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best voice recorders

The Best Voice Recorders in 2021

Author: Robert Wilson

Electronics & Peripherals Expert

A voice recorder is a practical, small and handy model that allows direct voice recording at work and in everyday life at the push of a button or via automatic activation through voice recognition.

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Frequently Asked Questions: Voice Recorder

What is a voice recorder?

voice recorder is a practical, small and handy model that allows direct voice recording at work and in everyday life at the push of a button or via automatic activation through voice recognition. In addition to language and voice, it can also record other things and thus allows a wide variety of applications. The voice recorder is clearly superior to more modern smartphones with voice recorder function in terms of tone and sound quality, and also offers more settings and adjustments to the respective recording situation.

Voice recorders are specially designed for high sound quality, which is worthwhile for seminars, readings, conferences, but also for recording thoughts, notes, music and in evidence situations. In addition, they have extensive functions and allow the tasks of formulating and recording at a high level. There are analog and digital devices, as well as mono and stereo devices. The latter are determined by the number of channels, with mono recording on one channel and stereo recording on two channels.

The modern dictation machine is usually small and handy, can suppress noise and ambient noise, is provided with a display and also allows the recording of several voice memos and the creation of folders. It is used for mobile recording and is particularly efficient in hectic moments when important information needs to be recorded. The modern dictation machine is also ideal as a reminder or for dictating business letters.

In the test, the digital model delivers several recording formats, some of which are also better compressed to enable transmission and fast sending by email.

A format that requires a license is the DSS format, which is best compressed. Other formats are the usual wave and MP3 files.

In addition to its compact design, the dictation machine also offers excellent ergonomics, especially when the models have to be used frequently and quickly. Instead of larger buttons, slide switches are also installed, which can be reached particularly quickly and permit rapid recording or pause and stop at any time. This includes a wide range of functions for adapting the recording, automatically recognizing and sorting it, making index markings and the like.

How does a voice recorder work?

Despite modern smartphones and apps, voice recorders remain a frequent purchase and are used in both private and commercial areas. The digital dictation machines are more advantageous in the test than analog models, allow simple dictation and recording, recording in small and large rooms, the quick transfer of voice files, the creation of folders and storage of a large number of voice recordings, the easy handling and sorting of the Dates by calendar date.

In order to reduce the amount of data and to be able to save the voice memos better, flash memories are built into the dictation machine, which are digital memory modules that allow storage with very low energy consumption in the test. Dictation machines often have a slot for inserting memory cards, making data transfer easier. The whole thing is also possible via USB cable. The company “Sony” has released a device with a MiniDisc as a storage medium, which was only manufactured and marketed by this group, but which was not very successful.

In contrast, modern dictation machines offer various compression methods to facilitate the further processing of the data, the sending and also the capacity on memory cards. Audio codecs or manufacturer-dependent processes such as DSS and DSS Pro are used. The purchase of higher quality models is also worthwhile because the storage capacity is decisive for the recording. The better the sound quality, the larger the file and it takes up more space and energy consumption. The device should not be overwhelmed by this. Settings can be selected to improve and adapt the recording situation.

Mostly it is a function to suppress ambient noise and to reduce disturbances, to modes for dictation, seminar, conference, reading, voice and music recording. Many manufacturers offer the corresponding software to transfer the data to the PC, to process it or to save it. Only very affordable entry-level models do not have a corresponding interface. In turn, all devices can record and save the data so that direct listening to the recording is also possible.

Analog voice recorders

Analog voice recorders have largely been pushed out of the market to this day, because digital devices simply have more to offer in terms of functionality and efficiency. But if you still have cassettes, you will certainly still use a voice recorder.

This is how analog devices work like classic cassette recorders. Linguistic information is entered here and stored on the cassette. The latter can either be the known cassettes or special mini or micro cassettes.

The problem with this, however, is on the one hand the fact that the storage capacity is only very limited here and that with many media it is not even possible to record on both sides. For longer recordings – regardless of the form – it is therefore necessary either to turn the cassette over (if possible) or to insert a new one. This in turn means that when recording detailed interviews, reports, etc., the user would always have to have a “whole battery” of cassettes with him if he wanted to save the entire volume on it.

Digital voice recorders

Digital devices are not suitable for the use of conventional cassettes, but they are all the more efficient and functional.

