Every day we get calls from individuals asking us to recommend a handheld recorder. Often our clients have the need to be mobile when dictating, but have never used a digital handheld recorder. Because of the large variety of options available, they are not sure what features will be the most useful. We understand how much of an investment purchasing dictation equipment is, and we do our best to make suggestions based on the needs of every individual we speak with. Not everyone uses a digital recorder for the same purpose and it’s very important to take a look at what features may benefit you the most.
Because not everyone knows exactly what they are looking for in a recording device, we like to ask a few questions that will help us to better understand what those needs are. One of the most important questions we ask is, “What are you using currently?” If there is a specific brand or design that you’re familiar with then it would likely be best to look at units with features in common to what you’ve already used. Another very important question we ask is “How will you be using this device?” The features and functionality that is commonly available truly separate handheld recorders into two categories; Professional recorders, and digital note takers.
Professional recorders tend to have many more features geared towards individuals who dictate frequently and want the added convenience that comes with these units. The Philips LFH9600 and LFH9370 for example have a durable metal casing, helping the unit withstand more rigorous use, which may not be needed for someone who for example is only using a recorder to capture notes in a lecture. Both of these units record in a high quality .DSS file format, providing the user with a high quality recording. Even among the Professional line of recorders the features can vary greatly. Units such as the 9610 and the 9600 come with a docking station that not only make the offloading of dictations as simple as dropping the recorder in the docking station, it also recharges the batteries contained in the recorder helping to eliminate the re-occurring cost of purchasing batteries. Although the 9370 does not come with the docking station, it is an optional accessory that one can choose to add on.
The 9370 being the base model of the Philips professional line has many of the features needed today in high demand fields, and a very competitive price point. This recorder is a great option for the individual who is looking for the ability to dictate with ease, and doesn’t have a need for the more advanced features of the 9600/9610. Of course if you’re an individual who’s only looking to use the recorder casually, for personal use then you may want to take a look at the non-professional, note takers that are available.
The Philips LFH880 contains features that allow you to record your personal notes, or even classroom lectures as well as listen to the radio, or set an alarm to make sure you’re never late. With the ability to record in both .MP3 and .Wav formats the 880 offers file formats able to be played back by many other devices. Conveniently the 880 uses standard AAA batteries which it comes with, in addition to several other helpful accessories. Overall for personal use the 880 is a great option for those who are looking for something a little more economical and don’t have the recording demands that would constitute a need for the benefits of a professional unit.
We understand how many different recorders are on the market today, and we know that without doing a lot of research it’s hard to know which one is right for you. Knowing exactly how you want to use the recorder is vital, and having some idea as to what features you are looking for is really helpful. In truth the small things are the most important, and these features are what will make your workday run more smoothly for you. Most commonly we find those individuals who are working in the Medical or Legal industries are most comfortable with the professional units because of the time saving features they have. Using a note taker is great for the individual just looking to record their own thoughts, such as an author or student. Of course personal preference has a lot to do with which recorder you chose.
No matter what recorder you choose make sure the company you purchase your recorder from has a clearly outlined return policy. The last thing anyone wants is to be stuck with a piece of equipment they’re not going to use.
If you have questions regarding digital recorders, please feel free to contact one of our Product Specialists at 888-834-2392, myself or another member of our team will be happy to assist you.
December 9, 2009