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You can now record speech with any smartphone. However, you should not count on high sound quality in this case. Even when connecting an external microphone. That is why voice recorders are still in demand. Such devices are especially helpful if you need to record sound for a video that will then be published on YouTube. If you are thinking about buying a voice recorder, then check out our selection. We tried to talk about the best models that do not disappoint their owners.

Rating of the best voice recorders

Nomination Place Name Price

The best budget voice recorders

one

Ambertek VR250F

3 165 ₽

2

Olympus WS-806

5 040 ₽

3

Sony ICD-PX370

4 990 ₽

The best voice recorders in terms of price and quality

one

Tascam DR-40X

14 200 ₽

2

Zoom H1n

8 288 ₽

3

Olympus LS-P1

8 488 ₽

four

Tascam DR-22WL

11 200 ₽

The best professional voice recorders

one

Zoom H6

28 200 ₽

2

Tascam DR-100

36 067 ₽

3

Tascam DR-44WL

23 424 ₽

The best budget voice recorders

Ambertek VR250F

Rating: 4.8

Ambertek VR250F

This recorder can not be called the cheapest. In this regard, the manufacturer did not have to save too much. He introduced two-channel recording here, which is good news. After all, everyone wants to get a full-fledged stereo track at the output. Only the design of the device can upset here. The fact is that the recorder received chrome buttons. At first, they make the device more beautiful. But quickly enough, the paint begins to peel off, and things get much worse. However, this only happens with regular use of the device.

Many voice recorders have a slot for a memory card. Ambertek VR250F is not like that. It uses only built-in memory, the amount of which is 15.6 GB. It seems that this is enough for many hours and even days of audio recording, so you should not worry. But the lack of choice of audio file format is still confusing – only MP3 is available to the user. However, WAV is useless here, since in any case you will not be able to squeeze studio-quality recording out of such a voice recorder.

The selection of parameters here is done by pressing the corresponding buttons and looking at the small LCD display. It’s nice that voice activation is implemented here – it is not necessary to start recording by pressing the largest key. Also, someone may be pleased with the headphone output. It is mainly used when it is necessary to listen to the resulting material. This is good, because it is impossible to quickly reset it to a smartphone or tablet – there is simply no wireless module here. The audio recordings are supposed to be sent exclusively to the computer, for which a USB connection is used here.

Many budget voice recorders run out of power very quickly or run on batteries that you always forget to buy. There is no such problem here. The Ambertek VR250F includes its own lithium-ion battery, which lasts for 25 hours of battery life. By the way, the device can be password protected in case there is a risk of losing it.

Advantages

  • The recorder is small and light;

  • Implemented stereo sound recording;

  • There is a headphone jack;

  • Long battery life;

  • There is password protection;

  • Lots of built-in memory;

  • There is a voice activation function.

Flaws

  • No jack for external microphone;

  • The presentation is lost quickly enough;

  • No memory card slot;

  • Saves the recording in MP3 format only;

  • The recording quality is not ideal.

Olympus WS-806

Rating: 4.8

Olympus WS-806

This recorder differs from analogues in the blue color of the case. As expected, several physical keys are used to control here, so you can literally start recording by touch – the device at this moment may still be in your pocket. To see the settings being changed, just look at the monochrome screen. There are two ways to listen to recorded material. The first is to use the built-in speaker, the second is to connect headphones.

Unlike more affordable models, this recorder is ready to record stereo sound. Also on its body there was a place for a microphone input – it will come in handy if you need to use the “label”. The material is stored in the built-in memory, the volume of which is 4 GB. If you select the maximum quality, this is enough for 65 hours of recording. There is also a slot for a microSD memory card. And the choice of the format of the saved file cannot but rejoice. As you know, MP3 uses compression algorithms anyway. Therefore, some users will like the ability to switch to the WAV format.

As expected, there is a voice activation function. Also among the settings include changing the sensitivity of the microphone. To send the finished material to a computer or any other device, it is enough to use a traditional USB connection.

