While smartphone microphones are starting to limit the need for dictaphones, they’re still extremely useful in a variety of situations. Firstly, there’s no faffing around trying to find the voice recording app with a voice recorder. Secondly, it won’t get interrupted by an inopportune phone call or text. Third, there is a lot more functionality since it isn’t trying to do 100 different things.
So what do we recommend? Read our guide into the best voice recorders of 2021 to find out.
Top 6 Voice Recorders & Dictaphones To Buy
Best Dictaphones & Voice Recorders – Reviews
Sony ICD-UX570 Series – Best Digital Voice Recorder
Managing to be cheaper and more functional than its predecessor, the UX570 boasts just as many features while also offering added extras in a bundle. These include a 32GB microSD card for improving memory, and a Knox Gear hard carrying case to help keep your audio recordings safe and sound.
- Built-In USB: Don’t worry about cables, the simple plugin feature will have you transferring files quick as a flash.
- Easy Search: With two dedicated buttons, you can easily skip ahead by 10 seconds or back by 3.
- Large Memory: The UX570 can hold up to 159 hours of recording on its built-in 4GB memory, with it bundled alongside a 3GB microSD card to further boost memory.
- High Sensitivity S-Microphone: You can record in a variety of formats, such as MP3, AAC, WMA, or WAV.
- 3 Recording Functions: Choose between Normal, Focused, or Wide recording to suit your scenario perfectly.
- A Little Pricey: While cheaper than some of the high budget options on this list, the Sony UX570 is still a relatively expensive bit of tech.
OM Digital Solutions WS-852: Best Lecture Voice Recorder
When it comes to dictaphones, you can’t go wrong with Olympus. Offering useful features like the USB connector, and the MicroSD card slot means recording and transferring files has never been easier. Of course, some users have complained about the speaker quality – but you could transfer and listen to files on a computer.
- USB Direct Connection: Just like the UX570, this benefits from a direct, no fuss, USB drive which means you can easily transfer your files to a computer.
- Records in MP3: No more file conversion attempts, the WS-852 easily records in an MP3 format.
- MicroSD Card Slot: If 4GB of space weren’t enough, you can insert a microSD card and boost the Olympus’ memory further.
- Difficult to Hear: Some customers have reported that it is difficult to hear their recorded audio in some cases, though this could be to do with thee speakers on the dictaphone.
- Designed for Professionals: With a large colour display, and an ergonomic design, this dictaphone is designed to be used by professionals.
- Easy to Use: Intuitive controls make the Digital Pocket Memo remarkably easy to use.
- Durable: Stainless steel casing means that the DPM6000 is robust and durable.
- High-Quality Recordings: Choose between higher quality DSS or MP3 formats to record crisp, clear audio.
- Priced for Professionals: One of the most expensive dictaphones available, this is definitely priced towards people who need the best money can buy.
- Built-in USB: Just like the UX570, this dictaphone allows you to plug straight into a USB slot, without needing any additional cables.
- Includes Headphone Jack: Want to hear yourself before you commit to keeping the recording? The included headphone jack can let you know how you sound before you decide on anything.
- Quick Charge Feature: Battery running low? A 3-minute charge is enough to provide the Sony UX560 with 1 hour of power.
- 3 Recording Options: Whether you want to record in stereo, focus, or normal mode, the UX560 can enable that with its variety of options.
- Small and Portable: It fits incredibly well in the hand, and is extremely light too. Easy to carry anywhere without much fuss at all.
- Very Expensive: Almost triple the price of basic dictaphones, you may have to rethink if you’re set on this.
- Laborious UI: Some customers have had difficulty with the User Interface, stating that trying to delete older recordings is harder than it needs to be.
EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder
A lot more cost-friendly than some of the others on this list, the EVISTR is exceptionally easy to use. Its biggest drawback is that it doesn’t offer quite as many options, though this isn’t surprising considering the lower price. If you’re after a decent voice recorder that won’t break the bank, this is the one I’d suggest.
- Budget-Friendly: A good price, this is a dictaphone that won’t cost an arm and a leg to begin recording meetings, lectures, or whatever audio you wish to capture.
- Simple Functionality: Recording can be started and stopped at the press of clearly labelled buttons.
- 16GB Memory: With such a large memory built into the EVISTR, you won’t need to concern yourself with clearing older recordings for a while.
- Limited Functionality: Whereas more expensive dictaphones typically offer a whole host of features and recording settings, the EVISTR simply doesn’t.
Victure Digital Voice Recorder
If you’re looking for a cheap but functional voice recorder, then look no further. If you need something recorded for any reason, this will sort you out without even denting your wallet. Recording on the Victure is easy, it looks sleek, and it has loads of memory. We believe it’s one of the best dictaphones for older people. It’ll take a while to charge up, but really that’s the only failing in this wonderful little recorder.
- Low Pricing: This is the lowest priced dictaphone on this list, and one to consider if you don’t need something with professional-level functionality.
- Sleek: The appearance of the Victure is one of beauty, and it’ll look amazing in your hand or on the table.
- One Key Recording: Starting a recording is as easy as sliding a switch, simply slide it back to end and save the audio file.
- Large Inbuilt Memory: With 8GB of memory space, you won’t have to worry about filling the device too quickly.
- Long Charging Time: With a 6 hour charging time, it can take a while to recharge if not topped up frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best App for recording lectures?
Some of the time, when students are writing down notes, they miss important topics being discussed by the teacher. It is where recording lectures come in. With a mobile phone app, it is pretty easy to record lectures without needing additional equipment.
Office lens by Microsoft is one of the best apps for recording lectures. It lets you convert pictures into documents and store the data for future use.
Voice memo for iOS enables you to record audio through any external mic or Bluetooth device. You can save the recording in compressed or uncompressed format.
Is recording voice lectures illegal?
If you are recording someone without their consent, then it is considered illegal. However, in the case of recording voice lectures, different states have different rules.
Some states require two-party consent for a recording to be legal. While some states have one-party consent, if you are present at the lecture and recording it, it won’t be considered illegal.
To avoid getting in trouble, it is always better to ask for permission from the professor before recording the lecture.
What is the best way to record a lecture?
There are several ways to record a lecture. If you need to record an offline class, you need your smartphone or a specific recorder like a dictaphone. Several free apps let you screen record the video and audio in excellent quality in an online lecture.
Don’t forget to ask for permission from your professor first.
Are dictaphones still used?
Yes, dictaphones to this date are used by journalists, students, and others to record audios. The sound quality recorded by the dictaphone is of high quality, and thus it is still one of the best audio recording devices.
How do I record my screen with audio?
You can use the in-built screen recorder of your phone or laptop. However, the sound quality won’t be great. You can record your screen with audio by using a third-party free screen recorder app. It is the best way to record the screen. Some of the apps allow you to record voice from the screen and the mic too. You can easily switch between them whenever needed with a single click.
What are the best voice recorders to buy today?
1. Our Top Pick: Sony ICD-UX570 Series Digital Voice Recorder
2. Runner-up: OM Digital Solutions Voice Recorder WS-852
3. Professional Choice: Philips DPM6000 Digital Pocket Memo Voice Recorder
4. Premium Pick: Sony ICD-UX560 Series Digital Voice Recorder
5. Budget Pick: EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder
6. Another Budget Pick: Victure Digital Voice Recorder
What do you think? Have we missed a suggestion that is miles ahead of the competition? Or do you already own one of these dictaphones? Let us know in the comments below!
Best Studio Mics was started by a husband and wife team who love the sound and the technicals behind recording it. Both are professional theatre artists, one with a stage management background and one more on stage. One also has experience in film and television work and the different audio requirements of that arena.