Visited a lecture and forgot half? Even at work , many of us sometimes wish for a better memory . With introductory prices for voice recorder of around $20 we should not have to face this question in the future. Such a model already provides about 15 hours of battery life and a memory for about 150 hours of recording. Expensive devices for over $100 are already true marathon runners: 50 hours of battery life at a storage for over 1,000 hours of recording. So nothing important should escape you . In our product table, you will also learn which connections the voice recorders have and also whether analog devices can keep up with the digital ones.
Purchase advice: How to find the right voice recorder in 2019
- A voice recorder records what professors, interviewees or seminar participants speak. Even business correspondence and medical reports can be easily recorded with a voice recorder. Later, colleagues put the paper on paper.
- The classic among the sound recording devices is an analog voice recorder with cassette. Anyone who appreciates modern communication processes will receive with the digital voice recorder an excellent voice quality and useful convenience functions for the recording, further processing and transmission of the texts.
- Important purchase criteria for voice recorders are the supported recording formats, storage capacity and battery performance. For recording music tapes, a stereo with a high quality microphone and speaker is a must.
The mobile voice recorder is an indispensable companion for anyone who works with words. Lawyers and doctors talk as much to the sound recording device as journalists and business people who want to get their correspondence done quickly. Of course you can also record wonderful lectures and seminars with the voice recorder. Or just capture spontaneous ideas.
Which voice recorder has performed particularly well in tests, you will see our voice recorder comparison 2019. To find the best voice recorder for your application, learn in our buying guide the different types of devices know and learn what is important in the selection.
1. What can the voice recorder be used for?
Nobody can remember everything. Doctors and lawyers use voice recordings to dictate reports and letters, and journalists use the voice recorder to record their interviews or spontaneous ideas. Students need the sound recorder to record lectures and seminars. Even at conferences, it is now common practice to document what has been said digitally.
The latest generation of voice recorders also offers useful options for private life: Whether as a spoken diary, uncomplicated recorder and player for music, radio plays and Podcasts or as a tool for learning a foreign language.
Dictating or recording – any type of use requires different qualities. The models from our voice recorder comparison offer additional options besides the pure recording function, which are essential for an efficient workflow:
- several recording modes
- correction functions
- Connections for data transmission
As diverse as the applications, so versatile is the product range for sound recording devices. In addition to the classic voice recorder, the following categories can be distinguished, which are often also under the product name “voice recorder” to buy:
|Voice recorder||A voice recorder is the ideal device for beginners and users who want to record lectures and conferences. Voice functions such as the subsequent insertion of annotations within a recording are not possible with a pure Audio Voice Recorder.The data transfer is very uncomplicated thanks to the USB stick . Examples: The Sony ICD series.|
|notetaker||The Notemaker is a device for the acoustic recording of notes, which the user speaks directly into the relatively insensitive microphone. Ideal for users who are looking for a cheap voice recorder. Find interested in about the Olympus VN series.|
|Pen voice recorder||The main feature of these sound recording devices is their slim pen shape. Smartpens like the Olympus VP 10 have effective file management and a calendar search function, but corrections are not possible . The mini voice recorder for the breast pocket.|
|dictate station||The stationary voice recorder is equipped with an external microphone. Perfect for medical practices and high-density offices. With headphone and footswitch to control the playback speed , an efficient desktop workstation can be set up.|
Who wants to record conversations as inconspicuously as possible, also receives a voice recorder as a bracelet. The discrete voice recorder is operated like the big ones via a slide switch. During recording, a small LED lights up and each recording is provided with a digital time stamp.
For special challenges, some models can also be used as a waterproof voice recorder. But: Of course, no illegal recordings of private conversations should be propagated here.
Tip: Especially for blind and visually impaired people, the digital voice recorder V12 Pro has been developed by Eltrinex. The recording can be activated, for example, by the voice, when listening to audiobooks in MP3 or WAV format, the file names are announced aloud. Tactile keys and voice guidance make the Olympus DM 7 a high-quality memory recorder for barrier-free operation. Also usable as talking notebook and daisy player.
2. Analog or digital: this is how the technologies differ
Digital voice recorder have almost supplanted the classic sound recorder from the market. Compared with the analog recording device with mini-cartridges, the digital recorder takes voice recording to a whole new level.
Different recording functions, an almost infinite voice recording and speakers with excellent sound make the digital voice recorder the perfect companion in the office or on the move.
Advantages and disadvantages of digital recorders in comparison:
- integrated memory
- long recording time
- clear display
- to connect with computer
- high recording quality
- easy editing options
- more complicated to use
Some users, however, still prefer the classic technique, because analog voice recorders are considered reliable and intuitive to use. In addition to the start-stop switch, there is often only one more button to fast forward and rewind. However, the simple handling leads to compromises in functionality.
Thus, the transmission and further processing of recordings in the computer is not directly possible. Also, rewinding to a specific passage is cumbersome. Analogue fans have to do without so-called track resuming. Only digital voice recorders can do this.
