How To Find A Digital Voice Recorder With Best Battery Life

voice recorders with best battery life

There are no two ways about it. If you want to dictate your content, you have to have the right equipment. It doesn’t matter if you are dictating books, blog posts, articles, video scripts, or anything else. You have to have the right tool.

Just as it doesn’t make any sense to drive nails through your walls with your shoe instead of a hammer, you should also be mindful of how you record your audio. I’ve got to admit I didn’t always follow this advice.

When recording dictations at home, I would often use my Blue Yeti microphone plugged into my computer via USB cable. Sometimes I even used my laptop’s default microphone, you know, the one that’s mounted right on the chassis of the computer.

While these methods have their advantages and disadvantages, I can get away with them because I’m recording at home. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to lug around a retro-looking Blue Yeti microphone to Starbucks. People will look and might even get confused.

These microphones, after all, are intended for podcasting and not regular audio recordings. Be that as it may, the reason I can confidently use these alternatives to the typical digital voice recorder or dictaphone is that I’m at home.

I don’t have to move around or worry about space consideration. I have a ready supply of power and everything is where it needs to be so I can experiment, mix and match if you will. You don’t have that luxury if you are looking to be a full-time dictation blogger.

To be a dictation writer, you have to record whenever and wherever the inspiration hits you. This is going to be a problem. It’s not like you can whip out your laptop, plug in your fancy condenser or high-end microphone and start working. It’s going to be inconvenient at the very least. This is why it’s really important to use digital voice recorders.

Inspiration Can Hit You At Any Time: Be Prepared With A Digital Voice Recording Device

The idea for this blog post hit me when I was on my way to Starbucks. If I gave in to the impulse to record, I would have a tough time because I only had my mobile phone with me. Thankfully, the main points I’m trying to make in this post remained fresh enough in my mind so I can dictate it using my home office rig.

But what if I had to juggle many different hot ideas at once? You’ve been through this. You’ve tried to remember a lot of insights that seem so amazing but guess what happened? That’s right, you forget some of them. They may well turn out to be much better than the ones you managed to remember.

That’s always the risk we run when we try to hang on to ideas in our minds. This is why it’s really important to record when the inspiration hits you. This is especially true for novelists. I’ve written several novels through dictation as well as manually.

Let me tell you, the difference between a great book and a not-so-great one often turns on a handful of ideas. What if you had the right ideas but they came in a cluster and because you couldn’t sit down and record while they were still fresh and vivid in your mind, you had to make do and force yourself to select one or two.

I know that’s gut-wrenching because that’s like being asked to give up your children. But what if I told you that it’s even worse? What if those ideas you forgot are precisely the ones you needed to turn your book into a bestseller.

At the very least, if you had remembered those ideas your book would be at a much higher level of quality, engagement, and value. This is precisely the dilemma that sitting down the moment inspiration hits you and recording deals with. But this opens up a whole can of worms.

Your Digital Voice Recorder Must Be Able to Do the Job When You Need It To: The Power of Battery Life

There are many different selection factors for digital voice recorders. If you’ve been reading the posts in this blog, you should have a fairly good understanding of what these are. Yes, microphone quality is important especially if you’re going to be recording interviews or meetings.

It’s also crucial that your digital voice recorder has data integrity so you don’t have to second-guess if your files are secure and can be retrieved. It’s also important that your gadget can support a wide enough range of formats so that when you attach some sort of cable to it or try to use Wi-Fi to extract files, you can do so easily and quickly.

Features like voice detection and intuitive control system are also important. All of these factors make for a great product. With all of that said, when it comes to the practical day-to-day reality of digital voice recorders, there is one key selection factor that you cannot afford to ignore.

I am of course talking about battery life. Again, you have to think about how you would practically use the device. You’re going to be out of your element. Maybe you’re going somewhere to meet a friend and you’re thinking about a project when all of a sudden an amazing insight hits you. You’re just beside yourself as to how you could have overlooked this amazing idea.

It seems so simple yet perfect because it puts everything you’re trying to do together. Everything just seems to fall into place and you get all emotional about how awesome this idea is. The worst thing that you can do at that point is to try to remember it because nine times out of ten, you will remember the emotional intensity of the idea but you will end up forgetting the details.

I say this with a lot of pain in my voice because this has happened to me far too many times. Every single time I forget a crucial feature of an idea I say to myself that it would be the last time I will be caught flat-footed. But guess what, it happens again and again.

That’s why it’s important to be ready when you find yourself in this type of situation. And it doesn’t take much to be prepared. A typical digital voice recorder that you can get off Amazon can fit in the palm of your hand.

Some models are even smaller. Size is not the issue. They don’t weigh all that much so you don’t have to worry about these devices crimping your style or being so bulky as to be hassles. There is one factor that you need to focus on which is battery life.

The Key Practical Realities Behind Battery Life

It’s very tempting to think that when you get any kind of electronic device that the default battery that it comes with, whether it’s lithium or the typical AAA or AA battery, is enough to take care of your needs.

You can even get polymer batteries. The issue here is not so much as what the battery is but whether it can do the job. And this is a tricky question because if you’re like most busy people, your number one priority does not involve checking whether your battery-powered devices have enough “juice”.

When was the last time you looked at the battery charge of your electronic devices? I can safely say that outside of your mobile phone or tablet, the answer would be every once in a blue moon or even never.

And this is where the danger lies because you can’t afford a false sense of confidence by assuming that your digital voice recorder would have enough battery life for it to record your hot insights.

The situation you’re trying to avoid should be crystal-clear. Imagine yourself in the same scenario as I’ve painted above: you’re all excited about an idea and you feel good that you have a digital voice recorder because now you’re ready for these flashes of genius.

You’re confident and ready to talk. You turn it on, start talking away, and you get all caught up in every fine detail of your idea. You jump into plot developments that came into mind, you get into the nitty-gritty of the character arc and possible interpersonal conflicts or you go on and on about the minute details of the hot blog post that you’re so excited about.

Whatever the content maybe, you’re not paying attention to the device because you’re all caught up with what you’re talking about. It’s all normal. It’s the way it should be. But when you look at the device to stop the recording, you find out to your horror that the light is gone. The battery gave out.

You don’t know at what point of the recording the recorder ran out of juice. Panic ensues. If you’re like most writers and bloggers, the sense of panic wipes out any lingering trace of the emotional hype that you felt about your idea.

This of course paves the way for you to completely forget about your idea. Now, you can’t wait to go back home, recharge your digital voice recorder or get new batteries for it and figure out where you are in the recording.

You may have recorded 25% or 80%, it’s anybody’s guess. Panic fills your mind until you get a clear answer as to how much you were able to record. Do you really want to put yourself in this situation? If the answer is no, pay close attention to the discussion below about how to identify the digital voice recorder with the best battery life.

Digital Dictaphone Batteries Are Not Created Equal

There are three types of batteries: polymer, lithium-ion, and regular AAA/AA batteries. Understand that these different types of batteries have varying battery life. Lithium-ion and polymer batteries tend to have longer battery life and they are rechargeable as well.

Look for Battery Versatility

Start with the battery type and once you figure out this information, look into the type of lithium-ion or polymer battery used by your device. Also, pay attention to whether the device is specifically designed for an exclusive type of battery.

You might be thinking that it’s a good thing if you come across a voice recording device that is specifically designed for lithium ions. Don’t get too excited because you’re basically tied to one type of battery technology.

What if you can’t buy it because it’s not available for whatever reason? Don’t assume that you will never find yourself in that situation. Maybe you’re traveling somewhere and the stores don’t have this type of battery and waiting for the online seller to get it to you is going to take forever. What do you do then?

Plan for the situation for looking for a device that can support the widest range of battery types. While you can’t be sure that lithium-ion batteries are going to be available wherever it is you’re going, you best believe that there would be at least some type of battery available there.

Battery Life Impacts Quality

Keep in mind that many batteries are optimized to go the distance. They would give you enough juice so that you can record and most devices are set up in such a way that they can withstand enough variations in electric signals to keep going.

This might seem like good news but you have to be very careful. When a device is on its last leg or the battery is about to give out, the quality of your recording might suffer because the device will make do with whatever electrical charge is left.

Don’t think that the audio that you recorded would be as crystal-clear and high-quality as when you started with a full battery.

