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Topic Title: Headset & recorder combo
Topic Summary: Confused over what will work
Created On: 05/26/2021 12:39 PM
Status: Post and Reply
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 Headset & recorder combo   - StrugglingAuthor - 05/26/2021 12:39 PM  
 Headset & recorder combo   - Lunis Orcutt - 05/26/2021 03:34 PM  
 Headset & recorder combo   - StrugglingAuthor - 05/26/2021 03:55 PM  
 Headset & recorder combo   - Lunis Orcutt - 05/26/2021 06:11 PM  
 Headset & recorder combo   - StrugglingAuthor - 05/27/2021 03:51 AM  
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 05/26/2021 12:39 PM
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StrugglingAutho..
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In the book, "On Being a Dictator", Martin L Shoemaker says he uses a Sennheiser ME3-II headset for handsfree dictation. He plugs this into an Olympus WS-853 to get good quality audio for use with Dragon Professional (he also mentioned this forum!).

Sounds good, I thought. But I have been told, the Sennheiser headset requires phantom power. Yet, Olympus manual states it only supports plug-in power.

Confused! Not everything that I have said above can be correct.

I had been thinking, why would I buy a dictation device with a built in microphone when I am plugging in an external mic? If I, instead, bought something like a Tascam DL-10 or Zoom F2, then this could be used for other purposes, not just recording dictation. Both come with a lavier mic, but I don't know if this would be good enough to record for dictating while walking along the road.

I currently have a Sennheiser headset which I plug into a laptop using Dragon Home. The headset is good quality, but with an earphone as well as a microphone, it's not very comfortable. A headset which is just a mic would be just the ticket.

My idea is to dictate while going for a walk (co-author of the book, Kevin J Anderson does this). I like the idea of having a good headset with a small recorder to go in my pocket or clip onto my clothing. I will have to upgrade to Dragon Pro.

Currently, I only have a Zoom H1 which doesn't even support plug in power. I guess I should try walking and talking into that to see how I get on with it before I invest in more tech. But what tech?

Struggling_Author

 05/26/2021 03:34 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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                    Welcome (See Mission Statement)

 

The Sennheiser ME3-II requires a little juice but doesn't require phantom powering. If you're thinking of making that move, go with the Audio-Technica Pro 8HEmW which has an appropriate 3.5 mm plug (without the belt pack locking ring which causes the ME3 cable to fall out of the recorder) and is also hotter, which is better suited to recorders.


None of these recorders are ideally suited to speech recognition; especially the Zoom H1-3 recorders which are particularly bad but they will all support your current Sennheiser microphone (assuming it is not a USB microphone). You didn't mention the model number of your Sennheiser microphone. The devil is in the details.



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 05/26/2021 03:55 PM
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StrugglingAutho..
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Hi, thanks for your reply. I didn't mention the model of my current microphone as it's USB and not relevant - although I mis-remembered and it's Andrea Communications NC-181VM which I actually like better than the Sennheiser I have upstairs. However, it's not comfortable for long periods and I hate wearing a headphone on my ear.

I like the look of the Audio-Technica and will look again!

The Zoom F2 has a locking ring on it which is why I suspected using the Sennheiser ME3-II might actually work well.

So a dedicated field recorder such as the F2 or the Tascam isn't suited to voice recording? It's just that that's specifically what they're for. I figured, one of these could double for video sound recording if needed - no?

I looked at the Olympus WS-853 and it only supports mp3. I know that you now talk about the Olympus 9000/9500. Is this really the way to go? I don't really see the point of getting a recorder with built in microphones which will never be used.
 05/26/2021 06:11 PM
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Lunis Orcutt
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We only market and recommend digital recorders that are designed specifically for speech recognition and nothing else (featuring DS2 lossless compressed algorithms) because this is all we do. The integrated microphones, on professional units, are better than anything you can plug into the recorder jack because of how the built-in microphones are implemented. We didn't recommend these recorders because it sounds like you need to dictate hands-free in a possible noisy outdoor environment. 

 

You also brought up comfort. The ME3 and the Pro 8HEmW go around the back of your head so while they don't cover an ear, they are not as comfortable as the SpeechWare FlexyMike DEC (dual ear cardioid headset) microphone. The DEC is very accurate but it's #1 feature is comfort.

 

We don't recommend using a lapel microphone, as pictured with the Tascam DL10, because it's not close enough to your mouth and is going to pick up too much environmental noise. We never recommend a lapel microphone for speech recognition use. Out of your 3 picks, the Olympus WS-853 would be our favorite. We are not big fans of MP3 compressed recordings because they are not lossless but having said that, Dragon transcription is better than you might think. We are just saying not to rule them out completely. The difference is typically 96% (consumer) vs 97% (professional). Quality is of the utmost importance, especially for work tools but you also have to consider cost$.

 

The Andrea Communications NC-181VM is on the bottom of our microphone recommendation list and we discontinued carrying them but if you wind up with the FlexyMike DEC, we recommend adding an inexpensive USB Soundcard so that your microphone can pull double duty by replacing your NC-181VM. The FlexiMike is more accurate and comfortable. The FlexiMike also includes a short cable for your recorder and a separate extension cord for your computer.



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 05/27/2021 03:51 AM
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StrugglingAutho..
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Thank you again for your swift reply.

I think I may have bought the Andrea for video calls and ended up using it for dictation (upstairs, I have a Sennheiser PC36 USB). But, anyway, I'm just starting out on the dictation path and trying to find what will work. I know writers who go walking and dictate at the same time and if I could master that, it would be amazing. I wouldn't consider a lavier mic for this purpose - too much ambient noise and they are often omnidirectional.

The FlexiMike looks good. Actually, much more the sort of thing I was hoping for. Although, more expensive again.

I've been reading up a bit on DS2 & dictaphones and I see where the technology is. They are very expensive. I'd have to be very sure before getting one of those. I think walking around holding a dictaphone wouldn't be much fun.

 

I only mention the Olympus WS-853 as that's the one mentioned in the book. It doesn't seem to be very available these days. It's not something I particularly liked the look of, just that it was recommended.

So much to think about. Some people just talk into their iPhone and seem to get on fine. It would certainly be cheaper!



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