Recording voice on a smartphone is not always a good idea, especially if you value quality sound. The best digital voice recorder for writers then becomes the most suitable solution. However, despite the simplicity of this small device, you need to have a minimum of knowledge to choose one. We have separated a few products, to help you find what is right for you. Olympus VN-7200 only records when there is sound, it allows two different playback modes. Zoom H1n has a built-in stereo microphone, it contains a filter to improve the sound.
Buying Guide – How To Choose A Good Dictaphone?
Whether it’s recording interviews or keeping your voice notes, you need a powerful device that meets your requirements. In this buying guide for the best dictation devices, you will find out how to choose the right model, based on criteria such as sound quality and storage capacity.
There are two types of dictaphones. The analog model works with batteries, and recording is done on a mini-cassette. Its use is convenient for those who like to collect cassettes by numbering them. This kind of device is also a bit bulky. Another risk is found in the cassette, which is no longer sold everywhere and which requires conservation criteria.
The digital model is the most used today if you are looking for where to buy a new dictaphone. It can be powered by batteries, or by a rechargeable battery. It has the advantage of having internal memory for data storage. So you don’t need a tape. Some models can be connected to a computer, or a smartphone, to transfer recordings.
The sound quality and format supported
When browsing a price comparison, pay attention to the quality of its product by the device. If you need a dictaphone to record interviews and broadcast them on radio or YouTube channel, you need high fidelity sound. Some brands like Sony, Zoom, Philips, Olympus, are constantly improving the quality of their products, to satisfy the most demanding users.
Even in Canada, it is important to check the recording format supported by the device. This allows you to anticipate the use of voices, or possibly their processing. The most common record in WAV, PCM or AIFF formats, which are not compressed. Some dictaphones allow you to directly obtain MP3 or WMA sounds. It’s up to you to see what suits your work environment.
Data storage and device compatibility
In general, a digital dictaphone has a capacity of 2 GB in its internal memory. Others may have more. Some can accommodate an SD card to provide additional space for your data. Before you worry about figuring out how to pick the best dictation machines of 2021, think about how many interviews you should do, in one outing. The format can influence the size of the file.
If you need to edit on a computer or feed sounds into a streaming server, it is best to choose a dictaphone with a USB port. This will allow you to easily transfer the files. Bluetooth connectivity is another option, to connect the dictaphone to a smartphone.
The jack port is a necessity, in case you want to use a microphone with your device. The microphone can improve the quality of your recordings, especially if you plan to go to places where there is noise.
The design and the weight
It is quite normal to compare the design of a dictaphone with that of another. This type of device goes with you everywhere. It can happen to you to meet high personalities, who will like you, or not, through your tools. A modern dictaphone, with a compact format, will be more discreet, will not encumber you, and will not disturb your interlocutors.
The models are increasingly light and compact. Others can fit in your pocket. There are dictaphones that weigh less than 100 g. It is the additional features that increase the weight of the device. It is up to you to choose the format that suits you. Mini-dictaphones exist in the form of pens or other items if you need more discretion. Think about sound recovery anyway, before deciding which dictaphone to choose.
The length of time you use your device depends on the battery life. This criterion sometimes influences the price of the dictaphone. Prefer devices that have a long battery life, if you know that you will not have the opportunity to charge the battery often. Batteries can be annoying because you have to replace them as soon as they run out. However, they represent an interesting alternative, to have a power supply, even without mains for recharging.
To avoid breakdowns, you can choose a device that works with rechargeable batteries. You just need to have reserves to use them on your travels. You will recharge the batteries when you get to the office or home. All of these tips will help you find a dictaphone that you will be happy to use.
The 5 best digital voice recorder for writers (Reviews & Tests) of 2021
Once you have an idea of what kind of device you need, it will be easy for you to figure out how to buy a better value dictation machine. Among the models we present, you will find the one that meets both your needs and your budget.
1. Olympus VN 7200 Digital Voice Recorder
This Olympus model records only when it detects sound. This allows you to save your battery. You can also leave it on. It’s a smart device that knows when to pick up sound.