When a recording – regardless of what type – is made, the digital voice recorder can rewind it if necessary and overwrite certain, selected areas with a new recording. This would not be possible with an analog device, but with the digital version it is very easy, without having to overwrite or even destroy the previous recording. In this respect, the voice recorder differs significantly from the digital voice recorder, because recordings are irrevocably lost here if they are re-recorded after the discussion.

Advantages of voice recorders

Carrying a dictation machine guarantees a very fast and mobile response to situations. A recording can be helpful in many areas, not only as a burden of proof, but also for recording spontaneous thoughts or for a spontaneous interview with one or more people. If a consideration is extensive, it is usually cumbersome to write down, while the dictation machine is quickly at hand and can be discussed.

It serves as a phonetic diary as well as for storing smaller details, such as shopping list or notifying others. In addition to voice notes, music compositions can also be recorded so that they can be heard on site. In the press and journalism sector ‘the dictation machine remains an important companion, enables interviews and the recording of conferences, which is very beneficial in the hectic pace of business and prevents important details from being forgotten.

Flexibility and efficiency

In view of an upcoming speech – regardless of whether in a business or private setting – dictation machines also offer themselves to practice the content of the speech, to study it and also to “hone” the sound of the voice. It is easy to rewind the information at will, for example to make improvements or additions. What is special is that the original recordings can be revised as required without being lost or impaired in their quality.

Schoolchildren and students are also well advised to convince themselves of the advantages that a voice recorder has to offer. If you don’t have the time or the opportunity to eagerly write down the subject matter, you can simply put the voice recorder “on” during the lectures or class and focus on other things in the lecture room or classroom in a relaxed manner.

Recording voice and taking notes

Not only commercial people use a voice recorder. In the test, everyday use at home is also one of the classic uses for taking notes, not forgetting thoughts and being able to save information. Simplification through voice and recording has not only proven itself with dictation machines, but is also used more and more on the Internet and with smartphones and similar mobile devices. Very few people are able to type quickly. It is easier to speak quickly and take in all thoughts. Reliable storage allows many situations to be recorded.

In the private sector, parents are very grateful if a funny remark by the child can be recorded directly on tape. Digital devices make this process even easier.

Similarly, a dictation machine can be used in the test to learn a foreign language or to practice speaking and to be able to listen to what actors or people who have to give more lectures like to use. The practice of speaking improves your own presence considerably. In addition, everyone knows that your own voice sounds completely different on tape than how it is felt for you. By using a dictation machine, your own thoughts and speaking exercises can run free. If the recording is unsuccessful, it can be easily overwritten or completely deleted without any effort.

Voice recorders for lectures and seminars

Students like to use voice recorders to record important seminars or excerpts from the lecture or to record their own thoughts in between. Taking notes at a lecture is an option, but it remains tedious and, with increasing time, more difficult due to the decreasing concentration. There are also other disruptive factors, noises and interruptions.

Here, too, a dictation machine is necessary that is able to suppress ambient noise and make remote recordings so that the speaker can be easily understood during the test even from a greater distance. There are dictation machines that allow a distance of up to 10 meters without losing information or sound quality. Similarly, recording a conversation is a challenge that involves multiple people. Poor sound quality can mean that the statements in the test can no longer be understood well and clearly, especially when the environment is hectic and louder.

Songs and music recordings

For creative use, for example recording of new musical compositions and songs or the recording at a concert, higher quality voice recorders are necessary, which offer excellent sound quality and good compression of the data. Voice recorders that allow uncompressed recording are also very good in the test. In times of Youtube and other platforms, a test tape can be created or experimental work can be implemented, whereby the data can then be post-processed on the PC.

Here it should be possible to completely suppress noise and similar disturbances in order to allow clear recording. Pieces of music in particular lose their listening pleasure if the recording is of poor quality. Models with a sampling rate of at least 44.1 KHz and a resolution of 16 bits are good. In the test, this is roughly comparable to CD quality.

Dictation machines

In the office, the use of a dictation machine is almost classic. Minutes, business letters, documents and papers are processed by employees by copying them from the record previously dictated by the manager. Correct dictation is also an art when tested and compared and requires calm, selected intonation and slow and clear speaking. The business correspondence can be greatly simplified with the dictation machine in the test, whereby not even direct contact with the executing employee is necessary and so much time can be saved. Telephone calls can also be recorded with a dictation machine.

