Recording devices have been used by mankind for a very long time, ranging from the first vinyl records to modern digital equipment designed to design high-quality music tracks. One of the most popular and widely used devices of this type are voice recorders – they are either analog or digital, and each design has its own characteristics.
On sale you can find a large number of similar products, but most users do not understand how to choose these products. To make up for this problem, we decided to write a rating of the best voice recorders of the year. Let’s just preliminarily figure out on the basis of what such products are chosen, and then turn to the analysis of the performance of these structures.
How to choose and buy a voice recorder?
Analog voice recorders are an anachronism, they are almost impossible to find on sale. They are distinguished by not too high recording quality and short-term offline operation. In this regard, it is better to give preference to digital models. In them, the recording is made either in the internal memory of the product, or on the installed memory card. It will not be superfluous to also ask in what format the file is saved. In most cases, voice recorders work with extensions like .wma or .mp3. The latter is most convenient, since it is the most common – it can be listened to without additional processing on a voice recorder or in a player, such files do not weigh too much.
Be sure to decide for what purpose the recorder is purchased. If you write down some of your important thoughts on it, then products that are not of very high quality are quite suitable. For professional use, for example, in journalism during an interview, you will have to buy a more expensive product so that in the process of decoding the recording, the voices of everyone directly involved in the conversation can be clearly heard. In addition, such products will clearly identify the voice of the speaker. An important point is the bitrate – 32, 64, 128 or 256 kbps.
A very important point is the possibility of autonomous operation – devices can operate on the basis of finger batteries or on a built-in battery. Based on this indicator, it will be possible to calculate how much time one charge will last. It is desirable to choose the capacity of the built-in memory as large as possible, as this will allow you to save the maximum number of files. It is very convenient if the recorder has a slot for installing a removable memory card.
One of the key characteristics is the sensitivity of the microphone – this parameter determines the maximum distance from which the voice of a speaking person can be recorded. Usually, such a parameter is indicated in the instructions in meters, but this moment should not be trusted – it is advisable to test the recorder before buying so that you can check at what real distance a person will be heard well. Designs may have a number of additional features, for example, several types of recording, the presence of an external microphone, and so on.
When choosing models for inclusion in our ranking of the best voice recorders, we primarily relied on the factors discussed above, however, we took into account user reviews and value for money products. We have tried to include in the review as many affordable designs as possible that will be affordable for most of our users. Now let’s proceed to a direct analysis of the performance of specific models.
Budget level products
4. Ritmix RR-120 4Gb
It has a very compact overall dimensions – this allows you to carry it even in the pocket of your trousers or jacket. The case is made of thin sheet metal, equipped with stiffeners, in addition, this allows you to give the product additional style. In addition to the direct function of the voice recorder, this device can also be used as a classic mp3 player. The product is capable of playing most popular music formats – .mp3, .wma, .flac, .ape and some others. The sensitivity of the built-in microphone is quite high, thanks to which it is possible to obtain a very high quality of the recorded sound, and in the model settings you can choose the most appropriate file extension. The model is able to save data in .wav format (bitrate is 1536 kbps) or .mp3 (192 kbps). You don’t have to convert files. The design is equipped with a very interesting feature – automatic voice activation VOR. When enabled, recording will begin as soon as the structure’s microphone detects any sounds.
The display here is a liquid crystal segment. A standard headphone jack is provided so that you can listen to both the recordings themselves and the music stored in memory. It is used as a regular flash drive when connected to a laptop or personal computer, in other words, you do not have to install drivers. The battery here is lithium-ion, its working resource is quite enough for 7-8 hours of continuous work in the recording mode, and more in the listening mode and LLP. Recording in case of low battery is saved automatically.
- Compact overall dimensions;
- Very easy and simple to use;
- High quality recording;
- Original and stylish case;
- Acceptable cost;
- Can be used as a player.
- The buttons could have been made bigger – it’s not very convenient to press them.
