A Guide to Dictation Machines

The digital dictation machine has taken over from analogue and tape based voice recorders in recent years and if you are now looking to upgrade your old dictation machine the choice available and their functionality can be a little confusing. To help those with little to experience of digital dictation we have created this handy guide to take you though the key things to look for and what consider before you purchase.

Benefits of Digital Dictation Machines

Dictation Machine

- Digital dictation machines allow you to transfer recording from one format to another and then send the recording electronically. With a digital Dictaphone you can easily share your recordings with others via email and Bluetooth.

- If you are using an analogue recorder and then decoding and transforming the audio files into a digital format you will be very aware that the costs and the time involved can both be high. Purchasing a digital dictation machine removes the need for translating the files thus saving your pennies and your time.

- Now that dictation machines have moved to digital recording it has opened up their use to a whole new audience. Students can use them to record lectures and the medical profession and coroners use then to make verbal notes. They are also widely used in business to record meetings so that minutes and actions can be produced and distributed to the attendees.

- The recording quality of a digital voice recorder is much better than an analogue device making the transcribing a much easier job. Olympus Dictaphones come with Dragon Naturally speaking software that produces typed notes for you without you needing to lift a finger.

- Digital devices are much smaller and lighter than analogue machines generally making them much more portable for the user.

- Most digital machines use a combination of built in memory and memory cards both of which have a very large capacity for storage.

- Although digital dictation machines may seem scary and complex compared with analogue devices they are very easy to use and allow you to transfer recordings quickly and simply to your PC so that you can edit and store to your heart’s content.

- All recording made are automatically digitally stamped with the date and time making management of your data simple.

Key Functions for Digital Dictation Machines

Docking Stations – Serve a dual purpose, whilst the dictation machines is docked it will be automatically recharged at the same time your recordings are being transferred to your computer.

Short Play (SP) and Long Play (LP) – A Dictaphone with this feature allows you to record at a higher quality whilst in the short play mode and for longer periods but at a lesser quality in long play mode. Some models will allow up to 1800 hours of recording in long play whilst set in long play mode.

Multi-track Recording – Devices with this feature can not only record voices but are also capable of recording different types of sound on top of each other at the same time.

Recording Mode – Most digital dictation machines will allow you to record in a number of different formats including MP3, WAV, AIF and ACT.

View our range of dictation machines...


Carl Barton is a director of Office Allsorts who has worked in the office products industry for 15 years.

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