Pick A Device That Is Especially Designed for Portability

When you’re looking for digital voice recorders, pay close attention to how portable they are. Battery life and portability go hand in hand because, for the most part, products designed to record interviews, meetings, lectures, or any other person to person interaction in a wide variety of settings last longer. They have to.

Be aware of design features that indicate that the recording device is supposed to be used only in a controlled environment. I’m not saying that you should not buy those types of digital recorders but you have to know their limitations.

You have to understand that for you to get the best value from them, you have to use them in a situation that is ideal. So this usually means that battery life isn’t their top priority. There’s always a tug of war between recording quality, microphone sensitivity, battery life, and other factors.

If you select a product that is geared towards a factor other than battery life, keep in mind that you may have to give up some of that portability.

These are the top voice recorder/audio recorders that have the longest battery life:

OLYMPUS Digital Solutions Digital Voice Recorder

This model can record 444 hours of uninterrupted audio recording in LP mode. It also features voice activation technology and a large LCD screen. Uses 2 AAA Batteries.
What makes this model stand out?

  • Easy to use
  • Excellent battery life
  • Great sound quality
  • No extra software
  • No need to convert files

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony ICD Ux533blk Voice Recorder

This recorder has a 4GB internal. It has a recording time of up to 1073 hours. This recorder also features a MicroSD card slot / SD Card and an auto-record feature.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Built in memory expansion
  • 4GB memory
  • 2 stereo microphone
  • WAV, MP3 and WMA format
  • 30 hour battery life

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony ICD-PX440 Stereo Digital Voice Recorder

This unit has 4GB of memory and a maximum of 1,073 hours recording time. Easy connectivity and transfer via USB connection. Expandable memory with a MicroSD slot and a noise-cancelling feature. Records MP3 Audio, and has automatic Voice Operated Recording.
What makes this model stand out?

  • 4GB memory
  • 2 stereo microphones
  • PC connectivity
  • 96 hours battery life with AAA batteries
  • Overwrite function

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder

This device records in MP3 Audio and WAV Format, Built in omnidirectional microphones, tempo change function. This voice recorder is powered by 2 AA batteries for at least 17 hours battery life and can also be charged via USB power or AC adapter.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Built in condenser microphone
  • Editing function
  • Self timer
  • Good audio quality
  • Long battery life

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony ICD-UX560 Digital Voice Recorder

This product offers a quick charge feature that can charge up to 1 hour of recording time with a three minute charge. It is easy to use and has a microSD card slot for expandable memory.

What makes this model stand out?

  • High-sensitivity microphone
  • 4GB built-in memory
  • Long battery life and fast charging
  • FM radio
  • Can record radio broadcasts
  • Voice operated recording

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Sony Digital Flash Voice Recorder

This device features a 2GB flash memory and expandable MicroSD card Slot. Records in MP3 format, has USB connectivity. Has a long battery life of 72 hours.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Easy to use interface
  • Long battery life
  • 530 hours recording time with it’s 2GB memory
  • Voice Operated Recording
  • Handy and portable

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

SOTA Surveillance Audio/ Voice Recorder

Along with its voice activation feature, it has a 576 hour recording capacity with the 16GB storage capacity. It can also function as a portable cell phone.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Long battery life
  • Built-in Microphones
  • 16GB memory
  • Secure
  • Voice activated recording

Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

Zoom H2N Digital Voice Recorder

Small and portable digital voice recorder with surround sound feature, 5 built-in microphones, secure digital card, records in WAV and MP3 format. Has 2GB of memory, and 20 hours of recording with 2 AA Batteries. With auto-rec function, tuner and variable speed playback.

What makes this model stand out?

  • Records directly to SD
  • 5 microphones
  • 4 channel surround
  • Great for recording live concerts and rehearsals
  • Great features in a compact device
  • Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

    The Final Word on Best Battery Life for Recording Devices

    Don’t get caught flat-footed by taking the RIGHT device with the WRONG battery life to content recording opportunities. In many cases, you only have one shot at getting the right content. Sure, you can dictate audio to high quality text anywhere at any time. Don’t waste this advantage by using low battery life recording equipment.

    Image Credits

    What Are the Best Digital Voice Recorders for Meetings?

    best digital voice recorder for meetings

    One of the best ways to create content is to record a meeting. It is as simple as that. Record what people have to say.

    Of course, you would have to ask for their permission first. But once you get the green light, this is one of the easiest and best ways to create blog posts and articles.

    You can then repurpose that into a wide variety of forms. Turn them into tweets, YouTube videos, infographics. Turn them into small bite-sized videos, which is appropriate for TikTok. The possibilities are endless.

    And with each version, you tap into a potentially rich traffic source, which every blogger craves. What is not to love? And all you need is a digital voice recorder.

    People have been using digital voice recorders to record meetings for decades. These devices are useful tools for students and professionals. They make note-taking during group discussions and lectures a breeze. Instead of listening intently and making decisions on which to write down and which to ignore, you can capture everything.

    Just turn on your dictaphone and place it on the table close enough to the speaker. This way, you listen intently to the speaker instead of filtering a lot of stuff out as you frantically write down your notes.

    The same goes for group interviews. These are like meetings, and it is easy for people to take manual notes and get confused.

    During a meeting, how many times have you focused so much on a particular individual, only to learn somebody, from the other side of the room, said a few sentences that are the game-changer?

    Believe it or not, it is more frequent than people care to realize. Well, you will not miss out on any of that if you bring a digital voice recorder to a meeting.

    Similarly, if you are a secretary, this makes the job so much easier. Just record the proceedings, and make your notes regarding key points that you will focus on once you get the audio transcribed.

    How To Get the Most Out of Meetings When Creating Content?

    You want to pack as much value into your transcribed blog posts. What do you need? A plan. Before you even show up to the meeting, have a plan of action.

    At the very least, know who will go there. What do they talk about? What do you expect them to say?

    After you know the people going and what they understand, you can set up a series of questions that go beyond the surface.

    Not All Meeting-Based Content Is Worth Publishing

    When you go to any group meeting, often people talk about the same stuff. That is right. The things you talk about today are like the stuff you talked about yesterday. A transcript of yesterday’s meeting would not differ much from last week’s transcript.

    Do you want to come up with game-changing or valuable transcribed content for your blog? Never settle for this. Your initial set of questions must rock the boat. They must push people up against the outer limits of their comfort zone.

    If you are willing to do this, your digital voice recorder would be of use.

    Here are some tips and tricks to maximize your use of the digital voice recorder in meetings.

    Key interview content creation tactics

    Focus on Controversial Topics

    Everyone knows what topics are safe. These make for boring blog posts.

    Start with a bang by asking about controversial topics in your niche. At the very least, you increase your chances of getting a unique take on the hot-button issues your blog community is excited about. Everybody has an opinion.

    Pit Personalities Against Each Other

    In any meeting, there will always be at least two personalities with little or no rapport. Sometimes, they rub each other the wrong way. One’s views, presentation, or mannerisms leave an unpleasant taste in the other person’s mouth, and vice versa.

    Take advantage. Come up with polarizing views that may lead to an exchange. See to it that people argue passionately and provide useful information.

    Play the Devil’s Advocate

    If everything else fails, bite the bullet and take the role of the bad guy. You are aware of what is controversial or weird in your niche. Be its advocate. Shake cages. See what opinions they come up with.

    Never use trick questions. It must go beyond cheap tricks like that. Instead, look for positions. Look for people to tell you and your fans something beyond what you know.

    That is the key to working meetings. Make no mistake. If you only bring a recorder and expect to find gold, you are wasting your time.

    People flood YouTube with interviews. They ask the same cliché and boring questions and get the same robotic answers. Those videos are forgettable as they are numerous.

    Talk about generic content. You want your dictated blog to stand out. Be different. Using the techniques above, you will throw people off enough to get some gems out of them.

    How To Select the Best Voice Recorder for Meetings

    Now you understand how to make the best use of your voice recorder and how to generate useful responses from people.

    Let us get down to the business of selecting your equipment.

    If you want to find the best recorder, be methodical in selecting. The following factors are non-negotiable.

    Let me put it this way. You are not making an informed decision if you do not consider these factors when buying a digital voice recorder.

    Does It Come in a Convenient Size?

    When you are recording meetings, do not assume that you will lay the voice recorder on a flat surface near the speaker.

    Things will get heated if you know how to work a meeting. You might have to move it around. Things can get out of hand.

