February 15, 2022

Speech-to-text smartphone apps for deaf people and those with hearing loss and tinnitus

We look at 7 popular speech-to-text (STT) apps for smartphones and compare their features.

Android and iPhone apps 


Ava is for 1-to-1 and group conversations. It has a good range of features. However, when we tested it, accuracy could have been better, even in a quiet environment and speaking close to the phone. 


  • Adjustable text size and display theme 
  • You can reply by text with the unique option for the phone to voice back conversations with a simulated voice 
  • Tap words to correct them. The app will then ‘learn’ to transcribe these words correctly 
  • You can use the app with an extension microphone.

How to download Ava   

Download Ava from GooglePlay store 

Download Ava from App Store 


Otter lets you translate all audio from the microphone into text. 

With the right permissions, you can link your calendar to the app so that it automatically creates transcripts of your meetings through any third-party video and voice calling apps like Microsoft Teams and Zoom.  

The app has good accuracy and speed. It’s free for individuals for conversations up to 30 minutes with a total of 600 minutes each month. There’s a paid-for professional and business package as well. 


  • Autocorrects any mistakes once a full sentence has been transcribed 
  • Adjustable text font and size 
  • Save recordings in a folder.

How to download Otter 

Download Otter for iOS from App Store 

Download Otter for Android from GooglePlay Store 


Rogervoice is a free STT phone calling service. 

As well as having automated STT translations like Skype, you can also make calls using a STT relay or sign language relay assistant. The relay assistant service is currently only available in France (where the app was developed) so we only tested the automated STT translation service. 

It’s free to make calls to people who have the Rogervoice app. If you want to call people who don’t have the app, you need to pay for a subscription. 

You need a high-bandwith connection (Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G or 5G). 


  • Supports over 80 languages 
  • You can speak to the other person on the call, or write your message, which will be read aloud to the other person by a vocal synthesiser 
  • It can also transcribe voicemails 
  • The app doesn’t support calls to emergency services or premium-rate numbers.

How to download Rogervoice 

Download Rogervoice from Google PlayStore 

Download Rogervoice from App Store 


The latest version of Microsoft’s video conferencing app for smartphones enables users to easily toggle the subtitles on and off during audio and video calls. 

Skype-to-Skype calls are free. You have to pay for calls to phone numbers. 

To turn subtitles on during a Skype call, press the + button and select “turn subtitles on.” 


  • The profile picture of the person who’s speaking appears next to the line of text, so you can keep track of who said what 
  • Set a default language for subtitles 
  • Both video and voice calls supported 
  • Up to 24 participants on calls. 

Read more about Skype subtitles on the Skype website

How to download Skype 

Download Skype for Android from GooglePlay Store 

Download Skype for iOS from App Store