How are voice recorders tested?

The large selection of voice recorders, which are in strong competition with apps and smartphone applications, makes it much more difficult to get an overview of which device is better suited for which purpose. To this end, the technology is constantly being developed, which means that the functional scope of the devices also increases. Newer models are coming onto the market and have to be tested accordingly and compared in terms of their positive properties.

A test also includes critical or incorrect application disadvantages. Devices from different manufacturers are compared to each other, and at the same time their structure, functions, microphone and recording modes are checked. These criteria play a decisive role for the evaluation in the test:

Design, workmanship and display

Above all, voice recorders should be small, compact, less vulnerable and heavy, but still handy. This is supported by good ergonomics, a high-quality and well thought-out control panel, buttons and slide switches that can be reached quickly and a display for showing important details. In the test and comparison, emphasis is placed on good workmanship and feel of the devices. This means that the dictation machine should be made of high-quality materials that are scratch-resistant, easy to care for and cleanly installed. Edges and corners should be rounded, and the dictation machine should also be narrower on the sides. Test reports then also revolve around the suitable arrangement of controls and connections, microphones and speakers.

Storage capacity and battery

High-quality sound recordings in particular require a large amount of memory, so that voice recorders should be equipped with a memory card slot on the one hand, and must also have a long battery life in order to be able to use the model frequently and for a long time in the test.

Most models offer internal storage between 4 and 8 GB, the storage space can be expanded using external memory cards, which is then possible up to 32 GB. The recording duration plays a decisive role in the test and can be between 120 and 1300 hours. In contrast, smartphone apps usually only last 10 hours.

Ease of use and functions

In addition to its compact design, the dictation machine should also allow ergonomic and comfortable operation, whereby the model can be switched on or off quickly at any time. Corresponding buttons and sliders are advantageous, which allow rapid use, do not entail any delays and enable more flexible use. Several recording modes are important in order to optimize the recording in terms of the environment.

The test also takes into account more expensive devices that have advanced features, including pin lock and data encryption, a 3D microphone, and motion sensors. However, the test often shows that simple setting options are sufficient to operate the dictation machine efficiently. It should be possible to sort the data. Voice recorders usually have a calendar function for this purpose.

Voice quality and recording

A decisive feature for a good voice recorder in the test and comparison is the voice quality and the performance of the microphone. The recording is tested during direct dictation and during conference calls and seminars if the recording situation is correspondingly further away. Interference, distortion, unclear recordings, an echo that is too loud or a reverberant sound should not occur and the sound should be clear and clear, even if conversations further away are recorded.

A high quality microphone provides high quality. It should also be able to play back easily and in an understandable format, and the stored data and memos should have excellent sound quality. In the test, the recording should be able to take place without noise and loss of sound.


Modern voice recorders, especially the digital models, allow not only recording and storage, but also numerous further processing options, which have proven to be practical and helpful in the test. While analog models allow spooling, but the recording remains in the storage and can no longer be changed, with some digital devices an extended intermediate storage is possible, which then also allows in comparison to insert or append further voice notes without the existing recording overwritten or deleted.

Such devices allow better archiving of the stored files, the creation of folders and the more versatile use, which is why the functions also achieve positive ratings in the test. An advantage in comparison is the better accessibility of the recorded files, which can then be switched on and revised directly.

A high-quality dictation machine in the test should offer modern connections, including for external microphones, speakers or headphones, a PC and USB connection. What many manufacturers also offer is suitable software for the transmission and further processing of the language files. The work steps are professionally and clearly designed, the software is mostly updated and further developed.

Important criteria for voice recorders

The trade has inexpensive entry-level models available, as well as very complex and somewhat more expensive dictation machines that offer a variety of functions and better sound, also have a larger memory and are easier to use. Entry-level models are mostly only intended for direct recording and playback of the recording. Models that allow various settings to adapt the recording to the environment are better.

Type of device, purpose and frequency

The consideration for purchasing a voice recorder can initially revolve around the use itself so that the appropriate model can be selected. It is not insignificant whether the device is switched on from time to time or whether it should be used frequently. Another decisive factor is whether short recordings or recordings are made over a longer period of time. The voice recorder should be quick to hand and easy to operate, and it should also be able to be used flexibly. The type of recording is also crucial for purchasing the right device. In the test, different models are required for music recordings than for simple dictation or interviews. Use in seminars, on the other hand, requires a model that can cover a good distance and can also be used in noisy surroundings.

