Legal Dictation – Why Digital Recorders are a Better Option than Smartphones

by | Published on May 24, 2019 | Legal Transcription

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Today, lawyers use the latest dictation tools and legal transcription services to create documents and share important information, saving time, improving efficiency, and serving clients better.  Dictating documents and outsourcing transcription allows them to focus on their legal analyses and other valuable tasks.
Legal Dictation - Why Digital Recorders are a Better Option than Smartphones
Both digital dictation devices and smartphones allow lawyers to create documents from anywhere. Choosing the right option is crucial to operate more efficiently. While smartphones are convenient, dedicated recording devices are a better choice for many reasons:

  • High quality recording: Smartphones can capture sound only when a person is within 3 feet of the device. The microphones of smartphones are not designed to record meetings or interviews, and may fail when there are a large number of speakers. On the other hand, a dedicated dictation device can ensure significantly higher quality recording in different types of settings, even when there are multiple speakers in the room. They can mute ambient sound, thereby producing better a quality audio file. This high quality of the voice recording allows the listener or legal transcription service provider to understand the words and accurately distinguish voices. Accurate capture of every spoken word is crucial when it comes to winning a case.
  • Superior dictation and recording features: Professional dictation recorders come with advanced functions and features which are missing in iPhones or smartphones. Quality dictation recorders feature a motion sensor for automatic microphone sensitivity adjustment. The Philips VideoTracer, for instance, comes with pre- and post-recording functions that allow users to spontaneously record important parts of incidents and never miss a moment, even after the stop recording button has been pressed. Most professional dictation recorders come with voice management software which can route the recordings to the legal transcription company.
  • Security: Using smartphones for dictating sensitive information comes with potential security risks to lawyers and their clients ( These devices can create inefficiencies and leave client information at risk of exposure and hacking. Quality dictation recorders come with the highest level of encryption to secure recordings. Real-time encryption of files means that the data would be safe even if the device is lost. Today’s professional recording devices are also password protected to protect the device and recordings.  State-of-the-art recorders are designed to send voice data to a cloud server where it can be easily accessed by a transcriptionist for conversion into text. The lawyer can directly share the files improving efficiency and saving time.
  • Longer battery life: Lawyers make several voice recordings and create multiple documents each day. The battery life of the recording device an important element to ensure prompt delivery of documents to the client or court. Both smartphones and digital recorders generally have a battery life of 48 hours. However, apps running on smartphones drain the main battery continuously and its batteries usually last only last eight hours of continuous recording on a full charge. The digital voice recorder adjusts power consumption based on whether it is used or not. Moreover, today’s dictation recorders feature lithium ion rechargeable batteries, saving energy and allowing the user to record voices for 50 hours or more.
  • Memory: Some smartphones have a limited internal memory and will only allow recording of short audio files. Storing a large number of sound files may cause the phone to lag, freeze, and run out of storage quite often. Professional digital voice recorders come with generous memory, as much as 32GB of memory just for audio files, which is equal to 352 days of continuous recordings ( Dictation recorders clearly display the amount of memory remaining on them in their front panel. As an iPhone’s memory is constantly changing, the user would find it difficult to know how much recording time remains on the phone.

Smartphones are undoubtedly a key tool for lawyers. However, when it comes to recording meetings and other events, professional digital recorders can provide more superior outcomes. Digital transcription companies can create accurate and comprehensive reports from the recordings produced by a dedicated professional dictation machine recorder.

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