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Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 review

Gordon Kelly




  • Recommended by TR

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Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12
  • Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12
  • Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12
  • Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12
  • Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12
  • Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12
  • Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12


Our Score:



  • Class leading speech recognition accuracy
  • Dictation wirelessly via Android & iOS apps
  • Posts to social media, browses websites
  • Adapts to writing & formatting style


  • Accuracy still drops in noiser environments
  • Evolutionary, not revolutionary upgrade

Key Features

  • Over 99 per cent potential accuracy
  • Faster Performance engine
  • Dictate wirelessly using an iPad or iPhone
  • Post straight to Facebook & Twitter
  • Full Gmail & Outlook.com compatibility
  • Manufacturer: Nuance
  • Review Price: £149.99


Screens are meant to be touched, games consoles are designed for us to wave our limbs in front of them and Google and Apple are desperate for us to talk to our phones. Amongst all of this, speaking to our PCs has fallen somewhat by the wayside, but the company providing the speech recognition technology behind Siri wants us to try again.

Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Features

Somewhat predictably 'Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12' is the successor to the excellent NaturallySpeaking 11.5 and somewhat predictably Nuance is calling it the "fastest, most accurate and easy-to-use version of Dragon yet".

NaturallySpeaking 12 3

What causes these proclamations are claims of a 20 per cent improvement in out of the box speech recognition accuracy, faster performance and new technology which looks to learn your preferences as you use the software - for example how you format words, phrases and numbers. In addition is full Gmail and Outlook.com support, correction options respond to more naturalistic language as well as more natural text-to-speech reading of your work by Dragon which allows you to review without returning to the screen.

These features build on existing core features such as social network integration ("Post to Facebook..." / "Post to Twitter..."), web search and opening and closing of programs. Perhaps most useful of all, however, was v11.5's integration with Dragon smartphone apps which allow dictation via your phone's microphone letting you ditch a headset completely.

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Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Setup

Voice recognition software has a reputation for infuriating, lengthy setup routines and while Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 doesn't drop them completely the process is quick and – most importantly – educational. A nice tweak Nuance has made from v11.5 is that the setup process now takes even more care in teaching you key commands and usage scenarios while it learns your voice so it is well worth doing. In all it took about 15 minutes and even new users would feel confident about using punctuation, switching between programs, composing emails and performing web searches in this time. The training process and additional training exercises can be accessed at any time.

Of course it is worth pointing out that smartphone voice recognition has no setup process whatsoever which may make some impatient. The counterpoint is the setup is both a tutorial and should be far more accurate than just trying to adapt to the generic tones of your nationality. At least that's the theory...

Vlad Papper

January 4, 2013, 2:44 am

Dragon Naturally Speaking 12 is a total disappointment. If you are not native American speaker, please stay away from this program. It simply doesn't do what it should do - it doesn't recognise my speech. I've trained it and updated accuracy for quite some time. I've tried to teach it recognising my pronunciation and my accent, but to no avail. Still, it doesn't recognise about 70-80% of the words in the sentence, in spite of the fact that I'm dictating the text with a normal pace. For example, instead of "further", it writes "the". There are many examples of the speech recognition that I can provide on request. I've reported these problems to the technical support, but in their reply, was advised to learn the basics of the dictation before using their software.

Matt Screeton

February 9, 2013, 1:03 am

Here is a brief video of it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watc...


May 16, 2013, 9:36 pm

I am a lawyer and have tried numerous earlier versions of dragon dictate but have always had to give up either because of gross in accuracy or program hanging. Updated my computer and got top spec mike and wow, this is transformational. Accuracy is brilliant and it's highly useable. A real time saver for me. Just hope it doesn't deteriorate as I have been here before, great beginnings aren't always followed by great endings. However so far so good


August 3, 2013, 12:42 pm

It is not good for anybody who does not speak clearly or is bilingual or a foreigner, the accuracy drops to 1%.


October 15, 2013, 9:50 pm

Try better microphone, at least in category starting from 35 USD, cheap or internally built in laptops will not give any positive result.

Donna Hare

October 23, 2013, 12:07 am

I have never gotten my 60 rebate back as promised and I did all of the paper work correctly.. So don't believe you will get a rebate with this product because you won't.

Donna Hare

October 23, 2013, 12:07 am

You will not get your rebates as promised.. so don't expect it.


November 11, 2013, 5:55 pm

Spent about 5 hours setting up. Prog. disappears every so often with the loss of work. "Help" has no idea of that which they speak. Waste of money, went back to 11.5. The person who did the review is obviously employed by Nuance

Geoff Richards

November 11, 2013, 9:53 pm

Sadly, your comment is about as rational as me saying "Because you are criticising this review, you are obviously employed by one of our competitors, or maybe a competitor of Nuance".

I'm sorry you had problems, as well as Vlad Papper. I used Version 12 extensively at the start of the year when I dislocated my finger and couldn't type. I was impressed at how accurate it was, and the speed at which I could compose text.

I used a high quality Razer gaming headset with microphone and had a great experience. And I'm not an American speaker either.


January 8, 2014, 10:45 pm

Hi, has anyone run into the problem with the 'Dragon' not recognizing your audio program? I have Windows 7 with RealTek, I called Nuance and they told me to get an Andrea USB... but they cost about $30-$40 and up. Also there are several different kinds. I did find one sold on Amazon for about $25, does anyone know if there is a certain model/part number I should look for??? I am NOT a computer genius...not even close, so PLEASE, no computerese :-), Thanks to anyone that can help me. Dee Taylor

Tommy Prophet

January 25, 2014, 10:43 pm

does anyone have experience with dragon transcribing an audio file that is from a speaker that is not available for training?


January 29, 2014, 3:39 pm

So are we going to get a 9 month follow up review?

Morten Stenhaug

October 16, 2014, 1:59 pm

Hi, Just wanted to share my personal experience: which sums up to : Stay away.
- Nuance consistently asks me to set up the account again (and again, and again)
- It recognizes speech relatively well, when it works, but nothing near my Applie Iphone speach recognition. It is only barely better than what is in windows already.
- Customer service: non existent. You have to pay to get any answers.
... So stay away, use something else.


May 28, 2015, 7:11 am

I tried. Let me be brief in my answer. Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!! Dragon is a big joke on all those who buy it.

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