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Although any smartphone has a voice recorder function, for a more or less audible recording, the device must be held directly in front of the sound source. Therefore, it will not work to record a conversation or other audio waves with high quality by putting the phone in your pocket or bag. For this, hidden voice recorders with increased sensitivity have been developed. Although it’s illegal to spy on people in this way, mini-devices can help you create audio notes for yourself, record lectures, interviews, leave tasks for assistants, and save important instructions from the boss received on the go.

How not to make a mistake when choosing a hidden recording device, our experts figured out. A review of the best voice recorders will help you see which models are preferred by buyers and why.

Review of the best hidden voice recorders

When compiling the TOP-12, we focused on the following parameters:

  1. Case dimensions.
  2. Build quality and durability.
  3. Convenience and ease of use.
  4. Number of channels.
  5. Memory size.
  6. autonomy time.
  7. Microphone sensitivity level.
  8. Owner reviews.
Nomination place Name of product price

Review of the best hidden voice recorders

one

Sony ICD-TX800

12 000 ₽

2

Edic-mini Tiny+B76

15 900 ₽

3

Philips DVT2000

4 300 ₽

four

Sony ICD-PX470

5 000 ₽

5

Ambertek VR125 16GB

6 000 ₽

6

Ritmix RP-989 4 Gb

4 150 ₽

7

Olympus WS-806

4 600 ₽

eight

Edic-mini microSD A23

4 500 ₽

9

Ritmix RR-145 8 Gb

3 200 ₽

ten

Olympus VP-10

7 800 ₽

eleven

Ambertek VR307

3 500 ₽

12

Magpie 07

9150 ₽

Sony ICD-TX800

Rating: 4.9

Sony ICD-TX800

The Japanese brand Sony releases a professional voice recorder for hidden recording ICD-TX800. The model has soft ergonomic buttons with depressions, comfortable to press. Reviews show that you can gradually remember their location and find by touch. The hidden device is endowed with a display showing the remaining charge and recording time. The device has 16 GB of its own memory, which is enough for 238 hours of broadcasting. The portable voice recorder weighs 22 g, with dimensions of 38x38x14 mm, so it does not even drag out the breast pocket in a summer shirt.

A feature of the hidden type voice recorder is the separate execution of the recording device and control buttons. This allows you to install the unit with a microphone in the right place (closer to the sound source), and turn it on remotely when needed. This form factor is convenient for the rational use of the battery charge. But there is no feedback from the remote control – whether the recorder reacted to pressing the button or not, the user does not see without visual contact with the device display. Therefore, the manufacturer went further, providing for the control of the voice recorder through an application in a smartphone via Bluetooth. But the distance between the hidden microphone and the phone should not exceed 10 m.

Advantages

  • weight 22 g;

  • built-in memory 16 GB;

  • there is a USB port;

  • activated by voice;

  • separate version of the voice recorder and control buttons.

Flaws

  • in white color it gets dirty quickly;

  • if you put it on charge, then the recording is not conducted;

  • there is no feedback on the remote control (the user does not see the reaction of the recording device to pressing the buttons);

  • high price.

Also Read: Top 10 Voice Recorders

Edic-mini Tiny+B76

Rating: 4.8

EDIC-MINI TINY+B76

This is an expert hidden type equipment, made in a thin metal case. Thanks to this, the recorder is not afraid of falling from a height. It has a lanyard with a carabiner to wear as a keychain and have the device always at hand. The model is powered by a “tablet” supplied in the kit. The sensitivity of the hidden microphone reaches 12 m. You can start the device by time or set it to a voice response. 4 GB of internal memory is enough for 150 hours of broadcasting. If it overflows, the device will continue to write “in a circle”, erasing the earliest materials and overlaying them with new ones. The 10-bit audio codec delivers the high quality audio that the product has been praised for in reviews. But all settings are set here via a PC, since the model does not have buttons and a display.

A feature of the hidden electronic voice recorder is the presence of a digital signature, which protects the contents of the memory from editing or forgery. Materials from such a hidden device have legal force and are accepted in court as evidence or evidence.

