Voice recorders are an invaluable tool for just about anyone to own. Whether you use them to dictate business meetings, to record memos, to write your next novel or simply to keep track of the groceries you’ll need to buy over the next week, they always prove themselves to be extremely useful tools. So useful in fact, that once you buy one, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it.
How useful one of these tools will be to you, however, is largely dependent on buying the right one for your needs. It’s important that the consumer buys one of the recorders based upon its features. That’s why we’ve rounded up the ten best models and have listed them below. Although not every model is right for every person’s needs, there’s a model for just about anyone.
Best Voice Recorders Of 2019
10Techerific Rad Digital & Landline Recorder
This quality digital voice recorder has quite a few features that make it handy both at home or at the office. This product has 8 gigabytes of storage, so it can record an impressive 550 hours of voice recordings and can capture sound at either 192 Kbps or 384 Kbps. It can also be used for landline call recording and has an external speaker for playing back what’s recorded. Other features found on this device include an LCD screen with backlight, a record/stop button and a play/pause button, and a rechargeable battery that allows for up to 20-hours of recording.
9Olympus Digital Recorder WS-853
The real power of this digital recorder is that it uses two different directional microphones to capture sound in stereo and to allow for the highest quality sound recording possible. Each of these microphones is positioned at a 90-degree angle, so it always captures people speaking with the highest level of precision possible. This device also has 8 gigabytes of internal memory, and if that isn’t enough, has a card slot so a microSD card can be installed for extra memory. This product also has a USB direct connect features that also allows for battery charging and has a playback speed which ranges from 0.5 times all the way to 2-times normal speed.
8Sony ICD-PX440 Stereo Recorder
Equipped with an easy-to-read LCD screen that’s navigable by a keypad and has buttons to control common features such as stop and rec/pause, this stereo recorder is ready to capture a variety of different sounds. Whether it’s used to capture voices or nature sounds, this product can do so easily and with less interference than other models. It has 4 gigabytes of built-in memory which give it over a thousand hours of playback and is also equipped with a microSD slot that can be equipped with a card for additional storage. Audio files can also be easily transferred to either a PC or a MAC through a USB plug.
7Sony Digital Flash Recorder ICD-PX312
Regardless of whether the operator wants to record lectures, record their voice dictating live notes, or for record live music, this flash recorder is ready for just about any sound recording task. It has 2 gigabytes of built-in flash memory, which isn’t a lot compared to other recorders but is fortunately augmented with a microSD slot that can be fitted with a card for additional storage. This device can record up to 72-hours of sound before its batteries are depleted and it has a USB port for transferring sound files to a PC or a MAC. It can record in the MP3 format at 320 kbps.
6Olympus WS-801 Sound Recorder
This sound recorder comes with a number of features which make it useful to use just about anywhere. It has 2 gigabytes of memory and a removable microSD card that allows for over 500-hours of sound recordings to be captured and stored. It’s also capable of capturing sound in either the MP3 or WMA formats and comes with a noise cancellation feature. For manipulation of audio files or for moving sound files to a computer for long-term storage, this device also comes with a built-in USB connector that can be easily hooked up to a compatible PC or MAC. Other features include variable control voice activation and a calendar that allows for searching of sound files by date.
5Olympus VN-722PC MP3/WMA Recorder
Capable of capturing sound in either the MP3 or WMA formats and equipped with a large diameter microphone, this MP3/WMA recorder is capable of capturing sounds clearer than many of the sub-par recorders currently available. It has 4-gigs of built-in memory, and that’s more than enough to capture up to 1,600 hours of sound. It also has a microSD slot that can be equipped with a 32-gig card for additional storage. Another convenient feature found on this product includes a built-in stand that gives it a stable base and results in lower levels of background noise and clearer sound recordings.
4Sony ICD-PX470 Digital Stereo Recorder
Accurate and precise voice recording is now possible thanks to this high-quality device that is half of the price of many of the high-end models currently available. This product uses a single AAA battery for its power source but is capable of recording sound for up to 55-hours. It has 4 Gb of memory storage built into it, and that gives a maximum sound recording time of up to 59-hours if the sound is recorded in the MP3 file format at 128 Kbps. If that’s not enough memory, however, this unit has a slot for equipped a 32-gigabyte microSD card. And since it has a built-in USB connector, it can easily be plugged into any PC for downloading the sound files.
3Sony ICDUX560BLK Recorder
Manufactured by Sony, a company known for producing high-quality electronics, this voice recorder is well-built and packed full of features. It has three different recording options which include stereo recording, focus recording or normal conversational recording. It also has up to an hour of recording time, and it only takes about 3-minutes to charge, so it’s always ready for taking notes or recording lecturers. It also has a microSD memory card slot, a microphone input, and a headphone jack. Additional features include a built-in stereo microphone, a recording level indicator, and an easy-to-read display.
