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The 10 Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders for Music and Interviews

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Lea Kuscer Avatar
Lea Kuscer
5 September, 2020 • Updated 7 days ago
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The 10 Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders
Digital voice recorders make your life easier when you need to record a new tune you just created quickly.

If you’re a journalist, you can also use this device to record interviews.

Moreover, digital voice recorders can make recording meetings easy, and can speed up transcription tasks. There are more uses to it today. With the development of the new technologies, the sound recorder is becoming a gadget packed with features.

These little devices have moved far beyond mere dictation into the world of high-quality sound recording, and so enabled you to record whatever sound you want.

However, if you search online for a digital voice recorder, you will find that there is a huge selection of models from loads of different manufacturers with a price spread that is just as diverse. It’s why we researched the products on independent media outlets and Amazon to find the best ones out there.

IN A HURRY? CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE
Tascam DR-40

Go through our list of the 10 best portable digital voice recorders and make your buying decision easy.

Things to Consider

However, by considering some of the factors that you need in your voice recorder can help you to make your mind up on which digital recorder is best.

Therefore to ensure that you get the best digital voice recorders on the market you should consider a number of important factors which will help to ensure that you find the digital voice recorder that you have always wanted, so to help you out, check out the following 5 factors that you should consider before buying a digital voice recorder:

1. Battery

Most digital voice recorders have a battery life of between 11 and 37 hours as they use standard AA or AAA batteries. Some of the best digital voice recorders use rechargeable batteries as not only do they save money, but they are also far more environmentally friendly.

Some newer digital voice recorders now feature lithium batteries, like those found in mobile phones, and so can be charged up between uses.

2. Audio quality

Some digital voice recorder devices have been specifically designed to record music whereas others have been designed only to record voice. As a result of the differently designed functions, there are variations in the quality of audio that is recorded.

For example, some voice recording devices that have been designed for voice recording only have been designed to block out ambient noise which is great for recording voices, but can make for poor music recording quality especially in a live concert.

As a result, it is important to consider what you will be using your digital voice recorder for so that you can determine the audio quality you are happy to accept.

3. Audio file formats

Typically the more expensive the digital voice recorder device is, the more audio file formats it can support.

The standard file format that is supported is MP3 but there are other formats and these include; WAV which is the waveform audio file that is standard for IBM and Microsoft, AIFF which is the Audio Interchange File Format developed by Apple, as well as AU which is the file format that was developed by Sun Microsystems.

Make sure to consider what you will audio file format you will need and then make sure to check that the digital voice recorder device that you choose can support that file format.

4. Memory

Most digital voice recorders use flash memory, but some also use forms of removable memory that can increase the recorders memory. Typically, the more expensive the recorder, the more likely they are to have built-in memory and flash memory cards.

However, no matter which recorder you go for, they will typically record around 2GB of data, or up to a whole days’ worth of recording time and so memory shouldn’t be a problem. However, another important consideration with regards to memory is that the device can connect to a computer to transfer audio files and thus free up memory space.

5. Price

The price spread for digital voice records is massive, with devices ranging from under $10 to over $10,000. There are a number of factors that affect the price, and they include brand, battery life and additional features.

The number of audio file formats supported also affects the price. It is important that you consider what you actually need in a digital voice recorder, and that will help you to determine what budget you will need to set.

QUICK OVERVIEW

The Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders


Products Features
EDITOR’S PICK
4.3
1,365+
1365+
Tascam DR-40
Tascam DR-40Tascam DR-40
  • Dual recording captures a safety track to prevent distorted takes
  • Adjustable Condenser Microphones
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
  • Dual recording captures a safety track to prevent distorted takes
  • Adjustable Condenser Microphones
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150
Check price
at Amazon
MOST REVIEWED
4.3
1,510+
1510+
SONY ICD PX333
SONY ICD PX333SONY ICD PX333
  • Boasts 4GB internal Flash Memory and requires 2 AAA Batteries
  • Has a track mark function for ease of use
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
  • Boasts 4GB internal Flash Memory and requires 2 AAA Batteries
  • Has a track mark function for ease of use
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300
Check price
at Amazon
TOP PICK
4
25+
25+
Zoom H6
Zoom H6Zoom H6
  • Interchangeable microphone system
  • Allows for versatile recording techniques
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
  • Interchangeable microphone system
  • Allows for versatile recording techniques
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.4
560+
560+
Olympus WS-852
Olympus WS-852Olympus WS-852
  • Boasts 4GB of built-in memory
  • Perfect device to record your voice
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $75
  • Boasts 4GB of built-in memory
  • Perfect device to record your voice
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $75
Check price
at Amazon
BUDGET PICK
4.2
185+
185+
Olympus VN721PC
Olympus VN721PCOlympus VN721PC
  • Has 2GB memory
  • Boasts a large LCD screen
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $25
  • Has 2GB memory
  • Boasts a large LCD screen
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $25
Check price
at Amazon
EDITOR’S PICK
Tascam DR-40
Handheld 4-Track Digital Recorder.

After reviewing various Power Towers, we found that the TASCAM DR-40 is The Best Portable Digital Voice Recorder in the market right now.