The most powerful recorder allows you several possible recording qualities. This device gives you three. The sounds can be played according to your preferences. Indeed, you can choose between slow or fast mode. This dictaphone has 2 Gb of internal memory. This space allows you to record up to 1151 hours of sound, depending on the quality you choose.
The device is equipped with a screen that shows all the options in operation. It is powered by Alkaline batteries.
It is an ultra-light model which accompanies you discreetly, wherever you go. Its use will not create any problem for you, through the different buttons. Its weakness is the lack of a USB port and its inextensible memory.
- Compact: It is a light model, easy to carry everywhere, in the pocket or in the bag. Handling is not complicated.
- Recording: This dictaphone offers you 3 different recording options. The playback speed is also variable, depending on your preferences.
- Economy: The device works only when it picks up sound. This promises battery saving.
- USB port: This dictaphone does not have a USB port. It is therefore impossible to connect it to a computer.
- Memory: The memory is not expandable. You will need to delete the old data to save the new ones.
2. Zoom Practical H1n Recorder
Examining the different features allows you to know which is the best digital voice recorder for writers on the market. Zoom is one of the recognized manufacturers in the field. This model, from the 2018 range, has not lost its performance.
It stands out for its flute design. The top consists of a box, enclosing 2 integrated stereo microphones. The One-Touch button makes recording easier. A menu is available to make all the settings according to your preferences and also to navigate between files. A 1.25-inch screen shows you the current settings.
You have the option of slowing down the reading speed to better retain information from an interview. This dictaphone is equipped with a stereo overdubbing option, with which you can change the voices or enhance them. It is a very light model, easy to handle, and which accompanies you everywhere with discretion. It is powered by two AA batteries which can provide up to 10 hours of battery life.
- Design: It is a flute-style dictaphone, ultra-light, portable, and stays in the hand like a microphone.
- Microphone: This model features sensitive 90-degree stereo microphones.
- Treatment: It contains parameters to enhance the sound or add effects
- Drums: Users regret that this dictaphone does not have a rechargeable battery, to allow more convenient use.
- Functionality: To fully enjoy this device, you must master all the settings.
- Accessories: This model has no internal memory. SD card is not included, and there are no other accessories.
3.Philips dvt4000 autoadjust 4 GB recorder
Philips no longer needs to be introduced, if you are looking for the best brand of dictaphones. This dvt4000 model is able to record directly to MP3. You still have the option to capture the sound in WAV format, if that’s what you prefer.
A 4 GB internal memory allows you to store long hours of interviews. A slot is available to insert an SD card, in case you want to expand the storage space. A Lithium-polymer battery provides power. It can be recharged, via a USB cable, when necessary.
This dictaphone has a USB 3.0 port, for connection to the computer. You will need it to transfer your files. This device weighs only 0.09 kg. It has a 1.77-inch screen, where you can check the settings made. Its chrome silver design gives it an elegance that will not make you ashamed. In addition, it is robust and does not fear falls.
- Format: This dictaphone provides quality sound, in MP3 format, thanks to two extremely sensitive stereo microphones.
- Storage: The 4 GB memory allows you to record up to 44 days of conversations. It is expandable, through an SD card, to be inserted in the slot intended for this purpose.
- Drums: It is a long-lasting model, rechargeable using a USB cable.
- Complicated reading: Despite the automatic sound adjustment, plug-and-play operation, and time stamping, manipulation is not for everyone, especially for searching and playing files.
4. Evida 32 GB digital voice recorder
If you prefer a cheaper, but powerful dictaphone, this Evita V618 model is for you. It stands out for its 32 GB of available space for data storage. So you have the freedom to record lectures for long hours and conduct interviews.
A Lithium-polymer battery provides power throughout this time. So you can carry out your tasks without any worries. The device lets you decide on the sound quality. You can record directly in MP3 format.
This device is password protected. No one else can use it or have access to your files in your absence. This model is equipped with an intelligent recording system. It picks up voices only, ignoring whites. It deserves your attention if you are looking for where to buy the best voice recorder. The settings are made through an intuitive button. A 1.5 inch LCD screen allows you to control various settings.
