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The Best Dictaphone for Freelance Writing

Updated on March 18, 2011

Buy a Dictaphone

As writers we have hundreds of ideas every day, sadly we forget most of them and it is too cumbersome writing them all down. Buying a Dictaphone solves this problem, never again will you forget a profitable idea, simply record your idea on a Dictaphone and come back to it later.

In this article we will review the top 5 bestselling Dictaphones with Amazon, we will explore the pros and cons of investing in a Dictaphone for your business and offer links directly to the Dictaphones for you to make your purchase.

Every craftsman needs tools to be successful in business, freelance writers are no different, in this series of reviews we will be exploring the essential tools needed to be a successful writer and finding for you the best deals at Amazon has to offer. Not so many years ago Dictaphones were large unsightly things that required mini tapes, ultimately you would end up with hundreds of tapes around your office; easy too lose. Technology however has done away with these monstrosities and we now have a range of fantastic digital voice recorders. The market is dominated by Olympus and Sony and here are the best Dictaphones in their range.

Dictaphone Deals at Amazon UK
Dictaphone Deals at Amazon UK

Olympus VN-8100PC Digital Voice Recorder 142600 (Silver and Black)

My personal favourite and ironically a top seller with Amazon. Olympus make good cameras and it would seem top notch Dictaphones. This model is priced too sell but the low price hasn't forced them to cut back on features.

Large 2GB internal memory with quick data transfer via USB, it is said that it can record over 830 hours of voice but I have never let it get that full. The beauty of this Dictaphone is that it will record in MP3 and WMA modes which makes it much more flexible for PC and Mac users than it's more expensive predecessors.

The build quality and spec of this Dictaphone is second to none, it will serve you well in the field and in the office, the price doesn't really do it justice although Amazon are using that "too low to advertise" tact, I strongly recommend you check this one out.


Sony ICD-PX820 Digital Voice Recorder (Black)
Sony ICD-PX820 Digital Voice Recorder (Black)

2GB Digital Voice Recorder by Sony.


Sony ICD-PX820 Digital Voice Recorder (Black)

Sony products are renowned for their quality and this stylish Dictaphone is no exception, packed full of the latest voice recording technology it is an ideal addition to any writers kit.

This fantastic Dictaphone records in MP3 format for crystal clear playback with an enhanced stereo speaker and 4 recording quality options. Has a credible 2GB memory meaning up to 520 hours of recording is possible via the long play mode. For ease of use it connects directly to your PC via USB enabling simple file transfer, voice activated recording, easy accessible controls and adjustable speed playback.

The main selling point for this Sony Dictaphone is the quality of build, anyone who uses a Dictaphone outside of the office will know that it will get knocked and dropped so durability is a must. To buy this Dictaphone click on the picture for full spec and current prices.

Sony ICD-BX800 2 GB Flash Memory Digital Voice Recorder (Silver)

OK, we are at the bottom end of the budget here with this entry level Dictaphone, less than $25 you couldn't make one for that.

If you are looking to buy a Dicataphone that offers clarity in recording, easy to operate and is cheap then this is it. The price however is misleading and here is why:

It will record up to 530 hours in long play mode, it is voice operated meaning it stops recording your voice when you stop talking and it has stereo recording, the only thing it doesn't have is USB connectivity.

All in all this Dictaphone does exactly what is says on the box, it doesn't need selling it is a buyers dream, click on the picture and buy one as they won't last long at this price.

Olympus Digital Voice Recorder (VN 6200PC)

This mid range voice recorder is acceptable but lacks in some the features we have come too expect from Olympus Dictaphones.

The style and build quality are fine, the price is reasonable but it is limited in terms of memory as this model offers 1GB, it's enough for most in long play mode but 2GB is fast becoming the standard. It can be connected to PC via USB but again is limited to WMA files were others offer the MP3 format. It does however give you 3 voice recording options in terms of quality and can be voice operated for ease of use.

Don't dismiss this Dictaphone as it is acceptable but for more features and value for money consider another model from the range.

Olympus WS-510M 4GB Digital Voice Recorder and WMA/MP3 Music Player

No review would be complete without looking at both ends of the scale, this Olympus Dictaphone for me is the pick of the bunch.

We already know the quality of Olympus voice recorders and the best just got better with increased features and usability:

A massive 4GB of memory means over 1000 hours of recording with smart recoding which ensures it records when there is noise not just when it's running.

Has a built in USB so ne need for cables, simply plug it in to your PC.

Will hold up to 1000 songs for music on the move.

Rechargeable battery cuts down on cost and recharges when plugged in to your computer.

Has all of the basic features and then some, this Dictaphone is probably aimed at the professional end as it is more than most of us would ever need, that said if you are a gadget freak then this will not leave you feeling short changes. The current price is nothing when you consider what you are getting for the money, go on treat yourself.

Buying a Dictaphone won't break the bank but could swell your bank account, no more lost stories, ideas or thoughts. I use mine everyday, I didn't know how much I forgot until I started listening to the playbacks. I urge all writers too buy a Dictaphone, this may sound like out and out sales speak but honestly they make life so much easier.

My latest mission is to find the best software to work with my Dictaphone, then it will type and print my words, utopia is not that far away, sorry I digress.

Whatever you decide and whichever Dictaphone you buy I hope this review has been useful.

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