Returning to the display, we can not fail to note its modest size. You are waiting for a screen whose diagonal does not exceed 1.61 inches, and the resolution is 29×29 pixels. However, this does not bother buyers. They are more important than the minimum dimensions of the device itself. There’s barely enough room for two AAA batteries to keep it going. They should be enough for 110 hours of recording.

The main disadvantage of this voice recorder is that it only allows you to create 5 folders. Alas, this may not be enough for some. As for the number of audio recordings in each of them, it is limited to one thousand.

Advantages

  • You can switch between MP3 and PCM;

  • Recorded in stereo;

  • There is a microphone input;

  • You can connect headphones;

  • You can change the sensitivity of the microphone;

  • Activation by voice is possible;

  • There is a slot for a memory card;

  • Long battery life.

Flaws

  • You can create a total of five folders;

  • A very miniature display is used;

  • Battery operation is not for everyone.

Also Read: 12 Best Hidden Voice Recorders

Sony ICD-PX370

Rating: 4.7

Sony ICD-PX370

Quality audio equipment from Sony costs a lot of money. Exceptions to the rule do occur, but rarely. For example, one of them is the ICD-PX370. However, even this model cannot be called particularly affordable – its cost is close to 5,000 rubles. However, in many ways, it is still inferior to competitors with a similar price tag. For example, only a monochrome display is used here. Which, however, benefits from its low power consumption. Most frustrating is the fact that the device only records mono sound. And this is in the 21st century!

This recorder is not exactly miniature. This is evidenced at least by the fact that there was a place for a full-sized SD card. Therefore, it is impossible to covertly record the conversation. But there is nothing wrong with that. As the amount of internal memory, which is only 4 GB, is not particularly upsetting.

On the recorder there was a place not only for a microphone, but also for a fairly large speaker. With it, you can listen to the finished material. Also, no one bothers to download some MP3 music to the SD card using the Sony ICD-PX370 as a player. In this case, headphones may come in handy, for the connection of which a corresponding connector is allocated. There is also a jack for an external microphone. And this is an indisputable plus of the recorder. If you get a quality buttonhole, then you can write sound for videos posted on YouTube.

As you may have guessed, this model only saves files in MP3 format. This prevents the Sony ICD-PX370 from being used for studio quality recordings. But this is not surprising, because this device is budget. And despite this, it is endowed with functionality that makes use more convenient. For example, activation of the voice recorder is available here. Also, the buyer can adjust the sensitivity of the microphone. Well, to transfer the material to the computer, the usual USB connection is used here – the connector is located inside the device itself, if necessary, it can be easily pulled out.

The voice recorder is powered by two AAA batteries. They should be enough for 57 hours of sound recording or playback.

Advantages

  • Implemented password protection;

  • There is a slot for a memory card;

  • Convenient management;

  • The dimensions cannot be called large;

  • There is a microphone input;

  • You can connect headphones;

  • Long battery life.

Flaws

  • Only mono sound is recorded;

  • Not so much built-in memory;

  • Saves files only in MP3 format;

  • The price can not be called particularly low.

The best voice recorders in terms of price and quality

Tascam DR-40X

Rating: 4.8

Tascam DR-40X

Do you need a nosebleed multi-channel audio recording? In this case, it is necessary to consider the option of buying a very expensive portable recorder. But it is not necessary to prepare to spend a very impressive amount. Instead, you can purchase the Tascam DR-40X. For this model in Russian stores they ask for about 15 thousand rubles. In some cases, this is quite acceptable. For this money you will receive a voice recorder capable of recording four channels at once. And he is able to boast of a changeable configuration of two built-in microphones – they have two positions. The only thing that will sadden someone is the fact that there is no windscreen in the kit. But you can easily find it in the Chinese online store, whose name is on everyone’s lips.