There are dictation machines with mono and stereo playback, whereby the type of recording determines the quality of the sound recording. A mono channel is sufficient for normal applications. Stereo is needed when the sound and sound quality is to be of high quality.

The stereo model is recommended in the test for conference recordings, seminars or interviews, even if there are several conversation partners. The dictation machine for recording songs and pieces of music should be of similar quality.

Functional scope and handling

There are differences with regard to the range of functions of the models and the type of built-in microphones. Practical are microphones that can be aligned and rotated, even work as 3D microphones. On the one hand, such models do not have to be held directly under the mouth;

The model should have some important functions, including the calendar function for sorting the voice memos, different recording modes, for example quiet or busy places, for conference meetings, seminars, distance recordings or dictations. Simple handling increases the variety of uses in the test and also makes it possible to use it more quickly. In addition to one or more microphones, a loudspeaker should also be installed in order to be able to listen to the recording directly. Many models are also designed so that they can also be used as MP3 players or radio.

Rechargeable battery or battery operation

Inexpensive entry-level models usually run on batteries, although the number of batteries differs and the runtime of the devices is also more limited. An advantage in the test is the inexpensive re-purchase of normal batteries, which can then be easily replaced.

Since the voice recorder is mostly used on the move and is carried with you, the mains connection is available, but not practical, and of course allows long-term recording until the memory is full or the data has been transferred. In the case of stationary use or very long interviews, the mains connection should be possible in order to avoid disruptive interruptions for the battery change.

Dictation machines that work with a rechargeable battery are very good. These are designed in such a way that they allow a long recording time without using too much energy. There are normal lithium-ion batteries, NiMH batteries and Nikel metal hybrid batteries. They are more powerful and lighter, and can also be carried as a spare battery. Charging is quick and easy to use. The use of rechargeable batteries or batteries not only determines the running time, but also the overall usage behavior.

Memory card and capacity

The memory size of a dictation machine determines how efficiently the machine can be used and how many hours the recording can take place. While analog voice recorders offer a tape length of 30 minutes per side in the test, digital models allow a running time of up to 1000 hours and more. An internal memory is used in the voice recorder, which usually has a capacity of between 1 and 8 GB, comparable to modern smartphones. There are also slots for memory expansion with cards up to 32 GB. Not only the running time but also the file size and the sound quality have to be considered. In the test, more storage capacity always means more flexible handling of the dictation machine with a better scope of performance. Especially when the dictation machine offers the choice between several recording modes, a higher storage capacity is necessary.

Recording formats and connection options

WAV, WMA, MP3 and DSS formats allow recording in good sound and sound quality and with appropriate compression. Dictation machines offer several modes for adapting and optimizing the recording, whereby the storage capacity can also decrease or increase.

The three most important are abbreviated as HQ, SP and LP. HQ stands for short recordings with very high sound quality. SP includes longer, medium quality recordings such as at conferences and meetings, and LP offers the very long recording with low sound quality.

An external microphone, loudspeaker and headphones can usually be connected to a dictation machine. There are also interfaces for the PC connection, jack connections and card slots. Few models also have a WLAN connection so that the sound recording can be put online directly. If the dictation machine has a line-in connection, the transmission of turntables or cassette recorders is possible in order to digitize the analog recordings. However, an additional amplifier is required for this process.

Compression technique

When purchasing a dictation machine, playback quality plays a decisive role and should be possible at a high level. Interfering or hissing noises should be excluded and the recording should be able to take place at sufficient volume. If the sound quality is high, more storage capacity is required. In the test, the devices should be adaptable and allow long or shorter recordings with low or high sound quality. The formats in WMA, MP3 and WAV allow recording in different bit rates, such as 128 kBit, 256 kBit or 320 kBit.

WAV format

The WAV or WAVE file format is known as the container format and allows the digital storage of various audio data as a RIFF format designed by Microsoft for Windows, which is capable of recognizing information from audio data. The sound depends on the resolution and the sampling rate. It is an uncompressed format, which is useful for some recordings. While the files are error-free and uncompressed, they are also relatively large in comparison and require more storage space. The standardized sampling rate is 44.1 kHz with a sampling depth of 16 bits. This amounts to around 5.3 MB per minute and mono signal and is output as a data packet.

