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I bought this in my 2nd year at University. It is very good at recording lectures, especially in my case where I had an ensuing exam on EU politics which required the recollection of dates, times and names etc. I tend to retain information better if I hear it repeatedly which for the exam purpose this ideal. As well as using it for lectures I used it to make my own exam notes on the dictaphone. The only thing that confused me was the A, B, C, D recording capabilities. It had the additional plus of being able to transferred to my computer, although I have not needed it is always helpful to know that it is there. I did pay £60 for mine but it is well worth the money considering how many times it has been used. I have not had any problems with sound at all. Although there are cheaper versions on the market it is well worth paying a bit extra for a really good dictaphone.
[I've tried to review this before, but it was locked and has been deleted, so i'll have another go. Hopefully this time it'll be deemed suitable by Dooyoo]
I used this dictaphone during uni to record lectures. I'm an auditory kinda person and there was just too much notation during my lectures. I wasn't sure how well it would work, but this olympus was pretty much the best I could find for a reasonable price (being a student). I paid about £40.
In additon to the dictaphone I bought an external mic, they're easy to come by and cost about £13.
SOUND QUALITY: the quality was pretty good. I sat about 1/3 of the way from the front, so I wasnt THAT far away, but certainly not in the middle of the room infront of them. The quality of recording varied greatly depending on who ws speaking, loud speakers who stayed still led to almost perfect recordings. The jumpier lecturers gave slightly worse ones, and one STUPIDLY QUIET lecturer just led to me getting a 2hr recording of page turning and chatting infront of me. One problem is that the microphone is unidirectional so it only picks up sound from about 70 degrees around it. Also, people coughing and turning pages makes for incredible irritating noises in the recordings. Be warned.
INTERFACE: theres plenty of settings to play with. PErsonally I didnt touch them. With the external microphone it picked up enough sound. There are some presets like "conference" and "music" but I was advised by someone on amazon that its best to leave them, as they dont really make much difference and usually just end up in hissing sounds.
CONNECTIVITY: it's really easy to connect to the PC, theres a USB cable provided. Just plug and play, no software required. My only issue here is that the filenames are just a random sequence of numbers, I feel that a filename based on date and time would be better, especially when I had 8 lectures a week. But whatever, you get what you pay for I suppose.
BATTERY: two AAA battteries power the device. It would have been nice to see AA ones for cheapness, or even an internal battery that could be charged. That said, a set of AAA batteries lasted me about 3 months so I cant really complain.
Overall, the Olympus is a little gem. A few other people in my lectures used to try recording with more expensive sony devices and had little success. If you're going to buy it for this purose then I implore you to also buy the microphone, makes recordingd 100x better