Ritmix RR-120 4Gb
3. Olympus VN-541PC
Despite the fact that this model went on sale almost three years ago, it is still very popular with consumers to this day, largely due to its quite reasonable cost and ease of operation. This digital model has a very sensitive microphone, so it is perfect for recording lectures. In addition, this design will be very suitable for making short notes or notes – just one touch is enough, after which the model will record everything that a person says. The display here is liquid crystal, has a small diagonal and resolution, but it is quite informative. The sound during playback is clear, for quick connection to a computer, a microUSB cable is supplied with the product. Management is intuitive, and the interface is completely Russified. All functions are elementary.
The battery is quite powerful – on a single charge you can perform up to 25 hours of recording. To activate the device, just move the REC slider to the active position, the recorder will start working even if it was turned off before. There are several modes of operation here – music, speech, notes, a long recording function. They can be selected either manually or by default. The most important fragments can be noted thanks to special marks – they can be placed up to 99 in one file. The device has an active system for suppressing extraneous noise. The kit also comes with a special case, which makes the use of the device absolutely safe.
- Easy enough to use;
- Instantly reacts to switching on;
- Powerful battery;
- High quality recording.
- Even though the device has a stereo microphone, it still records in mono.
2. Ritmix RR-610 4Gb
It has a very interesting appearance, which will retain its attractiveness throughout the entire period of operation. The model is equipped with a lithium-ion battery, which is able to work offline for a long time. The device takes about two to three hours to charge. The case is made of matte black plastic, on which fingerprints will hardly be visible. Behind the removable cap is an ordinary USB connector. The cap itself is put on the body quite tightly. There are quite a lot of control buttons here, in particular, there is a rewind of the recording, which is very convenient if there is a need to return to a certain section, and not listen to the file from the very beginning. On one of the end sides there are two connectors, through one of them you can connect headphones, and the second is a microphone input. It is worth noting that headphones are included, but their sound quality is average.
There is a speaker hole on the back panel. The microphone is standard for fairly cheap models – monophonic, but the recording quality is quite acceptable. Its location is very convenient, the best sound is recorded if you speak directly into the microphone, but this problem is easily solved by connecting an external device. Direct access to the recorder is provided without additional installation of drivers and special software. There are several quality recording modes, and the size of the file will depend on this. The power button is mechanical, it is located quite conveniently. The battery capacity is 180 mAh, which will be enough for continuous operation for 6-8 hours.
- Small mass;
- Acceptable cost;
- Decent speaker volume;
- Convenient power button, which can be easily found by touch;
- Charging is done via USB.
- The cap that closes the USB port is tight at first, but after a while it can loosen a little.
Ritmix RR-610 4Gb
A very convenient and compact device that allows you to provide the highest quality voice recording. The case has a special connector for connecting an external microphone. In general, the device itself looks very attractive and original. On the front panel you can find a silver insert made of polished metal. The case is made of high-quality plastic with a matte finish, so the recorder will not slip even from wet hands. The ergonomics of the device is thought out very carefully – all controls are arranged in such a way that it is convenient to use them with one hand. On the left side, you can find a microUSB port, there is also a slot for installing a microSD memory card, which is closed with a special plug.
On the right side of the case there is a button that allows you to select in which folder you want to save the recorded file. If necessary, you can set marks in the document to ensure maximum convenience for working with the record. On the back of the case is a cover that hides the battery compartment, which uses standard AAA finger batteries. It is worth noting that batteries of the same size can be installed instead. The kit comes with a headset, but it is very simple. The display is monochrome LCD. At the top of the front panel is an LED indicator that allows you to determine in which mode the device is currently operating. When it is playing files, it will turn green, when recording, the red light will turn on.
- Ideal for simple needs;
- Acceptable recording quality;
- It is inexpensive;
- Long service life;
- Quality assembly;
- Attractive appearance;
- It is possible to connect an additional microphone.
- Not detected.
