If your job involves digital dictation, you record your voice usually containing notes or letters, and send that to a typist to transcribe or perhaps voice-to-text like Dragon chances are you would have looked at a Dictation app at some point.

Sure there will be plenty to choose from on the Apple App Store or Google Play depending on your preferred smartphone flavour, most free, some very expensive but only a couple aimed right at your legal or medical dictation sweet spot. Step forward Olympus Dictation App and Philips Recorder App.

The similarities:

  • Both require a subscription
  • Both mimic the handheld digital dictaphones and to some extent older micro or mini cassette dictaphones
  • Both let you record your dictation, review your audio, insert and/or overwrite to correct
  • Both give you the choice of recording multiple dictations in the one file before sending or send after each individual dictation
  • Both utilise a cloud service to process and deliver your audio

That’s were the similarities end. 

Let’s look at the subscription options:


Philips Voice Record App – iOS & Android

This app has couple of options when it comes to subscriptions, we will address the Pros and Cons of both. 

Philips Voice Recorder App + Dictation Hub Subscription


Super simple to setup. Download the app, head to the settings, find Sending options and tap on Dictation Hub. Enter your email address and the email address of the person to send your audio to. That’s it.

You get 30 days of free trial, after that you need a licence which are $149 incl. GST for one year.

  • If you are an iPhone user you need to buy Philips part LFH0743.
  • If you are a Google Pixel, Samsung or another Android smartphone user you need to buy Philips part LFH0747.

When you signup via the app you will receive an automated email from Philips withthe subject “Welcome to the SpeechExec Dictation HUB“. This email contains your account details and importantly your customer number. Please email us your customer number so that we can allocate any purchased licences to you.


More suited to individuals rather than companies with a few users.

Each person is responsible for their own licence, no centrally managed portal.

Audio is, briefly, hosted on cloud servers outside of Australia. The cloud server is used to receive the audio securely from the smartphone. Audio is then converted to the audio format selected in the app (.dss is the default, .mp3 or .wav) and then delivered either via email. Once delivered audio is deleted from the server. At no time do Philips or their dealers have access to the audio.

Philips Voice Recorder App + SpeechLive Subscription

This is a feature-packed cloud solution from Philips which attempts to simplify what has long been a fairly complicated dictation and transcription setup for most companies.

Yes you can still have a physical handheld digital dictaphone, in a dock, connected to your PC or Mac. Yes you can still have a typist with a transcription kit, foot pedal and headset sat at a PC typing away. And now yes those solutions can tap into SpeechLive to make use of the automated voice-to-text or the Philips “real person” outsourced transcription service.

With the Philips Recorder App and SpeechLive you can dictate anywhere at anytime on your smartphone. As a typist, y9ou just need a compatible Philips footpedal and you can transcribe via a web browser from any PC or Mac. No need to install dedicated transcription software.


A flexible dictation and transcription solution including out-of-the-box automated voice-to-text.

Easy to manage and configure.

Hosted in Australia.

A cost effective solution.

30-day free trial available for upto 10 users (a mix of Authors and Typists). Just fill in the form at this link dictat.es/speechlive-trial and we will get notified of your details and will be in touch to configure your account for you.

Free trial includes 100 minutes per Author of automated voice-to-text and 10 minutes of outsourced transcription, your audio transcribed by Philips transcription service.


We can’t think of any …

SpeechLive – One Dictation App – Three Dictation Options

As an Author, when you dictate via the Philips Recorder App, you have three options when it comes time to send your dictation:

  1. SpeechLive … this will just send your audio to the Philips cloud, notify your typist and then they can download and transcribe locally or transcribe via a browser.
  2. Speech Recognition … this will send your audio to the Philips cloud where it will be automatically converted from voice-to-text. Think Dragon (a well known speech-to-text software solution from Nuance which has been around for years) but without the expensive software licence, setup and extensive training. This option is fast, accurate and cheap. Perfect for urgent dictation. Click here to see it in action with our YouTube video.
  3. Transcription Service … this is Philips own outsourced transcription service, yes real people listening and typing your audio.

A truly flexible solution to fit in with you, your requirements and budget. Oh and yes the Philips SpeechLive cloud infrastructure is hosted in Australia so your audio never leaves the country.

Olympus Dictation App – iOS & Android

ODDS – Olympus Dictation Delivery Service

Olympus have the one subscription service called ODDS.


All licences (whether you have one just for yourself or many for your practice) can be managed via one office/practice manager web portal. One person is then responsible for yearly licence renewals and any licence configuration changes. Although at Dictate Australia we tend to do licence changes for our customers for free.

Easy and quick phone setup. Just download the app and enter the user’s licence specific data (provided by us). Minimal time required by the doctor or lawyer to setup and start dictating.

Olympus offer a 60-day free trial for upto 100 users. No lock in, no credit card details taken or charged. You decide at then end of the trial to keep one, some or none of the licences.

The only Dictation App that can record and send .ds2 (DSS Pro) format audio files which can be individually encrypted. Meeting the standard for confidential client or patient audio transmitted across the internet.


The Olympus app has been around since 2013. It has worked flawlessly until 2020 when there were a couple of global outages lasting from 24-28 hours up to at one point 4 days. 

Following on from the above, when there was an outage there was no way to get the audio off the phone. This is a secure system but when the system fails and audio can’t be sent can pose a problem.

Trying to navigate the Olympus Dictation Portal, the backend where licences are managed and configured, is tricky and not intuitive. You need an Olympus dealer, like us, to configure and help you with the backend process.

Audio is, briefly, hosted on cloud servers outside of Australia. The cloud server is used to receive the audio securely from the smartphone. Audio is then converted to the configured audio format (.ds2 – with or without individual file encryption or .dss) for the licence and then delivered either via email or FTP. Once delivered audio is deleted. At no time do Olympus or their dealers have access to the audio.

Cost: $149 incl. GST per year – unlimited dictations 24×7 


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