10 Best Voice Recorders in 2022

Dave Mostert
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In my job as a sound recordist, I’m constantly amazed at the range of sound recorders out there. The level of features and sound quality of sound recorders has increased dramatically in the past 20 years. I’ve said it before here in this book: never before have there been such fantastic choices in recording equipment.

Due to the proliferation of high-quality digital recording devices in recent years, we’re in a position where we can buy sound recorders specifically designed for sound engineers, journalists, podcasters and people who want to study and document the sounds around them.

These days you can find standard consumer equipment that won’t break the bank and can be used to record anything from ambient soundscapes to commentary at sports events.

Here we’ll look at some of the best voice recorders available in the modern world. They come in all shapes and sizes, and they’re designed for all kinds of purposes so you’ll find something you’ll never go without.

NameCategoryProduct
Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice RecorderBest OverallSony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder
Olympus Voice Recorder WS-853Budget PickOlympus Voice Recorder WS-853
Tascam, 4 AD ConverterUpgrade PickTascam, 4 AD Converter

1. Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder

Our rating: 9 / 10

Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder

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Pros:

  • Sleek and pocket-sized design
  • Three recording modes
  • Color screen
  • Several playback methods
  • Built-in microphone

This Sony ICD-UX533BLK digital voice recorder is our top recommendation for the best voice recorders in 2020. Generally, voice recorders are not exactly the most exciting or innovative products, but this one packs a couple of impressive features that set it apart from the rest.

The Sony ICD-UX533BLK is pocket-sized and functional, which makes it easy for you to carry around with you when you’re out and about. The device is designed to record in three different modes – as Voiced Memo for recording general thoughts or sound bites, as Shorthand for taking class notes, and in meeting mode. You can play back your recordings through a built-in speaker, or plug in headphones and listen privately.

2. Zoom ZH1 H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zoom ZH1 H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder

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Pros:

  • Crystal-clear sound quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Works great both indoors and outdoors
  • Great value for the money

Cons:

  • No LCD display
  • No solid state memory

The Zoom ZH1 is a dedicated handheld audio recorder that combines the best features of a USB audio interface and a multi-track audio workstation. This makes it a great option for recording, editing, remixing, and sharing audio. The Zoom ZH1's compact design and rugged construction make it ideal for use in a wide variety of situations, whether you're recording in a noisy location or in an acoustic setting. It has a 1 GB flash drive as well as an SD card slot, which combine to offer a lot of storage memory.

This portable digital recorder can record sound in 24 bit/48 kHz resolution, and the water-resistant construction protects it from splashes of water, making it a great choice for recording in the rain. It also has an adjustable input level that lets you monitor the quieter sounds, which makes it perfect for recording interviews. It has 99 onboard effects that let you play with the sound, as well as a sub-mixer and a master fader.

3. Olympus Voice Recorder WS-853

Our rating: 8 / 10

Olympus Voice Recorder WS-853

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Pros:

  • Professional-quality recording
  • Recording is extremely clear
  • Records in AAC and LPCM
  • Time marker on recordings
  • Easy to use with one button operation
  • 8GB internal memory
  • 100-hour battery life

Cons:

  • Screen is hard to view
  • Relatively expensive for voice recorder
  • Controls are not intuitive
  • No wireless functionality provided

This voice recorder from Olympus records 4GB in 24-bit LPCM format and 2GB in AAC format. It’s not only convenient for business professionals looking to keep their notes on hand, but also has an excellent battery life that allows you to record up to 33 hours on a single charge. One of the best features of this recorder is the ability to distort the sound to prevent the listener from hearing even distant sounds while listening to the recording.

Open & Playback:

When you connect the recorder to a computer, you get 8GB of open memory. This is ideal for voice recording, as it provides up to 100 hours. If you need a little more memory, the device supports microSDHC cards up to 32GB. The user interface of this device is simple and straightforward. However, thanks to the inclusion of a voice modifier, this is an excellent option for making secret recordings.

4. Sony ICD-PX440 Stereo IC Digital Voice Recorder Built-in 4GB and Direct USB

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sony ICD-PX440 Stereo IC Digital Voice Recorder Built-in 4GB and Direct USB

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Pros:

  • Records in either Stereo or USB mode
  • USB direct transfer to computer
  • Records high quality audio
  • File management software is flexible and easy to use
  • Includes 5 listening modes
  • Records up to 24 hours
  • One-touch Voice-Memo function
  • VoiceRange Listen app allows
  • Changeable battery allows for long recording
  • Rapid charge of one hour or full battery in approximately 4 minutes

Cons:

  • No built-in memory
  • Pricier than most

This recorder is one of the best examples of what a recorder IN EARLY 2017 should be, with plenty of features that makes it easy to use. The controls are stiff at first but as I've used it more, they have become easy to use.

