How To Find A Digital Voice Recorder 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.

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