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What You Need to Know Before You Buy a Digital Voice Recorder

Digital voice recorders can be indispensable business tools, whether you need to dictate business letters or memos or record meetings, conferences, interviews, or lectures. Modern digital voice recorders are compact, lightweight, and can record hundreds (even thousands) of hours of high-quality digital audio that can be easily transferred via USB to a personal computer for permanent storage and/or transcription.


Smartphone or Dedicated Recording Device?

Choosing a digital recorder comes down to selecting the device that has the required capabilities to meet your needs. If you're looking for a voice-to-text recorder, the first decision will probably be whether or not a dedicated recording device is a requirement. Today, most high-end smartphones/tablets have apps that can be used for digital voice recording and transcription. For example, Apple's iPhones (4S and later) include cloud-based text-to-speech dictation. If your voice recording needs are occasional, then a smartphone app should suffice.For more heavy duty voice recording needs, a dedicated recording device has the following advantages: 

Recording Time

There are digital voice recorders that can handle over 1000 hours of recording time

However, general recording time numbers for digital voice recorders always has to be taken with a grain of salt. The higher the quality of the recording, the fewer recording hours will be available. If you plan to use automatic voice recognition software for transcription, you will want the best quality recordings possible. Stereo and high-fidelity formats require much more storage and will greatly reduce maximum recording time.Note also that recording time is directly related to memory capacity. Recorded data is stored in the device’s onboard memory so the more memory the device comes with, the greater the recording time. 

Size and Weight

Compact voice recorders are about the size of a coin and can weigh as little as a few ounces. You can take it with you anywhere, attached it as a keychain or even a necklace pandant.

Portability and versatility

People who have voice recorders may use them for various reasons:  

  • To record lectures or seminars. Not everyone has such a photographic memory. Therefore, some students bring a voice recorder to take note of the professor’s lecture or talk.
  • To record interviews. Journalists may find this device extremely helpful, particularly to ensure that they are able to note the exact words that their interviewees have said. 
  • To record the last words of a dying relative. It may be unusual to do this, but some people find it comforting to keep an audio memento of relatives who have gone ahead of them. 
  • For transcription purposes. Doctors dictate the condition of patients to nurses, who in turn are supposed to write the details on the patient’s records. 
  • As legal evidence. In any kind of court proceedings, it is important to present any kind of evidence that both parties can provide. A recorded audio clip can be a determining factor for the jury. The same can be said about preparing a last will and testament. 
  • For capturing thoughts and ideas. For writers and bloggers, the voice recorder can help capture ideas as they go on their everyday lives. Instead of writing whatever comes to their minds, clicking on the video recorder makes it easier for them to express their thoughts and record a random idea. 
  • For fun. Some people may use the voice recorder for fun like scaring others or setting up a prank. 
  • For making personal audio files. If you are an aspiring singer and you want to hear how you sing, having a voice recorder can help you determine which part of the song you need to improve the way you sing. The same goes for budding public speakers who want to evaluate their verbal nuances, mannerisms, and grammar issues.


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