We are delighted to announce the arrival of a new headset - the FlexyMike Dual Ear Cardioid (FMKDEC). Designed by SpeechWare in Belgium, this new speakerless headset was conceived specifically for the speech recognition users and designed to be competition for our long-time favorite, the Sennheiser ME3.
- Mounts around back of head rather than over top
- Highly sensitive back electret condenser element
- Unidirectional cardioid polar pattern (extremely directional in sound pick-up)
- Frequency Range, 50Hz ~ 18,000Hz
- Connector: standard 3.5 mm stereo gold-plate plug
- Short 1 m/40" cable for notebooks, and an additional 2 m/80" cable extension for use with desktop computers
During the last month or so we have extensively tested the FMKDEC and compared it with the other top contenders in our "best headset" category. Almost any microphone will work well in the absence of contaminating noise. The FMKDEC is no exception. While it clearly wins the "most expensive" award, it also wins the "most accurate" honor. Using a testing set-up which uses an "artificial mouth" as the sound source and using this source to create a new profile for any tested microphone and playing a pre-recorded reading of the "Rainbow Passage" in both a quiet setting and with 70-75 dB noise arising in front of the testing apparatus, this set-up provides a bit more objectivity to the testing process.
Results for our top contenders:
AT Pro 8HEmW
Accuracy (no noise)
Accuracy (75 dB noise)
It's hard to award the honor of "best headset" since results are extremely good with all. In some respects this speaks to how accurate Dragon has become, and also, perhaps, to the extremely careful dictation used for the pre-recorded Rainbow Passage used for the testing above. Keep in mind that the above numbers used brand-new profiles created individually for each microphone and included no previous training or exposure to the Rainbow Passage. A trained and matured profile could be expected to do better.
Which microphone is really the best? Here are my two cents:
FlexyMike Dual Ear Cardioid: The lightest of the three, and most compatible with all sound cards. Highest accuracy, and almost the highest external noise rejection. Lacks slightly in comfort due to mounting style. A little bit "hot". The most expensive.
Sennheiser ME3-VR: Edges out in external noise rejection and the most comfortable. Not compatible with all sound cards, but works fine with Andrea Pure Audio (MA and SA versions), Buddy 7G, and the SpeechWare MultiAdapter. Extremely rugged and long considered the best. Intermediate in price among the three, but still expensive!
Audio Technica Pro 8HEmW: Least expensive of the three. Highly accurate and external noise rejecting, but edged out in both categories by the other two. Mounting a little too firm for some users. A little finicky when it comes to sound cards and sometimes needs to be used with the Andrea P-100 converter plug.
Summary: The bottom line is that it's great to have another option. The FMKDEC is beautifully engineered, provides superb results with speech recognition software, and is made to compete with the Sennheiser ME3.
For more information on the SpeechWare FlexyMike Dual Ear Cardioid, please visit our full product page at http://store.speechrecsolutions.com/speechware-flexymike-de-cardioid-microphone-p213.aspx or read our Full Product Review.