A digital voice recorder might seem like an outdated gadget in this age of smartphones, but the truth is that it still takes a big share of the voice recording world. Now, picture this:
You are a college student looking to graduate with top grades, but the long and overwhelming lectures usually take you a lot of time to compile and make some useful notes off them. What do you do? Your smartphone won’t capture crystal-clear recording, and even if it does, chances of the file getting lost as you browse through your files are pretty high. A digital voice recorder is the ultimate solution as it comes with a quality microphone and additional features to make recording worthwhile.
Here’s scenario two: you are riding a taxi in the morning to work, and the plan is to get there on time, pitch your business proposal, and hope for the best. But as you sit there and wish that there won’t be traffic that day, boom! The ideas start flowing. Of course, you won’t remember everything, and writing at that point isn’t an option. What do you do? You pick a digital voice recorder and speak out your ideas.
These are just two examples. Whether it’s capturing your ideas like the above business man or a journalist, recording your lyrics for your upcoming hit song, capturing important parts of your class lecture, recording notes of your patients, there are more than a dozen reasons why you need to invest in the best digital voice recorder. Here are some cool products you can consider today as well as a few pointers to help you in your purchase process.
Top 10 Digital Voice Recorders of 2020 Reviewed
1. Sony ICDUX560BLK Digital Voice RecorderBest Digital Voice Recorder with Wide and Narrow Focus
What’s the reason you need a voice recorder? Is it for an interview, meeting or lecture? You need a device that is capable of producing a sound of the highest quality which can be stored and used on different mediums. The Sony ICDUX560BLK Digital Voice Recorder can record audio in MP3 format to store it in part of its 4GB internal memory. That storage capacity is massive, given that it is capable of holding as much as 159 hours of recorded audio.
The reason it produces audio of the highest quality is its very sensitive s-microphone, which can capture clear audio from a distance. Once the audio files reach storage, they are organized into at least 5,000 possible folders. That makes it very easy to navigate. It is easy to manage the files whether you want to move, erase, divide or lock them. With the smart menu system, you wouldn’t ask for anything more.
If the internal memory isn’t enough, you can expand it using a microSD of a maximum of 32GB. This amplifies the available storage space by eight times. It has a backlit display through which you can see the recording mode, date, and time. If you want private playback, the mini-jack for earphones is all you need. To transfer files from the device, plug it into a USB port on your PC and get going.
- An ultra-sensitive microphone
- 4GB expandable memory
- Easy file management system
- Reports about USB port failing to transfer files
- The recording beep can be too faint
- No backup to the cloud
2. Zoom H2n Handy RecorderBest Pocket-Sized Digital Voice Recorder
If you are looking for the perfect device to carry with you on your busy schedule, the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder comes in handy. It is a pocket-sized affair that will do well as a recorder for lectures and private podcasts. It comes with two built-in 90-degree stereo microphones that are sharp enough to capture clear audio from a distance. The recorder supports multiple audio formats including MP3.
It has an onboard limiter for recording sound of a maximum of 10dB SPL distortion-free. With this device, it is possible to record a concert while maintaining the quality of the audio. Additionally, the playback speed control has no effect on the pitch. Thus, transcription can be done without considerable changes to the quality of the music.
If you want to try out new sounds, you can use the overdub feature whether you are a musician or journalist. It has a monochrome LCD display which enables you to easily read information about the audio. It also comes with intuitive and simple-to-use one-touch controls. You do not need to be an expert to use this device.
- Pocket-sized recorder for use on the go
- Easy to read LCD display
- Supports multiple audio formats
- The door on the SD card slot is hard to open
- The low default volume level
- Doesn’t come with necessary accessories
3. Digital voice recorder, Homder 16GB Touch Screen Voice Activated RecorderBest Digital Voice Recorder with High Storage Capacity
Are you working in an industry where you require massive audio storage? If so, then you need the Digital Voice Recorder by Homder, which has a storage capacity of up to 16GB. With that, it is possible to store a maximum of 1,100 hours of audio or more than 3,000 audio files. Another thing that stands out about this device is that it supports both the WAV and MP3 file formats.
