Voice Recorders are unique and useful devices, they're also very specialized ...
Voice Recorders are unique and useful devices, they're also very specialized and really aimed at only a certain market segment. When most people think of portable audio devices a voice recorder usually never comes to mind. In this digital age we live in the Voice Recorder has all but replaced the micro cassette recorders for their ease of use and large storage capacities. The ability to use our computer with the voice recorder and software to easily and quickly transcribe our notes is something that is very common.
The shape of most voice recorders resembles the micro cassette recorder and I think this is purposeful as it's shape and size are familiar to people. There though most of the resemblance, and similarities are gone, with of course the exception of a few key features that are an integral part of any voice recorder.
For the most part digital voice recorders are a business oriented product but they can be utilized by the common consumer as well. They're great for taking notes on things you need to remember, or even using it with your current job to remind you of what you need to do. Of course the average person won't need a feature packed recorder, a basic one will do fine, but you might find some of the features of the higher end recorders attractive as well. Voice Recorders have many uses like for students to take notes in class, sure you can write them down, but you could miss something, so why not record the teacher to go over the lesson later? Writing a book, a voice recorder can come in very handy to take notes about ideas that pop into your head. Basically the can be used for anything you can think of to record on them, they've got pretty much unlimited uses.
There are many features that you can find on voice recorders, with some that are present as a standard feature on all, but of course the higher cost the more features you'll have.
Specs and Features you'll want to pay attention to on Voice Recorders:
Recording Time is the most obvious thing you'll want to pay attention to, you don't want to run out of memory in the middle of a conference, class, or while taking notes on your latest best selling novel to be. Some recorders come equipped with a memory card slot so that you can expand the on-board storage capacity if need be so you'll be sure not to run out of space.
Portability is a key factor as well, you want one that is small and lightweight, especially if you're carrying other things around with you, you don't want to add any more weight than you have to.
Ease of use is something to take into account when purchasing any tech related product, but with voice recorders you don't want to be fumbling around trying to find a button in the middle of a meeting. Try and find one with the main buttons in an easy to reach place, or with buttons that are clearly defined compared to the other function buttons.
Speakers are something that you might not think of when it comes to voice recorders, most come with a single built in speaker but some will come with detachable speakers that are great for use with presentations
Recording Range is a very important feature as well and it's one that will differ greatly depending on your needs; if you only record close up, like taking personal notes then most any will do fine, but if you plan on recording things across the room then you'll want to check the microphone sensitivity and approximate range.
Recording Features are several in number but can include voice activated recording which starts and stops recording automatically for you
Microphones come with all voice recorders, they all have one that's built in obviously or you couldn't record, but some will also come with larger microphones that are more sensitive and can be removed. Some voice recorders also have the ability to attach several external microphones if need be, this is great for conference or meetings to make sure everyone gets heard.
Battery Life is a very important specification to look at when purchasing a voice recorder, you don't want to run out of juice in the middle of a long day. Some recorders have the option of purchasing a rechargeable battery pack also, so you could have more than one battery with you, and with rechargeables of course you won't have to be buying new batteries.
Bundled Software is something that some people might be interested in, many recorders come with software that is installed on your PC that is used to transcribe your notes automatically for you. Of course there is a premium to pay for the software but the extra cost is usually less than buying the recorder and software separately. Please note that many Voice recorders don't have the ability to be connected to a PC, so if you do need a feature like this make sure to check and verify if the model you're interested in supports it.
A USB connection is something else to check for, it's more for those that need to transfer their recordings to a computer, but some recorders need special software or drivers to transfer the files. Try and find one that does not require any drivers or software, that way you can easily transfer your files to any device or computer with a USB connection.
The File Format that the recorder saves into is something else to keep in mind, the MP3 format is the most easily read and utilized by any computer, and they can be read and played by pretty much any other audio device as well like an MP3 player.
LCD Screens can be a nice feature if you require them, but of course they'll add a higher cost the the product. The LCD screen will show you information like battery life, recording time and other information for using and keeping track of what's on the recorder.
Some recorders will allow you to create separate 'folders' or have a limited number of 'folders' on the device to allow you to keep things separate if need be. This is great for keeping business and personal notes apart from each other, so if you like the be organized be sure to check for this feature.
Voice Recorders are similar to dictaphones of old in that they can be used the same way and can have some of the same accessories like a foot pedal to activate recording.
There are many other accessories that you can get for your voice recorder as well, like Stereo Microphones, High Quality Microphones, Transcription Kits, Tie Clip Microphones, Remote Controls, Kits to record phone calls, and many other accessories that make using them easier and the recordings better. What accessory you need of course will depend on what you're using the voice recorder for, but all serve a purpose to the right person.
As far as buying a Voice Recorder goes, be sure to figure out what you need it to do, that 's the first and foremost thing to think about when purchasing one. Make sure one that you decide on can do everything you need and want, with all of the brands out there you'll most likely end up with several choices that fit your needs. Then you can narrow it down by checking out the actual features and specs, and then narrow it down further by finding out what other people think of it through product reviews or sites like TestFreaks where regular people come and rate the products based on their own personal experiences with it.Close