    For this reason, it is crucial to pick a high-powered voice recorder that has a small, compact form. You want a voice recorder that is easy to pick up and hide, just in case.

    Can It Store Enough Data?

    How many hours of audio storage a device has? Knowing this is non-negotiable.

    When you are recording a meeting, things can drag on. Hours can pass before people get to the good stuff. Even if you are using the tips provided so far, you still have to wait.

    These low-quality exchanges take up storage space. Your voice recorder must have sufficient internal storage.

    Is the Audio Clear Enough To Be Transcribed Manually?

    A lot of dictation bloggers take their recorded audio and transfer it to their computer. They then run Dragon NaturallySpeaking or other forms of audio-to-text software to transcribe their files. As mentioned in my review of the different transcription methods, this method has its own set of pros and cons.

    If you prefer the highest level of quality, have your audio transcribed by another person. For this to happen, the audio has to be clear and loud enough. So sound quality and audio playback quality are important.

    This is directly related to my next point: recording quality.

    Does It Pick up the Right Sounds?

    Choose a digital voice recorder that picks up what it is supposed to record. During a meeting, your device should pick up voices talking over each other. It helps the transcriber makes out who is who.

    It must not pick up somebody shuffling papers halfway across the room. That recorded sound is noise. It will not improve the quality of your blog post, article, or even the book that you are writing based on a recorded meeting.

    Recording quality is crucial because it has to zero in on voices. You are not just buying an audio recorder here.

    Does It Use Condenser Microphone Technology?

    Condenser mics record high-quality voice audio. As much as possible, only buy digital voice recorders that have condenser mics or superior technology.

    Anything else will be a waste of money.

    Will the Device Run Long Enough?

    Suppose you have a dictaphone that does an outstanding job of picking up the right sounds and delivering crystal clear audio. It is all good, except that it cuts off after thirty minutes. What is the point?

    Ensure that the digital recorder you are buying has the right battery technology while maintaining a compact form. Battery options range from AA, AAA, and lithium-ion batteries.

    Is It Easy To Control and Figure Out?

    If you need a degree in electronic engineering to work your recording device, you are in trouble. Make sure the device is easy for you to record, stop, playback, and transfer information.

    If it is not that intuitive and you need to go through a labyrinth of menus, skip that unit.

    Is It Voice Activated?

    It is vital to avoid dead air. If you follow the tips I give you above on how to run a proper meeting, you will not have this problem. But if you are just getting started or just figuring things out, there will be dead air.

    Not only is dead air going to cost you money as you get your audio manually transcribed, but it’s also a waste of resources and battery life. Therefore you must pick a device that turns on and off depending on when somebody speaks.

    Does It Support Most Automated Transcription Technologies?

    All digital voice recorders support manual transcription. Of course, some are better than others as some models produce crisper and clearer quality audio. But manual transcribers can pick up a significant amount of information from even the worst and cheapest dictaphones.

    The question is, If you will not take that expensive transcription route and choose instead to use software to transcribe your audio, can you do it?

    Transcription technology is handy in this situation. Look for devices that work smoothly with audio-to-text conversion software like Dragon NaturallySpeaking.

    It can save you a ton of money down the road.

    Does Your Audio Device Allow You To Edit Your Audio?

    Admit it. When you record a meeting, chances are, you expect where the good stuff is going to be just from the first few minutes. Maybe you have another appointment to go to after this recording. Perhaps you want to save storage space.

    Whatever your reasons may be, invest in a device that will allow you to edit the audio quickly and easily. It enables you to free up space or create a final file containing only the good stuff.

    Does the Device Allow You To Play Back Audio Easily for Possible Editing?

    You might playback your audio to get a good idea of what you recorded, or perhaps you are thinking of cutting out bits and pieces. Your device has to playback what you had recorded.

    You should be able to do this with no hassles. The playback feature should also be very intuitive. You must not jump through several hoops or go through different menus and screens so you can playback.

    Is the Device Fully Compatible With Your Operating System and Software?

    It should be an afterthought, but I include this because you cannot be too sure.

    Some digital voice recorders are niche products. They have been designed from the ground up to meet the exclusive needs of some industries. For example, certain voice recorders are for insurance claims.

    Some of these devices have their unique way of transferring digital data to a computer. You want maximum flexibility on this point.

    Whatever device you get, it should enable you to transfer, edit, and upload voice recordings and other audio files from its data storage to your computer.

    The fewer steps there are, the better.

    Keep the selection criteria above in mind, so you can be sure that you have bought the very best product for dictation blogging and other dictation-based content creation using recorded meetings.

    Best digital voice recorders for meetings

    Sony SX Series MP3 Digital Voice IC Recorder

    This recorder series features the NeeGo Microphone, and Sony’s Intelligent Noise cut function. It has a built-in 16GB memory with up to 159 hours of recording time, excellent audio quality with its 3-way directional microphones, Micro sd card slot for expandable memory. Records in PCM or MP3 format(Mp3 recording), digital and stereo recording. With a lithium battery that can give you up to 30 hours of battery life.

    What makes this product stand out?

      • 16GB flash memory
      • NeeGo Lavalier Lapel Mic
      • Bluetooth Control
      • Expandable memory
      • Long battery life

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Sony ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

      This unit has a 4GB internal storage capacity like the Ux560 that can give you 1000 hours of recording time, expandable memory with microSD card slot, excellent battery life powered by aaa batteries, records in MP3 files. This voice recorder has a voice-activated feature, intelligent auto mode, noise cancellation for quality recordings, easy transfer with USB connection to Mac or PC features a noise cut technology and repeat function.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 4gb Flash Memory
      • Intelligent noise cut feature
      • PC compatibility
      • Expandable memory
      • Exceptional Sound quality

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Zoom H1N Handy Digital voice recorder

      This model is one of the best voice recorders in the market. It is very handy and small enough to fit in your pocket and can record high-quality recordings. Zoom H1n has alkaline batteries that can give you a 10-hour battery life, just enough for a long voice recording session. This voice recorder features built-in stereo microphones, easy to use, and you can easily transfer files to your computer. This voice recorder has playback speed control, which is ideal for voice recordings such as meetings, lectures, interviews, etc.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 16GB memory
      • Compact device
      • Easy to set up and use
      • Decent sound quality
      • Expandable memory up to 32GB

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Zoom h6 Portable digital voice recorder

      This model has a storage space of 128GB with microSD card /SD card for direct recordings, stereo microphones, excellent battery life, USB audio interface for MAC and PC via USB cable, 2 inch LCD screen. Zoom h6 has advanced features, noise isolation, changeable input capsules, and stereo microphones that are great for recordings. A musician would love this because of its superb sound quality and can play 6 tracks simultaneously.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Memory up to 128GB
      • Direct recording
      • Compatible with PC, Mac and Ipad
      • USB connectivity
      • Records in WAV or MP3 format
      • Excellent for recording live performances
      • Rechargeable batteries

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Sony ICD Ux533blk Voice Recorder

      This recorder has a 4GB internal memory like the Sony ICD Ux560, it has a recording time of up to 1073 hours. This recorder also features a MicroSD card slot / SD Card and an auto-record feature. Transfer files easily via USB connectivity to your Personal Computer or Mac via USB port. The Sony ICD Ux533blk digital voice recorder is ideal for school music recordings (records audio files in mp3 format), and has a superior recording quality, and produces less background noise. It is also easy to use with its audio and recording playback feature with excellent battery life.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Built in memory expansion
      • 4GB memory
      • 2 stereo microphone
      • WAV, MP3 and WMA format
      • 30 hour battery life

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus Linear PCM Recorder LS-P4

      This is the first voice recorder that can record audio in FLAC for recording and playback for high quality and seamless recording. MP3 format and high-resolution audio. This recorder features a TresMic System- a three-microphone system that reduces background noise for high-quality audio recordings. Uses aaa batteries and also has a USB charging option. With Micro SD card external memory, Bluetooth, and 39-hour battery life. The 8GB memory can store up to 253 hours of audio files and recordings.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Usb Rechargeable AAA Batteries
      • TresMic – three microphones system
      • Bluetooth compatibility
      • Editing functions
      • PCM, FLAC MPS recording

