Choosing the Best Voice Recorder Device for Students

Record anywhere at any time with an Audio Recorder. These small devices remain popular among a wide range of markets, even though many other portable devices now come with a recording device built-in. The microphones on devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops are often poor quality and only aimed at capturing close range noises, failing to compete with a dictation device.

Audio Recorders at University 

Dictation Devices At University

A three-year degree course at university in England costs an average of £22,200 a year. Spending this much on education, students want to make sure they get their money’s worth.

The average student is recommended to spend 15-20 hours per week revising. There are many tips and tricks to make revision and extra studying more beneficial. One example being recording classes and listening to the recording back.

How Audio Recorders Enhance the Learning Experience

  • Lectures can be complex and difficult to understand when first hearing them. Recording a lecture allows students to listen back to go over the more intricate sections again.
  • Some lectures are very long and can be hard to focus 100% throughout. When students zone out during class, they have a recording they can listen to later and not miss the information.
  • Increasingly students are studying abroad, and English may not be their first language. They may need to listen to a lecture again, slower.
  • Note-taking can be difficult and can cause missed information. Rather than focusing on transcribing everything the lecturer says, they can engage in the class more and take notes from their recording.
  • Revisit a topic they’re less confident about. When a student doesn’t fully understand a topic, they’ll have the lecturer's explanation on hand.

A dictation device can enhance the studying experience. Students can engage with the class more and rewrite the lecture in their own words at a later point.

Students and Audio Recorders.

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Students that record their lectures are at a greater advantage than those who take written notes. Non-linear note taking such as using a dictaphone and relistening to the lecture later can help students make connections between ideas and strengthen long-term retention of content.

Taking notes can cause students to miss crucial information. Which is why dictation devices are a popular ‘must-have’ for every student.

Not only are they a useful device to study from later, if a student knows they’re going to miss a lecture, but they can also easily lend their Dictaphone to one of their classmates and not miss out on the important information during the class.

Using Them to Record Lectures

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Students wanting to take voice recorded notes in classes will do best with an omnidirectional recorder. These types of recorders are better suited to recording sounds from a range of directions, whereas unidirectional recorders are better suited to sounds from only one direction.

Using Them to Record Tutorials


Tutorials are classes with an academic member of staff, often in small groups or individually. Sometimes these meetings are a part of the core teaching programme or other times they are an optional addition to the curriculum. Whether they are compulsory or an option, these sessions are filled with valuable information and are a chance to test and develop students’ understandings.

Students can ask questions in their tutorials about sections of the course they understand less, they can then refer to these notes during study sessions to gain a better understanding on any problem areas they have.

Tips to Recording Valuable Information

A dictaphone is a useful tool for any student, but is even more valuable when used effectively. Your customers will get much more value out of their device when doing the following:

  • Pausing the device when there is no valuable information to keep recordings short. When a recording hits 30 minutes, stop and start a new one. Students are far more likely to relisten to and revise from a 30-minute recording than a two-hour recording with filler
  • Filing voice recordings by topic discussed, class and date, this will help find recordings later
  • Keeping the device memory clear by regularly uploading files to a computer
  • Get better quality recordings by trying out different seating locations to maximise the microphones reception
  • Always ensuring the device has battery and storage before heading to class
  • Buying the best device

Lecturers and Audio Recorders

Top lecturers don’t rely on their students to record their classes, they make sure they have a dictaphone on their desk. There are many benefits for this; recording lectures helps to improve future lectures as well as keeping track of what has already been taught and discussed. It also helps in the case of a student’s absence and can be a very valuable study tool for students to refer to pre-exams.

Leading Audio Recorders

Choosing the best dictation device can be difficult, there are so many to choose from and each one boasts different features. There are several factors to consider when choosing the dictation device best for your customers:      

  • Recording quality (e.g. high-resolution)
  • Storage Memory (Built-in or removable media)
  • Unidirectional or omnidirectional Microphones.
  • Size of the device
  • Versatility of the device
  • USB Connection.
  • Voice recognition software
  • Ease of use.

Olympus is one of the leading brands in voice recording technology. A lot of their dictation devices are inexpensive with a fine performance. Some of their devices include exciting features, such as their Intelligent Auto Mode. This mode automatically adjusts the sensitivity of the microphone to the volume of their voice.

This mode is perfect for students who are taking notes in a lecture hall as their voice recording device will compensate for the space of the room.

Audio Recorder and Voice Recognition.

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Some audio recorders kits include Nuance speech to text software that can transcribe personal notes for you. Although voice recognition technology can not record meetings or lectures, it is perfect for dictating your reports or use for revision.

With as little as 10 minutes training the computer in how you talk, you will be up and running.  The more you use it, the more the software learns.  In no time at all you could be achieving up to 99% accuracy. *Note, Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking software is Windows PC only.

Common questions asked by students using a dictation device:

Can I record my lectures?

Yes, as long as you have your lecturer’s permission. Few lecturers mind you recording their classes, in most cases, they encourage it.

Can I use this with a Mac and a PC?

A lot of dictaphones are compatible with both Mac and PC. Double check that the dictation device is compatible with your computer before making your decision.

What qualities should you look for in a dictation device?

Depending on what you want to get out of your dictation device, you may look for different qualities. The main four things to look for include:

  • Recording quality
  • Storage capacity
  • Size of the device
  • The versatility of the device

How do I choose my dictation device?

Olympus is a leading well-known brand for dictation devices. The LS P1 and LS-P4 are two popular models among university students. Both devices feature an integrated direct USB stick for convenient storage and transfer of files, along with the zoom microphone for precise sound pick up.

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For more information on our full range of Olympus recording devices, please contact our Olympus Brand Manager Chris Newark on 01379 647541 or email