Top Digital Voice Recorders by Consumer Reviewers

With the invention of smartphones and other recording-capable devices, digital voice recorders are often underrated. But for journalists, students and other types of people who rely on recordings, they are still usable and in fact, better when it comes to sound quality. Today, there are many different options. From the type of storage to how long you can record to the actual size of the recorder, there are many things you need to consider. When you shop here at IntelliReview, however, you don't have to worry about getting the best deal. We have scoured the Internet for reviews on digital voice recorders and used them to form a list of only the top models. We rank the products according to the total number of positive and negative reviews. Whatever you need, IntelliReview has a list of the very best available. We have everything from tiny digital recorders to "old school" models that still use tapes. From the size of the LCD screen to whether or not it has one, we have a lot of different styles and types of digital recorders that have one thing in common - they are the very best deals around. Here at IntelliReview, we can help you choose the right digital voice recorder depending on your needs.

Ranking Updated: August 2016
TIPS
  1. Instead of magnetic media, digital audio recorders use either external flash memory or an onboard memory to save data. Consider models that allow maximum expansion in terms of memory, so you won't run out of space during long recording sessions.
  2. Power is another important factor when selecting digital voice recorders. Choose one that has an external battery backup capability aside from an onboard power source.
  3. Digital recorders with integrated USB jacks, instead of those that use a supplied cord, are more convenient when it's time to transfer your recordings to a computer.
  4. A digital recorder's LCD display needs to tell you a lot of information at a glance, so make sure that it is bright and easily readable.
  • VN-7200 2GB Digital Voice Recorder (2 GB Flash Memory - Headphone - 1151 HourspeaceRecording Time - Portable)

    Pros: Small, handy size, Controls easy to get used to, 2GB internal memory allocation, Long battery life, Voice recording activation
    Cons: No USB port for transferring data to other devices, Memory non-expandable, LCD screen has no backlight

    Review: Have you ever needed to make a recording of something important–say an interview or a lecture–only to have your analog recorder run out of tape just as the recording is wrapping up? Or, for example, you have a sudden idea that pops into your head, but have nowhere to jot it down? If so, then you would definitely appreciate the advantage of having a digital voice recorder like the Olympus VN-7200, a handy pocket-sized recorder that keeps the balance between the simplicity of an analog device with the overall improved performance that you find in digital ones. The palm-sized Olympus VN-7200 slips as easily into your grip as it does into the supplied nylon sleeve. It takes up very little space at dimensions of 4.1 X 1.5 X 0.6 inches (104 X 37 X 19.1 mm), but has button sizes that are just right and easy to get used to. It takes a page from some personal media players in its simple and straightforward manner of operation, as well as the more obvious aspect of its button layout combined with a LCD interface. The VN-7200's use of integrated Flash memory is another nod to portable media players. The 2 GB allocation on this digital recorder allows up to a maximum of 1151 recording hours supported by an equally generous recording battery life of 86 hours through a pair of AAA batteries, one of the longest on the market. It would have been better, however, if the VN-7200 had an expansion slot that would allow a higher-capacity memory card to be added. When it comes to the all-important functions of recording and playback, the Olympus VN-7200 holds its own against other digital recorders available. While it keeps its hardware profile pretty simple with a single mono internal microphone as well as a 28mm dynamic round speaker located up front, the Olympus VN-7200 produces quality recordings that are easily heard and understood. It also has a 3.5mm jacks for a microphone as well as earphones, in case it is going to be used with those accessories. It has no supplied earphones, however. The Olympus VN-7200 has three recording modes: HQ for better quality but bigger file size and more drain on the batteries, and SP and LP modes for standard use. A voice activation system cues recording automatically when it senses audio signals, saving on time and battery life. An index marking system is particularly helpful when retrieving recordings made during lengthy sessions, while two playback modes lets you listen to audio at 25% slower or 50% faster, making scanning for specific passages easier. The dedicated delete button on the VN-7200 is quite small and will require confirmation before deleting a recording, so there is a smaller chance of accidental deletions. In addition, files can be locked through the function buttons so there is another layer of defense against deletions. The Olympus VN-7200 could have been a complete and well-rounded digital recorder, if not for the lack of a key component. While a large majority of like devices have a USB input to be able to transfer media from internal storage to a computer, this unit does not, which means that regular deletions would have to be made given that the memory is non-expandable as well. Running on batteries means that the LCD screen on this recorder would have to forgo any sort of backlighting as well. However, if you only want a way to quickly record audio and not have to transfer files across devices, the Olympus VN-7200 digital recorder is a good choice to make.