If you are a musician, you will definitely fall in love with the DSP digital recording and AGC noise reduction capabilities of this device. You could easily use it to record a concert without worrying about capturing the background noise. The recorder springs into action as the sound of a loud voice.
The device has a full audio playback function which you can adjust to quickly and easily listen to the audio thanks to the A-B repeat feature. It also has fast forward, rewind, and speed playback functions. Great for recording and playing back interviews, meetings, lectures, memos, and ideas. Writers, journalists, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, professors, and students will find this audio recorder to be very useful.
- Has a high storage capacity
- Voice reduction technology
- Color display screen
- You have to place it close to what is being recorded
- May not shut down automatically as expected
- The instruction manual is poorly written
4. Digital Voice Recorder, Homder 1536kbps 8GB Voice Activated RecorderBest Digital Voice Recorder for Students
If you are a student or a journalist, you need an audio recorder that assures you of the highest sound quality and the widest range of supported audio formats. The Digital Voice recorder supports both the MP3 and WAV audio formats. To start recording, speak with an audible voice and the recorder will automatically be activated. Thus, it limits the amount of space used to store audio files and eliminates the recording of intervals when there is no sound.
The backlit LCD screen displays all the necessary information about the audio being recorded and also makes the user interface quite intuitive. Thanks to the noise reduction technology, this device picks out and enhances human speech before recording it. With this device, you won’t have to be worried about picking up the unnecessary background noise.
Once you have recorded audio files, you will need to listen to them either on the device or a PC. This device makes it easier for you in several ways. For once, it has the fast forward, rewind, and A-B repeat functions for listening to the part you want quickly and easily. Second, the USB cable enables easy transfer of files from the recorder to your PC. You can then process the audio files according to your needs.
- A USB cable for fast file transfer
- The battery lasts for 12 hours of recording
- Supports several audio formats
- The sound quality is poor
- Has a cheap plastic feel
- Reported to be difficult to use
5. Mini Voice Recorder for Lectures Meetings RECJOYBest USB Digital Voice Recorder for Lecture Rooms
Just how big are your recording needs? If you are a student or journalist with a lot of audio hours to record, this Mini Voice Recorder comes with up to 16GB of internal storage. You will get a maximum recording time of 72 hours and up to 5,000 audio files. Once you have recorded the files, you can easily transfer them to a Mac or Windows PC. With its dedicated professional chip, which records a clear voice.
If you are pressed for time, the recorder takes just hours to charge. When fully charged, the battery will serve you for 13 hours continuously, which makes it good for everyday use. With the smart battery detection function, the device automatically saves whatever you are recording before the power runs out.
The small-sized voice recorder can easily fit in your pocket and is great for use while on the go. It doesn’t matter if you are attending a meeting, speech or interviews. You can carry it with you in your purse, suitcase or pocket and pull out when you need it. The record and save keys are morphed into one to make it easy to work with this device.
- 16GB storage capacity
- Fast battery charging and long running time
- Portable and easy to carry
- The user manual can be confusing
- Starts all over when the battery dies
- Hypersensitive microphone
6. EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice RecorderBest Non-Skid Hallway Runner
It is not enough to have a voice recorder if it isn’t effective and powerful. The EVISTR 16GB Digital Recorder has large internal storage memory, which makes it infinitely capable of holding a lot of audio files. It supports multiple audio formats including WAV and MP3. The best thing about this device is that it provides high-fidelity MP3 recordings, thanks to the capability to format audio files at 384kbps. But that’s only if you want to get the highest quality. At a lower record rate of 32kbps, it is possible to record a maximum of 560 hours.
When it comes to compatibility, the EVISTR mini can load the audio files onto both a Mac and Windows PC. Using the 2.0 USB cable, you can easily transfer files onto your computer. Only that you have to install additional software on the Mac for playback to work.
To cap it all, this device is infinitely easy to use given the four buttons with which it is made – record, play, menu, and stop. You don’t need anyone to train you on how to use this device. The metallic body of the recorder makes it very durable.