- Space: This device contains 32 GB of storage. This allows you to keep the maximum number of files.
- Quality: You can choose the sound quality of the recording, according to your needs.
- Convenient: The device records only words, not silences. Its use is secured by a password.
- Pickups: The microphones are not efficient compared to other models.
- Offset: The recording does not start as soon as the device turns on. It will be necessary to take this into account to avoid the whites.
- Drums: No indicator light shows the battery charge level.
5.Sony ICDPX370 IC Voice Recorder
It will be easy for you to find the best digital voice recorder for writers, by turning to the major brands. This Sony ICDPX370 model allows you long recordings. Indeed, it is equipped with a space of 4 GB for storing files.
It is not compatible with a rechargeable battery, but AA batteries are durable, to ensure long use. With this device, you can keep your files in MP3, with a resolution of 128 Kbps. To transfer your recordings to a PC, just use a USB connector. You don’t need to bother with a cable.
An automatic voice recording option improves recordings, reducing background noise. The clear voice system makes the sound clearer for reading. This inexpensive device contains 4 distinct capture options, depending on the mood. Whether it is a conference, dictation, interview, or concert, you just have to choose the corresponding functionality.
- Easy: Handling is easy, and recording is done directly in MP3. One option decreases ambient noise.
- Duration: The AA batteries that power it and the space of 4 GB allow up to 57 hours of recording.
- Connection: A USB connector will be useful for transferring files to a PC.
- Limit: It only takes a small obstacle between the device and the voice source to deteriorate the quality of the recording.
- Sensitive: Once properly placed, the microphone is too sensitive, to the point of picking up even unnecessary noise.
- Brittle: This dictaphone is made of plastic.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is a dictaphone?
A dictaphone is a device designed to record voices. The first models, which exist until now, use mini-cassettes. These can store voice data for 30 to 60 minutes. It will therefore be necessary to change cassette, once the other is full. To listen to the recorded sound, you must put each cassette back into the unit. With this option, it is possible to keep the tapes, label them, so that you can easily find a given file.
The model in vogue is the digital dictaphone, which contains an internal memory, to store the voices. You will have to consult a comparison if you want one. Depending on the model, it is possible to transfer files to a computer or to a backup disk. The storage capacity of a device can vary from 2 GB to 8 GB. Sometimes a slot is provided to add an SD card, if necessary.
Q2: What is a dictaphone used for?
A dictaphone is used to capture sounds for later use. To avoid taking notes to transcribe an entire interview, journalists take it with them wherever they go. The recordings can also be used to be broadcast directly to the radio. The quality of the sound will depend on the purpose. Obviously, for a long conversation, the interviewee must agree to the recording.
This device is also useful for taking voice notes. A writer can be inspired, for part of his book, while taking a walk. Instead of sitting down, to put his thoughts on paper, it is more convenient for him to press a single button and speak. Once he arrives at his computer, all he has to do is listen to what he had recorded.
Q3: How to use a dictaphone?
Before buying a dictaphone, you should already think about its use. It is in relation to this that you will choose a model, with the functionalities you need. Some devices are powered by batteries. It will therefore be necessary to insert these, before turning on the device. If the dictaphone has a built-in battery, you just need to make sure there is enough charge for the recordings you need to make.
All dictaphones have a button, with which you can start, stop or resume recording. Most devices allow listening to stored sounds. A menu is then available, to allow you to navigate between files. If the model allows it, add effects to the recorded voices, to make them look better.
Q4: How to transfer dictaphone files from iPhone?
iPhone contains a voice recorder app, which you can use, to record conversations, music, or even your own notes. To transfer your files to a computer, you need to open the audio file manager application on your phone. It could be iTunes or something else.
With your charging cable, connect your iPhone to the computer. Copy the affected folder or files, and paste them into an open folder on your PC. Do the same with all the files to be transferred. The audio data being more or less heavy, depending on the format, wait until the copy is finished, before disconnecting your phone.