  • Vn-722pc 4gb Digital Voice Rec V405241SU000

    Vn-722pc 4gb Digital Voice Rec V405241SU000

    559 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $56.93  See It
  • DAR-101 Digital Voice Recorder (Secure Digital SD Card - Secure Digital SD Card SupportedLCD - MP3, WMA - Headphone - Portable)
  • WS-822 4GB Digital Voice Recorder (4 GB Flash Memory - Portable)

    WS-822 4GB Digital Voice Recorder (4 GB Flash Memory - Portable)

    165 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $154.99  See It
  • DM-620 4GB Digital Voice Recorder (4 GB Flash MemoryLCD - Headphone - 1007 HourspeaceRecording Time - Portable)
  • Ws-821 2gb Digital Voice Recor V406171SU000

    Ws-821 2gb Digital Voice Recor V406171SU000

    103 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Very popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $79.99  See It
  • PCM-M10/B Black 4 GB Portable Digital Field Recorder (96 kHz/24-bit, USB)

    PCM-M10/B Black 4 GB Portable Digital Field Recorder (96 kHz/24-bit, USB)

    90 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Very popular
    Amazon.com  Price: See Site  See It

    Pros: Great sound, User-friendly operation, Small, Excellent battery life
    Cons: Flimsy memory card door

    Review: The Sony PCM-M10/B is lighter and more compact but as dependable and robust as the d50. You can expect great recordings coupled with other benefits namely exceptional battery life and expandable memory. If the d50 is too large for your taste and you prefer an easy to use and likewise easy to carry and conceal audio recorder for your rehearsals, live music, lectures or news gathering, then choosing the Sony PCM-M10/B is a no brainer. The quality of the recording is outstanding and the onboard mic performs quite well. Although output is somewhat flat due to the omni-directional microphones, voice can be heard loud and clear. Adding an external mic and a wind screen solves most issues, allowing you to go directly to the sound source without worrying about unnecessary noise that can ruin your recording. Sound distortion is well taken care of with the recorder’s Digital Limiter and Peak Level Meter Indicators. Equipped with two AA alkaline batteries and A 4GB Built-In memory, the Sony PCM-M10/B works right out of the box. Users can even enjoy continuous recording and easily expand the recorder’s memory up to 16GB using Micro Stick M2 or microSD cards. It also includes a Remote Commander, a Carrying Pouch, a Hand strap, a USB cable and Sound Forge Audio Studio LE CD-ROM. With regards to ease of operation, the menus of the Sony PCM-M10/B are simple to navigate and its buttons are laid out nicely. There is little, if any, learning curve when using the device. Connecting it to a computer for the purpose of editing or saving files is easy too. Although the flimsy memory card door requires extra care, build quality is still good for the price. Like its other siblings, the M10 feels solid in the hand. It is lightweight, portable and rugged, all thanks to its aluminum construction.

  • Digital Flash Voice Recorder (4 GB Flash Memory - LCD - Portable)

    Digital Flash Voice Recorder (4 GB Flash Memory - LCD - Portable)

    66 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $83.79  See It
  • Digital Flash Voice Recorder (4 GB Flash MemoryLCD - Headphone - 1073 HourspeaceRecording Time - Portable)
  • Standard Cassette Transcriber (Compact Cassette - Black)

    Standard Cassette Transcriber (Compact Cassette - Black)

    49 Reviews

    Consumer Passion : Most passionate
    Popularity : Most popular
    Amazon.com  Price: $435.99  See It