4.3
1,365+
1365+
  • Dual recording captures a safety track to prevent distorted takes
  • Adjustable Condenser Microphones
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders Under $50

Olympus Voice Recorder WS-852

Olympus Voice Recorder WS-852

Features

  • 4GB of built-in memory
  • MP3 recording
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $50

The Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder boasts 4GB of built-in memory which means you can record up to 1600 hours of voice data. You can even increase this memory space thanks to the MicroSD / SDHC card which can support up to an additional 32GB. The Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder has MP3 and WMA recording options.

What is more, the recorder has an easy to use PC connection for ease of use and data saving ; as a result, the voice recorder is perfect for beginners.The Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder is the perfect device to record your voice, reminders and notes. The recorder boasts a large LCD screen and speaker; which has been designed to be familiar and convenient.

The Olympus VN-722PC Voice recorder has a large diameter, low noise microphone which records sounds from a large area but that is also super clear. The recorder also eliminates breathing sounds which makes this recorder perfect for dictation.

The voice recorder boasts a great stand that also contributes to high-quality recording by reducing the noise emitted directly from the surface.

Pros
  • Comes with a USB
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Low volume of the recording

Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders Under $100

Sony ICD-UX570 Digital Voice Recorder

Sony ICD-UX570 Digital Voice Recorder

Features

  • 4GB of built-in memory
  • 3 recording modes
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $100

The ICD-UX570 Digital Voice Recorder from Sony boasts a number of fantastic features that make this device ideal for recording interviews, lectures, rehearsals, meetings, and more. The palm-sized device has the ability to record in 3 different modes: Normal, Focus, and Wide-stereo.

The ICD-UX570 features a stereo microphone to pick up the clear, natural sound without phase shifting. Also, you can get an hour of the recording time with only 3 minutes of charging time, while a fully-charged battery can last up to 27 hours.

The recorder captures audio to microSD cards and has a native 4GB storage. A USB 2.0 port allows you to quickly transfer files to a Mac or PC in PCM or MP3. The backlit LCD screen and intuitive control make this device easy to use and great for anyone looking to record audio data.

Pros
  • Compact
  • Affordable
  • Not very intuitive

Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders Under $150

Zoom H1n Handy Portable Digital Recorder Bundle

Zoom H1n Handy Portable Digital Recorder Bundle

Features

  • One-touch button controls
  • Omnidirectional
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

The Zoom H1 Digital Recorder Bundle with Zoom APH-1 Accessory Pack boasts the same frequency and SPL handling as popular Zoom H2. With stereo X/Y mic configuration, this device can capture perfect stereo images.

The Zoom H1 Digital Recorder Bundle with Zoom APH-1 Accessory Pack can record Broadcast WAV (BWF) at 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit. What is more, the recorder can save MP3 from 48 to 320kbps for maximum recording time. The accessory pack bundle includes Headphones, Windscreen, AC adapter, USB Cable, Adjustable Tripod Stand, Padded-shell Case and a Mic Clip Adapter.

Pros
  • Comes with a USB
  • Easy to use
  • Compact
Cons
  • No built-in memory

Olympus VN721PC 2GB Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus VN721PC 2GB Digital Voice Recorder

Features

  • 2GB of built-in memory
  • Large LCD screen
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $150

If you are on a budget looking at refurbished digital voice recorders can be a great way to save money and still get a great recorder. This refurbished Olympus VN-721 Digital Voice Recorder has 2GB memory and would make for a great device for those looking for a versatile recorder that can be used for recording your voice, reminders, and notes or just about anything in WMA format.

The Olympus VN-721 Digital Voice Recorder boasts a large LCD screen and speaker which has been specifical to be familiar and convenient for any user especially as the recorder has s Simple Mode that supports beginners by only showing the most necessary information and in large font.

A great feature of this device is that it boasts over 790 hours of recording time so with this Olympus VN-721 Digital Voice Recorder you’ll be able to capture notes, lectures, and more. What is more, the recorder has over 100 hours of battery life so that this recorder will far exceed the life of your other technological devices.

The Olympus VN-721 Digital Voice Recorder has a USB connection and so it is easy to send and save files on your computer for easy emailing and editing. What is more, this device has awesome voice activation capabilities to save you time and effort.

Pros
  • Comes with a USB
  • Noise filter
  • Loud speaker
Cons
  • No MP3 support

Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders Under $200

Tascam DR-40 Portable Digital Recorder

Tascam DR-40 Portable Digital Recorder

Features

  • 4-track recording
  • Omnidirectional
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200

The TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder has a switchable microphone position from X-Y to A-B to enable you to get the best sound data possible. What is more, with the 4-track recording you can record with the built-in microphones and mic inputs at the same time. The TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder boasts up to 96Hz/24-bit resolution.

The 4-channel recording options of the TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder allow for perfect audio recording in up to four channels. Mono and stereo recording is also available. With this device, recording formats include MP3 (from 32 to 320kbps), WAV and Broadcast WAV formats.

The TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder also boasts 15-hours of battery life from three AA batteries.

