Best Transcription Gear

Best Transcription Gear

Last Updated on May 2, 2020 by Ludiah

For best transcription gear
Transcription equipment

If you just found out that you can make money doing transcription, there is more you should know. One of the things is that you need the best transcription gear to produce quality transcripts. If you just landed here because you want to learn about transcription, this is the right place. If you have excellent typing skills, you can make a good transcriber.

In this article, we will cover all the best transcription equipment that you need to produce quality transcripts while also enjoying your job. If you are an aspiring transcriber, be sure to check Janet Shaughnessy’s Transcribe Anywhere free mini course.

Best Transcription Gear for Transcribers

You don’t need to be a good transcriptionist to know that good equipment for transcription can make a difference in your work. Below are the best gear for transcription every transcriber should have.

Noise-canceling headphones

If you are handling the highest-paying transcription jobs, you know that noise-canceling headphones are all you need for accurate transcriptions. They ensure that you get what the person in the audio is saying correctly without missing a word. When shopping for transcription headphones, ensure you are not picking just any headsets that you find in the market. There are some factors you should consider to ensure you have the right headphones for transcription. Here are some of them.

  • Comfortable: The headphones you are going to purchase should be comfortable on the ears since you will be wearing them the entire. You want your ears to feel good even after you are done with your daily transcription tasks.
  • Weight: The headphones that you pick for your transcription job should be lightweight and not heavy. You don’t want to overload your head neck while working.
  • Cord length: If you love headphones that have a long cord, check on that while shopping. If you hate long cords since you might run over them, keep that in mind also. You might as well consider wireless headphones like these ones.

You can learn more about choosing best headphones for transcription here.

Foot Pedal

This is another transcribing equipment that you shouldn’t miss in your toolset. If this is the first time you are hearing about foot pedal for transcription, I will explain. A foot pedal is a piece of transcription equipment that you can use to pause audio, rewind, and also fast forward. The best thing about the transcription foot pedal is that it frees up your hands so you can transcribe quickly.

Like all other work gear, foot pedals come in different types. That is why it is always important that you know the type of foot pedal you need hen going shopping. Type is foot pedals include;

  • Waterproof foot pedals
  • USB foot pedals
  • Wireless transcription foot pedals. This is one is these days considered as the most advanced tool.

Other things you should also keep in mind include compatibility. Ask yourself, is the foot pedal I intend to purchase compatible with my transcription software? If it’s not you might have issues later on. Another thing is to be sure of the version of MAC or PC that you have. This will assist you to choose a foot pedal for transcription that is compatible or works with your machine.

You also want to get transcription equipment that will serve you for long. Ensure you check on that so you can get on that will last for a long time while giving you value for money. I’m sure you don’t want to spend on transcription foot pedals every month.

Transcription Software

I know if you are a beginner, you might be wondering what’s this again. First, this is one tool that helps you in changing of human speech into text copy or transcript. Before you buy any transcription software, you should keep in mind that this one tool will have a huge impact on your transcription work. That is why you should be careful in choosing. There are some free options that you can get for yourself. However, such software usually gives you limited features.

Therefore, it is crucial to consider or get premium software for your transcription work. While different software come with different features, there are some that allow you to manage the audio in the very window as your transcription. In fact, they allow you to have all things on-screen and control the audio using keyboard hotkeys. Hotkeys apply when you do not have a transcribing foot pedal or any digital transcription equipment with this feature.

What options do you have for transcription software?

Below are some options for you if you are looking to get a transcription software that will ensure you handle all your transcription work perfectly.


This is a great software for transcription that you can use on your Mac or PC and with video or audio files. If you are worried about testing this transcription gear before purchasing, the maker has you covered. They offer a 14-day free trial. The full version of the software is worth $99.

Express Scribe

I’m sure you might have heard about this or seen it somewhere. This software is very popular among transcriptionists because it is a good one for any beginner and also the experts. The good thing about this software is that it works with both video and audio files and available in Mac and Pc versions. So, it’s all-inclusive.

The FTW Transcriber

This is another transcription software that is very famous. The FTW Transcriber offers you features such as great sound quality and automatic timestamping. If you’ve been asking what is the correct way to timestamp your file, this software will save several hours of research.

For transcription beginners, most tools are expensive but not this one. It comes with a free version with restricted features of functionality. In case you wish to enjoy all the features this software for transcribing has to offer, consider upgrading for only $1/month. The FTW Transcriber works with your PC. However, it’s not yet available for Mac version.

Medical or Law Dictionary

If you are a medical or law transcriptionist, you should consider adding a dictionary to your transcription gear set. Most of the time, you will come across new and technical phrases in your particular field. You need to check your dictionary to understand more about them and their spellings. While having a dictionary is optional, it is very vital to have one at your working desk.

Ergonomic desk and chair

This is among the crucial transcription tools but it is often ignored. If you really care about yourself, you shouldn’t ignore having an ergonomic desk and chair in your workspace. Just as it is with headphones, it is the same with chairs. You will be spending much of your time sitting listening to audios and times videos. That is you need to have a chair and desk that are completely comfortable.

Your back and neck need to be comfortable the whole day. The chair you choose for your transcription work needs to have good back support so you do not strain the spine. You can’t be getting highest paying transcription jobs while you are there using a bad chair and desk that puts your health at risk. In fact, a chair should be your priority if you are starting out. Apart from that, the chair should have a padded seat which is comfortable to sit on for an extended period of time.

A laptop

You also need a laptop where you will be working from. Some of the common questions I have encountered from aspiring transcribers is that can I use my phone to transcribe? The answer is no. If you value quality and you work, get a good laptop for transcription. You can always find affordable laptops without breaking a bank. If you already have one, you are good to go. When shopping for a laptop, ensure you know what other tasks you will be using it for. This means, check its features, RAM capacity etc.


You don’t need to break a bank to complete your transcription gear box. For example, as a transcription beginner, you can start with getting a used transcription laptop, headsets, and software. This will all have you going as you make more to purchase other transcription equipment. If you are looking to learn transcription, join this free mini course here by Transcribe Anywhere.


  1. I recently bought bluetooth earbuds for my transcription work, with noise cancelling. (I hate over ear headphones as I end up with a headache after a while). The problem is that because I’m constantly pausing/playing my audio with my foot pedal, the audio lags. I pause, then when I play – I’ve missed just under a second of audio. You know how many words people who dictate (dictators?!) like to squeeze into a second, so I’m constantly rewinding and playing again, which is frustrating. I use a work provided computer with windows 10, and google searches tell me that windows 10 is the problem, which is something I’ll have to avoid if I get my own work computer in time. I turn of all other bluetooth in the house, but it seems it’s a problem of bandwidth and latency… anything more complicated and I get lost, I’m not an audio engineer :/

    But this is not something I was aware of before I bought these earbuds, which are apple airpod pros and were quite expensive. It’s really hard to find anything about it online, though I found some help deep in reddit. I’m not sure if I would have bought differently, as I use these earbuds not just for work now… but I wonder if I had chosen in-ear, active noise cancelling, WIRED ones, I may have avoided this issue. I have quite the collective of headphones :D.

    Excited to find a blog about transcription work 🙂 we are a niche!

    1. Yes, having bad earphone or earbuds means trouble. You are likely to miss lots of words. I’m glad we are doing the same thing. Let’s keep grinding.


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