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I'd like to find a solution for my grandpa who's severely hearing impaired to help him participating in the daily life. More specifically, I thought about an on-the-fly speech to text recognition with a very simple, large user interface on a tablet. Small enough to carry it around without bothering, but larger then a casual large mobile phone.

I thought about a tablet with a good microphone in combination with Google Live Transcribe because I was impressed how Google translate works nicely for on-the-fly translation which is built on the mentioned API. However I don't want to buy a random tablet just because of its screen but not able to catch multiple people in a room clearly because of a bad mic.

Do you have recommendations for hardware or software for that purpose?

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Any tablet with a 3.5mm four-pole TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve) jack (socket) for headphone will also accept an external microphone.

An external microphone will

  • allow you to place the mic where it will work best
  • allow you to move the microphone away from air ducts and other noise sources
  • allow you to handle the tablet without thumps, scratches, and other noise conducted by the body of the tablet

Some microphones are directional, to zero in on a particular person or group of persons; but even the cheapest external mic will almost always outperform a chassis mic.

You may want a breakout cable (another one) with the 3.5mm TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve) plug to end in separate 3.5mm jacks for microphone plus earphone/headphone, if simultaneous earphone or headphone use is desired.

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