9 Best Digital Voice Recorders

By Ann Young 4 days ago Photography Gear

Have a digital voice recorder not to miss an interesting moment of any story.

top 3 best digital voice recorder

Digital recording devices are used to save sound (like speeches or songs) in the form of a digital file that can be transferred between devices and played on PCs, tablets, and phones just like any other type of media file. The digital voice recorders can help you save your music ideas when you’re not in a studio as well as record the key moments of meeting, conferences, presentations, and lectures.

Top 9 Best Digital Voice Recorders

  1. Sony UX560 - Our Choice
  2. Olympus WS-852 - For lectures
  3. Sony ICD-PX470 - Budget voice recorder
  4. TASCAM DR-05 - Noise reduction function
  5. Zoom H2n Handy - Stylish voice recorder
  6. Roland R-26 - Professional digital voice recorder
  7. Philips DPM6000 - Best choice for meetings
  8. Olympus VN-722PC - Long battery life
  9. Zoom H1 Handy - For live audio

1. Sony UX560

FixThePhoto editors’ choice

1/3
  • sony ux560 best digital voice recorder
  • sony ux560 best digital voice recorder

    Built-in memory: 4 GB | Built-in microphone: Stereo (s-mic) | USB connection charging: Yes | Recording format: Linear PCM /MP3

    ⊕ Intuitive user interface
    ⊕ Great at picking up sound
    ⊕ Terrific battery life
    ⊕ Pop-out USB 3.0 port
    ⊖ Not found

    This device is capable of recording clear, easily-recognizable audio in lecture halls, office spaces, and loud restaurants. This digital voice recorder offers a user-friendly menu, a backlit display, up to 40 recording hours, MP3 output, up to 28 hours of battery life, voice recognition (for starting, pausing, and resuming recording), and a retractable USB port that allows recharging the device and sending files to your PC with ease.

    Similar to other models I’ve tested, it has a solid amount of native storage (4GB) and a micro-SD card slot, which means you can potentially store hundreds of hours of audio footage. This recorder is also the thinnest model I’ve tried, being only 0.43” thick and allowing you to easily put it in your shirt or pants pocket.


    2. Olympus WS-852

    For lectures

    1/3
    • olympus ws-852 best digital voice recorder
    • olympus ws-852 best digital voice recorder

      Built-in memory: 4 GB | Built-in microphone: True stereo | USB connection charging: Direct USB port | Recording format: MP3

      ⊕ Satisfying audio quality
      ⊕ Solid ergonomics considering the menu
      ⊕ User-friendly and convenient navigation
      ⊕ Plenty of options
      ⊖ Screen doesn’t have a backlight
      ⊖ Microphones aren’t insulated

      This model comes with 4GB of storage space and unlike many other voice recorder devices that save files in Wave, WS-852 produces MP3 files. This allows reducing the file size, meaning canfit a lot more recordings on these 4GB than on 8GB offered by a model like EVISTR Slim as the device can contain more than a thousand hours of sound files.

      WS-852 has several interesting features like the smart Auto-Mode that automatically changes the microphone sensitivity to match the volume of the speaker’s voice.

      This model also has 2 information modes. The first one only shows essential info, which is the better option for users new to the menu,while the second mode is aimed at advanced users that want additional control over the recording process.


      3. Sony ICD-PX470

      Budget voice recorder

      1/3
      • sony icd-px470 best digital voice recorder
      • sony icd-px470 best digital voice recorder

        Built-in memory: 4 GB | Built-in microphone: S-Microphone | USB connection charging: Direct USB port | Recording format: LPCM/MP3

        ⊕ Customizable microphone range
        ⊕ Direct USB connectivity
        ⊕ Heavy-duty battery
        ⊕ Storage space can be expanded
        ⊖ Average audio quality
        ⊖ Larger than most competitors

        ICD-PX470 is one of the best digital voice recorders for people on a tight budget. The menu and control scheme of this model is reminiscent of UX-560, but testing showed that its sound quality is marginally lower.

        PX470 offers superior battery life compared to UX-560 (up to 56 hours), but it’s not rechargeable, meaning you need to bring spare triple-A batteries with you. The unit itself is also bigger, being twice as large as UX-560.

        This recorder offers 4GB of integrated memory, equaling to a maximum recording duration of 59 hours, with the files being saved in MP3 at 128kbps. You can increase the storage space by adding a microSD card with up to 32GB of extra memory.


