Dragon NaturallySpeaking is a speech recognition software, and like all other similar software, it needs some special requirements to run smoothly.
To be precise, speech recognition software usually needs a very good microphone and sound card combo.
In many instances, the integrated sound card on your PC won’t do the job and the only solution is to get a better one. If you’re thinking of upgrading the audio interface on your PC, then you’re in luck.
Black Friday 2019 offers a great number of deals, and we’ve compiled the best ones for you down below, so be sure to check them out.
Note: Deals are subject to change. Keep in mind that the price tag often varies. We recommend going on the vendor’s website to check the price. Some of the products may be out of stock by the time you’ve made your purchasing decision. So, hurry up and hit the buy button.
Top sound cards for speech recognition software deals
Sound Blaster Audigy FX
Creative Labs is one of the recommended sound card manufacturers by Nuance, the company behind Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX PCIe 5.1 sound card is one of the best value for the money that you can get, and you can be sure that it will work perfectly with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
Besides the great price, it also offers a high performance headphone amp and multi channel sound.
- Comes with SBX Pro Studio (audio processing technologies) and Sound Blaster Audigy Fx Control Panel (PC control software).
- 600-ohm headphone amp.
- It comes with 96kHz ADC (recording) and 24-bit 192kHz DAC for playback.
- Independent line-in and microphone connectors.
- It needs additional drivers.
- Not much else, at this price.
A lot of buyers recommend this sound card for the amazing value that it offers and for the compatibility with Windows 10.
Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround
If you don’t want to change your internal sound card, a great option is Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro.
With USB connectivity, it works well with your desktop PC as well as your laptop. Furthermore, it has single-cable connection for 5.1 surround sound from any source.
It doesn’t need an extra power adapter, it is compact and easy to install, and it is compatible with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
- Comes with Sbx Pro Studio.
- Sleek design.
- IR remote for music playback.
- Gold-plated RCA stereo and optical digital out.
- Comes with updated drivers that work well on Windows 10.
- Lack of advanced features.
- Ocasional connection issues.
The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro is a good package for the money. That’s why most customers are happy with the performance, ease of use, and minimalist design.
Sound BlasterX AE-5
Despite the fact that it is targeted at gamers with RGB LEDs and an included RGB strip, the AE-5 can also be used by regular users that are looking for compatibility with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
With powerful audio processing, BlasterX AE-5 can certainly meet your expectations, even if you are an audiophile or just an enthusiast.
- Comes with XAMP discrete headphone amplifier.
- Features SABRE32 Ultra Class PCIe DAC.
- Works with BlasterX Acoustic Engine.
- 32-bit 384kHz playback with a 122dB DNR.
- The software isn’t the best.
- Occasional compatibility problems with Windows 10.
Most buyers recommend Sound BlasterX AE-5 for it’s amazing DAC and for the great quality.
Sound BlasterX G6
Sound BlasterX G6 is a high resolution external sound card with more advanced features than the previous cards, but also with a price to match it.
It works on multiple platforms, including PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC. It is fairly easy to use and control and it has a compact build with easy to access ports.
Of course, Sound BlasterX G6 is also compatibile with Dragon NaturallySpeaking.
- Multiple connectivity options (optical, USB, and line-in).
- Comes with support for Dolby Digital decoding and 7.1 virtual surround sound.
- 32-bit 384kHz DAC.
- 1Ω output impedance.
- Compatibility problems with Microsoft Surface devices.
With amazing sound, great build quality, and a very sleek look, many buyers recommend it for an upgraded audio experience.
Sound Blaster ZxR
Last but not least, for the true professionals out there and for those who need an impeccable Dragon NaturallySpeaking experience, Sound Blaster ZxR is certainly the best choice.
This sound card comes with CrystalVoice Voice Enhancement and Clarity Technology to help with voice recording and audio enhancement.
It also includes DBPro daughter board and Audio Control Module that makes audio playback and content creation as easy as it gets.
- Supports headphones with up to 600 ohm impedance.
- Comes with Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect.
- Features a toggle to seamlessly switch between headphones and speakers.
- Includes high-quality audio cables.
- Audio Stream Input/Output (ASIO) support (one millisecond latency).
- Needs proper drivers to work well on Windows 10.
- The price.
Sound Blaster ZxR is recommended by the majority of buyers for the easy installation, amazing sound quality, and the multitude of advanced features.
It is a great all-rounder that can handle anything that you throw at it.
Closing thoughts on sound cards for speech recognition software
If your a Dragon NaturallySpeaking user, keep in mind that usually, your integrated sound card will not be enough for a decent experience.
As you can see, there are multiple alternatives: from integrated sound cards to USB external ones, from more affordable ones to cards with advanced features and prices to match.
But with the deals from Black Friday, you can certainly find the best option for you and even manage to save a few bucks.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2019 and was revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.