How to choose the best foot pedal for transcription work

How to choose the best foot pedal for transcription work

Transcriptionists are used across many fields, from medical to legal to public safety. If you are one, you know how important the right foot pedal is to the speed and quality of your work. If you’re in the market for a new one or if you’re trying to find the best one to start learning with, here’s a round-up of the 6 best foot pedals for transcription.

1. Express scribe pro transcription kit (Link)

This kit has everything you need for fast and accurate transcriptions. Designed for a professional, you not only get a heavy duty USB transcription pedal, but also a quality Spectra USB Transcription headset and Express Scribe Professional Transcription Software.

Install the software and use the pedal to control playback. Express Scribe allows you to control the speed, play videos, and manage files, just to name a few. It’s user-friendly, easy to understand, and compatible with all Olympus Digital Voice Recorders, Philips Voice recorder, Sony Voice Recorder and more. It also supports various kinds of audio and visual files, including DSS, MP3, WAV, WMA, and MP2.

The pedal is lightweight but solid, weighing in at 2.3 pounds. It’s large and durable enough to handle any size foot with a low profile and a flared base. No wonder it’s the most popular foot pedal on the market. Thanks to the sensitive internal switches, it has a fast and accurate reaction time while still keeping your foot comfortable.

The headset comes with a 10 foot USB cord with digital volume control. You get high quality digital sound for your dictations so you’ll hear them clearly which will help you make more accurate transcriptions.

2. Express scribe pro software with usb foot pedal (Link)

For a slightly scaled down but still professional and effective kit, give this one from Express Scribe a go. You get a heavy duty transcription pedal and Express Scribe Professional Transcription Software. The software allows you to control playback at variable speeds, play videos, have multi-channel control, and more. It also make it possible for you receive files via the internet, email, or over a local network and is compatible with Microsoft Word and all other popular word processing programs.

This popular pedal is lightweight and designed to work with any size feet. The low profile and wide base lend stability while the internal buttons react quickly and accurately so you have complete control with minimal resistance.

You can use this kit with all Olympus Digital Voice Recorders, Philips Voice recorder, Sony voice Recorder and more plus it supports a variety of audio and video files from MP3 to WAV to VOX and many more.

3. Infinity usb digital foot control with computer plug (Link)

This foot pedal from Infinity was recently reengineered to perform even more accurately while still being comfortable and convenient to use. It’s compatible with a long list of transcription software including ByteScribe, CourtSmart, Express Scribe, PowerScribe and Sten-Typis, just to name a few. You can even use this to create your own dictation.

Compatible with both PC and Mac, this foot pedal is lightweight and durable with a non-skid backing so it won’t move around when you’re trying to work. The internal switches are sensitive to touch and easy to use but they’re also durable and made to last. Because of this pedal’s low profile and wide base, your foot will be comfortable when you’re using it, no matter how long it takes to finish the job.

You get 3 different buttons on this pedal that correspond to the play, rewind, and fast forward controls. The buttons are somewhat customizable but be aware that you cannot configure each one to do anything you want it to.

4. Infinity in-usb-1 usb computer transcription foot pedal (Link)

This is a really simple, basic pedal that was specifically designed to be easy to use. Whether you’re dictating or transcribing, the ergonomic design allows you to put in full time hours with this pedal without experiencing fatigue.

The wide central Play pedal has a sloped design to easily fit any size foot. Fast forward and rewind buttons on either side are easy to press and are designed with internal switches that are designed to withstand 2,000,000 foot depressions. To help avoid any errors or loss of time, it also will not allow you to accidentally depress more than one button at a time. It’s built to last with a quality design and durable materials.

While this pedal is effective and efficient, it does not come with any software, although it is compatible with most transcription software available today.

5. Olympus AS-2400 pc transcription kit (Link)

This kit comes with everything you need to turn your computer into a professional transcription station complete with full foot control support. Transcribe dictations from most Olympus digital voice recorders with ease using DSS and DDS Pro file formats.

You get everything you need with this kit. The necessary software for your computer, a headset, and foot control pedal. Make this system hands free easily by using the foot pedal to control playback speed. The program has a noise cancelling feature so you won’t miss a single word and be able to produce accurate, professional results.

Components are updated automatically via the internet so you never have to worry about keeping it up to date. This kit is compatible with DSS, DSS Pro, WMA, MP3 and WAV/AIFF audio files and can keep them playing even while another application is running on your computer.

Unlike some other options we reviewed, this particular set is not compatible with a wide range of other programs and software. It’s primarily designed to be used with other Olympus products so make sure you check compatibility before you buy.

6. AltoEdge transcription foot pedal bundle (Link)

With the AltoEdge Transcription Foot Pedal Bundle, you get everything you need to complete any transcription job if you’re already using Express Scribe software. The USB foot pedal has three buttons to help make your work fast and accurate. Its ergonomic design will keep your foot from getting tired so you can work until the job’s done without worrying about any pain.

You also get a Spectra SP-USB Headset with a 10 foot long USB cord, LED indicator light so you know with its connected, and digital volume control.

This kit offers a lot of different features, including variable speed playback and compatibility with speech recognition software. It supports a variety of audio and video files, including DSS, DS2, DSS Pro, MP3, WAV, WMA, AIFF, MP2, and VOX. You can use it with all major word processing programs and it’s compatible with more voice recorders on the market.

It’s important to point out that this bundle is designed for use with Express Scribe software but does not include the software itself. It comes with a 14 day trial and then you’ll have to purchase it if you want to continue to use this kit.

Further reading

If you are serious about transcription, a foot pedal is a must. The only other new equipment you might consider are better headphones and perhaps a dedicated desk for work. For even more transcription tips, check out this WikiHow article.


  1. gisele aubut says:

    Can you suggest a lightweight transcription foot pedal for travel? I use an Infinity US-1 but it is just so heavy!

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