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Nuance PowerMic II with Mac Speech Recognition

Although Nuance has attempted to limit use of the PowerMic to their Windows based medical product, it is possible to use the PowerMic with other products with these limitations:

1. In other Windows and Mac applications you will have use of the microphone, speaker, left and right click keys and the track stick.

2. With the exception of the use in a Mac described below, the other buttons on the PowerMic will not be functional in anything except the Dragon Medical application.

Using the PowerMic with a Mac

USB OverdriveWe recently discovered that a wonderful utility made for the Mac (USB Overdrive) will allow you to program buttons on the PowerMic to accomplish a variety of functions which may be useful for the Mac user, especially in the realm of speech recognition. With this product, you can program PowerMic II buttons to do any of the following:

  • Click a mouse button
  • Press Key (emulates a keyboard key or key combination)
  • Type Character
  • Keyboard shortcut (a variety of standard keyboard shortcuts on the Mac)
  • System Control (volume up or down, eject, brightness, power key, etc.)
  • Launch application
  • Open file or folder
  • Open Pre-defined item
  • Open URL
  • Execute AppleScript
  • Execute iTunes Command

As you can imagine, with so many options, including the ability to execute AppleScript, the possibilities are virtually endless.

Our own use of the utility has involved programming the center key of the PowerMic to toggle the microphone off an on. Since virtually any MacSpeech command can be assigned a keyboard shortcut, this leaves open the possibility of programming a PowerMic II to emulate virtually any of your MacSpeech commands.

For more information about USB Overdrive, please visit the website at Although you can use the program for free and it sits in your systems preferences (does not need to be launched regularly) you will have to endure a 10 second delay every time you open the utility to change it unless you pay the $20 registration fee. When you see how great this product is, you will gladly part with the 20 bucks!

Incidentally, we find that USB Overdrive works great with Mac OSX version 10.7 (Lion).

Order the PowerMic II

Learn more about the Nuance/Dictaphone Powermic II at our dedicated Powermic II page, but realize that most of this information pertains to use of the microphone in the Windows environment. If you have learned enough and want to order, please use the links below.

Dictaphone PowerMic II

Price: $

Quick Tutorial

1. Example One: Program the PowerMic to toggle you microphone on and off

  • Open your MacSpeech Product and assign a keyboard key to toggle the microphone. This is done by going to .... Pick a key that you don't often use or one that would be convenient should you decide to actually poke at a key to toggle your microphone (I chose the right arrow).
  • Close MacSpeech since you won't be able to assign the key with USB Overdrive when it's already in use by MacSpeech
  • Be sure your Dictaphone PowerMic II is plugged in.
  • Open your system preferences and open USB Overdrive from the "other" category
  • Once USB overdrive is open, push the central (red) button on the PowerMic II; you will see that "button 3" will highlight on the USB Overdrive list
  • On the upper of the two drop-downs on the right select "Press Key"
  • Insert the cursor in the box underneath and then press the right arrow (or other key you assigned in Macspeech); it should show up in the text box
  • Close the USB Overdrive window - you're done!

    USB OverDrive

2. Example 2: Coming soon ...


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