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Olympus Recorder: A Review of the Olympus DM-420 Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus Recorder: A Review of the Olympus DM-420 Digital Voice Recorder

Having a recorder is a must for many professionals out there who need their lectures, interviews, meetings, and various activities recorded for better use and access of vital information. Since Olympus is well known for its excellent devices, many people look for an Olympus recorder whenever they want to purchase a new one. One fine example that can really provide the user excellent functions and benefits is the Olympus DM-420 Digital Voice Recorder. This review will help you better understand the features that the model can offer you which will then allow you to decide whether this is the model that you really want.


When it comes to voice recorders, most people often look for the portability and compactness of the device. This is because voice recorders need to be handy and easily accessible anytime for any urgent need. This is a perfect model for that purpose because its compact dimensions of 4.33” x 1.53” x 0.63” make it an excellent model that you can definitely keep in your pocket or purse. You can even just hold it in your hand and it won’t even seem as a burden, having a weight of 3 ounces. It’s really small and very handy, perfect for the lecturer on the go.

The appearance of the device is quite simple and the buttons are very easy to use. It has a silver body with silver buttons and each of them is labeled for the exact function that they play. This makes navigating through the device much easier. The device is designed to operate on two triple-A NiMH rechargeable batteries or you can also use an AC power supply for unlimited power. Using the rechargeable batteries, you get approximately 51 hours of recordings or other uses of the unit.


The LCD display is more or less an inch in height and width, and it displays all the important data and information that you need to be able to navigate through the device much faster. You can easily read the text on the backlit LCD even under various lighting conditions, and the battery level indicator shows you if it’s almost time to charge.

Audio and Recording Features

As an Olympus recorder, this model really has a lot to offer. Firstly, unlike most Olympus recorders, this model no longer needs additional software to be able to read MP3 files. It can automatically save recordings in both MP3 and WMA file formats. It has a built-in 2 GB memory capacity but it also has an expandable memory slot which can accommodate up to 16 GB of additional memory. This completely extends the capacity of the device to save recordings up to an unidentifiable length. If the device is used without a memory card though, it can still save a lot of recordings. There are different recording modes which are the indicators of the sound quality of the recording, and each one varies in maximum length. For the highest quality of recording in the 44.1 kHz 320 kbps MP3 format, it can save up to 13 hours and 45 minutes of audio recordings. On the other hand, for the lowest quality of recording in the LP 8 kHz 8 kbps WMA format, it can save up to 533 hours of recordings. It makes the device as flexible as can be for various recording purposes.

The device sports a 23mm round dynamic speaker with a maximum output of 320 mW, very good for a very small device. You can also easily organize your audio recordings by separating them in 5 voice recording folders, each able to contain 999 files. There’s also 1 music folder and 1 podcast folder both with a capacity of 999 files. The device is also connectible to a PC by a USB cable which makes saving files and editing them much easier as compare to other models.

Other Features

The super high quality stereo recording ensures that you only get the highest quality of recordings you can with the environment you’re in during recording sessions. It also has an ultra high quality zoom microphone which feeds in recordings in optimal quality. There’s also a variable control voice actuator which enables hands-free functioning for the device. You also get to play podcasts and MP3 tracks on this unit during periods that you’re not using the recorder for work.


Having an Olympus recorder is very favorable for a person who needs a recorder for professional, personal, or recreational purposes, and the Olympus DM-420 Digital Voice Recorder is one model that I would highly recommend to anyone who’s in search of such a device. Not only does it have excellent features which provide great benefits to any user, it’s also very durable. The model is well worth its price if you put all its great features together.