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Podcasts are typically not spoken slowly. And even though the podcast might be in English, it may be spoken with an accent or technical jargon unfamiliar to many listeners. By transcribing the podcast word for word, your audience will better understand what you are saying. And transcription pedals can help you transcribe easier.
A transcription foot pedal is an essential tool for the transcription worker. It allows for hands-free control over playback of audio while transcribing, meaning that you can listen to the material while typing, helping to speed up your work and make things easier.
As useful as they are, transcription foot pedals don’t come cheap. Some models sell on Amazon for over $200! This is why many people are looking for transcription pedal alternatives to save some money.
If you’re looking for an alternative solution to the transcription foot pedal problem, but don’t want to break the bank in doing so, then check out this list of alternatives that will provide almost all (if not all) of the features of a transcription foot pedal for a fraction of the price.
USB Foot Pedal
This is an excellent alternative to a transcription foot pedal. Like a transcription foot pedal, this USB device allows you to control the playback of audio files while simultaneously typing easily.
The best part about this particular device is that it’s completely wireless! Just connect it to your computer using the USB cable, and then put the pedal on the floor near you. When you press down on the pedal, playback will stop, and rewind will begin immediately.
The other benefit of this particular transcription foot pedal alternative is that the price is really good too; only $29.99! This makes it by far the cheapest option on our list. If you want a wireless transcription foot pedal, be aware that a rechargeable battery powers this model. So, you’ll have to keep on top of recharging it or swapping in some new batteries from time to time.
The downsides of the USB Foot Pedal are that it’s not as accurate as more expensive transcription foot pedals, with a delay between pressing the pedal and hear playback of 1.5 seconds, which isn’t ideal for transcribing. Also, note that it doesn’t allow you to change audio files (and therefore adjust audio levels) while using it but only allows you to control playback.
JOYSTICK-EN001 Foot Switch
This is another excellent, cheap transcription foot pedal alternative. It has the same tape deck style design as a transcription foot pedal, meaning it can be placed at one end of your keyboard for simple, quick use. Like the USB Foot Pedal, this device is wireless. You can take it with you wherever you want to transcribe.
It also features different playback modes that allow you to control playback speed, stop and start it when needed, and adjust the volume. There’s even a separate silent mode for transcribing where you can press down on the stick to immediately mute or unmute audio without needing to take your hands off the keyboard.
The JOYSTICK-EN001 Foot Switch is another great transcription foot pedal alternative that costs only $29.99, making it the second cheapest option on our list.
There are two downsides to this device. Firstly, like the USB Foot Pedal, there’s a 1.5-second delay between pressing down on the joystick and stopping or starting playback, which isn’t ideal for transcribing.
Secondly, this device isn’t quite as accurate unlike most expensive transcription foot pedals, with a delay between pressing the pedal and hearing playback of 0.75 seconds.
IOGEAR GFR204 4-Port USB 2.0 Foot Switch
The IOGEAR is another good alternative to a transcription foot pedal. It’s a little more expensive than the USB Foot Pedal and JOYSTICK-EN001 but still cheaper than most transcription foot pedals on the market.
The IOGEAR has a great ergonomic design that allows you to place it at one end of your keyboard and control the volume, play/pause playback, and fast forward/rewind, all using your toes.
There’s also a separate silent mode for transcribing where you can press the pedal down to immediately mute or unmute audio without needing to take your hands off the keyboard.
The switch is designed not to move around on hard surfaces like wood, laminate floors, and tiled floors, which means that it won’t slip around while you’re using it.
The only downside of the IOGEAR is a 1-second delay between pressing down on the pedal and stopping or starting playback. This isn’t ideal for transcribing, but it will certainly save some money if this transcription foot pedal alternative works out for you!
ACTECK Foot Switch / Audio Controller
The A-C Foot Switch/ Audio Controller is built to be placed at one end of your keyboard like the IOGEAR. It comes with a volume wheel and headphone jack for muting or unmuting audio, which can both be controlled using your foot while you’re typing on the other end of the keyboard.
There’s also a separate silent mode for transcribing, which you can activate by pressing down on the switch.
One downside of the A-C Foot Switch/ Audio Controller is that it costs around $55, making it one of the most expensive transcription foot pedal alternatives on our list. There’s also a delay between pressing down on the switch and stopping or starting playback, which can be a little frustrating for transcribing.
HORITAKU Foot Switch / Audio Controller
The final transcription foot pedal alternative on our list is the HORI TAKU controller, which works just as well as any other transcription foot pedal. It includes a headphone jack for muting and unmuting audio, as well as volume controls so you can change the speed of playback using your toes.
The HORI TAKU controller isn’t wireless like the USB Foot Pedal or JOYSTICK-EN001 but it is cheaper at around $40, making it a great budget transcription foot pedal alternative.
There’s a slight delay between pressing down on the switch and stopping or starting playback, which can take some getting used to but should work out fine for anyone looking for an affordable transcription foot pedal.
You’ll need some tools if you want to transcribe loads of podcasts. These alternatives may not be as great as expensive foot pedals, but they can help as much if you have a limited budget.
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