Last updated: June 17, 2020

Digital voice recorders are a valuable device in certain professions or situations. They enable high-quality voice and sound recordings. They’re lightweight and easy to carry, so you can easily take them with you at all times. They are ideal for interviewing or taking voice memos.

Voice recorders are especially popular in the professional workplace. Thanks to the advantages they offer, more and more people are opting to use voice recorders for all kinds of applications. However choosing the right model is not always an easy task. To make the selection of a voice recorder easier for you, we have written this comprehensive shopping guide about voice recorders.

Key Facts

  • Voice recorders are often used in journalism, however this is not their only application. University students use them for note-taking and in many professions they are especially useful for recording voice memos. Of course, we cannot forget that many musicians use voice recorders for their work.
  • Digital voice recorders ensure a high level of recording quality. Some devices have two microphones that work in parallel to improve audio quality and achieve improved depth. Some recorders also have specific settings for different types of situations such as outdoors or the recording of far away subjects. Most voice recorders feature noise reduction systems.
  • Most voice recorders take their recordings in MP3 and WAV format, although some also support other types of extensions.

Ranking: The best voice recorders on the Australian market

In the following section we have listed the top five voice recorders currently available on the Australian market. In this list we have included as many different models as possible, to give you a wide range of options. Of course, we have only selected products that offer a very good value for money and are from well-known brands.

No. 1: Sony ICD-PX370

The number 1 voice recorder on our list is the Sony voice recorder with which you can record in MP3 format. It comes with an optimised voice recording function for reducing outside noise and with a “scene selection” option that adapts the recorder to the environment. It has an internal memory of 4 GB that will allow you to record up to 60 hours of audio. You can also expand the memory capacity up to 32 GB via the micro SD slot.

It uses 2 AAA batteries, although the autonomy offered with these batteries is up to 57 hours of recording. The screen interface is very simple to use and thanks to its USB port, it is very easy to connect to the computer. If there are any disadvantages of this recorder, the screen is not visible in the dark light as there is no backlight.

No. 2: Philips DVT6010 8GB Voice Tracer Digital Recorder

Introducing the Philips DVT6010, one of the most innovative and professional voice recorders on the Australian market. Featuring a motion sensor for automatic microphone adjustment and voice-activation for hands free recording, with this this voice recorder you will never miss a word. The inbuilt technology in this voice recorder suppresses surrounding noises so that the recordings have little to no background noise, resulting in crystal clear sound.

With 8 GB of internal memory for up to 88 days and an intuitive calendar view, you can easily find and retrieve old recordings so that nothing is ever lost. The built-in motion sensor automatically detects when the recorder is placed down on a table, held in the hand or is in a noisy environment. All this technology and innovation results in clear voice recordings so that you can achieve more in your personal and professional life.

No. 3: Olympus Pen Type Recorder

The Olympus VP-10 Digital Voice Recorder is a new concept “pen type” voice recorder, so you can casually record any situation. This innovative voice recorder features new technologies that are optimum for business settings and meetings. The sleek design allows you to capture conversations naturally, even while having the recorder in your pocket rather than an intrusive recorder on the table or in your hand.

The transcription mode is convenient for when you want to take minutes or notes from your meeting recordings and the language study mode is great when learning a foreign language. Equipped with noise cancellation technology to cut out background noise from recorded voices, this lightweight voice recorder is a great option for business people and students alike.

No. 4: Olympus One-Touch Recording Digital Voice Recorder VN-541PC

The Olympus VN-541PC is a simple and easy to use hand-held voice recorder that can be used for recording memos, reviewing university lectures, business meetings and more. The recorder incorporates one-touch direct recording to allow you to start recording with a simple slide of a switch and the micro USB connector enables easy connection with your PC or Mac.

Recording in a noisy location is no problem for the Olympus VN-541PC as the recordings can be clearly heard thanks to the in-built noise cancellation technology. With an intuitive and simple folder structure, it is easy to find your recordings and the file lock function ensures that recordings are never accidentally deleted. This is a great all-round voice recorder.

No. 5: Voice Recorder Evistr 8GB

This EVISTR slim and stylish digital voice recorder can be taken with you anywhere to record audio from interviews, meetings, conversations, lectures or other situations as required. With instant auto-saving technology that saves your recordings every 5 seconds, you never have to worry that recordings are not captured.