As you already understood, on the body of the device you can find a pair of connectors for connecting microphones. They can also be used as line inputs. Last but not least, both jacks can accept phantom power, making it possible to use even condenser microphones. One can only regret that power is supplied to two sockets at once. You can not activate this function only for one connector, thereby reducing power consumption.

The voice recorder is powered by three AA batteries. This suggests that the device turned out to be quite large. The weight of the device together with batteries is 282 g. Alas, such a recorder will not fit in every pocket. However, this applies to almost all professional models – they are not imprisoned for hidden recording. By the way, fresh batteries last for 10-18 hours of audio recording, depending on whether you need phantom power.

The device has a very large LCD display, complemented by a backlight. It allows you to set up the recorder without any problems in every possible way. There is also a built-in speaker with which you can listen to the result. If you need to do this in an environment of people, it is better to use the headphone jack.

The material here is written exclusively on an external drive, which should be a microSD memory card. Get ready for the fact that its weight will be huge. At least when choosing the highest quality and WAV format.

To find fault with this model is possible only because of the meager configuration. We have already said about the lack of wind protection, there is no cover in the box with the voice recorder. And without it, the device is not recommended to be used outdoors in the rain – it has absolutely no moisture protection.

Advantages

  • There is a slot for a memory card;

  • The choice of the format of the saved file is available;

  • A huge number of settings;

  • There are two connectors for microphones;

  • Implemented phantom power;

  • There is a headphone output;

  • Built-in good speaker;

  • Decent battery life;

  • Can record four channels at once.

Flaws

  • A cover would not hurt;

  • Supplied without windscreen;

  • Very high cost;

  • Phantom power is supplied to two connectors at once;

  • No own memory.

Zoom H1n

Rating: 4.7

Zoom H1n

Many experts will confirm that the best voice recorders are produced under the Zoom brand. And usually these devices are very expensive. Fortunately, there are also slightly simplified models, the purchase of which will cost 8-9 thousand rubles – a completely acceptable amount. For example, such is Zoom H1n. This entry-level voice recorder is relatively small, making it easy to fit in your pocket. It is powered by only two AAA batteries. They should be enough for about 10 hours of recording. Device settings are carried out by pressing physical buttons. It also uses a small monochrome display, the diagonal of which is 1.25 inches. Its resolution is small, but there are enough pixels to display the charge level and to show the remaining recording time. Not to mention the display of various parameters. The contents of the screen are clearly visible even in bright sunlight, and the backlight helps out in the dark.

The device prompts you to choose between MP3 and WAV formats. The second implies a slightly higher quality of the audio recording, but the final file will weigh much more. However, no one bothers you to insert a 64 GB microSD memory card into the recorder – this is enough for many thousands of hours of recording. By the way, the device has no built-in memory. At all.

Like many other voice recorders, this one can automatically start recording if someone nearby starts talking. Also, the Zoom H1n recorder offers to adjust the microphone sensitivity. By the way, it can be external – there is a corresponding connector here. Also on the case there is a line input and a similar output. Not forgotten, and headphone jack. However, you can do without them by listening to the resulting recording using the built-in speaker.

Perhaps, Zoom H1n can be called a professional voice recorder, albeit only an entry-level one. This is one of the most inexpensive recorders among those that are endowed with two built-in microphones directed in different directions – this allows you to get a decent stereo picture at the output.

Advantages

  • The choice of the format of the saved file is available;

  • There is a slot for a memory card;

  • Not the highest cost;

  • Recorded in stereo;

  • Microphones are directed in different directions;

  • A large number of settings;

  • There are linear input and output;

  • You can connect an external microphone and headphones;

  • Modest size and weight.

Flaws

  • Not very long battery life;

  • There is no built-in memory.

Olympus LS-P1

Rating: 4.6

Olympus LS-P1

It is worth taking a look at the Olympus LS-P1, as it immediately becomes clear that this recorder has a claim to professional status. This is indicated by two built-in microphones. They have a decent size and a different direction. As a result, they can be used to record excellent stereo sound. Some customers even use the device to record playing a musical instrument! However, we would recommend buying an even more expensive recorder for this purpose – it will record the result in even higher quality.

