The biggest threat to digital voice recorders is the smartphone. You can dictate notes and record lectures and meetings with a smartphone in much the same way as with a recorder, though with the added advantage of being able to email, share and transfer audio files to your computer easily through a Wi-Fi connection or 4G signal. The Olympus DM-901 is one of the few digital voice recorders available that embraces Wi-Fi, so it has the advantages of a smartphone and records stereo-quality audio you can't get from a smartphone microphone. Costing between $100 and $200, this digital voice recorder is ideal for business professionals.
The DM-901 comes with an app that has features not found on other portable recorders. For example, through a Wi-Fi connection, you can control the device remotely. This is useful if need to place the recorder at the front of the room during a lecture – you can sit in the back and hit record using the app on your smartphone. In addition, you can mark the audio with images taken by your phone. If the lecturer writes on the whiteboard, you can take a picture and sync the image of the board with the audio.
Its Wi-Fi compatibility also allows you to transfer files efficiently. It’s very easy to record a business conference and immediately upload the audio to a Dropbox account to share with your coworkers. This saves you the time it takes to find a cable or USB port, transfer the files to your computer, and then upload them. You can also share audio files directly from your smartphone using the app.
This hand-held recorder comes with 4GB of internal storage, and it's compatible with SDHC and SDXC cards, which allow you to add up to 2TB of storage. While there are certainly other devices with more storage, you can compress the audio and fit hundreds of hours of recordings on the Olympus DM-901. Besides, with the Wi-Fi, you can easily transfer files off the device to free up storage.
One drawback is that the DM-901 doesn’t have multitrack recording. While it records in stereo, the microphones aren’t adjustable and only record to one stereo track. This limits it to recording simple dictation during lectures and meetings, which is where it excels.
With Wi-Fi compatibility, the Olympus DM-901 is one of the most practical digital voice recorders for business professionals because you can share and transfer audio files so easily. However, the lack of multitrack recording limits how you can use it.