Improving voice-recognition accuracy.

Author:Collins, J. Carlton

Q. Is there any way to improve the voice-recognition capability of my Windows 10 computer?

A. I'm not sure this is actually true, but a friend told me his neighbor sent him a text saying, "You need to upgrade your wife," followed immediately by a text message saying, "Sorry, I meant wifi, not wife." True or not, voice-recognition systems on our computers, smartphones, and Echo-like devices are notorious for misinterpreting what we say, so here are a few measures for improving your voice-recognition accuracy.

  1. Headset microphone. One of the most important factors for improving voice recognition is to use a high-quality headset microphone that holds the microphone in a consistent position directly in front of your mouth; desktop-based microphones typically provide less desirable voice-recognition results because they don't remain consistently positioned in front of your mouth.

  2. Self-learning artificial intelligence tool.

    Your Windows 10 speech-recognition system maintains a profile of your voice pattern, which can train itself to improve its voice-recognition capabilities by reviewing documents already on your computer. To do this, launch Speech Recognition from Control Panel by selecting Start Speech Recognition and then clicking Enable document review under the Improve speech recognition accuracy section, as pictured above. This setting allows the Speech Recognition application to review documents and email messages on your computer for commonly used words and phrases, which can usually help improve the application's recognition accuracy. (Warning, this option gives Microsoft permission to read your documents and email messages, so you may want to review the privacy notice concerning this feature available at

  3. Voice training. To further improve voice recognition, from the Speech Recognition dialog box, select the Train your computer to better understand you option, follow the directions for fine-tuning your microphone (if necessary), and then read to your computer so it can learn to better understand your voice pattern. Usually about 15 to 60 minutes of speech training can dramatically improve the voice-recognition accuracy.

  4. Accent option. If you tend to speak with a non-native U.S. English accent, you might improve your voice-recognition accuracy by selecting the Windows Logo Start button, the gear icon Settings option, Time & language, Speech, and checking the option labeled Recognize...

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