SpeechWare USB TableMike: A Great Microphone for Speech Recognition and Podcasting

31swg6bRw2L.jpgAbout two years ago, I reviewed the SpeechWare USB 6-in-1 TableMike for Macworld. I looked at the microphone, at the time, for its use with speech recognition; specifically with Dragon Dictate for OS X. It was the best microphone I tested, among a number of different mikes, offering the best accuracy for speech recognition. It is also easy to use: it sits on your desk, and has a long, flexible boom, so you don’t need to worry about the wires of a headset, or the often finicky wireless headsets available.

Since them, I’ve been using it regularly when recording podcasts, such as the one I co-host, The Committed. It’s great for podcasting, since it takes up very little space, and the flexible, telescopic boom means I can lean back in my chair and be comfortable. (It’s not obvious from the photo, but it flexes both at the bottom of the boom and the top, just below the microphone.) It also has a line out port, so I can plug a headset into it to hear my other hosts.

The version I’m using is the 9-in-1 (Amazon.com, Amazon UK), which includes an additional USB port, an SD card slot, and a built in speaker, which can be good if you’re using Skype or other VoIP software. There are slightly cheaper 3-in-1 and 6-in-1 versions (it was the latter that I reviewed for Macworld in 2012).

If you want a great microphone for speech recognition, this is one of the best. It’s not cheap, but if you dictate a lot, you know how much time you can save with a good microphone. And if you want an unobtrusive mike for podcasting, this is also a great choice. Unlike many other mikes that podcasters use, which are big and bulky, this one has a small footprint, and a slim boom. In both cases, this is my mike of choice.