        4. TASCAM DR-05

        Noise reduction function

        1/3
        • tascam dr-05 best digital voice recorder
        • tascam dr-05 best digital voice recorder

          Built-in memory: 4 GB | Built-in microphone: S-Microphone | USB connection charging: Direct USB port | Recording format: WAV/MP3

          ⊕ Great microphone
          ⊕ Impressive max recording time
          ⊕ Modern design
          ⊕ Noisereductionfeature
          ⊖ Quite expensive

          TASCAM DR-05 is another model that has gathered many positive digital voice recorder reviews thanks to its state-of-the-art, modern design and convenient UI.

          Similarly, to other audio recording devices on the list, this gadget offers 4GB of memory thanks to the included micro-SD card, but that value can be increased up to 64GB. The main difference between DR-05 and other recorders is the max recording time, which usually stands at about 1000h, while TASCAM caps out at about 150 hours, which is still more than 6 days of audio.

          Files can be saved in either MP3 or WAV, and you can select between various quality settings like 320kbps MP3 or lossless Wave files. The recorded sound is clear thanks to the noise reduction feature. While DR-05 isn’t exactly the best digital voice recorder on the market, it’s still a solid option that is worthy of your consideration.


          5. Zoom H2n Handy

          Stylish voice recorder

          1/3
          • zoom h2n handy best digital voice recorder
          • zoom h2n handy best digital voice recorder

            Built-in memory: 2 GB | Built-in microphone: Five built-in microphones | USB connection charging: Direct USB port | Recording format: MAV/MP3

            ⊕ 5 built-in microphones
            ⊕ High sound quality
            ⊕ Auto-gain and data restorationfeatures
            ⊕ Direct USB connectivity
            ⊖ Price
            ⊖ Only 2 GB of space

            Zoom H2n is a modern, small device with multiple impressive features that make it a must-have additionto this digital voice recorders review. While the small number of buttons can make it inconvenient for some, the received audio quality makes up for it.

            H2n is supplied with a 2GB micro-SD that can be upgraded to 32GB. The recorder also has 5 integrated microphones that provide the high audio quality and 4 recording modes (including 2- and 4-channel stereo).

            While the controls aren’t the most user-friendly, functions like Auto Gain and File Recovery along with the sound quality and batteries that last up to 20 hours, make this recorder superior to similar devices.


            6. Roland R-26

            Professional digital voice recorder

            1/3
            • roland r-26 best digital voice recorder
            • roland r-26 best digital voice recorder

              Built-in memory: 32 GB | Built-in microphone: 3 stereo pairs | USB connection charging: High-speed USB audio | Recording format: WAV/BWF/MP3

              ⊕ Portable nature
              ⊕ High-definition direct audio
              ⊕ Dual stereo microphones
              ⊕ Integrated Hi-Speed USB UI
              ⊖ Quite expensive

              R-26 was made for professionals, particularly those involved in journalism, music or movies production. This premium device has two kinds of integrated microphones that secure unbelievable sound clarity and can even record in 6 channels, making it the best digital voice recorder if you can afford it.

              While the included microphones are already top-notch, users also can connect an external microphone to the device and use R-26 to control their recording sessions, while saving files in either WAV or MP3.

              This model also comes with software that is useful when you’re transferring files to your computer. Even though R-26 supports Mac, the software only runs on Windows. That being said, this is still the go-to option if you’re an ardent professional.


              7. Philips DPM6000

              Best choice for meetings

              1/3
              • philips dpm6000 best digital voice recorder
              • philips dpm6000 best digital voice recorder

                Built-in memory: 4 GB | Built-in microphone: Stereo | USB connection charging: Direct USB port | Recording format: DSS/MP3

                ⊕ Electronic Speech Standard function
                ⊕ High-definition direct audio
                ⊕ Large color LCD screen
                ⊕ Reliable stainless steel construction
                ⊖ Additional expenses

                This model is supplied with Digital Speech Standard (DSS), which is a proprietary compressed format specifically created for dictation software as it provides higher quality results than popular formats like MP3.

                The recorder comes with 2 built-in mics, allowing users to capture high-fidelity stereo. The body is made of stainless steel that provides extra sturdiness. DPM600 has a 4GB micro-SD card and runs on a rechargeable battery. You can also separately purchase a docking bay for convenient recharging.


                8. Olympus VN-722PC

                Long battery life

                1/3
                • olympus vn-722pc best digital voice recorder
                • olympus vn-722pc best digital voice recorder

                  Built-in memory: 4 GB | Built-in microphone: Stereo | USB connection charging: Direct USB port | Recording format: WMA/MP3

                  ⊕ Beginner-friendly
                  ⊕ Convenient UI
                  ⊕ Impressive battery life
                  ⊕ Memory can be expanded
                  ⊖ Not suitable for professionals

                  If you’re looking for a digital recorder for beginners, which has a durable battery and plenty of memory, then this is the option for you. It’s convenient, user-friendly, and only takes a minute to get used to. The included battery and storage space will leave you satisfied.