The best devices in terms of price and quality
A versatile product that will suit absolutely everyone – journalists, students, lawyers and other people who want to get the best sound quality during the recording process. With its small overall dimensions, such a device is able to give a significant head start to its counterparts. In its shape, the design resembles a standard pen, which is very convenient to carry in your pocket. All the main controls of the product are placed on the front side of the unit. There is also a special indicator that informs the user about the inclusion of the recording process, and it is located not only on the outside, but also duplicated on the back. At the top of the gadget is a lever that activates the recording process itself. Works both from the accumulator which is going in a set, and from a standard battery.
Like most of the models included in our review of the best voice recorders, there is a jack for standard headphones. Recording is carried out in stereo format, largely due to the presence of two additional microphones near this connector. On the back of the case, you can find a clothespin that will fix the gadget in the user’s pocket. The USB connector is closed with a special rubberized cap, which is very convenient to remove and connect the product to a personal computer or laptop. The recorded recording can be listened to both in real time and with slowdown or acceleration. The default settings are optimal for all operating modes.
- Very simple device control system;
- Even when in a bag or pocket, the recorder is able to record quiet sounds with high quality;
- The buttons can be easily found by touch, they are pressed with a characteristic quiet click.
- The included battery is weak, so it’s best to start using batteries right away.
3. Edic-mini Tiny A45-1Gb
As most users note, this device can easily be classified as a professional product. The recorder is easy to operate, the body is quite elegant and easy to use. A voice activation system for the VAS gadget is provided, with which you can save battery power and free space to a large extent. There is not too much of it in this device, which is easily compensated by the possibility of placing it in a special microSD memory card slot. The device is perfect for covert recording. At first glance, it may seem to an inexperienced observer that this is not a voice recorder, but the most ordinary pen.
The design weighs very little – only 14 grams without taking into account the mass of the battery. The built-in battery will be quite enough to produce 50 hours of continuous recording or 120 hours of the recorder in standby mode. If necessary, the user can activate the timer, in the settings it is possible to change the sensitivity of the microphone perception of sound vibrations. The body has a slot for an external microphone. Using the equipment is very simple, besides, it consumes the battery very economically, it can be charged from the network through a special adapter or when connected to a personal computer.
- Minimum overall dimensions of the device and weight;
- Stealthy design and excellent build quality;
- Runs for a long time on a single battery charge.
- Not so easy to find on sale in regular stores.
Edic-mini Tiny A45-1Gb
The gadget has high performance, besides, the recording is done in stereo format with support for Smart functionality. This allows you to make the voice recorder simple and very pleasant to use. The device has a reliable and easy-to-connect noise suppression system. The microphone is capable of covering a radius of 90 degrees, which will allow a person not to miss anything important among what is happening around. To listen to the saved recordings as comfortably and conveniently as possible, the recorder will automatically reduce the input signal level, which makes it possible to achieve a uniform volume level. Even a person who has not previously held similar products in his hands will be able to understand the design interface. The case has a jack for connecting to a personal computer – so the design will be charged or transfer the recorded data to the PC hard drive.
This voice recorder is capable of supporting the largest amount of removable flash storage up to 32GB. It has indexing of the most important points in the conversation – you can place up to 99 tags. The highest output signal power will be about 250 mW. Such an indicator for such a product will be quite enough if you have to listen to the recording directly through the microphone of the device. The display, like most designs, is liquid crystal, it does not differ in full color. The model is able to work on rechargeable batteries or on other power sources.
- Excellent device sensitivity;
- Attractive appearance;
- Long service life;
- Batteries can be used absolutely from any price range.
- Quite acceptable battery life.
- The developers did not provide for the presence of LED backlighting.
