Dictation Equipment

Dictation equipment is now nearly all digital format with the older analogue machines largely phased out. Digital dictation machines allow you to record and edit in real time. They are lighter, have a longer battery life and offer a larger recording capacity than the analogue machines they have replaced. Digital recordings can be transferred electronically and their superior recording quality means transcribing the files is made easier.

We supply two of the industry leading brands of digital dictation machines and accessories in Philips and Olympus. If you have any questions or need assistance please call the Office Allsorts team on 0115 9455833.

Buyers Guide

Dictation equipment is known by many names including Dictaphone, Digital Recorder, Digital Note Taker, Voice recorder, Voice tracer and pocket memo taker.

The days of a mini cassette recorder to record on before passing the tape over to a secretary to type up the notes are not quite over as analogue tape recorders are still being made and used so if this is what you need then look for analogue pocket memos from Philips.

If you prefer something digital then there’s a large range available from Philips and Olympus with prices starting from as little as £35. Prices increase once extra memory and additional functions are added such as voice-activated recording and digital transcription software. Some recorders such as the Olympus WS-813 with a large 8gb memory can store up to 2043 hours of recordings in LP mode and to put that into perspective, that’s 85 days continuous recording.

The functions available on dictation machines nowadays can be numerous and like most things digital, the descriptions can be confusing and riddled with acronyms such as WMS, MP3, DSS, WMA, SHDC so if you’re unsure about the right dictation machine for your needs, please give us a call on 0115 9455833.

When purchasing a digital dictation machine the key features to look for are…….

Memory - The amount of memory relates to the amount of recordings the machine is capable of storing. For regular users 2gb to 4gb should be more than enough.

Sound Quality - The sampling rate of the recording is the key factor that determines quality of the playback sound. The majority of entry level digital dictation machines operate at 44 kHz which is more than adequate for basic audio recordings. For improved sound look for 96 kHz, this may be especially useful for people who need a high degree of accuracy such as the legal proffesion.

Sound Quality - Microphones on dictation machines are either internal or external. External microphones provide a batter quality sound recording, however they are generally also purchased separately so will increase the total cost of your dictation machine purchase. If you are using your machine on the go then a basic internal microphone makes the unit easy to transport. If the dictation machine is being used in a meeting room then the external option will capture the whole conversation more accurately.

Computer integration - The majority if dictation machines available on the market today will have a USB port that will allow direct connection with your computer making downloading files quick and simple. Different dictation machines record in different audio file formats, it’s worth checking before purchasing that your computer can handle the files created by the machine your are intending to purchase

Besides the actual dictation machines there are a number of accessories you might need such as headsets or headphones to allow the recordings to be played back discreetly for transcription.

Transcription kits are available from Philips which includes foot pedal, stereo headset and transcription software. If you need to record meetings and use the recordings for minutes then you might wish to consider a conference microphone which provides crystal clear pick-up from a 360 degree radius. Finally for those still using analogue recorders we stock mini dictation tapes from Philips.

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