Best Digital Voice Recorder Reviews 2017

From students who simply need to record lectures, to business professionals that require audio and video documentation of business meetings, to professional and amateur musicians who want to hear how they sound, a digital voice recorder is a smart investment. Finding the ideal one can be a challenge, though, because there are so many available on the market. But that shouldn’t be a cause of concern since we have taken the time to do research for you! We came up with some of the best models from 5 top digital voice recorder brands in the field.
Overview
PROS
CONS
SPECS
Type
Microphones
Audio Quality
Memory
Connectivity
Our Top Choice
Tascam DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder
TASCAM’s commitment to providing its customers with breakthrough audio/video solutions is behind the production of this digital recorder with omnidirectional microphones.
Recording has no hiss. Has great stereo imaging. Transferring files to PC is easy, since the device appears as an external drive when connected to the PC. Strong battery life.
The screen display is unclear. Not very durable. May not be suitable for lectures, focus groups and meetings. High baseline noise.
Voice only
Built-in omni-directional
96kHz/24-bit high-resolution
4GB expandable memory
USB 2.0 port
Best Value
Sony Digital Voice Recorder
Sony is known for creating unique new experiences through its quest for continuous innovation. The SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder is a product of this quest.
Great recording quality.
Starts up slowly when large memory piece is inserted into it. Menus can be difficult to understand and navigate. Poor documentation.
Voice only
Built-in monaural
8kbps/14kHz
4GB expandable memory
USB 2.0 port
Zoom H4N Pro Multitrack Recorder
Zoom is a manufacturer of innovative and affordable products. Its digital recorder, the Zoom H4N Pro, is perfect for capturing live performances, and it's a film-maker’s favorite.
Very high quality. Reliable. Easy to use. Great playback sound. Very clean preamps. Rugged construction. Intuitive controls and navigation.
Can be a little underpowered for dynamic mics. Bulky. No on-device ability to split XLR recordings into separate tracks.
Multitrack
Built-in stereo X/Y microphones
24-bit, 96 kHz
32 GB SD/SDHC
4-in/2-out USB audio interface
Olympus 4GB Voice Recorder
Olympus focuses on producing devices that are easy to use. The Olympus 4GB Voice Recorder has front-panel buttons that make it easy for even beginners to handle.
Digital Recorder with date finder. Good storage capacity. Great sound quality for a handheld device. Ease of use.
Not easy to use in car at night.
Voice only
Built-in multidirectional
128kbps/17 kHz
4 GB internal memory
USB
ACEE Deal Rechargeable Digital Voice Recorder
By focusing on the customer, ACEE Deal has produced a highly innovative digital recorder that anyone can use. The ACEE Deal Rechargeable Digital Voice Recorder is user-friendly.
Small and discreet. Good sound quality. Easy to use. Compact.
Records the click of the buttons.
Voice and playback
External microphone
Info not provided
8 GB internal memory
Mini USB port

(Updated )
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How Do I Choose the Best Digital Voice Recorder?

There are times when you may find yourself very busy, so you just ask someone to record the proceedings of a meeting so you can listen to it later. In that case, you need to have a good storage device like an SSD or a USB Drive. That way, you can still listen to one recording while also recording something else. You don’t have to rely on just built-in memory.

In the case of a lecture, there are times when lecturers use demonstrative techniques to teach. Meetings can also have visual presentations that require you to watch to understand the content. If you invest in a webcam, too, you’re guaranteed to get the all the details of every class or business meeting! It’ll be like you were physically there.

Depending on your needs, you’ll want to check the recorder’s compatibility with storage (like Cloud) and with other devices (like your cell phone). Digital voice recorders are available with voice only, voice plus play back and multi-track functionality.

So, you’ve already made a decision to buy a digital voice recorder to record those lectures you’ll miss when you can’t make it to class, or to have those business meetings documented when you’re too busy to attend them all. However, you might still be unsure about what to look for in this device, or how much it costs. That’s where we come in!
Price
Digital voice recorders are fairly cheap. For as low as $19, you can simply get one that just records voices and doesn’t do much else. For as much as $200, you can get one with all the bells and whistles. Multitrack recorders fall into the “most expensive” category.

Your choice depends on your needs and your budget. Cheap digital voice recorders with limited features can serve the same purpose, but with less quality than those with advanced features. If you simply want to record audio for group discussions, you don’t have to go out of your budget, but if you’re a professional, you might want to consider recorders with more features.

Other factors that determine the price include the brand, the memory and the battery life. Digital recorders with more memory typically cost more than those without. This also applies to the length of the battery life. When it comes to the brand, popular brands tend to fetch a higher price but are not always the best.
Features
The quality of your recording depends on the type and features of your recorder. Multitrack recorders feature several microphones that can record various sounds at the same time. They can capture audio from various sources while voice-only mics capture sound from a single source.

