Olympus DP-201 Review

Updated April 30, 2014
Olympus DP-201
Bottom Line

It's easy to think of the Olympus DP-201 as "the little recorder that could." This scrappy, palm-sized digital voice recorder makes up for its lack of extra functions with overall reliability and a very reasonable price tag.


Packs a decent pint-sized punch. For the most basic uses, the Olympus DP-201 captures good-sounding audio. A noise-reduction feature blocks unwanted noises in some of the more challenging recording situations you might encounter, but some users report spotty sound quality in noisier settings all the same. Still, most owners say that this digital voice recorder generally gets the job done for simple tasks.

  • Very small and portable
  • Easy to use
  • No file-transfer capabilities
  • Noise in some situations
  • Quirky erase function
  • Memory can't be expanded

Ease of use

Big-finger friendly. Sticking to a limited number of large, easy-to-hit buttons, the Olympus DP-201 is one of the easiest, most straightforward recorders to wield in its range. Files are simply organized by date, rather than numerous folders, letting you pinpoint what you recorded and when. You can get quite a bit of material stored on the built-in 2 GB flash memory; unlike most digital voice recorders, there are no expansion options. Another big downside is that this recorder doesn't connect to a computer, so you can't download files: What you hear is what you get. Some users struggle with the erase function, saying it's counterintuitive.


Bargain-bin buster. The Olympus DP-201's biggest draw is its low price tag. It's one of the cheaper digital voice recorders on the market, but it lacks many of the extras and even some basic functions that higher-end users come to expect in a recorder. Still, many users find that it suits their needs perfectly, and at the right price.

Buy from Amazon

Our Sources

1. Amazon.com

Olympus DP-201 Digital Voice Recorder, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014

The Olympus DP-201 resonates among Amazon.com users, where it gets a score of 4.4 stars out of 5 following more than 360 reviews. Most reviewers appreciate the small size and price tag, though the inability to transfer files directly to a PC is a downside listed by many users.

2. Staples.com

Olympus DP-201 Digital Voice Recorder, Contributors to Staples.com, As of April 2014

Staples.com users give the Olympus DP-201 a score of 4.2 stars out of 5, based on more than 30 reviews. Users say it works well for simple tasks, although it's not very sophisticated. A few complain that the unit picks up background noise and that erasing files can be daunting.