As a university student I am constantly in lectures, which always have a lot of information to take in. I, therefore, decided to invest in a dictaphone to help me with my revision, so I could listen back to the lectures as and when I wanted to.
When I purchased this dictaphone I didn't really know too much about the technical details regarding what makes a good dictaphone. As such, I decided to buy one from a well known brand, Sony. The dictaphone is a nice compact size, a typical grey colour and has buttons on the front of the device to control the recordings. The headphones connection point is on the bottom of the device. It has a reasonable sized LCD screen and has a fairly large integrated flash memory of 2GB (approximately 500 hours of recording). The files are stored in an MP3 format, however, there is no way of downloading these files to a computer. The dictaphone does have unique noise cut technology, which enhances people's voices in the recording. This is what attracted me to this dictaphone in the first place in the store, as in a lecture hall there is so much background noise the device could pick up on, and any enhancements on the lectures clarity would be great.
This Dictaphone can purchased for about £40 depending on where you buy it.
As expected from the noise cut technology, the dictaphone products high quality recordings, which are easy to playback. The recordings were even clear when I had the dictaphone recording at the back of a large lecture theatre. However, the main problem with this device was that it can not download the files onto a computer. When I brought the dictaphone I just assumed it would be able to connect to a computer. This was rather frustrating as I wanted to be able to connect it a computer to download my files and organise them into folders with my lecture notes. It also means that if you do use the device a lot the memory isn't as good as it seems as once it is full you have to delete files rather than transferring them. On a plus note it was fairly easy to organise the files on the device.
Overall it had excellent sound quality, but for me I wouldn't buy it again as I wanted it to connect to a computer. Since buying this device I have a brought a device that can connect to a computer and it only cost an extra £10. If your happy to keep all the files on the device it is a great dictaphone.
This Sony dictaphone has:
2GB flash memory, 500 hours recording (in long play mode), MP3 recording/playback, 300mW speaker, multi-edit functions
It allows you to control playback speeds
It offers 'Noise Cut' technology - so that sound is clearer
It features MP3 recording
It also has 'Advanced' recording - Voice Operated Recording with Hi/Lo mic sensitivity, 4 recording modes including Super High Quality and 5 message folders to organise files
Handily, it also has 'Easy' editing - you can divide, erase, select/move files etc
This retails for about £40. Mine is silver but I think I may have seen this model in black too. It looks pretty cool and it's really light to carry. The unit is, of course, battery-powered so that it is portable. Unlike some dictaphones, these batteries must be replaced. I found myself having to do this monthly so it can become costly. Other units come with a built-in rechargeable battery which I think I will go for next time but this would mean paying more.
You can record approximately 500 hours of speech and you can hear what was said really well. Voices sound clear. There is no USB on this one (unlike previous models by Sony) so you cannot upload recordings onto a PC. You could get around that with using an AUX cable to the PC but it is not as easy as just using a USB. That may be annoying to some.
The buttons are rec/pause, fast forward, rewind and erm...stop. Oh and power on/off. Simples! The playback is quite loud (300MW).There is a VOR function which means that when the person stops talking it will automatically stop recording for that time - very useful. The casing seems quite strong but if you want to you can buy a holder for it.
Seems OK for students and those in regular meetings. I am happy with it.
Being a university student I have got through quite a few of these so thought it was time to share my findings. I brought this one in my second year of uni so I could have a copy of my lectures so if I missed one, don't understand something when it comes to revision, missed something important or lost concentration I could listen back later on.
The item is produced by the reputable company 'Sony' and is the typical grey colour with buttons on the front to control recordings and organize your files and has a headphone connection point on the bottom. It has a decent size LCD screen to allow you to find and playback any recordings. The ICD BX800 contains an integrated flash memory of 2GB, approximately 500 hours of recording. As most Dictaphones it records the files in MP3 format. One of the best features, making this device slightly more unique is the noise cut technology, which enhances people voices in the recordings, which is ideal for lecture theatres.
This Dictaphone can purchased for £40-£50 depending on where you buy it and if you shop online.
The device does indeed product nice clear recordings, which are very easy to playback and understand, even when recorded at a distance in a large lecture theatre. The main issue, which I didn't realize at the time as I probably wouldn't have purchased it for my use, is it has no way of connecting it to a computer and saving the documents as where. This is a real pain for me as having a copy on the computer and being able to organize the different lectures into folders is key to being able to find the appropriate lecture I need to listen to again.
I wouldn't buy it again as i didn't suit my needs as it didn't connect to a computer, if you spend £10 you can get this option. If you looking to use it as a reminder or for writing books then maybe it will suit you better. Its just a shame as the quality is very good.
As a writer and a student, I find it really annoying whenever I have ideas and don't have a way to get them out quickly enough without forgetting them shortly after. It was starting to become annoying so I wanted to invest in a dictaphone.
I can't say I was an expert in dictaphones beforehand, but I did some research and found this model - Sony has always been reliable for me. There are cheaper models - I can't say I've used them to rate them - but there's always the possibility that cheaper means poorer quality, and £40 seems a good price for what you get.
