There are a few things you need to take into consideration when you buy a Voice Recorder, namely what you are going to use it for and your own technological expertise. We will stick to the basics in this mini review and only suggest a couple of Digital Voice Recorders (DVR) that have worked well in the past. Please note that there are many to choose from on the market and the following two did what we wanted – you may not agree.
A decent DVR should have at least a dozen hours of recording time, allowing for many extended-length recordings. Time limits shouldn’t be an issue. This means the DVR must have enough memory to store your recordings, as well as good battery performance.
The DVR should be able to connect to a PC via USB cable. This allows you to quickly and easily transfer your recordings to a PC or MAC. Students find it particularly easy to use!
The Sony ICD-P320 is simple, low-cost and meets the basic requirements. It also has the added bonus of being compatible with “Dragon NaturallySpeaking” voice to text software which will read recorded voice dictation and automatically convert it to text.
The Olympus VN-2100PC Digital Voice Recorder is a very cheap DVR which, although it’s only approximately 30-odd pounds (about $60), does the job if you are only looking to use it with your students. When the recording has ended just plug in the USB cable and transfer the files.
The Blue Microphone Snowball is perhaps the best microphone available which is not too expensive. The best thing about this mic is that it captures sound around the whole rooom as it is not one-directional but orbital – I did say it’s cool. The only downside is that it’s rather bulky so tricky to carry around with you.
Use your laptop
If you rather not part with any money then help is at hand. Download the free Audacity software. Make hundreds of hours of recordings, edit, add effects, and convert them into MP3 and other formats. Great for podcasters, movie commentaries, and those whose work is done primarily on a computer.