Philips SpeechMike Premium LFH3500

What Is Keyboard Mode?

As you already know, your Philips SpeechMike Premium is replete with customizable buttons. Pair that with SpeechControl, the Philips application that allows you to manage those customizations, and you have a powerful tool for activating necessary application features when dictating.

Philips developed Keyboard Mode as a special state in which the SpeechMike can send keystrokes to the computer, rather than using Human Interface Device (HID) signals. While this is not the only option for using hotkeys with the SpeechMike, this might be more convenient for your environment, as you will see.


What Are the Requirements?

  • So far, Keyboard Mode is only available on the SpeechMike Premium (LFH3500/3600). It should go without saying that that excludes the SpeechMike Air and the SpeechMike Pro.
  • Your SpeechMike Premium must have at least firmware version 2.50 installed. Version 53 is the latest available, and can be installed via SpeechControl.
  • Keyboard Mode will work on a Mac—but you won’t be able to change the hotkeys in SpeechControl for Mac. Naturally, the default hotkeys may not correspond with some OS X applications.
  • You’ll need SpeechControl v3.4.340 or later to be able to program buttons for Keyboard Mode.


How Can Keyboard Mode Help Me?

You may want to consider using Keyboard Mode if you are:

A clinician looking for more control over his EHR…

Hotkeys can be very powerful within the confines of an EHR. Depending upon the application, using key combinations might unlock all sorts of shortcuts. Be sure to reach out to your EHR vendor and ask which hotkeys are supported.

An IT administrator who wants to save time…

  • There’s no need to install or run SpeechControl. This could be huge if you have multiple users involved, or want to minimize how many applications you run at one time. It could also help avoid any issues related to SpeechControl itself.
  • No drivers need to be installed: just plug it in and start dictating.
  • You can set up one microphone and then export those settings to other SpeechMike Premiums, as needed.

A SpeechMike user looking for ways to speed up her dictation experience…

Because there’s no additional application needed to run the SpeechMike in Keyboard Mode, your computer has more bandwidth to process other operations. Additionally, if you are a Dragon user, sending hotkey combinations to turn the mic on and off, rather than the normal HID commands, is simply faster.


How Does It Work?

Whether you just got your SpeechMike Premium, or you’ve had it for a little while, it’s very likely set in Event Mode—which is the standard mode that requires SpeechControl. Once you’ve verified that the microphone is running firmware 2.50 or later, switch it into Keyboard Mode.

Some of your microphone’s buttons are now assigned default hotkeys for Dragon speech recognition software. For the LFH3500, these hotkeys are:

EOL/PRIO = {Shift+Tab}
i = {NumKey+}
INS/OVR = {Tab}
REW = {Ctrl+Shift+Left}
FFW = {Ctrl+Shift+N}
Record = SpeechMike On/Off
F1 = {Ctrl+Shift+D}
F2 = {Alt+T}
F4 = {Ctrl+Shift+H}


For other SpeechMike Premium default hotkeys, including the LFH3500 and LFH3600 series, see the SpeechControl v3.4 Workbook. For more information about Dragon hotkey functions, go to Tools > Options > Hot keys from the DragonBar.


Tips for Using Keyboard Mode

Recent Updates

Be sure to get the latest version of the SpeechMike firmware. When Keyboard Mode was first rolled out, it did not support several features that are now working. In FW v2.53, Philips made it possible to use push-to-talk functionality and motion control, and to run the Dragon Audio Wizard.

Note that you’ll also need SpeechControl 3.5 to enable push-to-talk. And in Keyboard Mode, push-to-talk only applies to the SpeechMike itself, not the Dragon mic. The two are separate.

Therefore, in order for push-to-talk to work normally, you’d have to leave the Dragon microphone on. This is not a best practice for using Dragon, but you might get away with it.

Important But Overlooked

  • You may want to download SpeechControl at some point, simply because you need it to program the hotkeys on the SpeechMike.
  • When using hotkeys with Dragon, or any other application, you are limited by what that application supports as a keyboard shortcut.
  • Consider setting any buttons you aren’t using to “no operation” in SpeechControl.
  • The “mic switch” configuration is for the SpeechMike, not the Dragon mic.

Possible Limitations

  • If you have a slide switch, it can control the SpeechMike on/off state, but won’t work with hotkeys.
  • Keyboard Mode is not compatible with the SpeechExec software.
  • The rear trigger on the SpeechMike won’t work as a mouse click in Keyboard Mode.

Extra Resources

If you download SpeechControl, it includes a “Tools” folder that has Keyboard Mode configurations you can use for Dragon Medical Practice Edition and Dragon NaturallySpeaking Legal. Look at the “Quick Start” document included to learn how to import them.

I Need Help With Keyboard Mode

Our Philips technicians can set up your SpeechMike for you

We’ve talked a bit about what Keyboard Mode is and how it might help you save time and effort. If you’d like to know more, or discuss how it might help you in your particular situation, reach out to us for a free consultation. We’d love to guide you through the process. If you’re ready to implement Keyboard Mode on your Philips SpeechMike Premium, click the button below.