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Article:
  Review: Olympus DS-2 Stereo Voice Recorder
Subject:   Voice recorder for hearing impaired teen student
Date:   2006-11-30 21:01:44
From:   PinkieT
I'm looking for a voice recorder for my daughter who is entering high school. She has a hearing impairment and ADHD so I hope that a voice recorder will help her take notes and record homework assignments when she's not physically able to hear or write them herself. She has also recently been given "The Dragon" voice recognition software. We can't afford to spend a fortune on a voice recorder but need one that will produce good sound, be easy for a disabled child to use, be sturdy enough to take some punishment, possibly work with "The Dragon" and be kid cool. Is the Olympus right for her or would we be better with the Sony. Can either use rechargable batteries? Can either also play downloaded music files? We've been considering an MP3 player with voice recorder that can plug directly into the usb port of her laptop but we're concerned the voice recorded sound won't be clear enough with her hearing impairment and won't be good enough to work with the voice recognition software.
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  • David Battino photo Voice recorder for hearing impaired teen student
    2006-11-30 23:19:33  David Battino | O'Reilly Blogger [View]

    Good questions. I haven't tested the Sonys but have had good results with the Olympus recorders. (I bought a WS-200S after writing this review and carry it daily.)

    Maybe you can arrange to have your daughter sit close to the teacher, which would improve the recordings. I get noticeably better results using external mics, but that would be a hassle in daily use.

    That said, an iPod with an external mic might offer the ultimate in kid-coolness. The latest iPods finally offer high-resolution recording. And the newest Olympus WS-series voice recorders play MP3s, so that's another option, although they have plastic cases and tiny buttons.

    I find that stereo recordings are more intelligible than mono ones, but you'll of course need headphones or stereo speakers to get the benefit. The fingernail-size speaker on the voice recorder is low-fi.

    Rechargeable batteries do work.

    Check the Dragon site for voice recorder compatibility.

    I have a summary of voice recorder questions and answers at http://www.oreillynet.com/digitalmedia/blog/2006/09/your_voice_recorder_questions.html.