They have been at it for years, Olympus vs Philips, in the professional dictation and transcription boxing match. Sure Philips have a beautiful design (award after award for their hardware and their website isn’t too shabby either) but Olympus keep plugging along with good old faithful software that hardly changes release after release but just works.

Best digital dictation app - Olympus or Philips

Which Dictation App? Philips vs Olympus

That is all well and good in the physical equipment side of things, digital dictaphones and transcription kits, but what about the app world, who is nudging ahead in that race?

As always no easy answer to that one, it really depends on what you are looking for in a dictation app. From our experience users either want to replace their clunky, dockable handheld dictaphones altogether OR use the app as an extension of the in-office handheld recorder.

We have a more extensive write up on our Australian blog – – click here to read or read on for the shorter version …

It all comes down to features, here are a few quick Pros and Cons for both:

Olympus ODDS (Olympus Dictation Delivery System)


  • Will deliver .dss or .ds2 (encrypted at 128bit (old DS-5000) or 256bit (current DS-7000) or not, you choose) via email or FTP
  • Audio delivered with the same Author ID and workflow as you have on your handheld Olmpus DS-7000, so fits right in with the workflow for your typist
  • Pretty cheap, you pay a yearly subscription and can dictate as much as you like all for the one price
  • 60 day free trial. So give it a good go for a couple of months before deciding if it is for you or not


Setup can be a little tricky, always get your dealer to setup the system for you (hint: we are a dealer and can do that for you)


Philips SpeechLive


  • Really easy to setup, beautiful and intuitive web user interface for office/practice manager to configure end user licences
  • The option of built-in transcription. I love this, Olympus pay attention. 1. You can get Dragon in the cloud to transcribe your audio and deliver the results to you or your typist to simply proofread (massive reduction in transcription costs/time here). Or 2. send your audio to the Philips transcription service (yes real people actually typing located in the UK).
  • Using Dragon in the cloud will transcribe your audio in half the audio time. So if you dictate for 10 minutes you voice-to-text will be completed and emailed to you in 5 minutes.
  • Using the Philips transcription service, real people, has a minimum turnaround time of 24 hours


  • Pricing. Just using straight dictation sending audio to your typist, like Olympus is fairly cheap. When you start to add in transcription it mounts up. Now, don’t forget that you would likely be paying someone to transcribe anyway so it could be much of a muchness.
  • Shorter trial period than Olympus, only 30 days.
  • Doesn’t send .ds2 / .dss audio

if you would like to know more about any of the above contact us, we are an official Philips and Olympus Audio dealer.

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