Jul 22 2020

Review: To Boost Online Learning, Try Nuance Dragon Wireless Headset

This wireless Bluetooth headset gives users the ability to stretch their legs without sacrificing accuracy or audibility.

With colleges and universities around the nation now engaged in online or remote learning and working, many find themselves in need of tools designed specifically for the purpose. Replacing in-person learning activities, after all, is no small task. It requires high-quality communication technology that is easy to use and doesn’t break the bank.

The Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset is a good example. Designed for accurate speech recognition, this tiny, over-the-ear headset can also host calls, conferences or any activity where clear communication matters.

Device setup is nearly instantaneous because the pairing of the device with its communications dongle is already done. As soon as you plug the dongle into a computer or laptop, you can start using the headset.

The Dragon headset weighs only a few ounces, and it’s much lighter than headphone models that go over both ears. Once you have the microphone positioned in front of your mouth properly, it remains in place even if you walk around the room.

MORE ON EDTECH: Learn how data analytics will help campuses reopen safely.

Controlling the headset is easy thanks to a single button that drives most functions. For example, if you have it attached to a platform like Skype, it only takes a single tap to answer a call. The same button can also mute the device.

In testing, the connection between the headset and the dongle sitting in a laptop was strong, as was any direct connection made from the headset to a smartphone. In each case, there was no signal breakup when walking as far as 30 feet from the connected device. And, because the headset uses a direct Bluetooth connection instead of Wi-Fi, it’s not hindered by an overly taxed wireless network.

Adding a wireless headset for distance learning or other educational and business activities — such as dictating papers, writing email or simply talking with others — has never been easier. The Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset is a great tool that is ready to go right out of the box.

Improve Precision and Speech Recognition for Online Learning

Designed for dictation, the Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset was tasked with capturing some highly complex speeches to test its accuracy and error rates.

Although the Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset is great at multitasking with its simple controls and easy-to-use layout, it’s actually designed with dictation in mind. Nuance is the company that owns the Dragon Naturally Speaking product line, which covers everything from general use cases to specialty jobs for people like those who work in healthcare.

It’s no surprise then that the Nuance headset was made to accurately capture human voices and feed them into one of its speech recognition platforms. This was put to the test using complex speeches from President John F. Kennedy and General George S. Patton and a poem from Maya Angelou.

The software platform was already trained. Recognition accuracy rates were compared between the old microphone and the Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset when reading the same material.

nuance dragon bluetooth

In all cases, the accuracy rate was very high. However, it was better by about 2 percent when using the Nuance Dragon Wireless Headset. In Patton’s famous speech to the Third Army, the wireless headset got the line “Every man is scared in his first action. If he says he’s not, he’s a (expletive) liar” absolutely correct, along with much of the rest of the colorful language contained within. By contrast, the older, wired microphone turned the swear word into “golden” to describe liar.

Accuracy levels were also higher with the Nuance headset in the Angelou poem Touched by An Angel. Where the old microphone turned “We, unaccustomed to courage, exiles from delight” into “a side of del light,” the new wireless headset got most of the beautiful lines perfect.

Both microphones did better at recording President Kennedy’s inaugural address. But there were a few slipups with the older technology. For example, in the line “The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life,” the older microphone turned mortal hands into “moral hands” which holds a slightly different meaning.

Altogether, the old wired microphone had an accuracy of 96 percent with 1,500 words tested. The Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset came in at 97.5-percent accuracy. With less tricky speeches and more training for the platform it could probably go higher.

Having high accuracy rates is important in education, and the Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset does a great job. It’s definitely head of its class when it comes to speech recognition.

Nuance Dragon Bluetooth Wireless Headset

Transmission Technology: Bluetooth 3.0
Maximum Wireless Signal Distance: 33 feet
Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
Standby Charge: 200 hours
Charging Time: 120 minutes from empty
Weight: 3.6 ounces 

Nuance