When I looked at microphones for speech recognition a few years ago, Bluetooth microphones didn't offer good enough voice quality for use with Dragon Dictate, the Mac benchmark for dictation software. Since then, advances have been made in Bluetooth technology, so it’s a good time to look specifically at wireless microphones that offer good enough sound and noise cancellation to use with Dragon Dictate. I tried two Bluetooth microphones and one DECT model. Note that I only discuss these mics for use with speech recognition, not other features such as using them with an iPhone, landline or Skype.
Wired microphones are the best for speech recognition, but wireless microphones are much more flexible. Not only are they more portable, allowing you to take them on the road and work with your laptop, but they let you work without being tethered to your computer. When I dictate, I don’t like to sit frozen in front of my screen, and wired microphones force me to remain close to my desk. Wireless microphones also make it much easier to dictate while looking at non-computer documents: if you have books or reports that you need to consult while dictating, it’s easier to work with a wireless microphone because you can move around on your desk or in your office to check them out. (Personally, I like pacing when I dictate.)
The Bluetooth microphones I discuss in this article use USB dongles. You might think it would be easier to connect to your Mac’s onboard Bluetooth, but that’s not the case; the advantage of using a dongle is that it provides wideband audio, which ensures better speech recognition. Dragon Dictate detects when a microphone offers wideband audio, and uses its enhanced Bluetooth mode. When I tried these microphones connected to my Mac’s onboard Bluetooth, Dragon Dictate typed much more slowly, was less accurate, and I found that typing with my Bluetooth keyboard lagged a bit as well, as if there wasn’t enough bandwidth for voice and for my keyboard and trackpad.
When testing these microphones, I created new Dragon Dictate profiles for each one, and only did the minimal voice training, which is about five minutes. So the accuracy that I saw with each of these mikes doesn’t reflect a more established profile that has learned from my corrections and vocabulary.
I'd call it the best camera for that price. I'd go for it.
FYI, Downsides are:
* Limited lens compatibility (no autofocus motor, so many Nikon lenses won't work)
* Autofocus is slow enough to be completely useless in live view mode (try it in a store)
* Video mode isn't up to par with Canon and friends. You get limited resolution, awkward frame rate, horrible audio (11kHz with low quality built-in microphone, and no microphone input, and the kit lens will give you lots of image stabilizer noise).
Stepping up, Canon 550D is an amazing camera (albeit without the pivot LCD)