t an option! CARDZILLA Features • Large & clear text, easy to read. • No scroll design, text automatically resizes as you type!

Free
Description:

Available only on Android, but very popular.

Free
Description:

This app performs live captioning of speech. To use the app, just hit the microphone button and begin speaking. The spoken words are converted to text and displayed on the screen. To stop the captioning, press the microphone button again. Use this app to help communicate and record what was said.

$1.99
Description:

Big Note is used to communicate with people by typing text. There is a seek bar to decrease or increase/decrease text size. Easy to keep the communication going on by shaking the phone or swipe from right to left. Speech to Text with the ease of reading the highlighted text

Free
Description:

Capture, edit, share, and collaborate on your notes on any device, anywhere. With the dictation feature, can work as a speech to text app, and can save the notes.

Free
Description:

Microsoft Translator is a free, personal translation app for 60+ languages, to translate text, voice, conversations, camera photos and screenshots. You can even download languages for offline translation for free to use when you travel! • Text translation into over 60 languages

Free

The Speech-Text-App I Personally Use

Like I said, I have all of these apps on my phone and I’ve tried them all. The only app that I consistently use though is Microsoft Word. And I know! You are probably saying, “Meriah, that’s not a speech to text app!” and you’d be right! But it has the dictation feature, which I find enormously helpful. I use it during any event in which captions are not present because it will also put the captions into a document which I can easily save and view later. 

It’s not perfect, but none of these are. And I just want something that stores what was said easily – this fits the bill 

Many, Many Live Caption, Speech to Text Apps

There are way more apps than listed here; this list is an attempt to highlight the best speech to text apps that are free, easy to immediately install and use.

If you know of one not mentioned, or have an experience with something listed, please share in the comments!

Download the distraction-free PDF bundle for this post here.

Please note: it does cost me time and money to produce these PDF’s, so I truly appreciate it if you become a patron (- even $1/month) and download the PDF’s (and MP3’s, when I have them) that way.

However, I will always keep these as a free option, for those of you who have disabilities that need that access, and who may not be able to afford becoming my patron at this point.

You can become my patron by clicking here.

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