For years, doctors and lawyers relied on traditional old-school micro-tape recorders digital voice recorders to take down medical notes or to record depositions. Today, professionals from a range of industries use voice recorders to dictate notes from meetings, to keep track of their schedules, or to record ideas that will be later transcribed using speech recognition or manually by a typist.
You can’t always be in front of your computer to type your notes (which is slow and inefficient) and even if you are an advanced dictator - using voice recognition technology like Dragon Medical or Dragon Legal - you won’t always have access to your computer to voice dictate directly into your letters or notes.
So how do you choose the right voice recorder for your business needs? A professional voice recorder will last for many years, so it’s important to make the right choice early on.
Here are some features you should consider when choosing the best voice recorder.
Audio Recording Quality
Audio quality should be at the top of the list when deciding on the best voice recorder. You should look for one that offers omnidirectional microphones and multi-track stereo technology. The voice recorder should have a studio-quality filter that will increase the accuracy of your voice while reducing ambient sound so your words are clear and crisp in the recording. With this filter, you can increase work productivity without worrying about recording too much breath noise or background disturbance that are common problems when making voice recordings.
In addition to a studio-quality filter, also look for a digital recorder with noise cancellation for sound recording. You may dictate notes in a multitude of locations such as airports, offices, courtrooms, doctor's offices, or your car in the middle of rush hour traffic. Environmental noise can negatively impact the quality of the sound recording as the best voice recorder will lower and suppress this background noise.
Digital Edit/Append Features
Digital edit and append effectively makes your audio recording as easy to edit as an old tape recorder. You can rewind mid-dictation and over-write a previous section.
Very few voice recorders have this essential function for dictation.
Only the Olympus DS-9500 (replacement for the DS-5000 & DS-7000) and the Philips DPM-8000 have this editing function.
Most other dictaphones do not have this feature - so maker sure you check before buying. After recording a meeting session, there may be unnecessary sections that were recorded, such as when you had to take a phone call from the spouse and never turned off the voice recorder. Look at digital recorders that have easy-to-use editing and appending features so you can cut out the parts that you don't need or allows you to select specific sound bites to save for later use.
Data breaches are serious issues for every company. The last thing you want to do is have a dictation containing company information, customer information or patient information used by unauthorized people. Now, only certain professional voice recorders - such as the DS-9500 and DS-9000 - come equipped with 256-bit AES encryption systems with a 4-digit PIN code to stop any illegal access and to meet government security standards.
Make sure to check for OS compatibility with your Windows PC or Mac operating system version. The last thing you want to do is purchase a voice recorder and transcription software that doesn't offer compatibility flexibility with different systems. With this feature, you will be able to use it at work, at home or when traveling on business in other locations. Microsoft Windows PC has much better support for voice recorders in a business environment than OSX (Apple Mac).
Wi-Fi Options (Olympus DS-9500 only)
A great voice recorder feature is the Wi-Fi option. This function allows you to share your dictation with anyone by emailing the file to them. You can also transfer files directly to your local/network folder from anywhere without the need to plug the digital voice recorder into a computer or laptop.
This is a powerful feature but can be complex to setup. Please ensure to order our remote setup/training package if you want to use this feature with your DS-9500.
Transcription Software Compatibility
A voice recorder itself won't automatically transcribe the recorded voice directly into text. You will require some type of transcription software for this application. The voice recorder you select should be compatible with common transcription software out there, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, or come with an accompanying transcription-based software such as the Olympus Digital Management Software (ODMS).
Durability and Strength
Don't forget to see how durable and rugged the voice recorder is before purchasing it. Shock-resistant and impact-resistant features will give you piece of mind during those times where you may drop your voice recorder on the table or hard floor as the voice recorder will resist damage.
There are a wide range of voice recorders at there. Use this guide to narrow down your choices and help you select the one that will work in your professional business setting.
Where to buy in Australia?The recently released Olympus DS-9500 professional digital voice recorder has all of these features. The DS 9500 is the premier voice recorder for doctors and lawyers in Australia. We can offer expert advice about how to integrate this Olympus voice recorder into your workflow.