- 16GB internal storage
- Compatible with both Mac and Windows PC
- Has only four buttons
- Reports of poor sound quality
- Looks and feels cheap
- Voice-activated recording may not work
7. Olympus Voice Recorder WS-852Best Digital Voice Recorder with MP3 Player
Why should you have a clumsy recorder when you can easily get a compact, hand-held one? Well, this is one question the Olympus Voice Recorder WS-852 was made to answer. The recorder is purposely designed small enough to carry in your purse, pocket or hand, making it handy for students during lectures or for journalists to capture all the juicy details in important interviews.
The device comes as an upgraded version of the Olympus DVR, which was impressive by anyone’s standards about 10 years ago, so you can imagine how much better this one is. You get better audio quality, a simpler user interface, and a battery that will get you as many as 17 hours of recording time. It also has a pretty decent holding capacity, storing up to 4 gigs worth of recording. The mic stereo itself is intuitively placed at a 90-degree angle, too, so you can get the best quality sound, whether you are recording yourself, another person, or an entire room.
- Small and easily portable
- Good sound quality
- Easy to use controls
- Capacity could be higher
- Takes some time to boot up (about 3 seconds)
- Interphase looks a little old-school
8. Digital Voice Activated Recorder by DictoproBest Digital Voice Recorder for Lectures and Meetings
The Digital Voice Activated Recorder by Dictopro is a highly effective device gives you the best quality audio files. It is equipped with a pair of ultra-sensitive microphones, which together with the voice canceling function makes the device great for use in noisy environments. So, if you want to record a live concert, this device will work just fine. Additionally, you can record anything within a radius of 40 feet or even the quietest conversations.
It is an aluminum affair that comes with a color LCD display. Unlike other devices which might fall apart without provocation, this particular one holds together just fine. It is small, light, and can fit in a purse, pocket or palm. The 8GB internal memory gives you up to 700 minutes of audio recording. If you have any other files to store, the memory on this device will come in handy.
With the voice-activated recording, you can avoid clicking the record button every time you want to start recording. This works great especially if you want to be discreet about the recording. You can use it to take notes in college or the doctor’s office. Using a USB cable, you can transfer files to and from a Mac or Windows PC with ease.
- Easy transferability with Mac and PC
- Voice-activated recording
- Double ultra-sensitive microphones
- Non-responsive customer service
- Automatically turns off after two minutes of no use
- Can stop working unexpectedly
9. Wohlman. Digital Voice Recorder 16GBBest Digital Voice Recorder with Long Battery Life
The Wohlman. Digital Voice Recorder 16GB is one of the more digital-looking digital recorders on our list. With its sleek, modern design, the device looks like the next minimalistic apple invention, which means, other than feeling good to the touch, you are assured to look cool carrying it around. The recorder features a simplistic user interface, with just a few buttons on the surface, so each action you want to take is intuitive.
When it comes to sound quality, you surely can’t expect anything less from something this fancy. The Wohlman gives out one of the most realistic sound qualities your money will buy you, capturing all the crescendos and inflections in your voice, making it perfect for any aspiring singers. We can’t go without mentioning the 16 gigs of internal storage on this baby. This will allow you to store higher quality recordings or as many as 1500 songs because it doubles up as an MP3 player.
- Has a sleek, digital, design; looks cool
- Large internal storage
- Good voice fidelity
- Although it doubles up as mp3 player, it is not so good for music
- The markings for controls are small therefore hard to easily access
- Instructions on using the recorder are a bit hard to follow.
10. Digital Voice Recorder by AomagoBest Mini Digital Voice Recorder
The era of Dictaphones that relied on tapes to record audio is long gone. Enter the Digital Voice Recorder and you have a clearer, more effective way of capturing those conversations, lectures or interviews. The high fidelity microphones make it possible for you to get premium sound quality without trying too hard. It stores the files in terms of WAV or MP3 files. It has three buttons one each for recording, saving, and playing audio files.
Depending on where you are doing the recording from, you can set it to the voice-activated mode so that it wakes up as soon as it detects a voice. Even so, this mode allows you to only catch the words being said. That way, you will cut on the listening time save the storage space. When you want to transcribe the files, the A-B function makes it easy for you to repeat a section of the audio until you have all you want.