1. Sony ICD-TX650
It has a very compact overall dimensions, which does not affect the final sound recording quality. When creating this recorder, the developers used only the most modern developments. This made it possible to make the model quite compact, and due to the presence of a built-in battery in the device, a long service life of the structure is ensured. The display is very bright, OLED type. Use it to customize the recorder to suit your immediate needs. The range of built-in memory of the model will directly depend on the configuration of the model. this design looks very expensive, stylish and modern. All design controls are located only on the sides. It was decided to install the headphone jack between two stereo microphones. In the frame itself, located in the area of the display itself, there is a sound recording LED indicator.
The display is bright, clear, works economically and consumes a small amount of energy. The battery here is lithium-ion. You can charge it either directly from a personal computer or through smartphone chargers. Built-in memory in the product has as much as 16 GB, if desired, this amount can be further expanded.
Users have appreciated this gadget. It looks very stylish, takes up a minimum amount of free space in the room. Overall dimensions are small, so the recorder can be carried even in a shirt pocket. The product is well suited for hidden use. The interface is clear and very convenient, even a person who has not previously used such structures can easily figure it out. The amount of built-in memory is 16 GB – quite enough for a device such as a voice recorder. The set has everything you need for comfortable use – headphones, a cord for connecting to a computer, a case made of genuine leather.
- Excellent recording quality regardless of the selected mode;
- Decent amount of built-in memory;
- Beautiful appearance, the device itself weighs a little;
- Good assembly – nothing backlash and does not creak;
- Wide range of recording and playback settings.
- Great value.
Premium voice recorders
2. Edic-mini Tiny + B76-150hq
For professional products, it has small overall dimensions – 30x25x6 mm with a weight of only 16 g. Power is supplied from a CR2016 battery, and one of it will be enough to record during the day. The memory is protected – it can fit about 150 hours. There is a built-in professional microphone, the sensitivity of which reaches 12 meters, and the voice, even quite quiet, will be very clearly audible. The functionality is extended, it is very easy to control the recorder. On the case, you can find only one single switch on / off the device, which can be easily felt with your fingers. The operation of the gadget is controlled by a special LED that notifies you of the amount of free space, the battery charge, and so on.
The user will be able to extend the autonomy of the work to a large extent due to the VAS mode and several timers. The product has a whole system of digital type markers, which will fully guarantee that the recording was made on this particular recorder and did not go through editing. In addition, a loop recording function is provided, when the old data will be erased, and new ones will be written in their place. File transfer is carried out using the included USB adapter. You will have to install special software designed to work with the Windows operating system, it comes with the voice recorder.
- Small overall dimensions;
- Able to work up to 25 hours on one battery;
- Good memory capacity, which is protected from editing;
- Voices can be heard clearly even from a great distance;
- There are a number of functional timers.
- Like any other professional equipment, it will be expensive.
Edic-mini Tiny + B76-150hq
1. Sony ICD-TX800
Lightweight and extremely compact design with a secure clip on the back that allows you to securely attach it to your bag or clothing. The device comes with a remote control – a very original solution proposed by the developer, with its help you can instantly turn on the recording at any convenient time. The voice recorder can also be controlled using a special application downloaded to a smartphone. This software will help you not only start or stop the recording process, but also change its volume, adjust all settings, add various labels, so that you can quickly find the necessary information later. The interface of the utility is simple, the recording itself can be kept under full control, and you can work at a distance of about 10 meters.
Built-in memory here is 16 GB – not all smartphones or mp3 players can boast of such a volume. This option provides storage of about 636 hours of continuous recording, and the largest number of files is 5 thousand. To start the process, just press one button. Files can be saved in various formats – .pcm, .mp3. Like most similar models, a USB cable is supplied here, and it will transfer data at a very high speed.
- There is a remote control;
- You can also control the recording process with the help of a special application;
- Compact overall dimensions and low weight;
- Long battery life;
- High quality recording;
- Good system for suppressing extraneous noise.
In conclusion, a useful video
Well, our review of the best voice recorders is nearing completion. We tried to collect the maximum amount of information for each model included in it. If you still have some points unclear, then feel free to write about it in the comments. We will respond to your message as soon as possible and provide all the necessary additional data.