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Olympus DM-620

*Est. $150
Reviewed
April 2013
by ConsumerSearch
Olympus DM-620

Best digital voice recorder

Pros
  • Three-mic setup delivers great sound quality
  • Intuitive interface
  • Voice guidance for the visually impaired
Cons
  • Playback volume is low
  • Quirky file-naming and menu system
  • No warning when battery is about to die

Bottom Line

When it comes to capturing crisp audio from public meetings, interviews or even concerts, the Olympus DM-620 delivers flexibility and performance in a portable package. Killer sound from the Tresmic 3 mic system pairs with a handful of extras to make the DM-620 perfect for work or play.

Performance

A quality trio. The Olympus DM-620's three-microphone setup and adjustable presets make it a workhorse in terms of capturing the best quality in a range of recording environments. The unit's two outer microphones are placed at an angle, while the adjustable center mic picks up bass ranges for balanced recordings. Radio magazine's Gil Wilson notes, "The added ambiance of the center mic makes the recordings on this device pop." Range is another plus mentioned by reviewers, since the DM-620 maintains excellent audio clarity even up to 55 feet away from the audio source, depending on the situation.

Ease Of Use

Accessible but persnickety. Recording with the Olympus DM-620 takes little effort for most users, but some less tech-minded owners find getting a grasp of the recorder's features a challenge. Others don't care for the menu system and the way files are named. The 4 GB of on-board memory offers a lot of recording time, and a microSD card slot lets that be easily expanded (up to 32 GB). Voice guidance offers extra help for those using the DM-620 in poorly lit situations or for those with a visual impairment.

Value

A top performer for office work and meetings. In terms of audio quality, the Olympus DM-620 packs an impressive punch, which makes it invaluable for those seeking to capture clear recordings for transcribing. The interface has its quirks, but the overall performance of this digital recorder outweighs the minor niggles.

Where To Buy
Olympus 142665 DM-620 SLV Voice Recorder

 (51 reviews)
Buy new: $199.99 $109.00   25 Used & new from $102.00

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eBayeBay rated 3.83 (1281 reviews)1,281 store reviewsIn Stock. Buy it new & now! with eBay Buyer Protection$139.95
 

Our Sources

1. Radio magazine

Review Credibility: Very Good Gil Wilson says the Olympus DM-620 "may be your be all end all decision" for top-quality voice recording. Wilson's analysis and detailed feature rundown is backed by hands-on use in a variety of situations ranging from interview recordings to capturing live music in a concert hall. In particular, he likes the DM-620's Tresmic 3 microphone system, which delivers dynamic flexibility and great sound quality. No rating is given.

Review: Field Report: Olympus DM-620, Gil Wilson, Nov. 1, 2011

2. Amazon.com

Review Credibility: Good On Amazon.com, the Olympus DM-620 is a popular digital voice recorder pick among court reporters and others who use it to capture meetings, lectures and interviews, though the sample size is small with just under 20 reviews contributing to the recorder's score of 4.1 out of 5. Users report getting excellent sound quality from their recordings and generally find the DM-620 easy to work with; however, there are a few complaints about the interface and file system.

Review: Olympus 142665 DM-620 SLV Voice Recorder, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2013

3. Hammacher.com

Review Credibility: Fair The Olympus DM-620 is Hammacher Schlemmer's top selection in the digital audio recorder product category. This brief review cites The DM-620's ability to make clear recordings up to 55 feet away from the audio source as a distinct plus and touts its "superior sound clarity." Testing is claimed to be done by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, but the criteria and methods are not described.

Review: The Best Digital Voice Recorder, Editors of Hammacher.com, Not Dated

4. Staples.com

Review Credibility: Fair Staples.com users are short and to-the-point in their feedback across the roughly dozen reviews that contribute to the Olympus DM-620's rating of 4.2 out of 5. A few self-identified "technically challenged" owners struggle with the interface and instructions, though others rate the recorder highly for its audio quality and ease of use. Reviews indicate whether the writer is tech-savvy and whether they're a verified buyer.

Review: Olympus DM-620 Digital Voice Recorder, Contributors to Staples.Com , As of April 2013

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