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TwistMike review (VIDEO)

World's longest and most flexible microphone boom delivers top class voice dictation

TwistMike from SpeechWare video review

Freedom: the ability to do what I want to do, when I want to do it, with the minimum of fuss. It’s what I value most in life. And Speechware’s TwistMike means I get to enjoy a lot more freedom.

I have muscular dystrophy, which means I can’t take to the keyboard to type emails, Facebook updates, or WhatsApp messages – things we all take for granted these days. Instead, I use speech recognition software like Nuance’s Dragon Professional, and Apple’s Voice Control app, to get things done.

Whilst I have been using the TwistMike as a table microphone plugged into SpeechWare’s 9 in 1 TableMike base you can also use it around your neck, or even clamped to a wheelchair. It offers freedom and comfort because you don’t have to wear anything on your head and in your ears, no battery to charge, and you have no wires tethering you to your computer.

The TwistMike produces the most accurate dictation I’ve ever been able to perform with speech recognition software. Simply put it types exactly what I say. This accuracy means I am more productive and less tired and frustrated.

With my breathing compromised by my disability adding a few percentage points of accuracy to the words I dictate saves a lot of energy.

The long, 29.5 inch or 75 cm all flexible microphone boom is the longest available on the market and lets me use Dragon or Voice Control in a more comfortable position as I sit my desk. I can move around a little more, back away from the screen a little more, and still have excellent accuracy without having to adjust the microphone.

If you’re interested in the TwistMike, it doesn’t come cheap with its €239 price tag, but for someone like me who uses speech recognition technology all day every day I think the investment in productivity is easily worth it.

As a former BBC producer I like to think I know a thing or two about good quality microphones and USB audio adapters. I have always thought it unfortunate that developers of speech recognition software, like Nuance and Apple, don’t pay more attention to the crucial role microphones like the TwistMike play in achieving accurate speech recognition.

In terms of design SpeechWare’s microphones do not echo the clean and modern design of Apple products. However, looks don’t matter, it’s what’s inside that counts – because these microphones have an important job to do– and it’s not to sit and look pretty on top of a table..

If you are looking to improve the accuracy of your voice dictation look no further than the TwistMike from Speechware.

Colin Hughes is a former BBC producer who campaigns for greater access and affordability of technology for disabled people

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