2Sony ICD PX333 Digital Recorder
This product has 4-gigabytes of internal memory, has a microSD slot for expanding memory storage and only requires two AAA batteries to operate. This product can record over a thousand hours of sound and can capture even more if a microSD card is equipped in it. It also features a USB cable that allows the sound files to be easily transferred to a MAC or PC. Another great feature found on this product is its AB-Repeat Function, which marks the beginning and the end of a selected sound for repeated playback. And finally, it has Track Mark, a feature that makes it easy to find sound files.
1Assino 16-Gigabyte Mini HD Recorder
This mini HD recorder proves that a voice recorder doesn’t have to be large to be packed with features. This product has 16-gigabytes of internal storage, which is more than enough storage for recording 580-hours of sound or up to 3,000 songs. It also has a rechargeable lithium battery that’s easy to recharge, and it’s equipped with double microphones that allow for high-quality sound captures. This product is also capable of capturing sound in either the MP3 or WAV audio formats, has an easy-to-read LCD screen, and it comes with a USB port for transferring audio files easily to a MAC or PC.
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Voice Recorder Buying Guide
Which voice recorder is right for you? Is it the one that’s sold for almost $200 or is it the one that sells for less than $20? Well, those questions aren’t exactly easy to answer because it really depends on what you expect to get out of the product. And a recorder’s price only tells part of the story. The rest is something that every consumer is going to have to figure out for themselves.
However, there is some help available. We’ve decided to write up a basic guide to buying a voice recorder. Although this guide isn’t designed to cover every single feature that you may come across as you search for one of these products, it will give you a basic outline that will enable you to find the model that is best for you. A model that will suit your purposes and won’t cost you a fortune. Below are some things to consider before purchasing your next voice recorder.
The first thing that needs to be considered is the storage capacity of the recorder. Due to the size of the average sound sample, it’s advisable to choose a model that has at least 4 gigabytes of storage space, more if you intend on using it more often. Obviously, you’ll want to get a model that has the highest storage capacity available. This will ensure that you have adequate storage space for your needs.
MicroSD Expansion Slot
Even if the product doesn’t have 16-gigabytes of flash storage to use, it doesn’t mean that it’s not a worthwhile product. This is especially true when the recorder has a micro SD slot that a micro SD card can be plugged into for adding extra storage. A 4-gigabyte model equipped with a 32 gigabyte micro SD card can hold twice as much as a recorder that only has 16 gigs of flash storage.
It’s also important that the recorder has a built-in adjustable microphone that’s capable of capturing your voice well. In addition to being equipped with a great microphone, many of the better recorders also have a jack for plugging in an additional microphone as well.
Although a navigable display screen isn’t an absolute necessity, most models manufactured nowadays have one. When looking at recorders, be sure to choose one that has a display that’s big enough for you to navigate without having to squint down at the screen.
It’s important to choose a voice recorder which has enough of battery life for the unit to be useful to you. We’ve seen recorders which only have a battery life of 24-hours, and we’ve seen other models that have a battery life of over 500+ hours, so it’s important to do your homework here. Another thing to consider is whether or not the recorder uses a rechargeable battery or can be used with a rechargeable battery because this will save some cash over the long haul and also means you won’t be filling up a landfill with spent batteries.
You don’t want to have to press a bunch of buttons to get the recorder to do its main job of recording, so be sure to get a model that can be turned on or off by pressing just one (or maybe two) buttons. That will save you a lot of time and frustration in the long run.
External Earphone Jack
An external earphone jack is also extremely useful for a voice recorder to have because it allows you to listen to your recordings without having to download it to an external device.
A USB hookup is an essential port if you want to download the sound file to your computer for manipulation or to listen to it later. Most of the mid to high-end models have USB ports nowadays but some of the cheaper models do not.
Different Recording Formats (Optional)
Different models are also capable of recording in different formats. This can be as simple as a device being able to record in either an MP3 or WMA format or as complex as the recorder being able to record in stereo or maintain a tighter sound focus.
Noise Cancellation (Optional)
Unfortunately, most of the voice recorders which offer this feature tend to be in the higher price range. However, if you can find a model that offers noise cancellation, then it will really help improve your sound recordings and make them tighter. If you’re using this recorder for taking notes or dictation, then it’s probably not going to be a necessary feature, but if you’re using the recording for focusing in on sounds, then it’s absolutely necessary.