Important things you should know before you use a voice recorder

Edison's phonograph (invented in the 19th century) was the first reliable recording device that made transcription possible. In fact, this invention helped take transcription to a new level of accuracy that had never been seen before.

Edison's phonograph (invented in the 19th century) was the first reliable recording device that made transcription possible. In fact, this invention helped take transcription to a new level of accuracy that had never been seen before.

With the wide variety of voice recording devices on the market, it can feel like a challenge to choose the right device for your needs. Do you want to buy one with voice recognition software? How much storage capacity do you need? This guide will help you understand what to look for in a quality recorder.

How to estimate which one is the best

Ultimately, it will depend on you and the scenario you need to record. However, there are some key questions you can ask yourself to help find the best recorder for your needs.

-What environment will you be recording in?

  • Will you be outside? Indoors?
  • How big or small is the room?
  • What are the acoustics?
  • Will there be multiple speakers? Will they have microphones?

-What specific features will make your life easier? For example, will you be recording in dimly lit areas or at night? If so, buying a device with a backlit screen will be your savior.

-Why do you want to record? Is your idea to record for yourself or do you wish to transcribe the recording? If the recording is just for yourself, you may be more willing to compromise on some features. If you or someone else will be transcribing the audio, you'll want to pay close attention to the audio and playback quality.

-How often will you be recording? If you plan to record frequently, a device with a rechargeable battery can help you save money.

8 points to consider when looking for a recorder

Some of the following factors may carry more weight in your eyes than others, but when looking for the best recorder for you, we suggest you use the list below and compare several different models.

#1 Audio Quality

Both audio and recording quality will determine how clear the recording will be. The higher the quality of the microphone and the bitrate per second (bitrate), the clearer the recording will sound as well.(By the way, high quality and high bitrate means large storage.)

Some digital audio devices can include a variable recording setting. This means that with the simple push of a button, you can record the quality of audio you need. For example, higher-end recorders can even produce clear recordings from a concert hall.

#2 Convenient Carry

Voice recorders come in a variety of shapes and sizes, usually about the size of a smartphone and weighing about a few ounces. If you market recorders with additional features, these may be a little larger and heavier (some can even exceed 10 ounces).

#3 Enough Storage Space

The available storage capacity of your recorder will determine the length of time you are able to record before you need to transfer files to your computer or delete them. Storage space is affected by two different factors, including: file type (mp3, wave, etc.) and recording quality.

An innovative digital recording device will have advanced storage methods, such as built-in flash memory. This makes it easy to transfer files from USB.

#4 Ease of Sharing Files

More often than not, you need to transfer files between your recording device and your computer. This is usually done via a USB connection. While most should be compatible with Windows and Apple computers, we do recommend checking before use.

#5 Editing Capabilities

In additional to the basic functions, most recording devices come standard with editing features and other functions such as cueing, review, and playback.

For more advanced functions, including cutting, deleting and mixing files, there are a number of computer programs that can help.

#6 Battery Life

One of the best benefits to buying a voice recorder versus using a recording app on your phone is the extended battery life. In order to ensure your device won’t cut out or die during the middle of a recording session, it’s recommended to find a device that has a battery life of at least 48 hours. Additionally, there are some devices that have a rechargeable battery while others use normal batteries. There’s no con to any one, it all comes down to personal preference.

#7 Voice Activation

This is a cool feature that is super convenient and avoids a lot of hassle. In terms of voice activation, the recorder will automatically start recording when it detects a sound. In addition, it will stop after a period of silence. To activate this feature, it's as easy as toggling an on/off button. Not all recorders have this feature, so be sure to check the manual if this feature is on your must-have list.

#8 Recording Time

There are many recorders that can record for over 1000 hours. However, recording time should always be taken lightly simply because the higher the audio quality, the less time the device has to record.

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