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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Using Plantronics Bluetooth Headset as a Dictation Microphone

Unbelievable. I have just made something happen that I never thought was actually possible.  I am dictating this blog post via a Plantronics Bluetooth headset; the kind you would normally use to connect to your cell phone.  I'm so excited I just had to share this.

For years I used a feature phone and really had no need for a Bluetooth headset. In fact many of the phones I've had over the years did not support Bluetooth.  Now that I have a Sprint Evo 4G Android device it's almost impossible to cradle in your neck without dropping it.  I've been using the speakerphone a lot but occasionally I'm in a noisy environment and that's just not acceptable.

Today I purchased a Plantronics Voyager Pro+ Bluetooth headset, and I'm extremely happy with it.  One of the features of this headset is that it can connect up to two phones or devices.  This has come in very handy for me as I can dictate on the computer with the headset but when a phone call comes in I can press the button on the headset and be immediately connected to the caller.  And when we hang up, I'm immediately connected back to the computer to continue with my dictation.

I use Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the dictation software.  I Googled around trying to see if I could find a particular Bluetooth headset that was known to work with Dragon NaturallySpeaking and although I found some Bluetooth devices that were specifically meant to connect to a computer I did not see one that was primarily meant to connect with a cell phone that can also be used to connect to the computer.

I wanted to post the ingredients that I used in case someone else was curious if this can be done.

The ingredients:
In reading the reviews on the Best Buy website for the Rocketfish micro Bluetooth adapter I was concerned whether this would work at all because many consumers have purchased this device and could not make it work successfully on Windows 7 64-bit.  But because it was the only Bluetooth adapter that Best Buy carried in their store I thought I'd give it a try.  I had no trouble installing the drivers and getting the PC to recognize the device.  In fact it paired up with my headset right away.  But trying to get Windows 7 to understand I wanted to use this headset as a microphone did take a little bit finagling.

Ulmately, I went to Windows Control Panel and chose the Sound applet and on the Playback tab I selected my computer speakers at the default playback device that way I can still listen to sounds and music through my computer speakers.  Then on the Recording tab I selected my Bluetooth headset microphone as my default recording device.

Then using Dragon NaturallySpeaking's DragonBar I selected the Audio menu and used the Check Microphone option.  From there I was able to pick the Bluetooth headset as my recording device and follow the wizard to adjust the audio levels.

This all just happened and I've only had a short time to play with it but I've already had one phone call come in so I know it works.

Man, I love technology!  Especially when it works.


  1. I'm going to have to give that a try

  2. Hey Dave,
    I'm in your shoes! This describes me, to a tee. I have Windows 7, 64 bit. Dragon Naturally Speaking software, and I'm looking for a bluetooth headset w/mic for dictation.

    Could probably use some advise and consultation on getting 'hooked-up' like you are. My name is Sam Bralley and I live in Tennessee. I can be reached @
    Please reply...

  3. Best of all, however, is the fact that it offers great call quality. It allows the user a number of features that can be customized along with advanced features that makes it one of the most innovative of all of the Bluetooth headsets.

  4. Works great for me with Skype as well. You need to set-up Audio devices in Skype every time you connect the headset, but the freedom of hands-free with the cost of Skype is fantastic.

    1. My Voyager pro has a bluetooth dongle included. Did the included dongle not work or why did you buy a different one?

    2. Mine didn't come with a dongle.

  5. I've just upgraded to Dragon Naturally Speaking 12. I was using version 11. I already had a Voyager Pro HD that I hadn't been able to get working with DNS. I just purchased a BT300 dongle so it would be what Nuance calls wideband. I still wasn't getting it to work until I came across you blog. A few tweeks and it's working, thanks!