The device has a large number of physical buttons, thanks to which all kinds of settings are carried out. For example, you can use them to adjust the sensitivity of the microphone. Or decide between MP3 and WAV formats. The latter, as you know, offers a higher quality audio recording, but the saved file will take up more space. It is exactly 4 GB here, not so much. However, no one bothers to insert a microSD card, expanding the free space to the value you need.

The Olympus recorder has a very wide recording frequency range. The sampling rate is limited to 96 kHz, which is a decent value, if not a record one. Recording here can be activated automatically – the recorder can recognize a person’s voice.

The device syncs with the computer without any problems using a USB connection. It also has other connectors. But they are few, it must be admitted. The user is only waiting for an input for an external microphone and a headphone output. The manufacturer preferred to forget about the linear input and the same output, thereby making the design a little cheaper. But on the other hand, he did not save on the body, which is made of metal. What can I say, as a result, the recorder turned out to be very pleasant to the touch …

Finally, we need to talk about the LCD present here. Someone will be confused by the fact that it is monochrome. But we believe that a color screen for a voice recorder is overkill. The diagonal of the LCD panel used here is 1.43 inches. Resolution – 108×84 pixels. Not much, but this is enough to review the basic settings and get acquainted with how much more you can record sound. By the way, the recorder is powered by only one AAA battery. And it is enough for several tens of hours of work! Miracles!

Advantages

  • Not very large size and weight;

  • Very long battery life;

  • Writes stereo sound;

  • Built-in microphones are directed in different directions;

  • The choice of the format of the saved file is available;

  • The built-in memory is supplemented by a slot for microSD;

  • You can connect headphones and an external microphone;

  • The body is metal;

  • The cost cannot be called too high.

Flaws

  • You can only create five folders;

  • The microphones do not have a windscreen;

  • The instruction does not help to understand the settings;

  • The screen is readable only when the backlight is activated.

Tascam DR-22WL

Rating: 4.6

Tascam DR-22WL

An interesting voice recorder that looks like a professional camera with its controls. In particular, there is also a wheel for selecting the operating mode. With it, you can quickly switch to a mode ideal for recording a musical instrument. One swipe of your finger and you are already in interview recording mode. A fully manual mode is also available here, in which absolutely all settings are subject to you. They are displayed on a very large display, complemented by a bright backlight. It is monochrome, but this can hardly be considered a disadvantage.

Recording here is carried out with the help of two microphones directed in different directions. Unfortunately, you cannot change their position – only much more expensive recorders provide this opportunity. The sensitivity of the microphones is easily adjustable. You can also adjust the recording quality by selecting the format and sample rate. The material is stored exclusively on a microSD memory card. To transfer it to a computer, the easiest way is to use a USB connection. It is also allowed to use the built-in Wi-Fi module for this, but then do not count on high speed. Basically, this component is built in here only so that you can control the voice recorder remotely. But even in this case, you will not be omnipotent – for example, you will not be able to monitor the sound using headphones connected to your smartphone.

If we talk about the wired connectors of this recorder, then you will find a pair of microphone jacks. Alas, when they are connected, the built-in microphones stop working – at the same time the device is ready to record only two channels. Also, the manufacturer has not forgotten the headphone jack. All interfaces are 3.5 mm – there is no question of any XLR here. Professional connectors simply would not fit on such a small voice recorder.

It remains to be added that the device is powered by a pair of AA batteries. The weight of the device with batteries is 170 g.

Advantages

  • Implemented remote control;

  • Modest size and weight;

  • There is a slot for a memory card;

  • Very long battery life;

  • There are two microphone inputs;

  • You can connect headphones;

  • Built-in microphones are directed in different directions;

  • The choice of the format of the saved file is available;

  • Not forgotten speaker;

  • Convenient management.

