Best Digital Voice Recorder

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These little digital marvels offer loads of storage space for days of recording time. Perfect for everyone from students to journalists to Moms who just need to remember shopping lists and their children's daily schedules, digital voice recorders are convenient and compact so that you can take them on the go. With built-in microphones that are sensitive enough to seek out only the vocal content you want to record and eliminate background noise at the same time, these recorders are often voice activated so that they only work when someone is speaking.

You also want a device that has USB connectivity so it’s easy to hook up to any PC or Mac so you can download and manage your recordings. Some devices are outfitted with additional features such as file editing, variable speed play back, external microphone ports, and they can even record and play multiple file formats from MP3 to WAV among others. Whether you're looking for a digital recorder to capture a busy sound environment with numerous voice speaking or you just need a device to record the audio from an important lecture, we have a variety of products at both ends of the price spectrum that we've determined to be the best you can buy.

Best Digital Voice Recorder Overall:

Some of you may recall those pocket recorders with the tiny micro-cassettes you'd have to flip over from side to side. But those days are long gone now as modern voice recorders have gone fully digital, and upgraded with a whole list of cool, convenient features for effortless operations; great news for even the most technologically challenged.
Digital voice recorders have become the go-to device individuals need to document interviews or class lectures. These devices are also widely used by musicians working on their next big track, and in today's world of internet radio they've popular for use by anyone with a podcast.

When choosing a digital voice recorder, there’s a few things you want to keep in mind. First, you want to consider sound quality. There's no use in recording something if it doesn't sound right afterwards. Second, consider storage capacity. You'll want to find a device that provides for long record times, so you don't have to keep clearing your memory to accommodate more files. Third, you want a device that's easy to use and simple to learn because why should you have to fight with your device to even operate it?

We've selected five of the best digital voice recorders on the market which made our list based upon the following criteria including sensitive microphones, playback functions, exceptional audio output quality, additional features to enhance their functionality, ease of use, and price.

TASCAM DR-05 Digital Recorder

TASCAM is synonymous with the music and recording industries, making some of the most reliable mixers, recorders, microphones and studio gear in the business. So it should come as no surprise that they appear on our list of the best digital voice recorders on the market. A straightforward user interface, crystal clear professional sound quality, ultra-sensitive microphones and a long list of playback features make the DR-05 an excellent portable recorder. Read Full Review

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    TASCAM DR-05 Digital Recorder

    Olympus WS-823 8GB Voice Recorder

    Olympus has a long history of producing quality digital voice recorders, but the best of their bunch by far is the WS-823. The device records in multiple practical formats, comes with a superior microphone directivity capability, and has some pretty cool playback features to boot. You even get full FM radio that you can listen to and record. Read Full Review

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      Olympus WS-823 8GB Voice Recorder

      ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

      With 4 GB of storage space providing over 1,000 hours of recording time, memory card expansion capability, microphone recording options, and noise reduction adjustment, Sony makes the list with the ICD-PX333. This recorder excels with spoken word content and can manage your gain settings automatically for optimum sound quality. Read Full Review

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        ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

        Philips DVT6500 Voice Tracer Digital Recorder

        Philips currently has one of the smartest recorders on our list. Offering a standard 4 GB of storage space, 3Mic high-fidelity microphone array, automatic sensitivity adjustment and a pre-record function, the DVT5000 is effortless to use and the audio quality is first rate. It's expensive but most definitely worth the cost. You won't need another device of this sort for quite some time. Read Full Review

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          Philips DVT6500 Voice Tracer Digital Recorder

          Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder

          The Zoom H4n is the most expensive pick on our list as it can do so much more than the others we've chosen to spotlight. This device is essentially a miniature recording studio, with multiple channel recording and variable sound recording quality options. Built in microphones are adjustable for maximum sound depth while the expandable memory and over 50 studio-quality DSP effects make this device worth a look. Read Full Review

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            Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder

            Best Budget Digital Voice Recorder:

            For under $30, you can find a reliable, good quality digital voice recorder that gives you long record and playback times and offer good sound quality. These units are usually small in stature, but their internal memory capacities can run from 2 to 4GB of storage space, with some units built for compatibility with a PC for larger storage opportunities. Multiple record modes let you decide how big or small you want your audio files to be and they can vary in playback speeds as well, allowing you to slow or speed up your files when you play them. The following digital voice recorders are some of the best you can buy on a budget, each one making the list based upon the following criteria: ease of use, storage capacity, size, playback and record times, battery life, audio file formats, and priced below $30.

