To facilitate digital transcription a digital voice recorder needs to deliver quality sound recording, voice file management and editing capability, and digital transcription features. Some models come bundled with Dragon Naturally Speaking software which does automatic text to speech conversion to turn your recordings into text (Automatic text to speech conversion has some limitations though - it is usable for dictation only and the best results occur with top quality voice recording via a headset microphone and clearly enunciated, accent-less speech).
The proliferation of multifunction devices such as the iPad and iPhone has changed the landscape for digital voice recording and transcription in the past few years. Multifunction devices have built-in microphones and (in some cases) come with out-of-the-box capability for small-scale voice recording chores. For professional needs, an external high-quality microphone can be connected to the device, and a number of excellent voice recording applications are available for the iPad/iPhone and to a lesser extent Android devices. As with traditional voice recorders, voice files can be transferred to a PC/Mac for storage/transcription or, for cloud users, a number of companies are now offering cloud-based storage and transcription services. Note that depending on the model a multifunction device cannot match a dedicated voice recorder for sound quality, capacity, or battery life. (Some digital voice recorders can record over 50 hours on a single charge.)
Why is this one of the best digital voice recorders around? Because of its combination of usability and flexibility. The first thing you’ll notice is that this digital voice recorder has 4GB of internal memory which provides more than 1000 hours of recording time – and there’s a microSD card slot so you can add even more. The second thing you’ll probably notice is the 2.2 inch color LCD screen and Voice Guidance that will lead you through the recorder’s functions. What you might not notice right away is that the Olympus DM-2 Digital Voice Recorder supports multiple formats, has 12 recording and playback options and comes with Olympus Sonority sound editing software.
This is one of Olympus' top of the line digital voice recorders intended to meet professional dictation and digital transcription needs and it shows, from the customizable navigation pod through the excellent sound quality and file management abilities. Features I especially like include the large backlit LCD, file edit function (which lets you insert and overwrite on an existing recording file), the ability to place index marks (up to 32 index marks per file!), and being able to end one dictation and start another by just pressing the 'New' button. Being equipped with a 1GB SD Card and DSS Player Software are also definite pluses.
I really like the versatility of this digital voice recorder; you can create a podcast, play music or transcribe your recorded voice files into text easily (Dragon NaturallySpeaking Speech Recognition software is included). Sony's ICD-SX700 digital voice recorder also provides lots of recording capability with large built-in stereo microphones, multiple recording modes and up to 372 hours of recording time in LP mode. One GB of flash memory and features such as Overwrite (which let you correct dictation after playback), Add and playback speed control make this digital voice recorder ideal for academic or business purposes.
Voice email function, add/overwrite functions, digital pitch control, incremental rewind; this Sony digital voice recorder is packed with features to make dictation and editing voice recordings easier, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking Preferred speech recognition software is included to meet your digital transcription needs. This recorder's professional quality sound, though, is its main selling point.