Softnet Systems, Inc. Speech Recognition Specialists

Dragon Medical Handheld Programmable Microphones

Choose Your Handheld Microphone

There are many different microphones that work well with Dragon Medical. But the most popular are the handheld microphones that incorporate a mouse and programmable buttons.

There are two market leaders as of 2017. Nuance has the PowerMic III. Philips has its SpeechMike Premium Touch.

What are the differences between these?

Here is our summary:

As a Microphone

The Nuance PowerMic III is an excellent microphone, usable in environments with some background noise. The design of the microphone is such that there is little tendency to move the hands while the microphone is on so there is relatively little "hand noise" interfering with the speech.

The Philips SpeechMike Premium Touch is an excellent microphone, mounted in a housing well-designed for noise rejection. Its surface is designed to minimize noise of fingers moving across the body of the microphone during dictation. It tolerates more noise than the PowerMic III.

Advantage: SpeechMike Premium Touch

As a Programmable Device with Dragon

Nuance provides an integrated interface for setting PowerMic III buttons for use within Dragon. Buttons can be set to Dragon commands or to several predefined actions. Different settings are available for the Dictation Box vs. all other situations where Dragon is active. With Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition, these settings are separate by Dragon user.

Philips provides a separate interface for setting SpeechMike Premium functions. Using this interface, buttons can be set to Dragon commands, keystrokes or a few predefined functions.

Philips allows those functions be different by application, has separate settings for depressing the buttons than releasing the buttons (useful for turning the Dragon Spell/Numbers Mode on/off), and a setting for Dragon or other action when the microphone is laid down and/or picked up via its motion sensor. The settings are unique to each Windows user.

Advantage: Slight advantage to SpeechMike Premium in settings with IT support willing and able to set up the Philips interface, slight advantage to Nuance PowerMic III in settings with limited IT expertise.



Both have mouse buttons that work fine. Both have a small touchpad. For some persons, no other mouse is needed.

Advantage: None



Other Features/Benefits

Nuance often sells the PowerMic III along with Nuance Dragon Medical Practice Edition 2, making its effective pricing lower in some situations.

Warranty for Nuance PowerMic III is 90 days. You can buy maintenance/extended warranty for about $80/year. Philips SpeechMike warranty is 1 year, an extended warranty is available at time of purchase but seldom recommended.

The cable (which in our experience is related to 25-50% of the problems in these devices) is detachable and replaceable with the Philips SpeechMike Premium.

SpeechMike keys can be set up for applications such as PowerPoint where you are not using Dragon. It is a very good device for controlling PowerPoint presentations.

They have slightly-different shapes, certain hands prefer one or the other.



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