Advantages

  • sensitive hidden microphone;

  • activation by voice or timer;

  • an audio recording from such a device is accepted in court;

  • up to 150 hours of broadcast recording.

Flaws

  • high price;

  • no display;

  • configuration only via PC with special software.

Philips DVT2000

Rating: 4.7

Philips DVT2000

Philips DVT2000 is very popular among completely independent voice recorders for hidden placement. The model has a screen that displays the remaining time and battery life. Through the connectors, you can connect headphones and an external microphone (label) for a closer location to the sound source, for example, when taking an interview. In addition, the model has its own speakers, so you can immediately listen to the conversation and make sure that everything you need is recorded and clearly audible. Own memory of 4 GB is enough for 23 hours for an archive in high quality and 270 hours in low quality. Side “rocker” you can adjust the sensitivity of the hidden microphone, adjusting it to work in a particular situation. If the built-in memory is not enough, the manufacturer has provided a Secure Digital slot.

In the reviews, the recorder is praised for its easy connection to a computer. This does not require the installation of drivers or additional software – the device is simply connected by a cable to a PC. The user gets access to files, can drag them to the computer’s memory, copy, delete, listen, etc.

Advantages

  • LCD display;

  • the ability to connect an external microphone;

  • own speaker;

  • sensitivity adjustment;

  • easy connection to PC.

Flaws

  • You will have to periodically change the AAA batteries;

  • some spontaneously reset the set current time.

Sony ICD-PX470

Rating: 4.6

SONY ICD-PX470

The recorder has dimensions of 38x114x19 mm and is made in a black case with a weight of 74 g. The simple location of the controls allows you to use the hidden device without looking at the screen. By the way, the latter is without backlight, so in the dark it will have to be exploited in this way. The recorder has a memory of 4 GB and supports the installation of maps. Among the settings there is a stepwise adjustment of the microphone sensitivity. 3.5 mm jacks allow you to connect an external microphone and headphones. Own speaker allows you to immediately listen to the material. The device can be used as a flash drive or MP3, WMA player.

The recorder in the reviews is praised for its excellent recording of a whisper from a distance of 7-8 meters with an ambient background noise of 34-55 dB. This will allow you to clearly understand the words that the interlocutors wanted to hide. Another model for conducting covert collection of audio information is notable for blocking buttons. In the pocket, nothing will accidentally be pressed and not erased. If desired, the keys can be protected with a password, which will exclude the intentional deletion of material from memory.

Advantages

  • can be used as a flash drive;

  • has its own speaker;

  • during operation, the red diode is on;

  • two channels of audio recording (stereo sound).

Flaws

  • the screen does not have a backlight;

  • old design;

  • the body creaks;

  • sensitivity is adjusted in steps, not smoothly.

Ambertek VR125 16GB

Rating: 4.5

Ambertek VR125 16GB

Hidden voice recorder belongs to the category of mini-devices and can record sound or act as a player. Own memory of 16 GB is much higher than other devices, so it will be able to store up to 200 hours of music. The recorder is activated by sound or by pressing a button. The noise reduction function ensures that speech is clearly distinguished despite ambient noise. Another distinguishing feature is the recording while charging. Not all hidden devices are capable of this, and this will help to collect useful information even when the battery is dead.

The chip of the hidden compact voice recorder is the management of audio recordings without a PC. Other mini-analogues have only a connector for connecting to a computer, therefore, without an external device, they can only collect sound information. Here, with dimensions of 68x41x5 mm and a weight of 25 g, the manufacturer was able to place control buttons and a speaker, so you can immediately listen to files and delete unnecessary ones, which greatly simplifies operation and helps to rationally use the storage capacity.

Advantages

  • sound activation;

  • continuously records for 80 hours;

  • you can listen to the current file;

  • weighs 25 g;

  • material management without a PC.

Flaws

  • no display.

