3 Types of Audio Transcription

There are three main types of audio transcription when it comes to transcribing recordings. Knowing which to use or request from your transcription provider is important for how you want your copy to look. Here is a short guide on the 3 most common types of transcription and when to use them.

1. Verbatim Transcription

Do you want to capture both the verbal and non-verbal sections of the content being transcribed? Then, consider using verbatim transcription. This format includes stammers, fillers, and slang and you are not omitting any detail.

Verbatim transcription is content heavy. This is because in addition to the substance of the message, everything else recorded in the video or audio is transcribed. Your verbatim transcript will include variations in emotions and tone as well as breathing and background noise.

When Is It Best to Use Verbatim Transcription?

It’s a great format for those who want to literally transcribe all the speech and expressions made in a video or audio recording. Often this format is used for research or to note details of not only what is said, but how it was stated.

Verbatim transcription is often used by courts and police investigators. This technique helps to assess the honesty or guilt of a claim or statement being made in the case of police transcription. Verbatim transcription is also used by business analysts and market researchers who often need to understand exactly what the target audience said and meant.

Important Rules in Verbatim Transcription

There are some important rules to consider if you choose to use verbatim transcription.

1. Don’t Paraphrase

You have to capture every word. A professional transcriber understands that verbatim transcription requires the transcriber to type the exact words. If you paraphrase the speech of the recording, it’s no longer a verbatim transcription (but rather an intelligent transcription, described further on).

2. Capture False Starts and Fillers

Sometimes a speaker will start a sentence but never complete it. This is know as a “false start”. Fillers include ahs, ums, you know parts of the conversation and are often used in speech while the speaker uses the time to think. Essentially “false starts” and fillers give one insight into the speaker’s thought process.

3. Don’t Omit Non-verbal Communication

Apart from the use of words, humans also typically use other non-verbal cues to communicate. These cues include ambient sounds, laughter, pauses, etc. Verbatim transcription allows you to capture all these cues and should help provide a more accurate account of what’s being discussed and communicated. You should also indicate if two speakers spoke at the same time and any resulting interruptions.

4. Note External Sounds

External sounds are also useful in a couple of situations such as marketing research where knowledge of the target audience is especially important. Examples of these sounds include people’s movements, doors opening, etc. In the example given, a market researcher would be interested in laughs, pauses, “ahhs” and “umms” because they reflect the emotions of the respondent. External sounds could therefore also assess the true feeling or reaction of a customer to a product or service they are discussing. In this situation, verbatim transcription allows one to deliver a complete response of the interviewee.

2. Edited Transcription

An edited transcription is a revised version of the recording used to deliver a precise document. Therefore, the edited version simply omits some sentences or phrases on the grounds they’re grammatically incorrect, excessive or unnecessary. This technique is used where the meaning and essence of the speech is important.

When is Best to Use Edited Transcription?

This tool is often used for discussions or recordings that may be published or for translation purposes. In most cases, edited transcripts are usually also used when a more formal tone is required. The priority is the readability of the document for the intended recipient. Edited transcription is often used for academic seminars, conferences, and formal speeches.

3. Intelligent Transcription

Intelligent transcription is characterized by light editing and is used to ensure an accurate representation of what is being said or communicated. In this format speaker’s expressions of acknowledgment such as ‘hmm’, ‘okay’, I wonder’ and ‘got it’ and fillers such as ‘err’, ‘um’, along with repetitions are omitted from the final transcribed copy.

Non-standard language, slang, stutters, stammers, plus any detail expressing interruptions in speech, such as throat clearing and coughing are considered irrelevant eliminated from the transcript.

How Is This Format Used?

Intelligent transcription is used to present the essence of the message in the transcribed document. Subsequently, this format ensures that even after the emotional content has been removed, the gist of what is being meant or intended remains. The final transcript should be a record of the essence of the speech, while honestly presenting the substance and tone of the original discussion or content. This transcription format is often used for business analysis. You can find out more on our transcription services online page.

Transcription Prices

Way With Words’ standard transcription service is calculated on a per audio or video minute rate. Pricing depends on the turnaround time chosen and the add-on options selected. The longer the turnaround and the fewer the add-ons selected, the lower the price. Use our calculator below to get instant prices ↴

Number of minutes to transcribe
Turnaround time
Time Coding  
Full Verbatim  
Rate Per Minute   $0.00
Deposit   $0.00
TOTAL: $0.00

Turnaround time
Time Coding  
Full Verbatim  
Rate Per Minute   $0.00
Deposit   $0.00
TOTAL: $0.00 Sales Tax N/A

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The 3 Most Common Types Of Transcription


All three types of audio transcription are used for specific purposes. The requirements discussed above are important to keep in mind when choosing which type of transcription format to use the next time you need transcription done.