Let’s look at some other important features to consider:
  • Memory- Consider the capacity of the built-in SD card. There are some that come without an SD card, so you’ll need to buy one if you need more space on your recorder.
  • Connectivity- Check the USB ports to ensure the recorder will connect to your computer. To transfer audio from the recorder and onto your PC, you’ll need a proper USB connection.
  • Microphones- Some come with one microphone while others come with several.
  • Noise Reduction Filter- This helps filter unwanted sound while recording.
  • Battery Life- The longer the battery life, the better, but it all depends on what you’ll be using the digital voice recorder for.
Construction and Design
Digital voice recorders have similar designs. They’re mostly small and portable, and some can even fit into your shirt pocket. This allows you to easily carry them from one place to another, or to record audio discreetly.

Apart from their size, some of these recorders have simple display screens that show the progress of your recording. You can start and stop your recording while viewing on the display screen.

While some have built-in stands so you can place the recorder on your desk, others come with a mount feature that you can attach to a tripod stand.

Typically, recorders will have a USB port on the side or bottom. They also usually have small compartments for external memory storage, like a micro-SD card, so you don’t have to worry about losing your cards or the recordings on them.

The placement and number of microphones is important to consider. Strategically placed microphones capture sound better while several microphones capture audio from various sources. The placement and number of microphones and will directly affect the quality of your recordings.
Performance and Ease of Use
The main aspect of a digital voice recorder is capturing quality audio to listen to at a later time. If you want to discreetly record something, you may want to consider recorders that have larger controls placed at the top of the device so you can easily access them. You should also consider connectivity aspects, such as the position of the USB and audio ports, since you’ll have to connect to other devices.

Remember—it’s all about the microphones with digital voice recorders! Good placement, ample size and the number of microphones will determine the performance and the quality of your audio recordings. Noise reduction filters come second to microphones because they’ll also play a role in the quality of your recordings. If you know your meetings or lectures typically get loud, a noise reducing recorder is the way to go.

What is the Best Digital Voice Recorder?

A musician and a student have different needs when it comes to utilizing a digital voice recorder, so they’ll naturally consider different features when purchasing one. Since we have 5 top products with varying specifications, it’s up to you to decide which among them is ideal for your needs.
Our Top Choice
TASCAM provides sound solutions that make the use of sound both exciting and accessible. The Tascam DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder delivers high-quality stereo recording in an easy-to-use portable powerhouse. If you want even more features, you should try the TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder, for a truly professional voice recorder.
Tascam 24-bit/96kHz Digital Recorder with Omnidirectional Microphones - Available in 2 Colors

Tascam Digital Voice Recorder DR-05V2 - Silver


Features
TASCAM has been around for over 30 years and has developed products for every segment of the music and sound industry. From the hobbyist or novice at home to the high-end audio professional, TASCAM meets your needs.

The TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder ($84.99 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) records in either MP3 or WAV format (plus 96kHz/24-bit high-resolution audio to microSD or microSDHC media). Two microphones handle up to 125dB SPL, and they have the sensitivity to capture every detail. With two new recording features, Peak Reduction and Quick Menu, this digital recorder puts album-quality recording in the palm of your hand.
Here are more reasons to consider this state-of-the-art recorder:
  • Digital and analog circuit boards built separately to improve noise performance
  • Low-impedance design to decrease hiss
  • Layout is quick and easy to work with
  • The new Peak Reduction automatically sets your recording level by listening to the input and adjusting for the best level
  • Variable Speed Audition for looping and slowing down music without affecting the pitch
  • Level Align function for playback and to smooth out possible sudden volume jumps
This recorder comes with AA batteries that can power it for 17 1/2 hours, even while recording at CD quality.
Best Value
Sony always aims at moving you easily through its products, and the Sony Digital Voice Recorder achieves this by making recording very easy. If you need even more than this voice recorder can offer you, check out the Sony Digital Flash Voice Recorder instead. It’s got even more features, but for a higher price tag.
Sony Digital Voice Recorder with 4GB Internal Flash Memory & Micro SD Slot

Sony Digital Voice Recorder ICD-PX333


Features
Sony continues to inspire and meet the needs of its worldwide customers through the manufacture of state-of-the-art sound equipment. Its unlimited passion for technology and unwavering pursuit of innovation drives it to deliver pacesetting features, new excitement and entertainment in the Sony way.

The Sony Digital Voice Recorder ($45.90 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is ideal for business, school and even personal dictation. With a capacity for more than 1,000 hours of recording time when in the LP mode (and from the built-in 4GB flash memory plus Micro SD expansion slot for more recording space), it’ll be difficult to miss a class, or fail to record your random thoughts or ideas.

