Direct electronic communication with sensory areas of the neocortex is a challenging ambition for brain-computer interfaces. Here, we report the first successful neural decoding of English words with high intelligibility from intracortical spike-based neural population activity recorded from the secondary auditory cortex of macaques. We acquired 96-channel full-broadband population recordings using intracortical microelectrode arrays in the rostral and caudal parabelt regions of the superior temporal gyrus (STG). We leveraged a new neural processing toolkit to investigate the choice of decoding algorithm, neural preprocessing, audio representation, channel count, and array location on neural decoding performance. The results illuminated a view of the auditory cortex as a spatially distributed network and a general purpose processor of complex sounds. The presented spike-based machine learning neural decoding approach may further be useful in informing future encoding strategies to deliver direct auditory percepts to the brain as specific patterns of microstimulation.