This is a lightweight, pocket-size device that features easy to use buttons and a well-designed screen. With a 15 month product warranty, you can buy this voice recorder with confidence knowing that you’ve bought a quality product.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about voice recorders

When purchasing a voice recorder, it’s important to consider a number of important aspects related to these devices. Keep in mind that there are different models of voice recorders and that each type is designed for a different purpose. For this reason, we aim to answer any questions you may have about voice recorders in the following section.

Woman speaks

Many students use voice recorders to take notes as well as conduct interviews.
(Source: Krasovskaya: 101355471/ 123rf.com)

What exactly are voice recorders?

Today’s voice recorders are digital devices that can record voice or sound. To do this effectively, they must be located near the source of the sound or voice that is being recorded. As they are digital, they do not use physical tape, but instead store the information in digital format that can then be transferred to a computer or other electronic devices.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of voice recorders?

The use of a voice recorder offers a number of advantages as well as a few disadvantages. With these devices, you can record high quality voice and sound with incredible ease. Voice recorders are quick to initiate and you don’t need to be a sound engineer to know how to use one. As they’re lightweight and easy to carry, you can take one with you at all times.

Advantages
  • Record high quality voice and sound
  • High quality microphones and technology that reduces capturing peripheral noise
  • Very easy to use and comfortable to hold
  • Always ready to record and are easily transportable
Disadvantages
  • Professional voice recorders can be somewhat expensive
  • Some models use AA batteries that need to be replaced frequently

Is it worth buying a voice recorder?

Given the advantages they offer, there’s no doubt that it is worth buying a voice recorder. While there are apps on smart phones that replace tape and digital voice recorders for basic tasks, when it comes to professional recording equipment, a quality voice recorder cannot be matched.

Furthermore, the microphone of a smart phone does not offer the same features as voice recorders. The quality of a smart phone voice recording is far worse. By using your smart phone to capture voice or sound recordings, you lose the possibility of using it for other tasks, such as the camera. Finally, the battery of a smart phone is far inferior to a specialised voice recorder.

What are the main applications of voice recorders?

Voice recorders have many different applications and uses. Journalism may be the most widely used area when it comes to voice recorders, but it is not the only one. These devices are also of interest to students who wish to record teachers’ explanations or conduct interviews as part of a homework task or thesis. Even professionals from other sectors such as banking, real estate, law, teaching and medicine use these devices to record voice notes or memos.

Woman recording

A voice recorder captures better quality sound than a smartphone app.
(Source: Dolgachov: 81084428/ 123rf.com)

What types of voice recorders are there?

Today, there are many different types of digital voice recorders available on the market. The two most common types are portable voice recorders and mini voice recorders. Each type has its own characteristics, features and suitable uses. To learn a little more about each type, take a close look at the following table.

Type Size and shape Memory Display and buttons
Portable voice recorders They’re portable devices. They are light and transportable. Consist of small hard disk with a memory of 2 GB. Feature an LCD screen and several buttons.
Mini voice recorders They’re very small voice recorders, ideal for staying hidden. They can be pen-shaped to be inconspicuous. Their internal memory is usually between 2 GB or 4 GB. They do not usually have an LCD screen and most only have one button.

How to start using a voice recorder?

First of all, it is recommended that you carefully read the instruction manual of the voice recorder. Once this is done, you should begin by learning how to use the buttons on the equipment. You should also start to familiarise yourself with the device’s display screen, if it has one.

As soon as you’ve done these first two simple steps, it’s a good idea to make a test recording using your own voice. We recommend that you replay the test recording file either on the device itself, with headphones, or transfer the file to your computer to ensure the entire process works smoothly. Finally, if the voice recorder comes with any specific software for your computer, you can also try this out.

Marc PachterCultural Historian – TED Talks

“The most important job of the interviewer is to feel the interviewee has a story which is important. The interviewer should make the interviewee feel that s/he feels that s/he is sharing something different than is known by the public”.

In what format do voice recorders record?

Today, virtually all recordings from voice recorders are in MP3 and WAV format. FLAC is also a common format used by high-end voice recorders. In general, WAV and FLAC formats provide the best sound quality. Naturally, the files saved in these formats are considerably larger. Other possible file formats of voice recorders are OGG, WMA and AAC.

