Summary: I have actually had two of these go through the washing machine. Not recommended, but it surprised me they survived. I use them to record live music so I can learn the tunes at home. The quality is fine for this purpose and the size is great. Battery life seems reasonable and the fact that there is a built in usb plug makes it easy to import files to my computer. When I open the files I default to itunes so they are right there. But you don't need a computer to use this.
Dr. Stephanie Jourdan "Starry-Eyed Astrologer", Amazon
24 June 2014
Summary: I use this for several hours a day, every day in my work. It's the best DVR I have used to date and I've tried about six or seven different brands and models. The only drawback is that you can not plug it in and it goes through a couple of AAA batteries pretty quickly. I check the battery level every day as recording quality starts to diminish as soon as the batteries just begin to fade. Excellent sound quality. Very simple to use. Very reliable.
Summary: I am a preacher and I have two other Sony IC recorders (UX71). We use them for line recordings and have had very little hassle with them for over 3 years now (twice a week usage). two or three times I had problems with corrupted files and lost recordings. No reason I could find. I just formatted the units and went back to work with them. otherwise they have performed very well. I decided about a year ago to get this one, which I take with me for engagements.
ICD-UX81 Poor Quality... Sony ICD-UX71 better quality
Tina Brian, Amazon
16 December 2013
Summary: For over 4 years, I have been using (2) Sony mp3 recorders three times a week to record church services, (Sun. morning, Sun. night, and Wed. night). One recorder for speaking tracks and one recorder for singing tracks. The Sony ICD- UX71 recorders had an average life of 1 year. The newer UX81 units have not lasted longer than about 8 months.
Summary: Insofar as fulfilling the needs for which I bought it, I have no complaints. It's an excellent ambient recorder, either in person, off the computer or over the phone (with special hook-up). But my enduring complaint with this thing is that it literally eats batteries. If you're thinking of buying one, make sure you own stock in Duracell, Eveready or some other battery manufacturer because you are going to be going through batteries like a kid on Christmas day.
Summary: This Sony IC Recorder worked well when I first purchased it, but I'm experiencing some issues with files becoming damaged and having trouble transferring mp3s to the unit. My computer (running Windows XP Pro) freezes up during mp3 file transfers frequently. Out of frustration, I find myself going back to my old Sony NetMD disc player. More cumbersome, but it works. The Sony IC Recorder does still record audio well enough.
Summary: I use it primarily to record choir rehearsals and performances. The recorder has a very good range and the sound quality is good for such a small, inexpensive recorder. It's also very easy to transfer the music onto my Mac (into iTunes). i'd recommend it.