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Sony ICD sx712

      This voice recorder has a 2GB internal storage with 500 hours of recording time (it has less storage than the Ux560 model). It features two stereo microphones for high quality recording, SD cards, USB port/ USB connector, and is compatible with Dragon Software. The Sony ICD sx712 has an LCD backlit screen, easily recording audio with direct play, stop, pause, record, easy to navigate menu options, search and select options. This voice recorder uses aaa batteries for up to 25 hours of battery life. This recorder also has a via USB port for USB connectivity to your computer. You’ll have superb voice recordings with its stereo mic input. The Sony sx712 is one of the digital best voice recorders ideal for a wide range of voice recordings like taking notes, lectures, music recordings, mp3 recordings.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 2GB flash memory
      • 2 stereo microphone
      • S Microphone system
      • Compatible with Dragon Software
      • Noise Cancellation

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus DS-2500 Digital Voice Recorder

      This model is one of the compact voice recorders of the Olympus Brand. It is one of the best voice recorders for meetings. This recorder features a professional quality microphone and different recording modes for that superior audio quality. The memory is expandable to up to 32GB which can give you up to 300+ hours of recording. It is easy to use with its simple file management and folder menu, easy connectivity to the PC via USB connection. This recorder also has Variable Recording modes to help you capture superior recording quality. You can get up to 37 hours of recording with the rechargeable AAA Batteries. Automated recordings with the Variable Control Voice Actuator Recording Mode.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • Small and Compact
      • Professional Microphone
      • Expandable memory up to 32GB
      • Rechargeable AAA batteries
      • Compatible with Dragon Dictate

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus DS9500 Professional Digital Voice Recorder

      Safe and secure with 256-bit encryption. This voice recorder features intelligent dual microphones to get the best audio quality and has 2GB of internal memory. This Olympus model has wifi technology and a noise isolation/ noise cancellation feature that helps decrease background noise for better recording or high-quality audio voice recording. This Olympus Voice Recorder also has a shock-resistant body and slide switch menu.

      What makes this product stand out?

      • 2GB memory
      • Intelligent dual microphones
      • USB connectivity
      • MP3 format

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      Olympus WS-801 Voice Recorder

      This model is one of the easiest to use digital voice recorders for meetings. It features two condenser mics to effectively capture sounds and recordings at different levels. This voice recorder has a 2GB internal memory and expandable MicroSD memory slot of up to 32 GB. The 2GB memory can give up to 514 hours of recording time. PC Connectivity using a USB direct, or USB Connector. The Olympus WS 801 recorder records in MP3 and WMA formats, has a variable control voice activator, noise-cancelling and scene select feature for any background noise problem.
      What makes this product stand out?

      • 2GB memory with removable/expandable MicroSD Media
      • Records in MP3 and WMA format
      • Variable control voice actuator
      • Noise cancellation feature
      • Simple and easy to use

      Check for availability and latest pricing on Amazon

      The Final Word on Dictaphones for Meetings

      Meetings can be a gold mine for content creators. The problem is you have to be ready for all the distractions, technical, and logistical issues you’ll face when recording meetings. Check the listed models above to make sure you bring the right tool to turn group dynamics into crispy, on point content.

      Image Credits

    Digital Voice Recorders That Work With Dragon Software

    Dragon Naturally Speaking is a speech-recognition software that turns the sound signals of your voice into text output. Instead of typing texts, you say what you want to write, and Dragon will take care of it for you.

    It has been around for a long time. It is useful for transcribing speech into text, either as an installed software on your computer or as a transcriber.

    You can use a voice recorder to record audio and process the audio through the software. It would transcribe what you recorded ahead of time. There’s no need for you to type texts, emails, or any other type of text items or lists.

    You can dictate articles or blog posts through Dragon Naturally Speaking. It’s also useful for filling out forms.

    Indeed, using Dragon software works well with any text document on your computer. That’s how versatile, flexible, and powerful this software solution can be.

    Dictate Wherever You Go, Whenever You Want, and Transcribe With Dragon Software

    You may be thrilled at the idea of being able to dictate a new blog post, a novel, or an article, wherever you are and whenever you want.

    Just dictate into your digital voice recorder. Once you get home, transfer the audio data from your dictaphone to your computer. Dragon Naturally Speaking will convert the audio file into a text document.

    It transcribes files almost instantly. Of course, it has to go through a transcription process, but the software does this for you.

    Different Flavors of Dragon Naturally Speaking Depending on Your Workstyle

    You can get Dragon Naturally Speaking in many different packages:

    • Dragon Professional Individual
    • Dragon Home
    • Dragon Premium
    • DragonDictate (also known as Dragon for Mac)
    • Dragon Anywhere (a mobile app)

    For a more up-to-date listing of the different software packages, check out its website.

    Choose the products and items that best fit your situation.

    The Best Version for Bloggers

    Are you a blogger interested in using Dragon Naturally Speaking? If so, we suggest Dragon Professional Individual. It is a professional-grade version of the software intended for business professionals in a formal or home office setting.

    You can also use the Dragon Home edition. It has fewer features. It assumes that you speak very clearly and even in a slow manner. If this is you, this should be enough.

    No matter how you cut it, this software makes the whole transcription process easier. Is it perfect? Of course not! It has its drawbacks.

    The chief among these is in terms of accuracy. You have to “train” this software to get used to your particular way of speaking so it can recognize how you pronounce certain words. Don’t expect it to produce a perfect transcription the first time you use it. Train it until its output gets more accurate.

    Good News: 80-90% of the time, it is accurate. If it is not, closely read the transcription and search for any inaccuracy.

    For words that it often gets wrong, you must train this software by using those words until it does a better job next time. It may be a hassle at first, but training your Dragon software is time well spent. It allows you to make your transcription work faster.

    You can focus on dictating and then editing. You do not need to waste time picking apart your transcript. Best of all, there’s no need for manual transcribers. You can do this all just with software.

    You save time and money.

    Which Digital Voice Recorders Work Best With Dragon Software?

    For digital voice recorders, you have many options. Some of them are very cheap models that are practically throw-away devices. You can pick them up for around $20, but more robust products cost well over $400.

    These product lines don’t just differ by price. The closer you get to $400, the more sensitive the digital voice recorder’s microphone becomes. It also has longer battery life.

    If you only want to do a quick and dirty job every time you dictate, it’s easy to pick up a cheap dictaphone. That’s not a problem. But if you want to make things easier on yourself in transcribing using Dragon software, choose the more expensive but better device.

    Spend extra cash buying the right device. It will allow you to record audio that is clear enough to be transcribed by Dragon software with consistency and accuracy. It’s an investment that helps saves you even more time and money.

    Both dictation and transcription go hand in hand. The higher the quality of your dictation, the higher odds the transcription will look the way you wanted.

    There are high quality and sensitive enough digital voice recorders that are not so expensive but work well. If you’re looking for a safe bet in terms of brands, the professional dictation bloggers’ choice is limited to either Sony or Olympus. Most of their models are Nuance-approved.

    This recognition is good because Dragon Naturally Speaking is developed by Nuance Communications – a software company that works on artificial intelligence but is known primarily for the Dragon product line.

    Olympus and Sony products have high compliance with Dragon software. In other words, their output is clear enough for Dragon to produce high-quality texts.

    Here are my top picks for Digital Voice Recorders That Work With Dragon Software

    Sony ICD-BM1 Digital Voice Recorder

    This model has an easy slide control switch, a removable memory stick (128 flash memory), has a lightweight design. Has around 6 hours of recording time. Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software, microphone, computer, and USB connectivity with a USB cable, voice to email function, battery life varies with use. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


    • Small and light
    • Works great with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
    • Easy to use with the slide switch function
    • Sleek looking with aluminum body
    • Great recorder for interviews
    • Voice email function.


    • Slide switch function makes a click sound
    • MSV format only plays on PC/ compatibility problems
    • Batteries are not rechargeable

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD-SX712D Digital Voice Recorder

    This model offers 2 GB of flash memory and features a 2-position Microphone and S microphone system. Records in Multi-Mp3 formats and Linear PCM. And it also features Voice operated Recordings, Voice Email Function, 6-line LCD screen, additional 16GB memory with SD Card Slot.


    • Easy to use device and software
    • Long battery life
    • Solid microphone
    • USB connectivity
    • Excellent sound quality


    • Batteries are not rechargeable
    • Cannot pick-up sounds/audio from a distance.