Flaws

  • No own memory;

  • The font on the display is very small;

  • Poor equipment;

  • No Russification;

  • Not the most reliable tripod thread.

The best professional voice recorders

Zoom H6

Rating: 4.9

Zoom H6

Would you like to purchase a real monster, which can often be configured without going to the appropriate menu? Pay attention to Zoom H6. Even a professional is able to be surprised at the number of buttons and controls located on the body of this device. At the same time, there was a place for a color LCD display, albeit a very tiny one. But most of all, the device impresses with the ability to record six channels! For two of them, built-in microphones are responsible, directed in different directions. Well, four more channels can be organized by connecting external microphones to the XLR connectors located on the sides. It’s no surprise that the Zoom H6 is even used in commercials and some feature films. And when creating work for YouTube, the capabilities of such a portable recorder will even be redundant!

I am glad that the device has four microphone preamps. If your accessories require phantom power, the Zoom H6 will provide it without any problems. It is also ready not only to record sound, but also simultaneously output it to headphones. This will allow you to make sure that everything is in order before starting the recording. Well, the resulting result can be evaluated without headphones, using the built-in speaker.

The files here are written exclusively to the SD card. These can be traditional MP3 tracks or uncompressed WAV recordings that please with higher quality. You can transfer material to a computer using a regular USB connection – the appropriate cable is included in the kit.

Due to the abundance of controls and buttons, a large display could not fit here. Its diagonal is 2 inches, and the resolution is 320×240 pixels. Perhaps it can be compared with the screen that was built into the old push-button Nokia smartphones.

The power of this model reaches 400 mW. The device does an excellent job of recording interviews even without connecting an external microphone. At the same time, the figure is not prohibitive, and therefore you can count on a fairly long recording time. Four AA batteries are inserted into the appropriate compartment, and this number should be enough for 21 hours of operation. You can insert and “finger” batteries. You can charge them directly in the voice recorder by connecting it to a power supply or a computer with a USB cable.

And what claims can be made to this device? If you forget about the price, which is by no means low, then only serious size and weight come to mind. Even without installed batteries, the recorder weighs an impressive 280 g. Some may not like the shape of the case, but this is a matter of habit. But the equipment will definitely cause dissatisfaction. Well, why do not the creators of professional voice recorders put everything they need in the box? Where is the hard case? Where is the normal windscreen for the built-in microphones? By the way, they can be removed by replacing them with other microphones. And we recommend doing this, as the regular ones love to write sounds from all kinds of touches to the body. You will not experience this problem only if you put the recorder on a tripod.

Advantages

  • There are four inputs for microphones;

  • Combined XLR/TRS connectors are used;

  • The built-in microphones are replaceable;

  • Six channels can be recorded simultaneously;

  • An abundance of various settings is available;

  • There is phantom power;

  • You can connect headphones;

  • Built-in memory card slot;

  • Not forgotten speaker;

  • Long battery life.

Flaws

  • Built-in microphones record touches to the body;

  • The screen will not suit everyone;

  • No own memory;

  • Large size and weight.

Tascam DR-100

Rating: 4.8

Tascam DR-100

When creating this portable recorder, the manufacturer used all the technologies and developments available to him. As a result, a device was born that can record crystal clear sound, and even with an excellent stereo panorama. As you know, the microphones of most voice recorders are located next to each other, which is why they often record almost the same sound. Here, between them is a part of the body. As a result, the left microphone tries to write what is happening on the left, and what is happening on the right is what is happening on the right.

If you plan to record an interview or your monologue for a video, then there will be no problems. You can connect up to four external microphones for this purpose. But it is possible that there will be a need to use an adapter, since XLR connectors are allocated here for this matter. However, what else should they be in a professional device?

As expected, the recorder offers a choice of the format of the saved file. The settings also include adjusting the sensitivity of the microphone. Available to the user and the activation of phantom power. However, this can cause problems. Customers report that when using some models of microphones, high-frequency noise generated by phantom power is observed in the first minutes of recording. Also here you can find fault with the body of the device. It is made of plastic, and almost any unnecessary touches to it are reflected in the audio recording, if it is conducted using the built-in microphones. That is why it is better to keep the device on a tripod.

