DIY transcription part 1 – headphones

Do it Yourself – Audio transcription at home

Ever so often we’ve been asked by many acquaintances if only they could transcribe their audio files themselves at home and save some money.  Because we are so awesome, and humble, we are always willing to help.  Transcribing audio files at home yourself is a great idea to save a quick buck if you have the extra time.  So, let’s dive head first into it:

What peripherals do I need for audio transcription?

1. A pair of really good headphones

headphones, DIY transcription

No, not those $5 pair of headphones you find at your corner shop.  You need really good ones.  In audio transcription, a good pair of headphones can make all the difference. Unless the interviews you recorded were done in complete silence inside a silent room, chances are there will be some background noise. Even if the audio is of digital crystal-clear quality, a good pair of headphones can still make a difference.

Depending on your comfort level, you can go for either these over the ear headphones you see on the left, or in-ear headphones you see below.  If you’re sitting for long hours, we recommend the in-ear ones.  Just because if you’re not used to them, these big-old headphones can make your earlobes hurt.  They can also make you sweaty, ugh…

A good pair of headphones can cost you anywhere from $50 to $100.  And can go upwards of $300-$500 for really premium stuff.  We don’t need to go that high, unless you’re a DJ producing dubstep.  (Or something else closely resembling kitchen pans hitting the floor.)  $100 should buy you a really decent pair, which will also be handy for listening to some quality music in your free time when you’re icing your wrists because you went all Rambo keyboard warrior on all your interviews!

Which brand should I choose?


earbuds, DIY transcription


We recommend that you go for Sennheiser headphones, because in our experience they have been the best. And no, they are not sponsoring this article.  But it’d be great though if they did!  Sennheiser, are you reading this? *wink wink*

Anyway, you can go for a pair of good Sony or Creative headphones as well, they will do the job for you. (You see, Sennheiser, what happens if you don’t act quick??)  In all seriousness though, Sennheiser make some solid audio equipment.  And you can’t go wrong buying headphones or earphones from any of the brands mentioned above.


Please note that transcribing an hour of audio can take anywhere between 7-8 hours at an average of 10 minutes an hour.  That is IF you can type at a speed of at least 50 WPM.  On the surface it sounds easy, until you factor in the constant rewinding and forwarding, and looking up terms for research online.  Also, editing the transcript once more for accuracy may add another 2-3 hours.

If you can’t be bothered to buy the equipment needed for transcription, or have the hours to spend on transcribing your recorded audio, we can help you with that…..for money. 😀  Nothing good in this world is ever free!  Below is more information about our transcription services.

Our rates for audio transcription

Upload your audio files for transcription

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