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD- UX200 Digital Voice Recorder

    This model comes with 2GB of flash memory that can give you a maximum recording time of 535 hours. It records in MP3 format. This recorder has 5 recording moes and an audio monitoring mode. Has a Built-in stereo microphone, built-in speaker and records clear recording with its noise cut features. It is compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking software.


    • Very Functional design
    • Easy to use and operate
    • PC connectivity
    • Great battery life
    • Enough storage


    • Weak External speaker
    • Cannot do dictation editing
    • Size is too small

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD-P330F Digital Voice Recorder

    This unit delivers 32 hours of recording time, has a large LCD display, features an FM tuner with 50 presets, and Digital VOR. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


      Easy to use function

    • Small and portable
    • Has FM radio
    • Can transfer files directly to computer
    • Good recording quality


    • Battery drains quickly
    • Batteries are not rechargeable
    • Needs to improve noise reduction

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Sony ICD-SX57DR9

    This model has 128MB flash memory and features a High performance microphone with a slim and stylish design. Easy to use controls for easy operation. Compatible with PC via USB cable. Features Digital Voice Up and Voice Operated Recording, Digital Pitch Control, and MP3 Playback. MP3 files can be converted into WAV with the Digital Editor Software. Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software, with rechargeable batteries and USB docking station.


    • Excellent sound quality
    • Two microphones
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Efficient recording
    • Compatible with Dragon Software


    • Hard to read display
    • File is not in MP3
    • Compatibility problems

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus WS- 320/310/300M digital voice recorders

    These model all features 1GB internal memory, and up to 277 hours of audio/recording time. Compatible with Dragon Software. Has a built-in music player that can play audio files, MP3 files. Has a USB port for connectivity, a microphone, and a voice command feature for hands-free recording. Power-efficient using AAA batteries.


    • Compact
    • Hands-free recording
    • USB connectivity
    • Large memory
    • Stereo microphones


    • Battery drains quickly
    • Batteries are no Rechargeable
    • Poor Case design

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS4000 Professional Digital Voice Recorder

    Ships with 32MB internal memory, easy control buttons, voice recognition, and speech recognition engine, LCD Display, and noise-canceling technology for the best audio quality.


    • Full metal body with ergonomic design
    • Produces quality recording
    • Expandable memory
    • Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking software
    • Can organize files into folders
    • USB connectivity


    • Fragile device
    • Batteries are not rechargeable
    • Pricey due to initial memory size

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS-3300 Digital Recorder

    This model ships with 32MB memory and programmable buttons. Features an LCD screen, microphone, and USB connectivity. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


    • Versatile device
    • Expandable memory
    • Long battery life
    • Compatible with Dragon Speaking Software
    • Easy recording and playback


    • Adequate sound quality
    • Only ideal for recording in a quiet environment
    • Noise canceling is bad.

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS-7000 Digital Recorder

    This unit offers superior audio quality for superb voice recording, 256-bit file encryption, built-in microphone, 2inch color LCD, memory card slots (Micro/SD), enhanced battery, and slide controls. Compatible with Dragon Dictation Software.


    • Create secure recordings 256-bit file encryption
    • Superior sound quality
    • Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
    • Easy to use device and software
    • Compatible with Mac and PC


    • Complicated Menu
    • ODMS software is not reliable

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    Olympus DS2600 Digital Recorder

    Starts off with 2GB memory, and a slot for 32GB external memory. Software is included, so you can use Dragon speech recognition software. Features slide switch controls, digital voice editor, and a replaceable battery. Rechargeable battery, and can last up to 52 hours.


    • Omni-directional Microphone
    • Expandable memory
    • Easy to use editing functions
    • Rechargeable batteries
    • Compatible with Dragon Naturally Speaking Software
    • Voice activated recording


    • Rechargeable batteries are not included
    • Problems with playback in the computer
    • Relatively thin plastic housing

    Check for availability and latest pricing

    The Final Word on Dragon-compliant digital voice recorders

    If you want to get the best results with any Dragon voice to text software, make sure you are using fully-compliant hardware.

    As you can tell from the listing above, there is no such thing as a perfect product. Pick the product that best fits your circumstances and expectations and you’ll be on your way to great dictations and high quality Dragon-powered automated transcriptions.

    My review of the Sony Digital Voice Recorder transcription Kit

    Sony digital voice recorder transcription kit

    This blog helps bloggers and writers produce more content in a short period of time through dictation. It doesn’t matter how quickly you write.

    Currently, you can easily triple or even quadruple your output through dictation. The best part, you can find yourself in line or just lounging around at a corner cafe.

    Whip out a digital voice recorder, and you’ve got yourself several blog posts or even a few chapters of your next book done. Sure, you have to edit the transcription, but it beats having to pound all that text out on a keyboard.

    In this blog, we talked about how you can maximize your productivity using certain speaking techniques, and tips and tricks.

    If you reach a stage, where you produce a lot of dictated content, you might want to go to the next level. This is the level where you don’t just crank out an audio every once in a while.

    This is the point where you don’t produce audio recordings when you feel like it. At this stage, you are able to dictate content on a consistent and regular basis.

    At this point, you’re gonna have to use enhanced equipment. This doesn’t mean that you have to throw out your digital voice recorder unit.

    If you picked the right dictaphone for the right job, you can definitely hang on to that gear for many years to come. Instead, I’m talking about getting a more complete package going.

    So you can start with your digital voice recorder but add attachments to it, so you can optimize its performance. This is where a digital voice recorder transcription kit comes in.

    A digital voice recorder transcription kit, is also known as a digital transcriber package. This is a collection of tools that make transcription and dictation easier.

    They are designed from the ground up to work with each other, to produce a smoother transcription production process.

    The typical transcription kit comes with a digital voice recorder and software that can be controlled through your desktop computer or your laptop.

    It also comes with foot pedals that connect to your computer, through a USB cable. The pedal makes for a completely hands free voice recording and dictation process.

    If you have already gotten into the routine of constantly dictating content every single day, you would need this setup.

    As you probably already know, you waste a lot of time fiddling around with keyboard strokes, and mouse clicks. You might be thinking that these extra steps don’t take up much time at all, but you might want to think again.

    When you use your keyboard or mouse, you’re not talking. Those seconds add up. Considering the volume that you’re operating at, there’s a tremendous amount of lost opportunities.

    Also, if you’ve been doing dictation blogging, or dictaphone writing for quite some time, you know that even the smallest distraction can be enough to throw you off your game.

    Hands-free transcription is all about staying in the flow

    When you’re using a hands free digital voice recorder transcription kit, you can transcribe your dictation smoothly and faster. You should know how this goes.

    Once you get into “the zone,” it seems that every audio second, pretty much unpacks itself. You can anticipate the words and transcribe the very best form a sentence could take, before you even hear it completely.

    That’s how awesome being in the zone is. But if you find yourself having to take a break, or adjust the text as you switch from keyboard to mouse.

    It’s only a matter of time until you lose that high level of concentration and your productivity goes off a cliff. This has probably already happened to you.

    Well, a hands free transcription system enables you to stay in the zone much longer, and this can only improve your productivity.

    How does a transcription pedal work?

    The pedal is able to send start and stop commands, as well as repeat functions to software installed on your computer. You don’t have to use your hands.

    This way you can keep tapping away your keyboard, as you transcribe the audio smoothly. While Dragon naturally speaking, and other dictation software can help you save a lot of time, by automatically transcribing your audio.

    They often have a lot of errors. You can minimize the mistakes such audio to text software make, by “rip training” them repeatedly.

    But this assumes that you have a lot of time. If you don’t, you’re better off manually transcribing your own dictations.

    But to pull this off, you have to be in the zone. This is why a transcription kit can take your productivity to the next level, because you’re operating on a hands free basis.

    As you listen to the audio and stop, pause and play it back using your foot pedal, you’re typing away at your keyboard transcribing what you hear.

    Who can benefit the most from a digital voice recorder transcription kit?

    Transcription kits are old technology. They’ve been around for quite some time, and they were originally designed for medical transcriptionists as well as paralegals and legal transcriptionists.

    But throughout the years, anybody who deals with a tremendous amount of dictated audio could benefit from transcription kits. These are professors, educational professionals, as well as bloggers and authors.

    But simply, if you do a lot of dictation, and you have a tremendous amount of audio to process at any one time, you should seriously consider getting a transcription kit, if you’re doing the work yourself.

