Monday, 10 March 2014

Olympus VN-711PC Dictaphone | Review

In order to complete my Dissertation unit to a high standard for my final year at University, I needed to purchase a Dictaphone. I researched various Dictaphone's on the internet; comparing prices, features and customer reviews/comments and finally decided on the one I wanted, the Olympus VN-711PC.

I've been using the device since Christmas for leisure and professional purposes and think that it's time for me to share with you my thoughts and comments on the dictation device in the hope it may inspire/help you! Just a note: Dictaphone's are exempt from the 30 day money back guarantee.

Olympus VN-711PC
"Digital voice recorder ... Low Noise and Clear Sound"
Argos; £39.99 December 2013
The Dictaphone came packaged in a small neat box. It was easy to unbox and box back up again, making it quick and easy to test and pop away again! The instruction booklet, USB cable and batteries are neatly stored and packaged in the box so it's not extremely fiddly when trying to fit everything back in when packing it all away again! 

I was very surprised at the weight and size of the device - it's surprisingly light at 71grams and pocket size with dimensions of H 10.8, W 3.9 AND D 1.68 cm. The rectangle shape makes it easy to hold and operate at the same time - essential when you're recording something important and when the dictation device is the only equipment you're relying on!
The device boasts a recording time of over 800 hours and a battery life of over 70 hours. It requires 2 X AAA batteries which are INCLUDED. What comes with batteries these days? Wow. I used the device a number of times and the battery indicator didn't even move. I am confident that I could use it in very important situations and not worry about it dying unexpectedly!  The device also comes with a manufacturers guarantee of 2 years.

One of the features that sold the Dictaphone for me was the fact that the high speed USB connection allows the files to be transferred and played back onto the PC, which other devices do not feature. The USB cable is quite short but it's really simple to transfer them over and store on a PC! There are various recording modes although even when a specific mode isn't seleceted, it still works very well! I do recommend you play around with it before using it to find the best mode that suits you.
The device has a useful stand that snaps out on the back. This feature helps the quality of the recordings as it directs the microphone into the air rather than being flat against a desk or book. There are 5 folders, A-E which allows easy storage and arrangement of your recordings. The recordings feature a slow/fast playback - a great feature for when you're writing up notes or getting to the part you need.

The device features a low-noise microphone which helps reduce low level noise. The sound quality is amazing! When playing my recordings back, the quietest of sounds were picked up! Even when I had a very quiet recording (which was no issue of the Dictaphone), I could still hear and transcribe what was said which I was soo relieved with! Other little features include the option of adjusting the font size; small or large and there are 12 languages to choose from, making it a great tool for students around the world.

In comparison with other Dictaphone's that were on my short list, I am soo happy I purchased this one! I am confident that it's given me an advantage in my work with a look of professionalism and quality of recordings for transcripts etc. 
Price; 5 STARS After researching devices with similar features, it's apparent you can pay much more than what I paid! I am very happy with what I got for my money!

Promises; 5 STARS Low noise, clear sound. The sound is very clear - great for playing back and typing up recordings! I haven't had any trouble with using the device or trouble listening to the recordings, even when they're ultra quiet!

Ease of Use; 5 STARS The diagrams are very clear - explaining all the buttons and functions making it quick and easy to setup and start using! When using the device in professional situations, it was very easy to use - no fiddly buttons.

Would I Recommend to a Friend?; YES Even though the Olympus VN-711PC is the only Dictaphone I have used, there isn't anything I can fault with it. The recording quality is great, very easy to use and understand - making it great for leisure and professional uses.


  1. But does it help you avoid having to listen to your own voice? Which would be my key requirement with a Dictaphone, I hate how I sound on anything.

    1. I had that problem at first! When typing and transcribing my interviews, I slowed the recording down so I could type without missing anything and therefore I couldn't recognize my voice! That helped a lot and then I didn't mind it :)

  2. Hello Kirsty, I'm glad that you've found the way on how to use it for your advantage in completing your dissertation.


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