Ritmix RP-989 4 Gb

Rating: 4.4

RITMIX RP-989 4 GB

The recorder is made in a plastic case and endowed with a 1.4-inch color display, which makes control more convenient. At night it is illuminated. The microphone has two channels for recording, which helps to clearly distinguish sound from background noise. The hidden model can work as a player, radio tuner or flash drive. 4 GB memory will last up to 1160 hours in low quality. You can expand the parameter by installing an additional card. The manufacturer even provided an alarm clock here so as not to oversleep an important meeting when there was a difficult schedule (change of time zones, long flights, etc.). According to reviews, buyers like the voice recorder with stereo sound quality and adjustable sensitivity.

We have selected a product for the hidden collection of audio information for a complete set. The model comes with headphones, a PC cable and an external two-channel microphone. The set includes a fabric case that protects the device from scratches when transported in your pocket.

Advantages

  • there is a built-in speaker;

  • can work like a flash drive;

  • supports the installation of memory cards;

  • color display.

Flaws

  • after turning on, it starts recording after 5-6 seconds;

  • deleting files is possible only through a PC.

Olympus WS-806

Rating: 4.3

Olympus WS-806

Photo brand “Olympus” offers a hidden recorder WS-806 with a memory of 4 GB and the possibility of installing an external drive. In good quality audio, the internal volume is enough for 60 hours. If there is no interference around, then it will be possible to save up to 1040 hours. The recorder has 11 buttons with an intuitive layout, so customers can easily figure out the settings even without instructions. Perhaps that is why the manufacturer supplies only a brief manual with the product, and the full material on the device is available only on the official website. To quickly find the desired file, a message scanning function is provided. According to reviews, the hidden device fits comfortably in the hand and perfectly records stereo sound. But some users do not have enough folders in the menu (only 5) to sort their files.

The recorder stands out from the competition with a large 1.61-inch monochrome display. Thanks to this, the size of numbers and words on the screen is clearly distinguishable even for people with poor eyesight. Such a hidden device can be used without glasses to go through the menu and select the desired function.

Advantages

  • internal and external memory;

  • built-in speaker;

  • voice activation;

  • two levels of sound quality.

Flaws

  • no case included;

  • only 5 folders;

  • full instructions on the manufacturer’s website (a short one is supplied with the product).

Edic-mini microSD A23

Rating: 4.2

EDIC-MINI MICROSD A23

The recorder has dimensions of 21x34x11 mm and is made in a metal case. The model weighs only 20 g (this is already with a built-in battery), so keeping a hidden record is even easier. Lanyard loop allows you to hang the device on clothes or a bunch of keys to always keep it at hand. Although the device is quite small, it has a connector for an external microphone. Each entry is assigned an index so that you can quickly find it later by time and date. The model is charged from USB, and the light diode shows the remaining capacity. You can adjust the sensitivity of the perception of the device in three steps, and the launch is carried out by sound, timer or pressing a button. The device captures all waves in a frequency from 100 to 4000 Hz.

Among the hidden compact mini voice recorders, this one is one of the few with an SD card slot. Thanks to this design, you can expand the possibilities for the number of stored audio recordings.

Advantages

  • string for hanging;

  • weighs 20 g;

  • built-in battery;

  • you can install an additional card;

  • three quality settings.

Flaws

  • only one channel (mono);

  • no display.

Ritmix RR-145 8 Gb

Rating: 4.1

Ritmix RR-145 8 Gb

Among the narrow hand-held voice recorders for hidden work, the Ritmix RR-145 model stands out. It has a body with dimensions of 24x110x13 mm and is made of metal. The USB 2.0 interface makes it easy to connect to a PC. At maximum quality, 8 GB capacity is enough for 36 hours of talk time, and at minimum – 582 hours. Headphone and microphone outputs make the device more convenient and expand its functionality. The narrow backlit display makes it easy to see settings at night. Reviews show that the recorder has a good response range (about 10 m) and holds a charge for a long time (up to 28 hours of continuous operation).