Since this recorder is compatible with your Mac computer, you can easily transfer the audio files to free up more space. Simple connect the device to a computer using a USB device and get going. It is also possible to copy music from a computer to the device, thus turning it into an MP3 player.
- Files transferable via USB
- A-B repeat function
- Voice activation capabilities
- Five-second delay before commencing recording
- May get into confusion when left on and unused
- Looks and feels cheap
How to Choose the Best Digital Voice Recorder: The Ultimate Buying Guide
In any voice recording that one may wish to undertake, the ultimate goal is to have high-quality audio. It’s important that you get a digital recorder that will be lightweight and compact enough while at the same time have sufficient storage space. Additionally, it would be important to have the ability to know how to use the data from the recorder, be it playing it back or accessing it using it a computer, transcribers or any other device. This guide sets to give you features that might assist you in choosing your perfect recorder.
What are You Planning to Record?
At times you just want to have a recorder for simple recording in lecture halls or a sophisticated recorder for your followers who listen to your podcasts. Always go for the top pick if you desire high-quality audio, which may cost you up to $82. With this, rest assured that all professional recordings, music recording or movie shooting audio quality will powerful and worth the dime spent.
Battery life – How Long Does the Digital Voice Recorder Last?
Having a recorder whose battery will die midway your recording might be quite frustrating. Good digital recorders should be able to last up to 48 hours or more. Always consider the recorder that will last a longer period to see the end of your recording.
Sound quality: Has to Be Impressive!
A good digital recorder should be able to have a high audio recording ability with minimum noise and clear audibility. You should consider having a strong battery and large space as high-quality audio tends to take more space. Always consider an advanced device with sophisticated features for higher quality sound.
Digital recorder interface- Is it Easy to Use?
You could view this in two angles; how the controls and buttons can be understood and the ease of use. Advanced audio recorders have a more sophisticated interface with more features that allow you to enjoy more features, playback and control the quality of audio you so desire. In addition, other recorders may be easy and express to use. When selecting a recorder to buy, consider how easy it will be to bookmark, forward, playback among other navigating options.
With the modern developments on display and operation, it’s imperative to know that most new devices come with touch and color displays. Considering the ability and agility of a touch screen to access most features that come with a digital recorder always consider spending little more on one a recorder with a touch screen like the Homder 16G Touch Screen Voice Activated Recorder. A color screen, on the other hand, will have a clear display, unlike ordinary displays that you may struggle to see during the broad daylight and therefore consider getting a digital recorder with a colored display.
Storage space- Can it Accommodate a Good Number of Recordings
If you’re considering having your recorder record for long hours, then think of having one with larger storage capacity. Additionally, consider spending more than $50 so that your recorder comes with a microSD memory slot where you could add additional storage for more recording space.
Connections – What Ports Does the Digital Voice Recorder Come with?
Having a recorder that will have high-quality output, long-lasting battery and other features listed above may mean nothing if you can’t be able to listen to the playback of the recording or transfer the audio to your computer. Always take into account the presence of a headphone and a USB port that will make your connections and transfers between your devices simple.
Where Will You Be Recording With the Voice Recorder?
For situations like noisy cafes, a sporting event or even noisy gatherings, think of the more sophisticated recorders with powerful microphones and noise reduction options. However, for your personal indoors recording, consider a simple and cheap recorder that will just record and save your audio.
The format of the audio output you need for a specific task will be determined by the recorder you purchase. If you need audio that is uncompressed and lossless, consider getting a recorder that will record WAV files though they might take up more space on your storage. Always think of recorders that will support AAC, MP3 OR WMA output that take up minimum speed and are compatible with most devices.
Modern devices like cell phones, laptops or even tablets and iPads all come with an audio recorder app. Although not the best quality audio is guaranteed with these portable devices, always consider using them for basic personal recordings like in lecture halls and personal record. However, when selecting a good digital recorder device, always take into account features like storage space, battery life and ease of use among other reasons discussed above.