                  While it’s not the best model for recording every note at a rock concert, it’s more than capable of handling your personal recordings on the fly.

                  You can fit over 1500 hours of audio on the device while 2 triple-A batteries last for a solid 100 hours. The device also has an expandable memory slot for up to 32GB of additional storage space and can be connected to PCs.


                  9. Zoom H1 Handy

                  For live audio

                  1/3
                  • zoom h1 best digital voice recorder
                  • zoom h1 best digital voice recorder

                    Built-in memory: 2 GB | Built-in microphone: Stereo X/Y | USB connection charging: Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port | Recording format: WAV/MP3

                    ⊕ ED screen
                    ⊕ Multi-directional condenser microphones
                    ⊕ Compact
                    ⊕ Can be mounted on various devices
                    ⊖ Limited storage space

                    Zoom H1 Handy is one of the best digital voice recorders that have live sound capturing functionality. The device can fit in your pocket and has multi-directional microphones that were specifically designed for live audio. The files are saved in either MP3 or WAV, allowing you to be in control of their size.

                    The recorder works on a single double-A battery that lasts for about 10 hours of uninterrupted recording. The 2GB of native storage space isn’t a lot, but you can expand it up to 32GB with microSD cards.

                    Zoom H1 Handy is also supplied with mounts that can be attached to your camera or other similar equipment while you control it with the handy LED screen.


                    List of the Best Digital Voice Recorders

                    Image Name Features  
                    sony ux560 image
                    Sony UX560
                    OUR CHOICE
                    • Convenientuser interface
                    • Great at picking up sound
                    • Terrific battery life
                    Check PRICE
                    olympus ws-852 image
                    Olympus WS-852
                    FOR BEGINNERS
                    • Satisfying audio quality
                    • Great ergonomics considering its menu
                    • Intuitive navigation and easy-to-find features
                    Check PRICE
                    sony icd-px470 image
                    Sony ICD-PX470
                    BUDGET
                    • Customizable microphone range
                    • Direct USB connectivity
                    • Impressive battery life
                    Check PRICE
                    zoom h2n handy image
                    Zoom H2n Handy
                    STYLISH
                    • 5 built-in microphones
                    • High sound quality
                    • Auto gain and file recovery features
                    Check PRICE
                    olympus vn-722pc
                    Olympus VN-722PC
                    BATTERY LIFE
                    • Great design
                    • Straightforward UI
                    • Storage space can be expanded
                    Check PRICE

                    How to Choose the Best Digital Voice Recorder?

                    Here are the 6 essential aspects you need to consider when picking the best digital voice recorder.

                    Memory Capacity and Recording Quality

                    how to choose best digital voice recorder

                    Memory capacity. The amount of storage space determines how much audio recordings can fit on the device before you have to move or remove files. The file size is also influenced by the format (MP3, WAV), fidelity, and overall quality of the recording. I suggest using recorders that have at least 4GB of memory, with 32GB being the ideal number.

                    Recording quality.The sound capture quality affects the audio clarity of your recordings. This parameter is determined by the quality and number of available microphones and the bitrate (the larger the bitrate, the better the result). I recommend purchasing audio recording devices that allow you to record in both WAV and MP3 formats.

                    Transcription Technology and Battery Life

                    choosing the best digital voice recorder

                    Transcription technology. High-end voice recording devices come with transcription features that can be paired with appropriate software and hardware to convert audio data into text documents. The benefits of such technology are virtually limitless.

                    Battery life. Probably the biggest advantage that voice recorder devices have over smartphone applications is the superior battery duration. If you want to be certain the recorder doesn’t stop working at the most inopportune moment, I advise getting a model that has a battery that lasts for at least 45 hours.

                    Interface and Operating System Compatibility

                    how to choose digital voice recorder

                    Interface. The UI of an audio recording device can be evaluated in two aspects: ease of use and functionality. Some models offer a minimalistic, beginner-friendly UI, which is perfect for users that only need basic features and nothing else. If you want all the extra features, then the more expensive recorders will offer you a plethora of functions forfully controlling your recording sessions.

                    Operating system compatibility. For most users, the best digital recorder should definitely have the ability to transfer files from the gadget to their PC or laptop. Most models have a USB input specifically for that purpose. Even though the majority of recorders can be connected to both Windows and Mac computers, you should definitely double-check if that’s the case before making your purchase.


                    Ann Young

                    Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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