The Dictopro X100 is a fantastic little voice recorder that offers great audio recording quality and audio playback. It’s a compact and stylish looking device with great build quality too. There are also some great features like voice operated recording which lets you automatically cut blank space out of your recordings. The only real downside to the Dictopro X100 is the lack of an MicroSD card slot, which means you can’t add more storage. Beyond that, some of the controls aren’t immediately obvious without reading the instructions first.
It also has some bizarre features like music playback and an alarm clock, which no one really looks for in a voice recorder. Still, these weird additions don’t detract from the Dictopro X100’s core abilities, and it’s an excellent choice if you need one of the best digital voice recorders.
Dictopro X100 review: Design
- White metal frame with chrome buttons
- LCD screen
The Dictopro X100 is a rather stylish looking device, as far as digital voice recorders go. The white finish and chrome details give it a modern look so you won’t be embarrassed to pull it out in the middle of a room full of students or co-workers. The build quality feels excellent as well. The outer shell is a solid metal casing and the buttons and switches on the Dictopro X100 feel robust too.
Measuring in at just 1.46 x 1.26 x 3.66 inches, the Dictopro X100 is absolutely tiny, and looks ridiculously small in normal sized hands. You’re going to feel like Andre the Giant holding this thing, but its tiny stature means that it can easily fit in your pocket when you’re out and about.
It has a color LCD screen, with controls on the front and sides to operate the device. The on/off switch is found on the left side, along with a volume button. On the right side, you’ll find the up and down buttons, along with a lock switch. On the front of the Dictopro X100 is the record button, along with the menu and play/pause buttons.
Dictopro X100 review: Audio and recording quality
- Excellent recording quality
- Records in MP3 or WAV
- Voice operated recording mode
The Dictopro X100 does everything you’d expect a digital audio recorder to do, and quite a few things you might not expect. If you just want to record an interview or lecture, then you can simply press the record button to start recording your audio, and then press it again when you’re finished. The recording will be automatically saved to the device and thanks to the in-built speakers, you can listen back to your recording instantly. You can record files in either MP3 or WAV formats.
Audio playback is clear, and the volume goes surprisingly high, so you’ll be able to listen back to your recordings using the device itself, either through its speakers or using headphones. You can skip between recordings by tapping the up and down buttons, and you can fast-forward and rewind recordings by holding the up or down buttons while the recording is playing.
For picking up audio, the Dictopro X100 has two ultra-sensitive microphones. We found the microphones worked excellently during our testing too, picking up our voices clearly. The Dictopro X100 also has dynamic noise reduction that does a reasonable job of clearing background noise out of your recordings. You’ll still hear some other stuff in the background, but it won’t impact the clarity of the vocals. It’s worth noting that the Dictopro is not designed to record phone calls using its main microphones, so it’s not suitable as a call recorder.
We tested the microphone at a distance of ten meters, speaking loudly as if we were giving a lecture and the Dictopro X100 picked up everything we said, so it’d be an ideal companion to a college student looking to record their lectures.
You can also activate a feature called voice operated recording, which saves memory space by only recording when the device picks up a sound loud enough to trigger it. This mode is annoyingly difficult to activate though, as you have to turn on two different settings in two different menus. When you do get it set up though, it works as intended, with the Dictopro X100 only recording when you speak and cutting out all the dead space.
You can mess with the settings for microphone sensitivity to adjust it to only pick up what you want, and you can change how long it keeps recording after it stops picking up noise too. This isn’t a true voice-activated device though. You still need to manually start a recording, but once you do, the Dictopro X100 will only actually record the sounds you want it to.
You can also set your Dictopro X100 up to record at specific times and dates through it’s auto recording feature. You can set it up for a one-off recording at a specific time and date, or you can configure it to record every day, or just on weekdays. It’s not quite as configurable as we’d like - you can’t just set it to record every tuesday at 10am for example, but you could set it to record at a specific time every weekday to capture all your lectures. You can pair this mode with voice-operated recording too, so you don’t get stuck with loads of recorded dead space as you walk between lectures or meetings.
Dictopro X100 review: Features and connectivity
- 8GB storage
- Headphone and microphone ports
- Works as an MP3 player
The Dictopro X100 digital voice recorder has 8GB of storage, which is enough to store up to 700 hours of voice recordings. You can connect your Dictopro X100 to your home computer or laptop via a MicroUSB cable to transfer files to and from the device. This is as simple as dragging and dropping files - you don’t need any specific software installed.
The Dictopro X100 comes with a headphone jack so you can listen to your recordings without annoying all the other students around you in the library. There is even a pair of wired earbuds included in the box. On top of this, there is also a line-in port which allows you to hook up a microphone to the device, which is ideal if you need higher quality recording than the in-built microphones would offer.
Oddly, the Dictopro X100 also functions as an alarm clock and MP3 player, though it’s more akin to something you might have had in your pocket 20 years ago than a modern music player. You can transfer songs directly onto the device and play them back either using the in-built speaker or using headphones. You’ll have to cycle through tracks using the skip button or scrolling through the menu though, so it’s not an ideal music listening experience. These days, you’re far better off using your smartphone to listen to your tunes, but the option is here if you want it.
Dictopro X100 review: Battery life
- 12 hours operational battery life
- Internal battery charges via MicroUSB
The Dictopro X100 has a battery life of up to 12 hours of recording time. You can easily turn the device off when it’s not in use to save battery though. While that’s nowhere near the mammoth 110 hours that something like the Olympus WS-852 can manage, it’s still long enough to go through a full day without needing a recharge. We never had the Dictopro get anywhere near running out of battery during our tests.
When the juice does get low, you can easily charge the Dictopro X100 via a micro USB port on the bottom of the device. The Dictopro X100 comes with a Micro-USB to USB charging cable that lets you plug it into your laptop, home computer, or charging station.
Dictopro X100 review: Price
- MSRP of $69.97
- One-year warranty
The Dictopro X100 has an MSRP of $69.97, but you can regularly find it on sale for less than that. At the time of writing this review, the Dictopro X100 digital voice recorder can be found for just $44.97 on Amazon, Walmart, and via the Dictopro website. You get a one year warranty on the Dictopro X100, along with a 30-day returns policy.
Dictopro X100 review: User reviews
User reviews for the Dictopro X100 are largely positive, with an average rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 on Amazon from 2,003 reviews. The Dictopro X100 also has a 4.1 out of 5 star rating on Walmart, though only from 39 reviews.
Positive reviews praise the Dictopro X100 for its clear recording quality and compact design. Common complaints include some of the controls being unintuitive, while others seem to have defective units.
Interestingly, most of the negative reviews on Amazon have been updated by the users praising the customer service they received. Dictopro seems to be proactive in resolving user issues either by offering help or sending them a new model.
Should you buy the Dictopro X100?
While there are a few odd design choices in the Dictopro X100, we can’t fault it on its ability as a voice recorder. It can capture clear audio at a good range, and offers audio playback and some advanced features that make it an ideal choice for voice recording. Whether you’re a student recording lectures or a journalist recording interviews, the Dictopro X100 offers excellent quality at a reasonable price. The customer service from Dictopro is excellent too, so if you do have an issue, it will be quickly resolved.
The lack of a MicroSD card slot is a shame, but 8GB of storage should be more than enough for most people’s needs. If you do pick up the Dictopro X100, make sure you read the instructions though, because some of the controls aren’t immediately obvious by looking at the device.