4GB digital audio recorder with expandable memory
Our take on the Olympus DM-720 by Crutchfield's Ralph Graves
Retractable USB connector plugs directly into laptop for fast data transfer (laptop not included).
The right tool for the job
I've tried using my smartphone for on-the-go voice recording. Sound quality was always poor, and often I couldn't make out a word. That's why it's smart to go with a dedicated digital voice recorder like the Olympus DM-720 if you need clear, clean voice recording for business or pleasure. The recorder's built-in triple mic array captures audio accurately. And you can either record in MP3 format for long sessions, or make better-than-CD quality 24-bit/96kHz recordings.
Monitor your recordings on the go
The recorder features a compact, built-in speaker so you can replay recordings. And it has a standard stereo minijack so you can use your favorite pair of headphones to monitor your recordings or listen back later.
Compact for travel
The DM-720 features a retractable USB connector for fast data transfer to a computer. No need to fiddle with connector cables. The recorder has a lightweight metal body that can withstand rough treatment, making it ideal for travel. And its detachable clip serves both as a pocket clip for portability and a stand for conference and meeting recordings.
Memory and battery life
The DM-720 has 4GB of built-in memory. But if that's not enough, you can supplement it with an optional mini SD memory card and add up to 32GB more. The recorder gets up to 52 hours of recording or 35 hours of playback from its included “AAA” battery.
- battery-powered digital audio recorder with expandable memory
- 3-microphone array
- 4GB embedded memory
- records in MP3 or 24-bit/96kHz PCM (WAV)
- frequency response 20-20,000 Hz
- microSD card slot for expandable storage (memory card not included)
- LCD display
- lightweight metal body
- built-in speaker
- high-speed USB interface for data transfer
- minijack headphone output
- up to 52 hours of operation with included "AAA" battery
- 4-3/16"W x 1-7/16"H x 7/16"D
- weight: 2.5 oz.
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Digital Voice Recorder
- One "AAA" Ni-MH rechargeable battery (1.2V 750mAh)
- Clip Stand
- Basic Manual
- Online Registration/Warranty card
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Overview: The Olympus DM-720 is a compact, hand-held portable digital voice recorder. The device records MP3 and PCM voice files onto the built-in 4 GB flash memory or optional microSD memory cards (up to 32 GB). The recorder has three built-in microphones (TresMic System), an 18mm diameter dynamic speaker, and jacks for an external microphone and headphones. The DM-720 operates on one "AAA" NiMH rechargeable battery (supplied) or a "AAA" alkaline battery (optional).
LCD Display: The DM-720 features a 1-3/8" (diagonal) backlit, monochrome LCD display which indicates recording and playback information. The recorder will display the elapsed or remaining recording time in hours, minutes, and seconds. The backlighting duration can be set in the menu to 5 sec, 10 sec, 30 sec, 1 minute, or Off. You can set the display contrast to one of 12 levels.
Date and Time: The recorder features a built-in clock. If you have set the time and date, information as to when a sound file was recorded is stored automatically with that file.
TresMic Microphone System: The unit features three built-in microphones on the top of the recorder. The outer microphones are angled at 90 degrees for a wide stereo pickup pattern. The center microphone is omnidirectional. You can choose to turn the center microphone on or off while recording. The recording level can be set to Low, Middle, High, Manual, or Auto. The internal microphones, with the center mic on, have a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz. In addition to the built-in microphones, the recorder also has a 3.5mm external microphone input.
Zoom Microphone: The Zoom Microphone feature allows you to electronically expand and contract the microphone range using the "+" and "-" buttons on the unit. If recording from a distant position, this feature can help you make clearer recordings.
Headphone Jack: A 3.5mm headphone jack is provided to allow you to listen to recorded files, or monitor the audio during recording. No headphones are included with the recorder.
Recording Memory: The DM-720 features a 4 GB internal memory for recording and storing files. In addition, the recorder has a slot for microSD memory cards with capacities ranging from 2 to 32 GB.
USB Plug: The DM-720 has a retractable Type A USB plug at the bottom to let you plug the unit directly into your computer for transferring files, and charging the included rechargeable battery. The unit is Hi-speed USB 2.0-compatible, and can work with the following Operating Systems: Windows 10, 8/8.1, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Mac OS X (v10.5-v10.10).
