By Rachel Tirabassi
Since it’s release in 2013, the Philips DPM8000 has been a longtime bestseller at TranscriptionGear.com. However, the new DS-9500 from Olympus could easily take its top spot. The new recorder is changing industry standards with its unique WiFi capabilities and plastic exterior. When I asked our experienced team which recorder they liked best, they could not pick. Jill, our Sales Manager with 14 years experience, claims “Both recorders are some of the best in the industry. I can’t pick one! It really just depends on your preferences and needs.”
So, if there isn’t a superior recorder, how can you decide which model is the right choice for you? Have no fear, your friends at TG are here! We dug through the reviews, spoke with our current customers and compared capabilities to give you the ultimate digital recorder’s buyer guide.
The recorders at a glance
Both recorders have a convenient slide switch for effortless recording, weigh 4.1 ounces, include a 2.4 inch display screen and have a row of three function buttons below the screen. Some of their major differences are price, warranty length, WiFi capability and recording time. If you’re looking for a familiar recorder your eye might be on the DPM8000. But, the WiFi capability for immediate file sharing from the DS-9500 is hard to ignore.
Take a closer look
The DPM8000 pros:
- A “wear free” slide switch prevents damage for long-term use
- Comes with docking station
- 4.1 oz including battery and memory card
- Advanced encryption standard with 256 bits
- Fast boot time of 2 seconds
- A button for prioritizing recordings and preventing unintentional deletions
- An obvious red LED light to remind you when you’re recording
- 1 directional microphone, 1 microphone for 360 degree recording
- Supports not only DSS and DSS Pro (DS2) but also supports MP3 and PCM
- A built-in gyroscope automatically chooses between conference and close mic mode based on distance from the recorder
- Li-ion battery life of 23 hours and 200 days standby mode
The DPM8000 cons:
- Doesn’t include a 5 V AC adapter like previous models
- Depending on personal preference, the headphone jack is on the side. Could be annoying for users who like to use a case
The DS-9500 pros:
- Comes with AC adapter
- Weighs 4.1 oz (including battery)
- Comes with docking station
- 256 AES encryption (HIPAA compliant)
- Did we mention it was WiFi compatible for immediate file sharing with the transcriptionist?
- Intelligent dual microphones suppress unwanted background noise
- Triple-layer sound studio pop filter blocks breath and wind vibrations
- Certified up to 1.5 meter shockproof body
- Customizable display content: option to customize information shown on display
- Single user and workgroup installation
- Alarms: option to set alarms for particular occasions; beeping noise
- 9 hour rechargeable built-in battery
The DS-9500 cons:
- Some users reported not being a fan of the plastic feel
You’ve seen our comparisons and favorite capabilities but what are other users saying about each model?
Some of the DPM8000’s happiest customers were Dragon or Dragon for Mac users. Check-out their experiences:
- “Works great with Dragon software, which is important. In many respects the transcription off this device is better than off the microphone, live. Compact. Get the unit with the related Philips software if you intend to use it with Dragon.”
- “The recorder is simple to use, easy to grip, the large screen is helpful and easily-readable, the side switch is perfectly placed. I’m not an audio-sensitive person, so I can’t give any insight into how it sounds played back versus any other option out there, but it does the job I need. So far no problems with transcribing via Dragon (in my case, Dragon for Mac).”
- “With this recorder, you can only choose the quality output as a WAV file and not the other options. no software dictation for MacUser, as it is with Windows. However, I should importantly add that when I dictate with the recorder and transcribe the file using Dragon dictate for the Mac, accuracy is pretty good. functionalities probably better with the Windows program, but I am happy with its performance on my Mac, operating system 12.6.”
Dr. Laub, a physician and customer of TranscriptionGear.com, gave the DPM8000 5 stars. He wrote
“The Philips DPM8000 is a fantastic dictation machine. It might look overpriced, but we had only 2 alternative for our medical office: either the Ds7000 by Olympus or the Philips DPM8000. Both on par and both worth the consideration for a medical office that follows HIPPA regulations and requires Ds2 secured encrypted interphase built in. Currently the DPM is slightly higher rated, but then in a year or so the Olympus next recorder might take the lead. We had the machine for about 1 month and I could not be happier. We see about 350- 400 patients/ week and need a professional tool that is well made, has a 120 hrs of dictation time or more and an insert option, to allow to add the X-rays we took or Bone Density report etc. into our reports.You get what you pay for.”
The DS-9500 is the new baby of Olympus digital recorders so the reviews were scarce. We did find a user who upgraded from the DS-7000 to the DS-9500 who seemed satisfied with the trade-in. They claimed
“I just upgraded from a DS-7000 to the new DS-9500 although it is a new model it still feels very familiar and easy to use. The dual mics must have made a difference to the audio quality as I have already noticed an improvement in recognition from Dragon. The WiFi connectivity is also a great new feature, not having to always return to the office to dock is a very handy feature.”
Our staff weighs in
It’s time to consult the experts at TranscriptionGear.com. We asked our sale staff, with a combination of 18 years experience, which recorder they recommend and why. Melissa, our Senior Product Specialist, says “I would recommend the DPM8000 for anyone who is making the switch from cassette tapes to digital because of its familiar look and feel. It makes it appear as if a tape is still playing and simplifies the transition process for old school users.” For experienced users on the go, she always recommends the DS-9500. “You can send your files anywhere you have a WiFi connection. It’s the most mobile recorder.” Jill, our Sales Manager, also recommends any Olympus recorders to users who want a more durable recorder.
What’s your favorite recorder and why? Comment below and check out our best-selling recorders here.