There is a short answer to this, and it is that headphones are much better. However it is not quite as simple as that answer makes it seem.
First let’s look at the differences;
Speakers let other people in your home, (or workplace), know you are working so they do not interrupt. Headphones give no indication to others that you are busy, and unless you are alone, you risk someone coming into the room you are working in and interrupting the flow, thereby costing you much more time. The same applies in reverse; if you use speakers the noise might interrupt your kids homework or whatever the household members are doing, but headphones interferes with nothing else. If you work in an office with other people, this is a no brainer – you need headphones as your audio cannot bother fellow members of staff.
Everyone with a computer, has speakers of sorts built in, so there is no need to spend any more money in order to work as a transcriptionist. Headphones cost extra money, and often cheap headphones do not give great quality audio. Good quality headphones can be very expensive.
That leads to another question – is it worth buying cheap headphones or should you wait until you have saved enough for an expensive pair? This is not so easily answered, but probably it is worth buying even the cheapest you can find.
If you have never used headphones we at EQ Transcription Services strongly recommend you get a pair. Audio quality is so much better with even a cheap pair and things sound so much clearer and pristine.
Headphones also block out any background noise that could put you off the transcription, especially if they are headphones that cover your whole ear, and not only earbuds that are inserted into your ear.
You might even find that by using headphones you no longer need audio cleaning software. Headphones can also speed up your transcription time – no more going backwards and forwards to try and decipher a phrase, or at least not as much. It will be considerably clearer the first time you listen to it in the headphones.
The better quality headphones the better quality you will hear the audio, (and they are great for music too), and there is no doubt good headphones will make your life as a transcriptionist much easier.