To know how to choose a voice recorder, you need to understand what parameters are the main ones. It is also important for what purpose you purchase this device.
Basic selection options
The recorder belongs to specific devices and deciding to purchase it, you may encounter difficulties in determining the model. Which voice recorder to choose and what you need to know so as not to make a mistake when buying?
Which recorder to buy and for what purposes, everyone decides for himself, but there are general parameters that play a role for everyone. Therefore, we highlight the most important of them:
- the format of the recorded audio;
- the ability to connect to a PC;
- recording quality and duration;
- the ability to connect a memory card;
- built-in memory.
Let’s consider in more detail.
The device must support the main audio formats:
The first one is the most common and familiar to users, especially since it has a normal quality of the reproduced recording and takes up little space in the recorder’s memory. Considering that all modern music playback devices accept this format, there will be no problems with subsequent processing of the recording.
The second format (WMA) has a slightly higher quality than the first one, but it also requires much more memory space. Despite the technical differences, there was no significant difference in playback.
The third format is newer than the previous ones. It has an automatic high compression level and as a result, the file takes up much less space. It delivers excellent sound quality and is best suited for recording lectures and interviews. But the obvious disadvantage at the moment is that the format is new and not all devices can play it.
Ability to transfer recordings to a computer
It is implemented using a special cable included in the kit, if the device supports this feature. Many voice recorders can only record and play back what is recorded, so if it is important for you to process the received recordings, then check the availability of this feature in the specifications.
Check the USB output, its presence is much more convenient, because some models only support direct connection to the audio card through a special port. This is the longer option for file transfer. Moreover, they are transmitted in a compressed form, which is also not always convenient.
Recording quality and duration
The time that the recording will continue directly depends on the memory of the device, the ability to work without recharging and the connection of additional storage devices. It also matters how much the audio format in the device compresses the sound. The higher it is, the worse the quality of the recording. Of course, the space on the map is consumed not so quickly, but how much the sound quality will be lost is unknown.
To determine the quality of the recording, depending on the degree of compression of the file, a parameter such as bitrate is used. It is measured in kbps. For example, the quality of computer speakers is cheaper at a bit rate of 128 kbps, while the sound of a recording on a CD is already at 256 kbps.
In order not to get confused, you just need to decide for what purposes you need a voice recorder. If you need to record a lecture in an audience where it is sometimes noisy, then 128 kbps is also good – this is good quality and will be quite enough. But if an important meeting or dispute is subject to recording, where there are a lot of voices and sometimes comments that are not expressed in full voice fly by, then the bitrate mode should be higher.
Don’t choose a recorder with promises like “30/50 consecutive hours of recording”. This is just a marketing ploy. Everything will depend on the parameters of the recorder.
Connecting an external memory card
Given that it is undesirable to compress files for normal recording quality, the presence of a microSD slot will be very important. This will allow you not to worry about whether there will be enough memory until the end of the event. And it will be much easier to transfer audio files for processing to a tablet, laptop or other device.
It is also the main parameter if you plan to use the recorder often enough. Also, if the device does not have a slot for an additional card, then this parameter becomes even more important.
Manufacturers offer devices with a large run-up, and the amount of memory varies from 16 MB to 8 GB. Of course, voice recorders for recording with a large amount of memory are also more expensive, so, as always, it is better to choose something optimal and average. Look for an option with a memory capacity of 2-4 GB.
Also, do not forget about the instructions for the recorder and pay attention to the following parameter before buying – the manufacturer will indicate the maximum possible capacity of the card for a particular model. It is worth taking into account this information, because it is calculated based on the minimum bitrate.
When the question arises of how to choose a voice recorder for specific purposes, it will be useful to have the device with the following parameters:
- The presence of an external microphone. It helps if you need a voice recorder for hidden recording or it gets in the way in your hands and you need to put it in your pocket. Then the microphone on a special clip clings to the side of the jacket, or the neck of the clothes, etc.
- Bookmarks. Not bad if the device supports this feature, highlighting important entries from the general list.
- Availability of the display. Increases the comfort of using the device and makes it easier to navigate the records.
- Record indexing. Required to highlight individual or particularly important fragments in the recording being made.
- Headphone connection. It is also a rather convenient function that allows you to listen to the recordings right there at a lecture or seminar and not disturb other participants. You can use it to evaluate the quality of the recorder before buying.
- Backlight. Helps to see the information on the display in the dark.
- Adjustment amplification in automatic mode. Eliminates interference and noise if the sound source is too close and brings the sound closer if it is too far away.
- Voice control. Turns on the device when a certain volume of the owner’s voice is reached. In some models, playback of the recording by voice is available. This function works exactly the same as the first one. It may not work right away, it will take some practice.
This is not a complete set of additional features of modern voice recorders. Moreover, manufacturers do not stand still and constantly improve their devices. Keep in mind that the set of functions plays on the cost and in order not to overpay for those that you do not need, you need to decide for what purpose you are purchasing the device. Based on this, you will understand which features will be important, and which ones you can do without.
TOP 5 best voice recorders
To answer the question of how to choose a good and convenient voice recorder, we have compiled a rating of popular models that can help you choose the right model.
- Olympus WS-833
This model has a low-pass filter that allows you to filter out extraneous noise and increase the quality of the recording of conversations. On top of the case there are sensitive stereo microphones that provide sound at the level of CD playback. The model has 8 GB of internal memory, screen backlight and the function of turning on the device by voice.
- Sony ICD-PX440
Battery operated, has the ability to install an additional memory card in MicroSD format, 4 GB of internal memory. The intelligent noise reduction system allows you to record and play audio of very good quality.
- Ritmix RR-980
The color screen allows you to view pictures, and 8 GB of internal memory can be used as an external drive to connect to a PC. Equipped with the function of the player and hearing aid. Supports major audio recording formats.
- Olympus DM-650
It has a built-in memory of 4 GB, a micro Secure Digital slot for an external memory card, 2 recording channels, common audio recording formats. It has built-in noise, low-frequency and voice filters. Can be connected to a computer. There is a clock, message scanning, the possibility of partial deletion of the entry. Headphones and PC cable included.
- Sony ICD-UX543
It also has a memory of 4 GB, the possibility of its expansion due to an additional external microSD format. Powered by battery, you can connect an external microphone. It has a built-in noise reduction system and a recording format in MP3 and PCM.
What you should pay attention to when choosing (video)
The story tells which companies and models are worth noticing. It tells how professional models differ from ordinary ones and what parameters a certain voice recorder should have, which can be bought for students, voice recording during video editing and other purposes.
The choice of a voice recorder is desirable only after you become familiar with the main functions that are implemented in modern models. Having formed your idea of what parameters the best voice recorder should have for you, you can easily choose the right model without any overpayments and disappointments.