The recorder stands out for its excellent value for money. At an affordable cost, the hidden model records in stereo quality, has 8 Gb memory, and not 4, as in most competitors, is made in a shock-resistant aluminum case. The display not only displays numbers, but also visualizes the microphone sensitivity indicator (divisions on the scale), which makes the control even easier and more understandable. This is a great solution as your first covert voice recorder.

Advantages

  • visualization of settings;

  • lies comfortably in the hand;

  • backlit display;

  • records in stereo quality;

  • affordable cost.

Flaws

  • some give a disk error;

  • in large rooms, a strong echo is heard during playback.

Olympus VP-10

Rating: 4.1

OLYMPUS VP-10

The hidden device for audio recording has dimensions of 127x17x17 mm and weighs 37 g. It is powered by AAA batteries, which last for 50 hours of continuous operation. Despite the narrow body, the device has a display that simplifies interaction. There are 4 buttons and a joystick for control, so everything is extremely simple. The recorder picks up frequencies in the range from 50 to 17000 Hz and can be activated by voice. The user can adjust the sensitivity, which determines how many hours the 4 GB internal memory will last. Here the characteristic has a run-up of 12-1620 hours. In the reviews, buyers are satisfied with the ability to charge from a regular USB wire and a phone adapter or Powerbank.

The recorder is one of the narrowest. Case diameter is 17 mm. In appearance, it looks like a thick marker, so it is easy to disguise it in the breast outer pocket of a dressing gown or overalls for covert collection of information.

Advantages

  • stereo sound quality;

  • 16 bit system;

  • there is a built-in speaker with a power of 90 mW;

  • On one battery it can work up to 50 hours.

Flaws

  • Batteries will need to be changed periodically.

  • not very high-quality plastic case;

  • high price.

Ambertek VR307

Rating: 4.1

Ambertek VR307

The Ambertek brand offers a voice recorder with dimensions of 17x45x5 mm, made of metal. The device has a built-in battery, which is enough for 10 hours of operation. It can be turned on for continuous recording with a slide switch, or set to voice response. Then the hidden device will itself be activated when talking within a radius of 2-3 meters and “fall asleep” after it is silent. The set includes headphones to listen to the material. Connection to a computer is via USB. 8 GB memory is enough for 100 hours of audio recording. The device supports MP3 and WMA formats, which means that it is easy to listen to your favorite songs with its help.

In the reviews, the recorder is called “3 in 1”, because it can work as a flash drive, MP3 player or hidden recording device. By the way, it also looks like a flash drive, so it does not attract too much attention at business meetings and conferences.

Advantages

  • storage capacity 8 GB;

  • can be used as a flash drive;

  • headphone port;

  • activated when talking within a radius of 2-3 m.

Flaws

  • no display;

  • can “swallow” the beginning of a phrase when activated by voice;

  • own battery lasts for 10 hours;

  • monorecording.

Magpie 07

Rating: 4.0

SOROKA 07

This is a development for a hidden audio recording from Skolkovo. There is only one button on the case for fixing and stopping recording – all other settings are made through a PC. The model supports 12 levels of sensitivity adjustment and captures from 3 to 13500 Hz. The hidden device can be triggered by a timer or by voice. Each track is indexed for further easy searching. If necessary, files can be password protected from access or deletion. LED indication on the case facilitates interaction. According to the reviews, the product stands out for its high-quality assembly and the number of settings, but listening to the material directly on the device will not work.

The recorder is one of the most easily concealed, as it has dimensions of 23x28x10 mm. With such dimensions, the manufacturer managed to “shove” a Li-Pol battery into it, which is enough for 72 hours of continuous operation. There is also a 32GB microSD slot inside. The model is similar in size to a standard SD card, only thicker, which means it is easy to hide it in an inconspicuous place for hidden audio recording.

Advantages

  • light indication of actions;

  • there is a sensitivity adjustment in 12 steps;

  • picks up sounds from 3 Hz;

  • timer operation;

  • own battery.

Flaws

  • only 1 channel;

  • plastic case;

  • to start, the button must be pressed for 4 seconds;

  • high price.