So you have probably searched around trying to find good practical information on portable voice recorders. This short guide will give you basic run down of the major brand handheld voice recorders on the market. This information is meant to help you make an informed decision when it comes to purchasing a digital voice recorder. The following is a brief description of some of the major brand voice recorders and the types of models they make,
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Olympus Voice Recorders are among the most well known in the industry. Models range from basic consumer voice recorders to high end recorders designed for professional dictation and transcription. There are three series or lines of voice recorders that Olympus makes the DS, WS, and VN series.
DS-Series – The DS-40, DS-50, and DS-61 are generally used to record memos, meetings, interviews, and light dictation/transcription, these units record in WMA format and can playback WMA/MP3. The DS-2400 recorder is geared toward professional dictation and transcription, we would not recommend the DS-2400 unless you will be using the recorder for professional transcription and dictation. The DS-2400 records in DSS and DS2 (digital speech standard) audio format which is exclusive to Olympus & Philips. The audio files recorded the DS-2400 units can only be played back and edited with DSS software that comes with the recorder.
WS-Series – These are designed with the everyday consumer in mind. They among the most portable voice recorders (close to the size of a 1st generation Ipod nano) available and can double as a music player with equalizer. They record audio files in WMA (Windows Media Audio) format which can be played back on windows media player. They have several microphone sensitivity settings and quality recording modes. If you are looking for a recorder for everyday recording (meetings, lectures, interviews, memos) and doubles as a music player we would highly recommend the WS-Series. We place these in the same class as the Philips Voice Tracer Series below.
VN-Series – These recorders will record your voice and other sounds without all the other bells and whistles. Some of these models have PC connectivity and some don’t. They record in WMA format so these files can be easily played back using windows media player.
Philips voice recorders include a professional line and consumer line of handheld voice recorders. The Philips Voice Tracer line is designed with the consumer in mind and can handle most recording tasks. The Philips Pocket-Memo series is designed with the professional in mind and is geared toward professional dictation and transcription.
Voice Tracer – Incredibly well designed and reasonably priced. These units record in MP3 format which is one of the most popular forms of audio. There are five models in this series with prices ranging from $58.95 to $148.95. All of these units have PC connectivity and are designed with the everyday consumer in mind and are perfect for recording meetings, memos, lectures or interviews. We would place them in a similar class as the Olympus WS-Series Voice Recorders.
Pocket-Memo – This series is very comparable to the DS-Series of Olympus Voice Recorders. They also record in the DSS format and are designed for Professional Dictation and Transcription. We would not recommend the Pocket-Memo unless you need them for professional medical or legal transcription. The DSS file format is the industry standard for Philips and Olympus professional dictation. The DSS files can only be played back and edited with the DSS software that comes with the units.