    If you’re hiring out your transcription work to professional agencies or experienced freelancers, you don’t have to buy this equipment.

    But if you want to maximize the quality of your work, since you’re the only person who truly understands your speech patterns, then you need the right equipment.

    You need to be able to work in a hands free way, so you can speed up your transcription of your own recorded audio. These kits have been around for a while, so you can best believe that they are ergonomically streamlined.

    They’re very easy to use. The interface is very intuitive, you don’t have to have an engineering PhD to figure things out and jump from menu to menu.

    The software is also very robust, so you’re able to produce great transcripts as you can slow down the audio. There are of course many words that sound very similar to each other.

    The best brand for transcription kits

    There are many new brands out there that offer transcription kits. Their main competitive advantage is that they cost less.

    But when it comes to preserving the flow of your whole transcription process, you really can’t afford to gamble with newer or untested brands. You should go with a tried and proven solution.

    When it comes to this type of sensitive electronics, that require sophisticated microphones and voice recorder technology as well as a solid hands free interface, you really can’t go wrong with Sony.

    This Japanese brand has been around forever and has earned its stripes with all sorts of consumer electronic products ranging from flat screen TVs, to a wide range of audio equipment.

    If you’re looking for a high standard of quality and a total commitment to customer satisfaction, and a solid experience each time you use it, look forward to Sony brand.

    This is why I recommend the Sony FS85USB PC transcription kit. It has all the items you need to put together a solid transcription system for audio you have recorded yourself.

    The kit not only comes with powerful software that enables you to properly process and edit your audio. Of course, the star of the show is its three function foot pedal unit.

    This is a USB device that plugs easily to your Windows machine. The foot pedal is very straightforward and easy to use. You don’t have to be a genius to figure it out.

    It only has three functions. It can play, rewind, and forward the audio. That’s all you need. It also has a repeat function. Just in case you missed a segment or you got confused or distracted, you can quickly come back to what you just listened to.

    The kit also has a microphones pitch control, USB connector shortcut key and email function.

    What kind of format does the FS85USB support?

    The software component of the Sony digital recorder transcription kit, supports the following audio formats, .msv, .dvf, .mp3 and .wav.

    It also has a digital pitch control where you can adjust the tone of the voice recordings on your PC. This is crucial, especially if you speak really quickly and can’t make out the words in one area or portion of your recording.

    You can also decrease the playback speed of the audio and playback over and over as you slow down.

    Usually this is enough to give you a good idea of the word that you are saying, in a particularly complicated spot in the recording.

    In the case of words that sound very similar to each other by going through this decreasing playback speed, you can make out the context. This greatly reduces your chances of committing transcription errors.

    Insist that your transcriber VA uses a FS85USB

    If you are hiring virtual assistants to transcribe your digital audio for you, you might want to invest in their productivity by paying them extra to buy this model.

    In fact, if you’re up for it, you should even take the initiative and send them a Sony digital voice recorder transcription kit.

    This way you can rest assured that the quality of the transcription you’re getting, will be high and consistent. It’s a small investment to make, if you are hiring a virtual assistant for a long engagement.

    Sending them a kit that you paid for, make sense if you’re thinking of keeping this person on for at least six months. Consider it as strategic investment in the quality of the content that you are dictating.

    If you’re a very busy blogger, who produces at least 30 posts a month, you might want to consider this option. The same goes with book publication. If you publish more than two books a month, this might be the way to go.

    Remember, the higher the quality of your transcriber, the more likely you’re going to make money and product of that person’s work. It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

    Image Source

    Can you detect a digital voice recorder?

    can you detect voice recorders

    As technology continues to evolve, it’s not a surprise that a lot of the gadgets that you see in James Bond movies are now a reality. Who would have thought that smartphones would be a thing?

    In fact, as recently as 20 years ago, a lot of the functions of a typical iPhone would seem like science fiction. That’s how far we’ve come.

    Gadgets are not only getting faster and pack a lot more functions and features. It also tends to get smaller while mobile phones have gotten bigger.

    You’re able to do so much more with them today compared to three years ago. This begs the question, since people are able to do so many things with a wide range of devices, have we reached the point where it becomes easier to spy on people?

    Keep in mind that surveillance gadgets have been around for a long time. Again, going back to James Bond movies, modern day surveillance and recording devices have a very small footprint.

    You don’t have to use sophisticated but bulky and heavy listening equipment that you can only transport around in a van. You’ve probably seen those movies, right? Two guys are in a van, and one of their operatives is sitting a few yards away, and the guys in the van are listening into their contacts conversations.

    What if I told you that all the gadgets and devices inside that can have now been shrunk to the size of your palm? That’s right. Listening devices, voice recorders, cameras, hidden cameras, spy cameras and microphones are now miniaturized. They don’t need to be transported in a van, they have a very small footprint.

    In fact, they weigh close to nothing. They are so small that it’s gonna be really hard to detect them. This has been going on for quite some time when it comes to hidden cameras. You probably have seen those hidden cam shows on late night cable. Well, guess what? Hidden recording devices have gone to the next level.

    Now, we have really sophisticated listening devices that can be used to track people and record their conversations. Here’s the clincher. You don’t have to sit right next to the person you’re trying to keep tabs on. You can be anywhere from a few dozen yards or even 100 or so yards away.

    That’s how far this surveillance technology has evolved. It’s comforting to think that only police would have access to this technology. Sadly, this is not true.

    You can pick up all sorts of secret recording devices online. There are very discreet, small, compact, almost undetectable, secret voice recorders you can buy off the internet.

    Why should dictation bloggers and dictaphone writers care about listening devices?

    If you prize your ideas, you need to protect them. They are your biggest assets. This is especially true of bloggers and authors with at least one best seller or hit book under their belt.

    Imagine your best blog post ideas or novel plotlines copied and pasted on the Net or reverse engineered? Thanks to sophisticated listening technology, this situation is not as far off or weird as you may believe.

    One good example of these very small devices are GSM bugs. Small, light, virtually undetectable. They can be used anywhere at any time.

    GSM bugs are used to listen to conversation among people, or when people are talking into their cell phones or even their home phones. This has, of course, made people suspicious.

    You might even be on edge. You might think that there’s somebody keeping tabs on you. If you suspect the hidden listening device, wire voice recorder cameras or some sort of wiretapping device, you can search for anything that looks like GSM bugs in your electronic devices at home.

    Look into devices like electric power supplies, radio receivers, wires, or wiring assemblies in walls. These bugs can also be installed inside smoke detectors and any other kind of small device in a room.

    I wish I could tell you that GSM bugs will only pick up sound, but they can also include a hidden camera, as well as a voice recorder. In fact, one common trick with these devices is to install them in the eyes of a teddy bear or in the center of a clock.

    Usually they’re put in the middle of a room in an item that you wouldn’t suspect as containing a bug.

    What kind of information can GSM bugs steal?

    GSM bugs are used by some individuals to listen in on conversations. They can also be used to take snapshots of schematics plans or any other information that can be stored in graphical form.

    How to search for hidden listening devices

    One way to search for all hidden camera devices, listening devices, voice recorders or any type of surveillance equipment is to use an rf sweeper.

    Radio frequency detectors, also known as RF detectors or RF sweepers, these devices are used to “sweep” a room microphones, hidden cameras, surveillance devices, and listening devices don’t just absorb sound waves. They do something with that information, they can store it locally on a chip because of space and energy limitations.

    Generally speaking, surveillance devices take in signals and relay it to a receiver that will have more power and storage space. This is the weak spot of GSM bugs and other types of recording devices and surveillance.

    If somebody is trying to tap your conversation when you run RF scanner, you can detect if there are signals being sent from any part of a room.

    You get closer and closer and you can pinpoint the device that is sending out the signal. If you are using an RF detector or scanner and it starts to beep or go wild as you get closer to a teddy bear, you may find out that the eyes of your kids plush toy is a recording device.

    How to detect recording devices with your mobile phone

    Believe it or not, mobile phones can detect the light that is used in most recording devices.

    Turn on your phone’s camera lens and walk around and look at the room through your camera. By doing this, you’re scanning the area for any flashing lights or light variations, which may indicate the presence of a recording device.

    Another way you can detect recording is to turn all the lights off and look for any blinking light.