The ICD BX800's memory storage is great; you get around 500 hours of very good sound quality recording. The recordings in playback are exceptionally clear, which is obviously the most important thing for a Dictaphone. You can play them back through the speaker or through headphones.
As I said, I'm no expert but I found the Dictaphone very easy to use. The buttons are clear and simple - you can skip through old recordings very easily. There are some additional functions but all I've ever used it for is simple recording and playback, and any novice can figure out how to do that with ease.
You can't upload recordings to a computer but it hasn't been a big problem for me; I only use the Dictaphone for recording rough ideas/notes to be written up later more formally, so I don't really need to keep the recordings stored on my laptop for later. Plus, I doubt many people will go over 500 hours of rough recordings before they need more space. If you are one of those people, you'll need a Dictaphone with USB connection capabilities. If there are any disadvantages, this is the only one, but it's never been an issue for me.
I have just recently purchased the ICD BX800 from Sony to help organise my work from home. I seem to really struggle with organisation and having many different projects on the go from home this seemed like the perfect investment to eradicate all the scraps of paper of endless notes.
I had searched over a few days for a decent dictaphone and although there are several different makes and models on the market ranging upwards from £15 I decided to go with the reputable brand "Sony" costing slightly more at just over £40 plus delivery.
The ICD BX800 features an integrated flash memory of 2GB which holds approximately 500 hours of audio recording, the device also records in MP3 format delivering crystal clear audio recordings in high quality. There are also a few nice features which include speed control to alter playback speeds and noise cut technology which enhances human voices within recordings.
The only issue with the BX800 is that there is no USB connection to transfer recordings to a laptop or computer nor is there a removable memory card so the device is purely suited for simply recording, playing back and deleting memo's, if you are looking to share or keep copy's of the recordings then a more expensive model may be more suited.
The device is very easy to use and allows audio input via a 3.5mm jack lead or via the integrated microphone, recordings can be played back through the integrated speaker or via headphones again with a 3.5mm connection.
The LCD screen displays information about the recorded content and allows the user to easily skip between previous and later recordings according to the date and time recorded, again it easy to playback and delete files as easy as it is to record them.
I originally bought this Dictaphone to record some meeting when setting up my business, just so I could play back ideas and rely information, priced at around £30, this was one of the cheapest I could find.
This piece of technology is very easy to use, I thought I might have to read through the instruction manual, however, in a way it explains itself. The best qualities of this item for me were the large and clear screen which shows what is happening and how long the recording it taking place and also the very easy to use - and not too small buttons.
The sound quality of this item is not the best I have heard, however you get what you pay for and it is certainly not the worst recording ever also it hasover 500 hours of recording space. The handheld device is very lightweight and because of the size it fits easily into my handbag.
Overall I would rate this item 8/10 - and if you are looking for a good price rather than quality then this item is for you!
The Sony ICD BX800 dictaphone is a basic digital dictaphone available for around £30. The technical details are available for all to see by clicking on the "technical details" tab, and as that kind of thing isn't my forte, I'll focus on my opinion of this dictaphone rather that what it does!
My boyfriend and I have used this dictaphone mainly for recording notes, for exam revision. It is very easy to use - completely intuitive and no need for reading the instruction manual. You can see from the picture that buttons are laid out clearly and aren't too small.
Apart from being really simple to use and doing a great job, I really like the fact that this dictaphone is lightweight and has over 500 hours of recording space. It is also great value for money and the battery life is good. Sound quality is good whether played back through the built in speaker of headphones. The hold function is good so you don't accidentally start recording when it's in your bag/pocket.
Recordings can't be downloaded to a computer, but I didn't need this function anyway.
I've given this product 5 stars because I think for the price it is excellent quality.
When I was doing my PGCE (teacher training qualification) last year I found it so hard to make notes on everything the lecturers were saying. I admit now, that I'm actually a real teacher with my own class, that half of what they told me was useless information that I didn't need to know and has had absolutely no impact on my teaching career. However at the time I was under the impression that the words out of the lecturers mouths were like gold dust and that I needed to record every last syllable that left their lips in case that was what distinguished me as a brilliant or a rubbish teacher! Little did I know that about 10% of what I heard in each lecture would actually be useful! A couple of people on my course had invested in dictaphones which were not only a great way of recording a lecture but were also recommended to be used when we were actually teaching to enable us to reflect on our lessons and the consequent learning that took place. Now I'm not one to be outdone by someone else with a more "fancy" gadget so I decided to invest in my very own dictaphone... to make sure I captured every last bit of gold dust floating around the lecture theatre!