Clip Stand: The recorder comes with a clip stand that screws into the back panel. The clip stand raises the recorder off the surface so the microphone doesn't pick up surface vibrations, or can be clipped onto clothing or inside a bag.
Power Requirements: The recorder is powered by a single "AAA" rechargeable NiMH battery (included). When the rechargeable battery is exhausted, you can use a "AAA" alkaline battery to continue recording. In the menu, you can indicate the type of batteries being used, Ni-MH or Alkaline, for best performance. When Alkaline has been selected, the recorder will not attempt to charge the batteries when it is plugged into your computer via USB. A fully-charged battery provides approximately 52 hours of recording time and 35 hours of playback time (with headphones).
Power Save: The Power Save function turns off the display and switches the unit to Standby after the recorder has been stopped for a selected amount of time: 5 min, 10 min, 30 min, or 1 hour. You can also turn off the Power Save function, if desired.
Recording Format: The DM-720 records audio files in MP3 or PCM format. If MP3 is selected, you can 320 kbps, 128 kbps, 64 kbps mono, or 8 kbps mono. PCM recordings can be made at 16-bit 44.1kHz or 16-bit 48kHz. The lower bit rates provide longer recording times while higher bit rates offer better quality recordings.
Low Cut Filter: The DM-720 has a Low Cut Filter to minimize low frequency sounds below 300Hz while recording. This helps make voice recording clearer, especially in windy conditions.
Recording Scenes: A recording setting can be set to one of seven templates to suit the recording scene or situation. Each Recording Scene designates specific settings to suit the scene, including Recording Level, Recording Mode, Low Cut Filter, VCVA, and V-Sync Rec. The available Recording Scenes include:
- Lecture: For recording a single speaker at the front of a large space
- Conference: Suitable for recording conferences in a large space
- Meeting: Suitable for recording a meeting held in a small space.
- Dictation: For recording your own voice and other sounds that are extremely close.
- DNS: Suitable for Speech Recognition software
VCVA / Voice-Sync: You can set the DM-720 to automatically start recording when it picks up sound and shut off when the sound stops. The Variable Control Voice Actuator (VCVA) lets you adjust the volume level threshold for starting and stopping recording. The Voice-Sync level can be set to different values. You can set a detection time of 1, 2, 3, or 5 seconds. The recorder enters standby mode when the sound goes below the preset level for the set number of seconds.
Voice Guidance: The DM-720 offers Voice Guidance which provides audio announcements of the recorder's operations, and confirms setting changes in an easy-to-understand voice. Voice Guidance can be turned on or off in the menu.
Hold Function: The recorder has a sliding On/Off switch. While recording or playing back a file, moving the switch to the Off position puts the recorder in the Hold mode. The recording or playback continues, but no other operations can be performed. This prevents any accidental operations during recording or playback.
Playback Volume: The Olympus DM-720 lets you adjust the playback volume between 00 and 30.
File Storage: The recorded files are separated into five folders--A, B, C, D, and E. Each folder can store up to 200 files. You can search within each folder to find the desired file to play back, or use the Calendar Search function to search for files by their recording date.
Playback Speed: You can adjust the playback speed as you desire; slowing it down to review spots you couldn't understand, or speeding it up to listen to meeting content at a faster speed. You can vary the playback speed by 0.1x increments from 0.5x (half speed) to 3.5x normal speed. When playing back at a different speed, the DM-720 automatically adjusts the pitch to make the audio sound close to normal. You cannot manually adjust the pitch of the playback audio.
Voice Balancer: The Voice Balancer function adjusts the volume levels of all speakers to roughly the same level for clearer playback. This compensates for uneven voice recordings when persons are varying distances away from the microphone.
A-B Repeat: The A-B Repeat function lets you repeat a portion of a file over and over. This is helpful if you're transcribing a recording and need to listen to a segment repeatedly.
Index Marks: Setting an index mark lets you quickly find a location you want to listen to while fast forwarding or fast rewinding. Up to 99 index marks can be placed on a single file.
File Divide: Large files, or files with long recording times, can be divided for easier management or editing.
Erase: You can erase your recorded messages one by one, or all messages in a folder at one time.
File Lock: To prevent a file from being accidentally erased or edited, you can lock it. When a file is locked, it is regarded as a read-only file. It can later be unlocked, if desired.
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