Additional features are nice, as the ability to both USB transfer directly to your computer or using the VoiceRange app on your phone. Very clear crisp recording, and can connect via Bluetooth headphones if your need it; it records in either Stereo or USB modes.

5. Tascam, 4 AD Converter

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tascam, 4 AD Converter

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Pros:

  • Totally portable recorders
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Comes with a wide variety of accessories and add-ons

Cons:

  • One of the more expensive options
  • Not good for vocalists as there is no attenuation of instruments

The important thing is to look for a voice recorder that fits your specific needs and being able to choose the right one can be quite the challenge. However, it is important to learn about some of the top picks to get you started.

Tascam is so popular in the audio space that it is almost synonymous with recording—so you just know the DR-40 is going to be a great tool. This totally portable recorder is a favorite for its versatility and affordability, which are great qualities for any artist looking for a good new piece of equipment. It is great for anyone from a sports reporter to a musician in a jam session. Reviewers loved the clear quality of recording and to top it off, the price is just right for anyone looking for a solid device.

While this might not be the ideal voice recorder for someone, specifically a vocalist, who needs an easy way to control the sound of their instruments, it might be a great solution for someone who needs a versatile audio recording device. This is a 4-channel multitrack recorder; it can be used to record all kinds of media, including vocals, sound effects, and music.

6. Tascam DR-05X 2-Input / 2-Track Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder

Our rating: 8 / 10

Tascam DR-05X 2-Input / 2-Track Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder

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Pros:

  • Very affordable (bundled!)
  • Excellent build quality
  • Excellent sound quality
  • Useful features

It’s not a particularly bad category to start working in. Many voice recording devices are extremely simple these days. You have a couple of options to choose from, the two main factors separating them being price and quality.

The Tascam DR-05X is a standard 2-channel handheld recorder. The last two digits in its name indicate its storage capacity – 2GB. That’s a generous amount for doing interviews, recording lectures, or transcribing interviews.

The DR-05X has an excellent build quality. It’s solid and feels very robust in your hand. The user interface is an intuitive series of buttons. The display isn’t especially big, but it’s a touchscreen so you can quickly tap to adjust the settings. You don’t have to cycle through multiple menus to change the mode or access any of the device’s features. You can optionally play back audio on the device too.

7. SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

Our rating: 8 / 10

SONY ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

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Pros:

  • 128MB internal memory
  • Enhanced Clarity Sound (ECS)
  • Record in MP3
  • Up to 90 hours of recording time
  • Time stamp available
  • Discreet carry design
  • Built-in FM Radio

Cons:

  • Slow startup
  • Voice volume is sometimes low
  • Sometimes a few seconds of previous recording are accidentally recorded over

The Sony ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder is one of the best ways to record all your vacation memories or to just remember things at work. It will record up to 90 hours of digital recordings when fully-charged.

The ICD PX333 comes equipped with enhancements to its recording technology and is able to get the clearest sounds possible. It is also equipped with 128MB of internal memory and a slot for an external memory card.

The recharge time on the ICD PX333 is longer than average, but the battery life can last up to 70 hours of continuous recording. The controls are fairly simple to understand and use, and the virtual display screen is very helpful.

8. Olympus VN721PC 2GB Digital Voice Recorder

Our rating: 8 / 10

Olympus VN721PC 2GB Digital Voice Recorder

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Pros:

  • Easy-to-navigate interface
  • File sharing with other applications
  • Acceptable battery life
  • Variety of recording and playback options
  • Three hotkeys for fast operation

Cons:

  • No built-in Bluetooth support
  • Some sounds may be difficult to hear

The Olympus VN721PC is a functional voice recorder with an easy-to-navigate interface and a variety of playback options. The recorder has one of the clearest, easiest interfaces out of all the digital voice recorders we’ve tested, making it a good choice for people unfamiliar with recording devices. While the voice recorder has many options, it doesn’t overwhelm the user, making it easier to make and share recordings.

The recording quality is decent overall but is slightly muffled if the user records in lower volumes. The playback quality is good as well, and its size makes it easy to keep the recorder with you at all times.

The device has an acceptable recording time and can record for up to 16 hours with a single charge. Additionally, the battery can be charged in six hours, making the charge time reasonable for a device of this size.

9. Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorders

Our rating: 7 / 10

Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorders

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Pros:

  • Perfect for video and vocal note-taking
  • Displays an index of all recordings so you can easily navigate through your history
  • High-quality recording
  • Highly-rated
  • Award-winning
  • Handy voice recorder for the office, classroom, or study
  • Allows for PDF document export
  • Allows you to also record images and videos

Cons:

  • Battery is disconnected after 2 minutes to conserve battery
  • A little on the pricey side for a voice recorder

Starting in the late-1800s, the voice recorder was used to aid detectives & police officers, and has been steadily improved over the generations since its inception.

The Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder is a sleek and modern-looking voice recorder, with an attractive price tag, to boot. While in the past, voice recorders have commanded a higher price, this model may change your mind about the validity of that practice.

It is a highly advanced device, giving you the ability to track the progress of your recording by way of an index system, as well as allowing you to export your recordings into PDF format.

10. Olympus VN-7200 Digital Voice Recorder

Our rating: 6 / 10

Olympus VN-7200 Digital Voice Recorder

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Pros:

  • Zoom mic technology
  • Built-in USB port for easy file transfer
  • Low-noise filter
  • Durable and lightweight
  • Easy to use menu system
  • Holds up to 170 hours
  • Loop playback
  • Available in black or silver

Cons:

  • Touch screen can be frustrating to use sometimes
  • Bulky design

Even if you’re not a journalist by trade, keeping an audio recorder on you and using it can be beneficial, whether you’re a parent, student, or if you work in sales or customer service. The Olympus VN-7200 will provide you the best quality recording for the price without any noticeable background noise or echoes. It’s durable, lightweight, easy to use, and can give you hours of recording time.

This digital record is a great option if you’re a VOIP user, especially for recording telephone interviews. Whether you choose to record phone calls or other events, this recorder can do the trick. It’s easy to transfer your files from the recorder to a computer or your phone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best voice activated recorder?

When you want to make a recording of a particular meeting or a lecture, the easiest way to make sure it doesn't suffer from any serious background noise or distortion is by using a voice recorder.

It's easy to find one in the market. The prices may slightly vary, but as long as you keep your needs in your mind and do a thorough research, identifying the one that works for you is easy.

Basically, a voice recorder can be useful when you want to record personal notes or maybe a meeting with colleagues. Some of the basic ones work by pressing a button while recording. But there are some that are more advanced and convenient to use. You can find the best voice activated recorder by searching the top ten lists available online.

What is the best hidden recording device?

Many people will want a digital voice recorder that they can use to record phone conversations or whatever else they need a recorder for. A digital recorder can help keep your phone out of the picture and may be the best option for you.

Some might also want a strong voice recorder that includes the latest technology features such as push-to-talk, Bluetooth capabilities, or the highest resolution this decade has seen.

What is the easiest digital voice recorder to use?

One of the most attractive things about digital voice recorders is that they’re truly plug and play. You can simply purchase a recorder, charge it, and start recording within five minutes. The buttons and screens are intuitive enough that it doesn’t require much getting used to.

That said, if you haven’t used a digital recorder before, you might consider starting with the most basic recorder available. The additional features, which often include advanced recording modes and specialized filters, can be overwhelming to some users.

What is the best recording device for interviews?

If you are looking for a more convenient way to record interviews, meetings, or notes, then a digital recording device is the easiest and most convenient method. They are easier to use than tape recorders because there is very little set up involved and they can be operated using just one hand.

When looking for the best voice recorder for your needs, you need to figure out a few things. Don't be afraid to ask someone at the store for recommendations on what they like. Some of the top digital recorders for interviewing have:

  • Affordable pricing
  • A wide variety of recording ways, including, voice activation, dictation, and hands-free operation
  • Long battery life
  • Internal memory or the capability to add memory
  • Relatively small

Conclusion

Are you in search of the best voice recorder of the year to take your next seminar, meeting, interview, or dictation notes?

If that is the case, we have spent many hours of research to bring you this list of 10 best voice recorders available in the market to save your precious time choosing the right voice recorder.

Our comparison table has all the features, mentioning price, default manufacturers voice recorder and high-quality gadgets.

Amazon has brought this to please its loyal customers, and they have also added relevant product details with links to the product page.

If you are looking for something in a hurry, then check out this comparison table which we have carefully selected for you after spending hours.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Sony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice RecorderBest OverallSony ICD-UX533BLK Digital Voice Recorder
Olympus Voice Recorder WS-853Budget PickOlympus Voice Recorder WS-853
Tascam, 4 AD ConverterUpgrade PickTascam, 4 AD Converter