As usual when it comes to technology products I was a complete novice and didn't have much of an idea about what features I actually needed in a dictaphone or, indeed, what features came with a dictaphone! After browsing around in my local Comet store and online on Amazon I finally selected the Sony ICD BX800 dictaphone. My main reasoning behind making this purchase was that it came from a reputable brand, it wasn't cheap enough to be useless yet it wasn't expensive enough to stop me going out that weekend either! It is currently priced at £17.99 on Amazon although the recommended retail price is listed at £34.99 on Amazon so you are making quite a saving buying it from here. The dictaphone turned up a couple of days after placing my order in a white box which was about a third of the size of a small shoebox. The box featured the brand and product name, a large picture of the product and some basic information about the product too. Inside the box I found the dictaphone itself in a plastic bag and a booklet containing instructions about its usage. There didn't seem to be any excess packaging with this product which is always good.
The product itself is incredibly modern and sleek looking, I think I was expecting some bulky contraption when I first started looking but this was really slim. It's about 5 inches in length, two inches in width and about an inch in terms of depth which makes it really easy to carry around or to balance on top of a desk when in use. It only weighs 68g so it's very lightweight indeed. It's silver in colour which I preferred to the numerous black models out there as it looks much sleeker in my opinion. On the upper side of the dictaphone there's a display screen which displays vital information when the dictaphone is in use, below which are five simple to use buttons and then the lower half is taken up by the actual speaker part that takes in any audio input. The back of the dictaphone is fairly bare apart from the opening where the batteries go and that's really all there is to it. I've been using mine for nearly a year now and although it does have a few scratches I've found the outer casing to be really tough as it's still going strong, despite it being dropped on the floor numerous times. You can buy a case for it if you wish but this does muffle the sound when recording.
Onto using the dictaphone... Once you switch the dictaphone on it's really easy to use and the screen is instantly illuminated, there does seem to be a lot of information displayed digitally on this screen and I estimate about half of it is useless as I've never had to work out what it's actually for and have been using this dictaphone for nearly a year now! The date is always displayed in the lower half, as is how long you've been recording for and how much time you've got left on the 2GB flash memory that comes with this particular model. It's meant to equate to around 500 hours of recordning time although I've never recorded nearly that much without erasing it so I can't actually comment on this. The buttons are as follows: rec/pause (which allows you to start and pause the recording on the dictaphone), play (which allows you to play back what you've previously recorded), fast forward and rewind (which allow you to move forward or backwards through your recordings) and stop (which stops any play back or any recording). Along with the on / off button that's really all there is when it comes to operating the Sony ICD BX800 dictaphone... simple?!
Well actually yes it really is that simple, I managed to work out how to use this dictaphone within about five minutes! The instructions were really easy to follow and were broken down into simple steps so that even a novice like me could manage to follow them! Recording on the dictaphone simply requires you to press the record button, you can then pause the recording using the same button or stop it altogether using the stop button. It's then equally easy to press rewind and then the play button to listen to what you've just recorded. There really isn't much else to do with this dictaphone to be honest, there aren't any fancy gimmicks or tricks which I personally prefer... as they'd only end up confusing me horribly! It boasts a 300MW loudspeaker which means you can play back your recording really loud, the sound is controlled using a feature on the side of the dictaphone, and the sound is crystal clear. There are also twenty one different levels of playback speed, so you can play it back as slowly as you wish, this also helps to eliminate any distortion that you may have recorded. The sound quality is really clear and there's rarely any distortion at all.
In addition there's also noise cut technology which enhances human speech to produce a much clearer sound and an advanced recording feature which means you can opt for hi or lo sensitivity depending how close you are to the speaker. The only disadvantage that I've come across is that this dictaphone requires batteries which do need to be replaced every fortnight (with daily usage of an hour or two) so this can work out quite expensive. However I did invest in some rechargeable ones which mean I save on having to pay for batteries, some more expensive dictaphones have an inbuilt battery (like many modern cameras these days) which can just be plugged in and recharged whenever required. Some people have mentioned that there is no USB connector which could be seen as a disadvantage, however I only wanted this for its basic recording facilities and if you do want one that you can upload to your computer so that you can keep the voice files long term this isn't for you. They're the only two disadvantages I can come up with which must mean this is a pretty good product, and one isn't really a disadvantage as long as you know what you're getting.
Overall I'm giving this a full five stars as there's nothing I can really fault with it at all, yes there are a few glitches in terms of the battery situation and there not being a USB port on the dictaphone, but I bought this dictaphone knowing both of those facts. I never thought I'd have any need for one of these but since I bought it I've found it to be so useful and still use it now I'm a qualified teacher to monitor different things and when I'm working with focus groups of children. It's one of those gadgets that you can live quite easily without but once you've got one you'll wonder how you ever coped without it! The price of just £17.99 is excellent in my opinion and I personally think it's a brilliant piece of technology for the price I paid. Yes it is a basic model but I knew that when I bought it once again and I'd fully recommend it. As far as my knowledge of technology goes I'd definitely say I'm improving, I'm not quite ready to start inventing my own technological break throughs but if I can master using a dictaphone I think I'm well on my way to becoming a genius! I'm giving this one the full five stars and would highly recommend the Sony ICD BX800.
Thanks for reading.