Here are some more features for your consideration:
  • Built-in memory card slot (microSD/M2) offers additional recording time via removable flash memory for transferring files quickly and easily to a computer with the supplied USB cable
  • Voice-operated recording starts and stops automatically with your voice
  • A-B repeat function marks the beginning and ending of a particular recorded passage for repeated playback
  • Track Mark helps you find the exact spot in your recording in a snap
The system requirements for this recorder are Mac OS X 10.3.9 to 10.8, Windows XP (SP3), or Vista (SP2), 7, or 8.
Zoom’s H4N Pro Multitrack Recorder is a state-of-the-art recorder with overdubbing and punch-in features. If you’re looking for the same great quality, but in a recorder with fewer features and a lower price tag, the Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder could be ideal. It’s another Amazon best seller.
Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder - 2016 Version

Zoom Digital Voice Recorder H4nPro


Features
Zoom makes a vast array of recording devices, plus a line of portable “handy” recorders including multi-effects processors, effects pedals, drum machines and samplers. Over more than 30 years, the company has built a strong reputation as a manufacturer of innovative and affordable products that are based on original microchip designs.

The Zoom H4N Pro ($199.99 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) has advanced X/Y microphones, amazingly natural-sounding preamps, and an ultra-low noise floor that can record everything from the Indy 500 to the flapping of a hummingbird with extraordinary realism. 

It has more features, including:
  • 4 track simultaneous recording
  • Built-in X/Y stereo microphones that can be adjusted between 90˚ and 120˚
  • Record as high as 140 dB SPL with the X/Y microphones
  • Output/headphone jack with volume control
  • New rubber-coated and ergonomic body with enhanced 1.9-inch backlit LCD display
  • Built-in reference speaker for fast playback
  • Chromatic tuner and metronome
  • Variable playback speed, between 50% to 150%, without affecting pitch
  • USB port to transfer files to and from computer
  • Loop playback with user-defined start and stop points
  • Normalize and divide functions
This recorder runs on 2 standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries, lasting up to 6 hours (10 hours if in Stamina mode).
With Olympus, you are guaranteed top-class sound recorders. Its digital voice recorder, the Olympus 4GB Voice Recorder, can record and play back in two formats: MP3 and WMA. If you want a recorder that’s a bit easier on the purse strings, try the WS-852 Digital Voice Recorder instead!
Olympus Voice Recorders, 4 GB Built-In-Memory

Olympus Digital Voice Recorder VN-722PC


Features
Olympus creates sound recorders that are easy to use while offering very high quality and enhanced features.

The Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder, with 4 GB Built-In-Memory ($66.44 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is the perfect device for recording your voice, reminders, notes and virtually everything in MP3 or WMA format. It’s been designed with a front panel that's convenient and intuitive.

There’s more to this recorder, such as:
  • 4GB of internal memory and 1,600 hours of recording time
  • MicroSD slot for up to 32GB of additional memory
  • More than 100 hours of battery life
  • Built-in stand to reduce noise from the surface when the recorder is on a table
  • USB connectivity for fast transfer of files to your PC
  • Calendar Search function for easy search of files by date
  • Voice Activation for automatic starting and stopping of the recorder
  • SCENE SELECT function for automatically adjusting the microphone to capture the best sound in any environment
"Telephone Recording" and "Duplication" features make it possible to record telephone conversations or duplicate cassette tapes easily.
At ACEE Deal, customers mean everything, so it has come up with a digital recorder that will blow your mind - the ACEE Deal Digital Voice Recorder. If you’re not a professional, and are looking for a budget-friendly first voice recorder, perhaps try the ACEE DEAL Rechargeable Multifunctional Digital Voice Recorder instead.
ACEE Deal Rechargeable Digital Voice Recorder with Mini USB Port – Available in 3 Colors

ACEE Deal Digital Voice Recorder ACE DEAL184black


Features
ACEE Deal is a family-owned business that has been around since 2004. It strives to give its customers first place in every transaction, guaranteeing maximum satisfaction with the use of its products.

The ACEE DEAL Rechargeable Digital Voice Recorder with Mini USB Port ($19.88 - Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price) is a multifunctional, rechargeable recorder with an easy-to-use button design. This recorder is very portable and excellent for class, lectures and meetings. Its other features include:
  • WAV and longtime recording and playback of audio or MP3 music
  • Bundled rechargeable lithium battery for convenient use
  • USB port for easy upload of recorded files to your PC for playback
  • 24 languages available for control panel
  • EQ modes supported
  • Telephone adapter that makes the recording of telephone conversations easy

Get the Best Digital Voice Recorder of 2017!

We hope you’ve had fun and have been enlightened by our review. We’re happy to have helped you choose the most convenient digital voice recorder! If you have yet to find one, check out our recommended brands. We’re certain they’ll have something you’ll love!

Our Top Choice
Tascam DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder
Best Value
Sony Digital Voice Recorder
Zoom H4N Pro Multitrack Recorder
Olympus 4GB Voice Recorder
ACEE Deal Rechargeable Digital Voice Recorder