Some things over the years have changed and some have not but they have evolved, when I was in university a fair number of people used to record the lectures, not sure if this was to make sure they didn’t miss anything or more to allow them to shut off and avoid listening to the boredom that many lecturers managed to produce. They had dictaphones but they were expensive, used tapes and ate batteries like no-ones business.
Fast forward several years and dictaphones are still around, some are very expensive top end pieces of kit that you use day in to record pretty much everything, others are at the lower end of the budget and are suited to students wanting to record everything or those who want to record occasional things – but they all have the same thing in common, they now use flash storage and much better batteries!
This offering from Btopllc is in the budget end of the market, now for some this may be off putting, but the kit you get and the features it comes with is something you’d expect on a more expensive model.
In the box
- 8GB Dictaphone
- Clip on microphone
- USB cables
- Telephone connector
- Instruction manual
The unit does have a plastic feel, but its in the budget market so thats to be expected. The display isn’t the most lively and seems to have a single point for the backlight which isn’t great. Lots of cables in the box which are all useful (unlike some thimgs which come woth cables that only ever go in a drawer and are never used!). The instruction manual is OK, could be a little clearer but is easy to follow and setup the device.
Setup and Use
Ater the inital battery charge, setting up is very easy and you’ll be recording in very little time, the menu although not as intuitive as it could be is functional but the buttons to select and confirm could be tweaked to make it more logical.
Recording is simple, place on a desk and hit record – give it a couple of seconds to start as it does seem a little slow so is easy to miss something if you press record and talk straight away.
Add the clip on microphone to either attach to clothing or act as a directional microphone which is handy in certain environments.
Telephone adaptor – this allows you to record conversations via your telephone, I’ve not tested this as I don’t have a house phone to test it with but something people in the UK should be aware of – you can record a telephone conversation for private use without disclosing you are recording it, but if you intend to play it back to others (such as in court) then you are required to state the call is being recorded.
Quality of the recordings depends on various factors but setting a higher bitrate will give you a better recording (assuming other factors like environmental noise etc are accounted for), playback on the unit is OK and really only for review, but when you connect it to a PC or via headphones and then play the files back you’ll notice the quality is much better.
If you want a half decent dictaphone on a budget then this is the unit for you. Its not the best build quality in the world, but it has so many features which are better than other more expensive units and add this to the cost, it becomes a very attractive little unit!