    How to use your phone to detect voice recordings

    When you are on your mobile or even home phone taking a call, you can use that device to listen for any interference. Be very suspicious of any clicking, buzzing or any weird noises. It may not just be background noise.

    To double check, ask the person you’re talking to if they can hear the weird sounds on their end. If it’s only happening on yours, be very suspicious.

    If you detect any kind of interference, this might be an indication that there is some sort of recording device picking up your conversation.

    This can take many different forms, it could be a hidden camera, a hidden voice recorder, a microphone, or other devices. Why does this happen? When such devices, especially GSM bugs, are near any kind of device, it creates an electromagnetic field. This can cause interference.

    At the very least, the device might be creating electronic noise or some sort of static that is erratic and inconsistent. You have to be very alert, because if there are some erratic disruptions in sound quality, it might not just be the line, it might actually be a recording device.

    These can take many different forms, it can be hidden cameras, wires, voice recorders, or microphones. Also, they may be in the same area as you or inside the device itself.

    Try using a flashlight and walk around any interior space

    If you think somebody’s trying to record your conversations as you dictate to your digital voice recorder or mobile phone, look out a flashlight. You can even use the flashlight feature of your mobile phone.

    If there are voice recorders, wires, hidden cameras or any other kind of listening device, you usually will be able to pick them out if they are hidden behind mirrors or any other kind of reflective glass inside an interior space.

    When you sweep the area with your arm as you hold on to your mobile phone, you might be able to see reflections, and this approach is best used with an RF scanner or detector device.

    Beware of WiFi transmissions

    Some devices try to fake you out by pretending to be a WiFi device. You might be thinking this is your neighbor’s new router, and not think much of it.

    It may turn out that the listening and recording gadget installed in your room is actually sending out signals under a weird WiFi name. Scan for Wi Fi signals and make sure they’re legit. These are very easy to verify, if you’re in a hotel.

    In your neighborhood, if you’ve been scanning for Wifi using your devices, you would know what your neighbor’s signal ID is. If something stands out, be very suspicious. Get to the bottom of it. Ask around.

    What devices do people use to record voice dictations?

    If you’re worried about your voice dictations or any other kind of recorded spoken communications being stolen, or recorded without your permission, be on the lookout for the following devices.

    The list of recording gadgets continued to grow almost on a weekly basis. That’s how big this market is.

    What kind of devices can record your image, voice or actions?

    This is just a shortlist; it’s by no means a complete and exhaustive list. These devices include listening devices, cameras, voice recorders, digital voice devices, microphones, and wires.

    They take many different forms like spy pens, USB recording devices, power banks and wrist watches. Typically, they’re small enough to avoid detection, but have enough electronics packed into them to listen and record conversations, several meters away.

    In fact, the smallest Digital Voice Recorder currently available in the market, is as small as a paperclip. You would think that its sound quality would be lousy. Considering its miniscule footprint. Think again. It actually has a great recorded sound quality. It comes with 8GB of flash memory.

    On top of these features, this paper clip sized digital voice recorder is voice activated. This means that it’s not going to turn on unless and until it detects a voice. This enables the device to prolong its battery life.

    Retrieving data from the device is very easy. Upon benchmark testing, paper clip sound recorders have been tested to record as much as 90 hours, with a 10 hour battery life.

    Since this gadget looks exactly like a paperclip, you can place it anywhere to listen to anyone at any time. Very few people will notice the devices even there. They basically have to be looking for this type of device for them to even spot it.

    When it comes to spy cameras, this type of technology has reached a point where they can easily be installed behind walls. They don’t need much space. They can also see through very small openings.

    Recap: Why would anyone listen to your digital voice recorder dictations

    Whether you are working for yourself or for somebody else, the information that you dictate is your own intellectual property. At best, when people record that material, they get free content.

    Think about it. If you know that somebody who professionally dictates materials is going to be around, there’s a good chance that the transcription of this person’s speech would be somewhat valuable.

    At the very least, it won’t be the ramblings of somebody who can’t string sentences with any kind of skill. If somebody records your dictations, that’s stolen content. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    What if you are dictating a sensitive company Information? It doesn’t matter where you dictate, your competitors can easily put sensitive information together to get some sort of competitive advantage.

    There are all sorts of dangers that you need to be aware of when it comes to dictations. This is why it’s really important, as a dictation blogger or somebody who uses digital voice recorders or digital dictaphones, to produce content to be aware of this issue.

    It is a thing. It’s not going to go away anytime soon. People are always going to be looking for a shortcut. Consider yourself warned.

    Just by following the precautionary steps above, you increase your chances of successfully protecting your intellectual property from theft.

    Eavesdropping“Eavesdropping” by A. Strakey is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

    How do digital voice recorders work?

    how digital voice recorders work

    As you probably already know, digital voice recorders are small electronic devices that can record sound or speech. They are normally handheld so you have a wide range of options in terms of distance and speaking and recording style.

    The recordings start out as sounds coming from your mouth. This is the analog stage. The sound you hear is created when you speak which travels through the air at certain wavelengths. This is all analog.

    A digital voice recorder picks up on those sounds and converts them into a digital format. This is then stored in a digital audio file.

    You can play it from the digital voice recorder itself or you can export the file to your computer. From your computer, you would have a wide range of software that you can use to listen to the file.

    Older voice recording technologies

    Fairly recently, voice recorders used audio tape; these are also called tape recorders. The sounds you make, as well as the audio you hear, are stored using magnetic tape.

    Digital voice recorders blew away this old technology because they’re able to pack more information in a much smaller space.

    Audio tape recorders use magnetic tape which degrade in quality the more you play them.

    This is not the case with digital voice recorders. The audio that you stored in digital form 5 years ago is going to sound just as crisp, clear and lively as the day you recorded it.

    Digital voice recorders also have a much smaller footprint because it doesn’t have moving parts. Everything is stored on chips. The smaller these chips get over the years, the more compact the footprint of your digital voice recording device will be.

    No wonder why writers, bloggers, authors, content creators and other types of content creators prefer digital voice recorders. You can use them to record audio clips, music, office memos, notes, interviews and even novels.

    Voice Recorder is also known as digital dictaphones, and can also be used to record high grade music.

    How do digital voice recorders work?

    Recording sound with digital voice recorders is pretty straightforward and basic. The sound source puts out sound waves, which are then picked up by the microphone. It’s built into these devices.

    The sound waves or audio signal is then converted by a unit called ADC (Analog to digital voice converter). This digital information is then stored on a chip inside the recording device.

    Digital information, as you probably know, is broken down into zeros and ones. What started out as music or speech is broken down by the ADC into a series of zeros and ones that can be recorded, stored and then retrieved by the voice recorder device.

    Once retrieved, we’re able to enjoy it in a form which is in a form that we can use, which is sound or speech.

    These unique numbers are also assigned to the file of the recorder. When doing a digital voice playback, the unique numbers are read by the Digital to Analog Converter or DAC.

    Once the device successfully reads the digital code, it is then turned into sound which is processed by an amplifier. This creates a sound wave which listeners can readily recognize. It’s either music, sounds or a speech, or a combination of these three.

    The basic cooperations of digital voice recorders breaks down to the conversion of air pressure (sound waves into electric current which then are broken down into zeros and ones are digital code and stored on a device).

    These codes can be retrieved and converted into sound output.

    How voice recorder storage works

    Audio and music files at the storage level are indistinguishable from each other. They’re all made of digital codes consisting of a sequence of zeros and ones.

    They take up very little space when they’re in digital form. However, once they’re converted from this digital state, there are a wide range of formats they can be converted to.

    This is the storage format of audio files. The format has a big role to play in the overall sound quality bitrate per second and other features that can impact the size of the file as well as its overall quality.

    Here are just some of the most common different file formats for digital audio recordings:

    M4A audio

    This digital audio format produces the best audio and sound quality among other compressed audio formats. Its file size is smaller than mp3 files, but its sound quality is superior.

    You will be able to maximize your recording time and not take up much space in your digital voice recorder or audio recorder, if you store it in the M4A format.


    The MP3 file format is one of the most common file types for both sound and voice recording files. It also adds popularity to its great combination of relatively small file size and higher than average audio recording quality.

    Compared to older formats, MP3 files size is smaller. So you can pack a lot more of these files into your digital voice recorders storage space.

    It’s not as good as M4A, but it definitely holds its own against older recording formats.

