Sales & Marketing Tech

3 Best Free Transcription Software For Your Business

By | 6 min read | Published

Transcription software converts speech to text through voice dictation or transcription.

Picture this. As a sales rep, you have tons of recorded sales calls with potential customers, and now you need to sift through hours of recordings to find out whether they are interested in your product or service and take notes.

What if there was a way to shorten these time-consuming chores by converting these audio calls into text and quickly finding relevant information that you can use? Right here is where transcription software comes in handy.

Transcription software solutions help convert audio files into text. This process saves time and money. With a free transcription software solution, you can work with large amounts of audio/video data and gather insights for your business operations without having to spend money on expensive software.

This article highlights the three best free transcription software tools (sorted alphabetically) based on user ratings and reviews.

See the full list of the best transcription software in Capterra’s software directory.
Take me there

Descript: Offers AI-powered quick transcription

Descript is an audio-transcription solution that provides automatic transcription and manual audio-transcription services for businesses and freelancers. The web-based software uses AI-powered speech-recognition technology to add speaker labels in audio files automatically.

It also employs professional transcriptionists who offer manual transcription and have an average turnaround time of 24 hours.

You can also collaborate with your teammates by sharing your projects using a hyperlink or granting access to comment on and edit an audio recording.

Descript offers chat, email, and phone support.

Analysis accurate as of December 2021
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Key Features:

  • Audio manipulation
  • Audio mixing
  • Audio recording
  • Collaboration tools
  • Media library
  • Video editing
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$12 per user per month

Device Compatibility:


<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Exporting a project in </span></i><a href=""><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Descript</span></i></a></p>

Happy Scribe: Supports multiple languages

Happy Scribe is another web-based transcription software tool that uses speech recognition to convert audio into text.

This tool can import existing transcriptions and use the built-in editor to transcribe an audio file in real time or edit transcribed text. You can also turn on sharing and add users to make your files accessible to your teammates. Additionally, you can control editing permissions from within the dashboard.

Happy Scribe offers multiple export formats such as .txt, word, PDF, JSON, and .srt based on your requirements. You can integrate the software with third-party applications to migrate data.

Happy Scribe offers chat, email, and phone support.

Analysis accurate as of December 2021
Best functionality
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Key Features:

  • AI/machine learning
  • Annotations
  • Audio/video file upload
  • Multi-language
  • Natural language processing,
  • Subtitles/closed captions
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$0.23 per minute

Device Compatibility:


<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Real-time editor in Happy </span></i><a href=""><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scribe</span></i></a></p>

Real-time editor in Happy Scribe


Otter: Features trainable AI for speech recognition

Otter is an AI-powered note-taking and transcription software for teams and individuals. The software helps generate notes and an automatic transcription for recorded meetings, interviews, lectures, and other voice conversations.

Otter lets you record and transcribe audio files in real time. You can search, play, edit, and organize your conversations and recordings from any device. The software generates shareable smart notes that sync audio, the transcribed text, and images with each other.

Once audio gets recorded, Otter analyzes and transcribes the audio file automatically and provides searchable notes that contain key phrases and speaker ID for easy filtering. The software has a speech-recognition feature to let you add custom words and phrases and train the AI model for accurate transcription.

Otter offers chat, email, and phone support. The software is web-based and has a mobile app for Android and iOS.

Analysis accurate as of December 2021
View Profile

Key Features:

  • AI/machine learning
  • Automatic transcription
  • Collaboration tools
  • Keyword search
  • Meeting notes
  • Notes management
Trial/Free Version:
Free Trial
Free Version
Cost to upgrade:

$8.33 per month

Device Compatibility:


<p><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Video calling in </span></i><a href=""><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Otter</span></i></a></p>

How to choose the right free transcription software

When selecting the best transcription software, there are certain conditions you need to keep in mind. You should evaluate these factors for each product before finalizing the purchase:

  • Assess the accuracy rate of the software: The transcription software you choose should have a high accuracy rate in its transcription process with minimum room for error. While selecting a tool, check user reviews of the accuracy of the solution.
  • Assess how secure the solution is: Take time to review the security parameters a vendor offers with their automatic transcription software. An ideal transcription software should be tamper-proof and encrypt your important files so that only authorized users can access them.
  • Check for system and device support: Recording and transcribing audio requirements can come anytime, anywhere. An ideal transcription solution should have multiple-device support so you can access the tool from anywhere and save time.

Common questions to ask while selecting free transcription software

Choosing a free transcription software tool is complicated, but asking the right questions helps. Here are some key questions to ask software vendors before finalizing a decision.

What kind of limitations does the free software have?

Often free versions of a transcription tool have limits on recording transcription time as well as the number of transcriptions you can conduct in a week or month. Before investing in the transcription tool, make sure to check whether the functions it provides with the free version are enough to fulfill your requirements or not.

What kind of technical support should I expect?

Free tools often have limited support services, while paid users get priority support. Before selecting a tool, assess the challenges you might face, such as errors with a transcript and glitches in the recording, and then find a solution that addresses such issues even in the free version.

How often does the software receive updates?

The transcription software you choose should ideally release frequent updates that make the user interface better, introduce new features, increase the accuracy of transcriptions, enhance the functionality, and fix previous bugs. When finalizing the software, check how often the updates are released.

How did we choose these products? We didn’t—you did.

To find your ideal software match, you need information you can trust—so you can save time, stay on budget, and focus more energy on growing your business. It’s why we vet and verify all our user reviews and recommend only the tools endorsed by people like you.

In other words, our product recommendations are never bought or sold, or based on the opinion of a single individual—they’re chosen by your peers, reflecting the views and experiences of our independent base of software reviewers.

At Capterra, we objectively select and rank products based on a methodology developed by our research team. Some vendors pay us when they receive web traffic, but this has no influence on our methodology.

To be considered for this list, products have to:

  1. Have at least 10 unique product reviews published on Capterra within the past two years, with an average rating of 3.0 or higher. We selected the 3 products with the highest ratings to feature in this article.
  2. Offer a free, standalone version of the software (not a trial version of the software where you must purchase a product after a limited amount of time).
  3. Meet our transcription software market definition: “Transcription software assists businesses with the conversion of speech to text format through voice dictation or file transcription..”
  4. Note: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users does not represent the views of Capterra.

    “Best functionality” tool is identified based on the highest user ratings for functionality that a vendor received based on publicly available reviews.

Looking for Speech Recognition software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Speech Recognition software solutions.

About the Author

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay

Ashish Upadhyay is a content writer at Capterra, helping small businesses identify the right software for their business needs by analyzing user reviews data for the highest rated products in relevant software categories. Prior to joining Gartner, he worked in insurtech, fintech, and real estate. Specializing in marketing, project, and IT management, Ashish’s works have been featured in MAST magazine and Medium. In his free time, he enjoys working out and playing video games.

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