3. What you should look out for the voice recorder
For the mere recording of lectures, conversations and music a voice recorder with linear recording is sufficient. If you want to capture your thoughts uncomplicated on the go, a mini-voice recorder is a good choice.
For meetings and music, an audio recorder with high microphone sensitivity is better suited. If you want to rewind and insert new text into your recording, you should choose a model with good voice features.
Based on recognized voice recorder tests, we have compiled the most important purchase criteria for digital voice recorders.
3.1. Memory: Can often be expanded by SD card
Analog voice recorders store the spoken word on special cassettes with an average recording capacity of 30 minutes (15 minutes per page). In the digital voice recorder, a memory is permanently integrated, which can often be additionally expanded by an SD memory card.
Most current devices have an internal storage capacity of 4 to 8 GB. Depending on the recording mode, recordings of several hundred hours are possible. High-quality voice recorders offer up to three recording modes:
- HQ stands for “High Quality” and is suitable for short recordings in high sound quality, such as music tapes.
- The SP mode provides the required recording quality for a voice recorder with voice recognition.
- In LP mode, the voice recorder stores about twice as much audio per megabyte. This prolongs the recording time and reduces the quality.
3.2. Connections: USB and headphone ports are standard
Without a USB connection for data transmission, there is hardly a digital voice recorder on the market today. If you want to connect the voice recorder to the computer, you should not miss out on this interface.
The standard also includes connections for headphones and an external stereo microphone. The latter is especially useful if you want to record conversations with several participants. To control recordings wirelessly, high-end models such as the Sony voice recorder ICD-SX2000 also have a Bluetooth interface on board.
Tip: The voice recorder for interviews is about producing a clear stereo record for transcription. If you only record the sound with a mono microphone, for example, by smartphone, this will easily lead to incomprehensibility and thus more time spent on typing. In larger rooms and groups, the Olympus sound recorder LS-P1 and the Voice Tracer 6000 from Philips have proven themselves, which also performs well in our voice recorder comparison.
3.3. Battery performance: Long term is mandatory
In mobile voice recorders, the usability of the built-in battery or batteries depends. If you are traveling a lot, then you should pay attention to a long battery life when choosing your voice recorder test winner or always have a supply of batteries.
Tip: To prevent the recording from stopping in the middle of the lecture, a voice recorder with battery indicator is helpful.
3.4. Recording formats: MP3 requires little memory
The selected recording format determines the sound quality and the need for storage space. The familiar in music players MP3 format requires due to the data compression very little space and allows you to easily jump to certain points of the recording.
High-quality voice recorders often use the DSS (Digital Speech Standard) or DSS-Pro audio format developed by Olympus, Grundig and Philips. DSS allows high compression with very little loss of quality.
Some voice recorders also offer the WAV format, which works without compression. Many voice recorder tests convince WAV recordings with outstanding sound quality. However, this requires a lot of storage space and thus shortens the possible recording time.
3.5. Voice software: conversion of spoken word into text
In times of smartphone and tablet , the question arises whether a voice app could not make the classic voice superfluous, for example as a voice recorder while driving a car. A high-quality voice recorder with voice recognition can not replace the voice recorder app yet.
Manufacturers such as Olympus and Philips are developing not only voice recorders, but also high-quality voice software that significantly improves workflow. As you speak, the program analyzes your words and transforms them into written text.
Doctors and lawyers can open digital dictionaries with the voice recorder. In some programs also punctuation marks are automatically set. Since speech recognition and transcription software is very expensive, the purchase is mainly worthwhile for high voice workspaces.
4. These brands and manufacturers convince with their voice recorders
Among the best known brands are Philips and Olympus. Both manufacturers offer their own voice series for conferences, group discussions and press conferences as well as for telephone interviews and radio plays. The most important manufacturers at a glance:
5. Questions about voice recorders
5.1. How long can I record with the voice recorder?
The maximum recording time depends on the size of the memory and the audio format used. Despite a superior battery life of 192 hours and an 8 GB memory, for example, the BriReTec recorder M06 can only record 92 hours.
The reason is in WAV format, which stores data without compression. The Olympus VN 7800 audio recorder, however, allows a recording time of about 2,200 hours , because he uses the compression method CELP.
5.2. Which voice recorder can also write?
A combination of voice recorder and digital writing instrument can be found in smartpens such as the Livescribe Echo. The voice pen transmits everything you say, hear or write on a special paper to your computer. There, the notes and audio files can then be further processed.
5.3. Which voice recorder for the bachelor thesis?
For long texts, it is mainly on a high storage capacity and the audio format. In DSS format, 10 minutes of voice occupy just one megabyte of storage space.In addition, a voice recorder with DSS offers helpful additional functions. For example, you can later insert new parts of the text in the Bachelor thesis and add comments to the existing soundtrack.
In addition to five different recording modes , the Philips voice recorder DVT 6000 has programmable function keys, a sound-proof loudspeaker and a zoom microphone for different ranges on board. A mini tripod can also be connected.