    MP4 audio

    Generally speaking, people don’t record audio in MP4. This format is primarily used for video files.

    Its sound quality is excellent compared to mp3, but it is usually used in conjunction with video. Interestingly though, a lot of voice recorders are offering MP4 audio only format. This is due to the fact that its quality is superior to MP3 and its file size is not too heavy.


    FLAC stands for Free Lossless Audio Codec. This is a compressed audio file format that has a bitrate per second which varies depending on the device you use it on.

    Many recording professionals consider the quality of this format to be quite good.


    Also known as the Windows Media Player audio format. These formats are specially designed for Windows-based machines.

    Overall, it makes for great sound and audio quality, although the file sizes can become unmanageable depending on your storage limitations.


    One of the newer audio recording formats available, Advanced Audio Coding features higher audio and sound quality due to its specialized coding.

    It is an up and coming format that isn’t universally supported. Still, an increasing number of devices are getting on the AAC bandwagon.


    Now,this is one of the older audio technology formats. It’s been around for quite some time, and it does produce very high audio playback quality.

    Its main downside is its size. You would need quite a bit of storage to adequately store your collection of WAV files.

    If your device has a very limited storage capacity, it might not be a good idea to select this format. You may be better off with other more compact audio file types.

    What are the advantages of using a Digital Voice Recorder instead of a smartphone app?

    While phone recorders and smartphone-based apps can deliver quite a bit of convenience, dedicated digital voice recorder devices offer many beats, smartphone apps and mobile phones on the following factors:

    Longer battery life

    When you’re using your mobile phone to record your dictations, you’re using an app that pulls from the same battery as your phone’s other applications.

    If you haven’t fully charged your phone or you use many battery draining apps, this can be a problem.

    You avoid this issue altogether, when you use a standalone digital voice recorder. Its only function is to record your voice, and that’s it.

    Compare this with a mobile phone that drains dangerous batteries as you use it for phone calls, taking notes, dictations, playing games, playing music and a wide range of other functions.

    The more you use your phone, the more you drain its battery juice. You don’t have that problem with specialized standalone digital voice recording devices.

    Better sound quality

    Voice recorders are designed for better sound quality. Since digital voice recorders and similar audio devices are intended to record speech and sound for future playback.

    You best believe that they record and playback better sound. They do all of this in a pretty easy and intuitive manner.

    You click the record button, you can also select race, start, stop, as well as playback is smooth and easy.

    Most digital voice recorders or dictaphones have very easy to navigate controls. This is not automatically the case with your typical smartphone voice recorder app.

    You not only have to find the right app icon, these apps can differ quite a bit from each other in terms of how they lay out their user interface, and how many features you can access from the apps first screen.

    You don’t have any of these problems with the design of the typical digital voice recorder.

    Voice recorder controls are easier to access

    Voice recorders offer an LED user interface where you can navigate through several layers of intuitive controls to manage or playback your files.

    Specialized digital recorders, feature high quality microphones. When you use a mobile phone to record your voice, keep in mind that the microphone you’re speaking to is very small and is primarily designed for making phone calls.

    When you look at a typical digital voice recorder, the microphone component is actually much larger and has built in features that cancel out background noise and other distracting sounds.

    This is not the case with the typical mobile phone. The noise cancellation features of voice recorders are more sophisticated, and they end up improving the overall sound quality of your recordings in a wide range of situations.

    Digital voice recorders are designed with the assumption that you will be whipping out your device in a lot of different social situations and locations, and they especially designed microphones that will record well in these wide ranging circumstances.

    Dedicated voice recording devices have built in voice specific features. Voice recorders not only specially tuned to record your voice well, they also include built in editing features that you can use to enhance the quality of the audio files you are recording.

    In fact, many of these devices can be activated by your voice. You can command them to start and stop at certain points.

    Full format support

    Finally, digital voice recording equipment can store your file recordings in a wide range of formats.

    If you have a preference for a specific high quality format, there’s a high chance that you will find that safe setting with a digital dictaphone compared to a mobile phone app.

    How to transfer files from your digital voice recorder to your computer?

    Disconnect your recording device using a standard USB cable. The wire needs to be connected to your computer on the other end.

    A prompt will appear. Just follow the prompt to find and set file locations, you can then access and transfer the recording to a specific folder on your computer.

    You can also transfer your audio files from your device by using its SD card or flash memory card. Take out the card and put it into an adapter and slip it into your computer.

    You can transfer pre recorded files this way, or you can insert an SD or flash memory card until your recorder records the audio and then take out the card and plug it into your personal computer.

    How to pick out the right digital voice recorder

    When searching for the right device that fits your needs and personal circumstances, pay close attention to the following factors:

    • recording time
    • battery life
    • recording quality
    • microphone quality

    It’s important to make sure that you focus on finding a device with a high quality microphone. Even if the gadget you find does an amazing job of storing information and can last a very long time as you dictate into it, it still won’t do you much good if the microphone is substandard.

    Start your search with the quality of the mic. The top brands for digital voice recorders are Sony and Olympus, because they feature devices with high quality microphones.

    They differ from each other in terms of specific recording features as well as recording capacity and duration and price. But what sets them apart from other brands is the quality of the microphones their models ship with.

    Select for volume level recording

    When picking among different digital recorders, you need to keep in mind that sometimes you will be recording at different volume levels.

    Pick a model that will be able to smoothly record your voice regardless of how loud the background sounds become. It has to be sensitive enough to pick up on your voice but not so sensitive that it amplifies background noise. You also have to consider a voice activation.

    You don’t want a device that continues to record dead air. As much as possible, you should pick a device that you can activate with your voice, so you can save its battery life and maximize your recording time.

    Based on these factors, the most commonly selected digital voice recorders are these Sony UX533 and the Olympus DS-3500.

    These are topnotch, high performance units that can deliver high quality recordings for the long haul.

    Why the Sony UX533?

    If you’re looking to dictate audio files that will eventually be transcribed, this device has you covered. It’s very easy to use.

    Its microphone is sensitive enough to produce quality recordings in a wide range of locations and background noise levels. It is also very light, portable and intuitive.

    You can easily whip it out. Do a quick recording as you come across ideas and insights. It’s also pulling audio files from it, which is also a breeze.

    You don’t have to jump through many hurdles to retrieve audio files from this device.

    Check for Sony UX533 Latest Price and Availability

    Why does the Olympus DS-3500 make sense?

    I’ve used this device quite a bit and when it comes to a dollar for dollar comparison with the Sony UX 533, this device actually produces the best voice recording. On top of that, it is also quite affordable considering its performance and durability.

    It has voice activation features, and its display is very intuitive and simple. But don’t let its simple and easily accessible user interface fool you.

    It packs quite a bit of efficiency and file handling features in a tight, compact and simple to use or form.

    Check for Olympus DS-3500 Latest Price and Availability

    Consider these factors if you want to save money

    If you’re looking for more affordable models, you might want to consider Dictopro voice recorders. It is quite well known for its low price point and easy interface.

    Many dictopro models are below $50 so it’s not going to burn a hole in your pocket.

    Don’t let the low price point fool you though. It comes with a very sensitive microphone. Just how sensitive is its mic? Well, it can pick up sound from as far as 60 feet, that is sensitive.

    But, it doesn’t just pick up a random sound, you’re not going to be stuck with noise because it has an automatic noise filtration and reduction system.

    On top of that, if you are paranoid about somebody accessing your digital voice recordings, it offers password encryption so nobody can easily access your files.

    You can easily store and retrieve information through its USB hardware interface.

    The final word on digital voice recorder operations

    Digital voice recorders convert sound waves into zeros and ones. But there’s quite a variation in how the different devices made by a wide range of brands do their job.

    Pull these all off. What you should look for is a device that works best with how you typically record voice files. Do you need long battery life? Are you looking for the lightest device as possible? Is your budget tight?

    Just how much noise do you normally encounter when you record your voice? Do you find yourself getting flashes of inspiration in the most unusual and noise prone places?

    These are the kinds of questions that you need to ask when picking out the digital voice recorders. It’s not enough to understand how they work but it’s also equally important to have a good understanding of which device features you should focus on, so you can buy the right device.

    The information I’ve shared with you above gives you everything you need to know so you can make a fully informed buying decision.

    Featured Image Credit

    Microchip PICkit2 rev“Microchip PICkit2 rev” by Uwe Hermann is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0