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How to Choose a Digital Voice Recorder

SyberScribe AUTHOR: SyberScribe, November 12th, 2015

Digital voice recorders have a myriad of uses, and as technology advances the quality improves, the features become more varied and the size becomes smaller. People increasingly use digital voice recorders in both the personal and professional spheres.

In the professional sphere, digital voice recorders can save lots of time, especially for specialist medical staff, doctors, nurses, and hospital administrative staff. They provide a wide range of benefits, and can assist greatly in giving optimum care to patients.

Often workers in the field of health are rushed off their feet, required to multi-task, and can be called into work at all hours to provide care. Digital voice recorders are a great communication tool for staff members to relate a patient’s condition with ease and exactness, and are much more accurate than relying on memory. Dictation is also much faster than physical note taking, and can be done while on the go rather than sitting behind a desk.

If you are looking to buy a digital voice recorder, the right one for you will depend on what you plan to use it for, and what devices you are comfortable using. For example, do you work in an occasionally loud environment? If so, you will need to choose a digital voice recorder with excellent audio capabilities. Or perhaps you might need to suddenly record and instantly share a voice recording – in which case, a voice recording app on your smartphone may be the best way to go.

Have a read of the main types of voice recorder available, and decide which one will suit you best.

There are currently three main ways to record your voice digitally. Through a hand-held digital recording device, through digital recording software that runs on your computer, and through digital recording apps for use on your smart device. Back in the day, people used analog voice recorders, but given that they require cassette tapes and often have clunky and ineffective microphones, their use as a dictation tool is on the decrease.

Digital voice recorders are sometimes referred to by those in the scribing game as dictation machines. They are compact in size (usually smaller than a mobile phone) and store your recordings on an internal memory. Even cheap digital voice recorders manufactured nowadays will usually have the ability to store several hours of your recording. Once the recording is complete, you can upload it to your computer or external storage device, allowing you ample storage space for many hours of records.

Price points for digital voice recorders can vary between $10 and $1000 – the market range has a huge number of options. While it can be great to get the most detailed sound possible, there’s no need to splash out up to a grand for a quality voice recorder. For example, the Sony IC-UX553 retails at around $100, and you only have to read its reviews to see that it delivers great sound for a reasonable price.

If you’re thinking about purchasing voice recording software for your computer, check to see if there are inbuilt programs that can handle your voice recording tasks. Windows computers have a Voice Recorder program, and Macs with OS X 10.6 can use QuickTime for their voice recordings. Have a play and see if the quality is what you require. Otherwise, programs like Dragon NaturallySpeaking series allow you to dictate and record speech as well as convert speech to text. Top quality voice recording software can have awesome benefits, such as smart software that remembers your corrections, and voice commands that allow you to control your computer vocally.

Voice recording apps are available for your iPhone, Android and tablet, and offer a variety of different features and uses. One of the key advantages of a voice recording app as opposed to a hand-held digital recorder is convenience. As you are likely to have your phone with you, it’s easy to record whenever the need strikes you. Some apps allow you to record and then send your dictated text via SMS, email, or social networking sites – super convenient if you are using a scribing service. However, if you are going to use your phone as your digital recorder and take a lot of calls, make sure you keep a charger handy!

Once you have finished your recording, you may wish to edit in order to cut out any audio blips or unnecessary wording that distracts from the point of your dictation. Many digital voice recorders include software that will let you edit out (to a degree) background noise and improve audio clarity. And of course, you can select your desired sound bites that you wish to keep in the recording with your editing software. When choosing a digital voice recorder to buy, it is worth seeing how you can edit your recordings. Does the recorder come with editing software? Can you edit your recording with existing programs on your computer or smart device? Make sure you research this before you decide to buy.