            Olympus DP-201 Digital Voice Recorder

            Olympus' DP-201 combines affordability and functionality in this digital voice recorder that makes the top of our list. Recording time and storage capacity are both good, but it's the size, ease of use, and additional features that make this unit our favorite. Read Full Review

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              Olympus DP-201 Digital Voice Recorder

              Etekcity 4GB Rechargeable Digital Audio Voice Recorder

              The first of two Etekcity recorders on our list, this unit offers extended recording time on 4GB of memory. You also get a pretty handy MP3 player which supports multiple formats and this recorder is rechargeable as well for longer operating times. Read Full Review

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                Etekcity 4GB Rechargeable Digital Audio Voice Recorder

                Olympus VN-7200 Digital Voice Recorder

                This Olympus boasts long record times, excellent battery life and added functions that make this unit extremely useful yet simple to navigate. You get multiple record speeds and playback modes, while the basic user interface makes accessing every function a cinch. Read Full Review

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                  Olympus VN-7200 Digital Voice Recorder

                  iGearPro 16GB USB Flash Drive Digital Audio Voice Recorder

                  The smallest and most inexpensive option on our list, this tiny recorder from iGearPro looks just like a common flash drive. There are up to 16GB of storage memory inside this rechargeable unit which offers hours of continuous recording and only takes about 90 minutes to fully charge the internal battery. Unlike some of the other picks on our list, this recorder plugs directly into your PC or Mac for playback. Read Full Review

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                    iGearPro 16GB USB Flash Drive Digital Audio Voice Recorder

                    aLLreli CP0038 Digital Voice Recorder

                    This digital recorder from aLLreli performs double duty as a fully functional digital voice recorder and music player. The recorder side of things lets you record in MP3 and WAV formats at high bitrates and you can record through a variety of included accessories, including an external mic and a junction box for recording telephone calls. As a music player it supports all the major formats beyond just MP3 and WAV. Read Full Review

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                      aLLreli CP0038 Digital Voice Recorder

                      Best Digital Voice Recorder for Lectures:

                      Some digital recorders are best for picking up voices while others are designed to record music. With each medium, there are certainly specific nuances an audio recorder must cater to in order to be considered fully effective. When intended for use in lecture halls or settings where vocals must be heard loud and clear, a recorder must be able to pick up their targeted sources with crystal clear clarity. Furthermore, they should assist the user in transcribing or replaying the recorded content with ease.

                      The best of these digital voice recorders for lectures are able to record with minimal background interference and without complicated controls requiring lengthy instruction manuals. These devices keep it simple, offering high quality audio which is exactly what you want in a good digital recorder. We found five of the best available recorders for lecture settings, basing our choices on their expanded storage capacity, lengthy recording times, overall functionality, additional convenient features, sound output quality, diversity of file formats, ease of use, extended battery life, and their price.

                      Olympus VN-702PC Voice Recorder

                      Olympus takes top honors with their VN-702PC digital recorder. This device excels at capturing voices during lectures so you can take notes while still paying close attention to the speaker's presentation. 2GB of memory with optional microSD expandable slot, multiple recording formats, USB connectivity, and a built-in stand. Read Full Review

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                        Olympus VN-702PC Voice Recorder

                        Philips DVT1400 4GB Digital Voice Tracer

                        Philips' DVT1400 digital voice recorder focuses on handling the basics better than most devices out there. But it also brings a few extras to the table for a level of convenience that you'll actually use. It does all of this while delivering excellent sound quality with loads of storage for days. Read Full Review

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                          Philips DVT1400 4GB Digital Voice Tracer

                          Sony ICD-UX533 Digital Voice Recorder

                          Sony makes the list with a digital recorder that keeps things user-friendly. You get 4GB of memory and additional storage through an available microSD slot. The ICD-UX533 records in MP3 and LPCM, supports further formats for playback, and you even get record and playback setting adjustment. Read Full Review

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                            Sony ICD-UX533 Digital Voice Recorder

                            Livescribe 2 GB Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

                            The Livescribe Sky is a pen with 2, 4 or 8 GB memory to store hours of recorded content but it looks, feels, and works like any ball point. Fully rechargeable with a built-in speaker to play back your content, this device can also send all of your audio and written content directly to an online Evernote account. Read Full Review

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                              Livescribe 2 GB Sky Wi-Fi Smartpen

                              Etekcity DVR126 Digital Voice Recorder

                              The DVR126 has an 8 GB storage capacity providing over 500 hours of recording time along with three record modes and four file formats capabilities. There's a good range of features here which make this recorder highly functional and not only can you use this device to record lectures but you can also record telephone conversations with the included adapters. Read Full Review

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                                Etekcity DVR126 Digital Voice Recorder
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                                1 comments
                                • Mary K Mary K

                                I would like your opinion of whether this MP3 Player is something you would buy. It is a $gb USB MP3 Digital Music Video FM Player and Voice Recorder with 2.75" Lcd and camera it is black and white. I can't find the manufacturer for it and I am not real savvey about this stuff. I would like one I can actually find in my pocket...ie: I bought a sansdisk sansa clip MP3 player and was disappointed to find it was the size roughly of a postage stamp. any ideas? Also I know this is short notice but the sale ends at 11:59 AM today $/29/2013. Can you help me?

                                Posted on 4/29/2013 5:07 am | Reply