Philips DPM8000 Review - Transcription Digital Recorder Face Off





                                                 Philips DPM8000 vs Olympus DS-7000 & Grundig Digta 7

June 24, 2013

While preparing to review the new Philips DPM8000, it occurred to me that the most effective way to do so would be in the context of the other top rated transcription digital recorders.

Note that when you purchase a digital recorder from KnowBrainer Inc., you additionally receive a hard copy of our exclusive Digital Recorder User Guide which includes pictorial step-by-step instructions on how to create a digital recorder profile, setting up your recorder, transcribing your recordings and setting up the Dragon AutoTranscribe Folder Agent for effortless batch file transcription of multiple recordings with no end-user intervention other than effortlessly connecting your recorder to a USB port. Note that this feature is only available in Dragon Pro, Medical (DMPE), and Legal.

The following review consists of 3 parts:

(1) My personal take on the evolution of professional dictation digital recorders

(2) The Pros and Cons of what a general consensus of many top speech recognition experts believe to be the top three digital recorders

(3) My personal assessment of what the numbers mean

If you wish to skip past the brief microphone history, click Pros and Cons. If you wish to skip further ahead to my conclusions, click recommendations.


Evolution of Speech Recognition Recorders

When we first began using DragonDictate speech recognition software in the 1980’s it seemed to be incredibly impressive technology. Never minding the very deliberate pause after each and every word, we waited with baited breath to see another (hopefully correct) word miraculously appear on our somewhat blurry little screens. It was fun! It was frustrating!
In 1996, NaturallySpeaking continuous speech recognition was released. With the emergence of this new technology, we had a viable tool for professional as well as personal use. That being the case, we needed something better than the usual classic cassette recorder to better utilize this increasingly more sophisticated software and several manufacturers responded. The 1st digital recorder we were able to test was called the VoiceIt which was manufactured directly for DragonSystems (previous owner of NaturallySpeaking). Olympus released the DS-1000 on the heels of the VoiceIt and followed up a year later with the DS-2000. We found the DS-2000 to be fair but the VoiceIt and DS-1000 fell below our level of acceptability. Eventually, Olympus took a decisive recorder lead when they introduced what we considered to be the 1st serious professional recorder, the DS-3000 and the consumer grade DS-330. Both units featured DSS algorithms which were designed for speech recognition but limited to 5 kHz frequency response. Philips eventually improved on this technology by releasing the 1st DSS Pro (DS2) algorithms with an 8 kHz frequency response in the Philips DPM 9600 recorder. Olympus didn't get around to releasing the DS-5000, featuring DS2 algorithms, until 9 months later. A few years later, Grundig introduced their Digta 7 series and on April 17, 2012, Olympus released their 4th generation professional digital recorder, the DS-7000. On July 2, 2013 (approximate release date) Philips released the long-awaited replacement for the 9600; the DPM8000 and the race continues…

There are literally several hundred digital recorder choices on the market, including some that are recommended by Nuance. Although most Nuance recommendations work okay for consumer use, All Nuance recorder recommendations should be taken with a healthy grain of salt. For example, Nuance gives the Sony ICD MX20 (which comes bundled with some versions of NaturallySpeaking) a Dragon rating of 6 but we consider it to be more of a consumer grade toy than a professional dictation tool. By contrast, the superior Olympus DS-7000 originally scored a 4 Dragon rating and the Philips 9600 scored 3 Dragons. The Philips DPM8000 has not yet been rated.


If a digital recorder and speech recognition play a major role in your workflow, we can only recommend “non-jack of all trades recorders” that are designed exclusively for transcription and utilize DS2 algorithms which reduce the error rate and include a lossless 12 to 1 compression ratio for quick and secure file transfer. You might think that a stereo 96 bit HD quality digital recorder would be excellent for speech recognition use but the recordings are huge (not easy to e-mail or FTP) and as amazing as it sounds, can produce as much as twice as many errors. Additionally, the controls on these types of recorders are simply not designed for dictation. HD digital recorders are intended for recording live music and don't feature professional transcription amenities like cue/review, seamless glitchless punch in, double speed playback (without the Mickey Mouse effect), main functions located under a convenient slider control,  along with other standard transcription features. Professional recorders also include specialized transcription assisting applications for encrypting recordings and secure FTP and e-mail transfers along with NaturallySpeaking support. If you are a physician or an attorney handling sensitive materials, only professional digital recorders, such as those in this review, include 256 bit AES encryption. If you are a physician, don't even think about using most Nuance recommendations because they are not HIPPA compliant.

This review only covers professional transcription digital recorders that utilize DS2 algorithms which Philips, Olympus and Grundig agree that the DS2 algorithms are most ideally suited for speech recognition and transcription. This is also why we only carry digital recorders that feature DS2 algorithms on our website.

A professional digital recorder just might be what you need if:
• You realize that your Siri speech-enabled smart phone app doesn't live up to the hype.
• You don't have time to wait for your computer to boot up.
• You don't have the space or budget for a mobile computer.
• You need to make verbal notes on the go that you can transcribe at a more convenient time.
• You need to quickly e-mail or FTP recordings for someone else to transcribe.
• You require 256 bit AES encryption for security reasons.
• You need to be able to make quick noiseless edits/changes (punch-in) to your digital recordings without introducing an audible click.

Pros & Cons

Philips Digital Pocket Memo 8000                                                                                            

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For over 20 years KnowBrainer has been bringing customers the latest and most comprehensive suite of speech recogntion hardware and software, including the entire line of Nuance Dragon NaturallySpeaking products. We also offer our own KnowBrainer Command software that extends the capabilities of NaturallySpeaking into full PC automation that is capable of controlling nearly everything that you do on your PC using just your voice. To get you the greatest success, KnowBrainer also offers a full line of hardware and support services for your speech recognition requirements.

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