Pros
  • 4-track recording
  • Adjustable condenser microphones
Cons
  • Poor customer support
  • No built-in memory

Zoom H2n Handy Recorder

Zoom H2n Handy Recorder

Features

  • 5 built-in microphones
  • 4 recording modes
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $200

The Zoom H2n Handy Recorder boasts over 20 hours of operation using two standard AA batteries which is plenty of time to record whatever audio data you need. The device can record in WAV up to 24-bit/96kHz and MP3 up to 320kbps.

The Zoom H2n Handy Recorder has a number of great features which include Key Control, A-B Repeat, File Dividing, Normalize, MP3 Post-Encode, Marker and Surround Mixer. Additional functions of this great voice recorder include Lo-cut Filter, Compressor/Limiter, Auto Gain, Pre-Rec, Auto-Rec, Tuner, Metronome and Variable Speed Playback.

Uniquely, the Zoom H2n Handy Recorder comes with five built-in microphones and four different recording modes: X/Y, Mid-Side, 2-channel surround and 4-channel surround. This means that the device can handle just about anything from a live concert and rehearsal recording to location videography.

Pros
  • 4 recording modes
  • Records surround sound
  • Excellent audio quality
Cons
  • No built-in memory

Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders Under $250

SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

Features

  • 4GB of built-in memory
  • Track mark function for ease of use
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $250

The SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder boasts 4GB internal Flash Memory and requires 2 AAA Batteries. The voice recorder also comes with the opportunity to install a microSD card for memory expansion. The SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder can record mono MP3s and also boasts intelligent noise cutting technology to reduce interference.

The SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder has a track mark function for ease of use and also features a USB cable to enable you to easily transfer files to Mac/PC computers. To do you’re your computer must be one of the following: Windows XP (SP3), Vista (SP2), 7, 8 Mac OS X 10.3.9 to 10.8.

With the SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder you can easily record voice data and what is great about this recorder is that the recorder will start and stop recording automatically with your voice. Additionally, this recorder can record up to 1000 hours of data, and this can be expanded, as mentioned, thanks to the addition of a Micro SD card. As a result, you will never have to miss any voice data again.

Pros
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Simple interface
  • Compact
Cons
  • Issues with the display

Roland R-07 High-Resolution Handheld Audio Recorder

Roland R-07 High-Resolution Handheld Audio Recorder

Features

  • Stereo microphones
  • MP3 and WAV formats
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $250

With this Roland R-07 High-Resolution Handheld Audio Recorder, you can record high-quality stereo data with the built-in stereo mic or external input. The device is strong, attractive and metallic and so would look great in the hands of any user.

The device boasts Music-practice features which enable change of tempo without changing pitch, loop playback and such like. Another great feature of this device is that it is capable of onboard editing functions.

This device can be used as a high-quality portable audio player (plays WAV and MP3 files). The device includes windscreen and built-in tripod mounting socket for ease of use and comfort. This WAVE/MP3 Recorder is an affordable device that has a number of advanced features that make this device easy to use and affordable.

Pros
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Compact
Cons
  • No built-in memory
  • Confusing interface

Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders Under $300

Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder

Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder

Features

  • 4GB of built-in memory
  • MP3, AAC, WMA, and WAV formats
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $300

The Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder features 4 GB of memory for up to 1,073 hours of recording time. Perfect for recording your notes and meeting minutes. The digital recorder also boasts a backlit display which lets you easily navigate the recorder even during dark lectures.

With this Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder, you can record in MP3, AAC, WMA, and WAV formats. A great feature is that this device has up to 30 hours of battery life via rechargeable battery and so the device is sure to last as long as you need it. The Sony ICD-UX533 recorder has a built-in USB for direct connection to your computer, and a microSD card slot to add memory.

With this device, you can capture every nuance, distant or low volume, with great clarity via a 2-element stereo microphone array. What is more, the Sony ICD-UX533 recorder can automatically adjust recording levels for optimum results, or when necessarily allows for manual control.

Pros
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Durable
  • Compact
Cons
  • Pricey

Best Portable Digital Voice Recorders Under $400

Zoom H6 Portable Recorder Kit

Zoom H6 Portable Recorder Kit

Features

  • 16GB of SDHC card memory
  • MP3, AAC, WMA, and WAV formats
  • PRICE RANGE: Under $400

The Zoom H6 is a seriously handy recorder that comes with a custom wind buster for ultimate sound quality. The device comes with an optional 16GB SDHC Memory Card so that tones of audio data can be recorded.

The Zoom H6 Portable Recorder Kit features an interchangeable microphone system and allows for versatile recording techniques, giving you several options right out of the box. The device also provides ample space for photos and videos captured with your camera.

Pros
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Comes with a wind buster
Cons
  • Poor user interface compared to the previous models
  • Pricey

Conclusion

Finding the right digital voice recorder can make all the difference in terms of learning, recording and typing up notes from class or from meetings.  To help you find the perfect digital voice recorder, we put together this list of considerations for you to look over. Happy shopping!

*All prices mentioned above were at the time of publishing.

Lea Kuscer Avatar
Written by
Lea Kuscer
Lea Kuscer is a marketing maniac enthusiastic about testing new products and gadgets. Her new mission is to share her passion with those who want to know which product is the best on the market.