Digital voice recorders are a niche product. If you use one you know how valuable they can be. You also know how antiquated they are and how hard it is to tag and move files on and off the device when you’re in the field.
But Olympus have put a lot of thought into their new digital recorder. I’m particularly fond of my trusty H4n Zoom which has never let me down over years of faithful service but the features of the new Olympus DM-901 have made me think twice about a new recorder.
The soon to be released Olympus works with your smartphone via a dedicated app to act as a remote control. It allows you to sync with Dropbox and lets you tag sound files with an image from your phone (very, very handy – I’ve spent hours trying to work out which sound file was which).
At events such as seminars and lectures where there is distance from the speaker , you can still get a perfect recording by setting the device the speaker and using the available app to control the recorder from your vantage point (assuming you trust the room enough not to nick off with your brand new fancy recorder).
You can start and stop the recording from a distance so you only capture the audio you need. Recorded files and visual indexes linked to the files can be easily uploaded to Dropbox through a smartphone and accessed via a web browser.
The directivity microphone control makes it possible to switch direction with the “+” and “-” buttons. You can zoom in on an individual speaker/audio source when recording a discussion or lecture from a distant position or when recording in an environment in which there is a lot of ambient sound.
Edit: Since this review was first published the Olympus DM-901 has become available for purchase.
By: Andrew Richardson