Shopping Criteria

When it comes time to purchase a voice recorder, it’s critical that you take into account a number of important aspect that will help you to make the right purchase. To help you in the product selection process, we have described the most important shopping criteria below. We hope that this will serve as a guide when making your purchase, so that you can find the perfect voice recorder at the right price.

  • Sound quality
  • Equipment control
  • Memory capacity
  • Battery
  • Design
  • Connectivity
  • Additional Functions
  • Brand

Sound quality

In general, today’s digital voice recorders capture a very high level of sound quality. Some have two microphones that record in parallel to improve audio quality and achieve improved depth. In addition, some recorders have specific recording settings for the different types of situations in which you can use them.

Woman with memo

Voice memos are very useful but always better when captured on a voice recorder than a smartphone.
(Source: Dolgachov: 98669678/ 123rf.com)

Equipment control

It is highly recommended to choose a voice recorder that has a good quality digital LCD display with which you can see as much information as possible. With a good screen, you can easily change the configuration settings of the equipment quickly and easily. Another important aspect regarding the equipment control is to ensure that the buttons on the device are comfortable and good quality.

It’s critical that the recorder you choose has a specialised edit and fast-forward button to process the voice recordings. This button is especially useful to eliminate silences or noises and when you want to replay an audio file, you can easily jump to listen to a specific moment.

foco

It is highly recommended that the voice recorder is lightweight and easily transportable.

Memory capacity

In relation to the memory capacity of the voice recorder, you should consider both its internal capacity and the additional storage possibilities, which can be added with a microSD card. With respect to the first, the majority of voice recorders have an internal capacity that is between 2 and 8 GB (gigabytes), while the microSD cards can reach up to 32 GB.

As a reference point, with 8 GB you can enjoy up to 150 hours of recording. Ultimately, the storage capacity you will need depends on the intended use of the voice recorder. Logically, taking short ten-minute interviews is not the same as recording several two-hour lectures.

Battery

Fortunately, the charge or battery of digital voice recorders is usually far longer than that of today’s smart phones. Normal hand-held voice recorders can give you around 10 to 15 hours of continuous recording without issues. Some recorders come with a built-in rechargeable battery, while others use AA or AAA batteries. We recommend a voice recorder with a rechargeable battery.

Design

When it comes to the design of a voice recorder, the most important aspect is that the recorder is small and light so you can carry it around easily. Similarly, it should be sturdy and resistant, as it may experience blows or it may be accidentally dropped on certain occasions. This is why we recommend that you choose a voice recorder that is made with high quality materials.

Connectivity

As we live in a fully connected and digital world, you cannot overlook the connection options offered by the digital voice recorder you buy. You can find devices that can connect via Wifi, Bluetooth or USB. If you don’t plan on using the voice recorder for professional functions, a USB connection and a 3.5 mm jack socket may be enough.

Additional functions

An interesting “extra” feature of some digital voice recording devices is the ability to listen to your favourite music with your recorder, kind of like another MP3 player. You may also be interested in owning a device that can be voice-activated or has a timer function.

Brand

There are many manufacturers of voice recorders on the Australian market. Some are well known brands, as they manufacture other electronic devices, such as Sony or Philips. Other brands, on the other hand, are less known and specialise in the field of voice recorders, such as Evistr. Another prestigious brand on the Australian market is Olympus.

Summary

Digital voice recorders offer higher levels of sound recording quality that you will not be able to achieve by using a smart phone application. Another important advantage of using a specialised voice recording device is to allow you to using your mobile phone at the some time as taking the voice recordings.

In order to choose the most suitable voice recorder for your situation, it is important that you take into account a few important aspects. To begin with, you should be clear about what you want to use it for, as this will help to define the sound quality and storage capacity that you need. We also recommended that you choose a lightweight device, with a rechargeable battery and a simple control system.

If you found this guide useful for choosing a new voice recorder, you can leave us a comment or share it through your different social networks.

(Source of featured image: Mikhail Glushkov: 50914936/ 123rf.com)

Why you can trust me?

Brett is a keen observer of the latest technology trends and knows his way around the industry because he runs an electronics store. He writes about it in his spare time and wants to help others learn more about the technology industry.