Best Transcription Services in the USA, 2019
When you need a transcript, you don’t necessarily have time to go through the product pages of a dozen different companies to figure out which service is best for you. But, particularly if you have a lot of audio, getting a transcript made is no easy task. The costs accumulate pretty quick and you will end up with a lot of paper, making it quite hard to oversee edits or changes if you realise something went wrong. Although you want to get good value for money, picking a subpar service can put you in a bind that might take a long time to unwind. Having a little information will go a long way.
Luckily, we have put together a list of the best US transcription services to give you a cheat sheet on how to make the best decision possible for your transcription needs. But, before we get started looking at different companies, there is one bit of information that you need to understand. Although speech to text software and human transcription services are both called ‘transcription services’, they are really quite different things. Both will be included in this list, and some transcription companies offer both options simultaneously. But, you need to be careful and pick the service that actually fits your transcription needs.
For more details, check out our post on human transcription services vs. speech to text software. The long and short of it is that speech to text software is a lot cheaper but delivers far poorer quality transcription services. If using software, you should always expect errors. In fact, unless your audio file is of the highest quality, you might get completely unintelligible gibberish from a software solution. For some circumstances, software solutions deliver a viable budget choice. Just keep the quality vs. cost ratio in mind when looking for a solution. It is hard to get an accurate transcription when using a software solution.
With that said, here are some of the transcription companies to keep an eye on when looking for a high-quality transcription service.
Rev: A Big Name Offering Simplicity and Reliability
As one of the biggest names in the world of audio transcription services, Rev is on an upward trajectory. As well as offering a variety of transcription services, they also provide things like foreign subtitles and translations. They make use of a network of transcriptionists to get the work done.
Transcription services cost $1.25 for each minute of audio. Unlike some other services, this fee is flat and doesn’t change depending on things like the number of speakers. As a result, you can sometimes save a lot of money compared to what you might pay for a similar service elsewhere. With a guarantee of 99% accuracy and a willingness to correct mistakes, they’re on the side of their customers.
Scribie: Manual or Automated
Scribie stands out for offering both automatic services via speech to text software and human-based transcription services. This means that you can choose a faster and cheaper option if you want to or you can pay more to have a human do the work, all within the same company.
As most people will tell you, if quality is what you want, you need a human to do the work. The outcomes of human-based services are generally a lot better. But, if your audio is clean and clear, Scribie’s automated transcription services might work for you.
GMR Transcription: A US Giant
GMR Transcription was founded in 2004 and has been considered one of the biggest and best American transcription brands in the USA for quite some time. With editing and proofreading services available on top of their transcription services, GMR has a lot to offer.
The prices you pay for their transcription services are not the cheapest, but they do have a reputation for strong quality. For audio files with up to two speakers, $1.25 is the standard price. But, it can rise if the audio is difficult or if more speakers are present. For this higher price, however, your transcript will be created by a US-based team of transcribers. This allows GMR to deliver higher data security guarantees than companies that use offshore transcriptionists.
Tigerfish: A Trusted Name and Quick Results
Tigerfish claims to be the “most trusted name in transcription services”. With an impressive roster of clients and an expert team of transcribers and editors in place, that is entirely possible. They also make sure that the formatting of any transcript meets your specific needs.
Where Tigerfish excels, however, is in quick turnaround times. Their ‘Tigerfish Air’ service makes a two-hour guarantee. That puts them in a category unmatched elsewhere on this list when it comes to quick, human transcription services. If you are looking for a brand that you can trust and can get the job done fast, Tigerfish should be your first port of call.
However, they do not publicly list their prices, leading us to expect that they will be on the higher end of the scale and fluctuate based on your specifics. But, if you need something done right away, they deliver where others do not.
Temi: Simple Automated Transcription Services
If you want a clean and easy to understand automated transcription service, in which there are no hidden charges or catches, Temi might be for you. The low price certainly can’t be ignored; they charge just $0.10 per minute of audio, no hidden fees, complex subscriptions or any other nonsense.
Of course, they aren’t able to offer all that simplicity while also offering complete accuracy. That’s why they’re very clear about delivering 90-95% accuracy. They also say that audio that is full of background noise, people talking over one another or very strong accents might not yield the best transcription outcomes — fundamentally, factors that hold true for all automated transcription services.
Speechpad: A Fast Guaranteed Service
Speechpad sets itself apart by offering a 100% money back guarantee with 24 hours (or better!) turnarounds available. You simply upload your files to Speechpad and one of their 5000 transcribers will get to work on it right away. Speechpad is a trustworthy brand that allows you to expect satisfaction. And, if you’re not, it doesn’t even matter because you’ll get all of your money back. The service costs between $1 and $3 per minute depending on the turnaround time.
Trint: Secure and Automatic
Trint is an automatic transcription service that places a premium on security. They make sure that no person ever sees the files that are transcribed and encrypted storage and transfer protocols of employed. This is because they take their client’s privacy very seriously. There’s a free trial you can sign up to, and after that, you can use their supercharged plan that costs £100 per month or a basic £36 per month plan. Or, you can pay by the hour if you prefer.
Transcription Panda: A Cheap and Slow Option
Transcription Panda has only been around since 2016, but in that short time, the business has grown a reputation for quality and is known to offer very strong human-based transcription services. Their services cost $0.95 per minute of audio, with the downside of this price point being the longer than usual turnaround times of 7-10 business days.
Of course, you can make use of a faster service if you’re willing to pay for it. Their 24-hour transcription service costs $2.20 per minute of audio. But, if you can wait, you will be able to access quality human transcription services at surprisingly affordable price points.
How to Make the Right Choice When it Comes to Transcription Services
You can choose either human-based or automated services when you’re looking to get something transcribed. If you want the very best outcomes, you need to choose human transcription services. The reliability and accuracy they provide cannot be matched by the current software solutions on the market.
The crucial thing is that you find a service that delivers what you require and won’t fall short of your expectations or transcription needs. Automated services are not entirely without merit; for example, they’re cheap and fast. But, they won’t deliver quality if that is central to your desired outcome.
For security-conscious transcription service users, GMR comes close to being unrivalled on this list. Their use of US-based transcriptionists allows them greater control over their security protocols and allows them to make guarantees about NDAs and data protection that can be harder to ensure for companies that employ offshore staff.
But, there are unique benefits to most of the companies on this list — that is why they are on the list in the first place. Transcription Panda, for example, delivers exceptionally cheap prices points for a human transcription service if you can accommodate slow turnaround times. On the other side of things, a company like TigerFish will make two-hour turnaround guarantees for certain types of recordings.
It’s clear that there’s a transcription company out there for everyone. What matters is that you find one that you feel will be best positioned to meet your needs and provide you with professional outcomes you can be happy with.
You have been reading about the best transcription services in the USA for 2019. If you want to learn more about how to choose the right transcription service for you, including information about SSL encryption, legal transcription, medical transcription, average transcription service rates and more, we have written an Ultimate Guide to Transcription Services just for you!