Otherwise, this is a typical portable recorder with a number of advantages and disadvantages. The first one is the headphone jack. However, you can do without it by listening to the resulting material using the built-in speaker. Recording is done on a full size SD card. The voice recorder is powered by a pair of AA batteries. This set is enough for only two hours of work. And this is perhaps the most serious shortcoming of the Tascam DR-100. Fortunately, the manufacturer allows the use of a lithium-ion battery. It will provide a slightly longer battery life, and after using the recorder, it can be charged.

Advantages

  • Phantom power available;

  • A large number of microphone inputs;

  • You can connect headphones;

  • Good quality built-in microphones;

  • Has its own speaker;

  • There is a slot for an SD card;

  • Can be powered by a lithium-ion battery;

  • There are a large number of different settings.

Flaws

  • Very short battery life;

  • No own memory;

  • Large size and weight;

  • Extremely high cost;

  • Built-in microphones record touches to the case.

Tascam DR-44WL

Rating: 4.7

Tascam DR-44WL

Now most professional microphones do not have their own memory. You have to use an external drive. This problem is also characteristic of Tascam DR-44WL – a portable recorder requires a memory card. However, its value has recently dropped significantly, so let’s not focus our attention on this fact. As much as possible, the device is ready to recognize a 128-gigabyte card.

Like other fairly expensive recorders, this one allows you to choose the quality of the audio recording. The problem is that here you can not save the result in WAV format. And you yourself understand that MP3 will not give you the perfect sound. However, for many Expertology readers, it will definitely be enough. It will be enough for them and four channels of recording. This function is implemented by connecting a pair of external microphones that will work simultaneously with the built-in ones. The latter, by the way, are directed in different directions, which allows you to get a good stereo image.

On the front panel of the voice recorder there are numerous buttons and a very large monochrome display. With their help, you can adjust certain parameters. For example, Tascam DR-44WL allows you to change the sensitivity level of microphones. You can also set the desired sampling rate (maximum available 96 kHz). Finally, no one bothers to activate phantom power, which is necessary, for example, for condenser microphones.

Pleasant feelings are caused by one of the side ends of the recorder. The fact is that there are two very important elements here. Firstly, it is a headphone output, which allows for a perfect adjustment to the current conditions. Secondly, this is a button to activate the built-in Wi-Fi module. This is necessary to remotely control the recorder and transfer files to a smartphone. However, not the best programmers work at Tascam. Therefore, on some models of smartphones, the application refuses to work as expected – it may freeze and lose connection from time to time.

Otherwise, this is a typical portable recorder that sells for quite a lot of money. It is powered by four AA batteries. This is more than enough for battery life for a couple of dozen hours. It is also possible to provide power from the mains – the appropriate adapter is supplied. Even in the box with the recorder you will find a cable for connecting to a PC. Alas, you will not receive wind protection and a cover.

Advantages

  • There is a slot for a microSD memory card;

  • Can provide phantom power;

  • There are two inputs for microphones;

  • There is a headphone jack;

  • Four channels can be recorded;

  • Not forgotten built-in speaker;

  • A very large number of settings;

  • Can be powered by batteries and mains.

Flaws

  • No own memory;

  • Wi-Fi control does not work perfectly on all smartphones;

  • The weight of the voice recorder with batteries reaches 346 g;

  • I would like a richer package;

  • Changing the batteries resets the date and time.

Conclusion

As you have noticed, cheap voice recorders are becoming less and less common, and their characteristics evoke negative emotions. This is due to the fact that such devices are becoming less and less popular. But on the other hand, top models do not stay on the shelves for a long time. They will record high-quality stereo sound, and allow you to connect at least a couple of microphones, and provide a lot of various settings. In short, we recommend that you do not save.