MP3 format

MP3 formats are also used in modern music players and have become the standard for playing sound files. MP3 is a format that allows high but also lossy compression and is more suitable for smaller recording formats. In the case of dictation machines, the format is correspondingly cheap, can also be listened to afterwards and played back at certain points.

DSS and DSS Pro

Better dictation machines offer the DSS or DSS-Pro format. This allows a very high rate of compression and little data loss. This means that files can be saved for testing and comparison in a space-saving manner, and the quality is not lost. The format was specially developed for voice recording. The storage capacity is larger, with a recording of around 10 minutes taking up just 1 MB. This in turn allows easier transmission, storage in a cloud and sending via mail.

As a format, DSS offers the possibility of subsequent editing of the voice memos and the insertion of further text and language parts. Two speakers can also be recorded, for example someone who gives further instructions and comments on the recorded sound phases. An introduction can also be added.

DSS Pro is the most modern format and even better than DSS with a higher sampling rate of 16 kHz. The format is also ideally suited for speech recognition software and allows a greatly reduced loss of compression.

Recording and sound quality

The recording quality is a decisive factor in the enjoyment of the dictation machine. This differs enormously with the large range of dictation machines and also has an impact on the price of the models. If you want to adapt the storage capacity to the recording quality, you need several recording modes in HQ, SP and LP. In general, it should be possible to record in a clear, interference-free form and at a good volume. The HQ mode is required for typical music recordings because it allows shorter recordings but high audio quality.

How does speech recognition work?

Many changes are emerging when it comes to dictation machines. In this context, we are talking about so-called speech recognition, which is very mature today. The first technical products equipped with a speech recognition function appeared as early as the 1970s. Dictation machines that have this function are more in demand than ever today. It seems so easy to convert words into digital form, because when you hold a dictation machine in your hand and make a recording using speech, it seems as if everything “happened by itself” – within a split second.

But the fact is that these processes are extremely complex and intrinsically very complex. A modern and extremely powerful speech recognition software plays an essential role in this regard. While the technology of “bygone days” only made it possible to distinguish between isolated terms or words and to identify them as language, the digital voice control software has recently made it possible to recognize entire texts and convert them into written words.

The software works in such a way that the sounds are “heard” until the speaker pauses. In this phase, the software breaks down the sounds into their individual parts based on the underlying tone or sound patterns in order to then combine them into specific units until they make sense.

In this respect, the so-called acoustic model plays an important role, because only with it is it currently possible to recognize speech sounds, to filter them out and to use them as the basis for the text to be written down.

Acoustic and linguistic elements

From a series of spoken sounds alone, it is as good as impossible, even for an acoustic model, no matter how sophisticated, to conceptualize 100 percent meaningful speech patterns that are suitable for adequate text storage. In order to also focus on semantic aspects, grammar and the like, the modern technology of the so-called linguistic model makes use of it. In this way, a more harmonious “cooperation” can take place, so that pure sounds can be conceptualized in a meaningful way and used for functional speech recognition.

As complex and cumbersome as this technology appears at first glance, it is also fascinating that, thanks to the creativity and inventiveness of the manufacturers, it is now very possible to guarantee almost 100 percent agreement, so that working with voice recorders is becoming easier and more efficient becomes.

It should be noted, however, that the handling of the speech recognition software can be relatively difficult and also very extensive, depending on the provider. However, anyone who deals with it in detail will certainly have a lot of fun with the new dictation machine with integrated speech recognition function.

What is the range of a voice recorder?

A dictation machine with integrated speech recognition has become an indispensable component in a wide variety of areas. In this regard, it is no longer just a matter of recording dictations that need to be written down in text form or making individual notes. The distance between speaking organ and recording device was relatively short, especially in the early days, as this was the only way to achieve adequate recording quality.

In the meantime, however, the whole thing looks different, because a lot has happened with regard to the corresponding technologies. If it is only a question of taking words or verbal notes in order to later – in whatever form – put them on paper, then it is sufficient if the dictation machine has a range of a few centimeters.

In earlier times it was still necessary to get as close as possible to the microphone to prevent important words from being “swallowed” by the device or from not being recorded at all. Today the discerning consumer can choose between dictation machines with different ranges.

The higher the range, the better the voice recorder? Not at all.

The wide world of advertising certainly promises a lot, so it is definitely worth taking a look “behind the scenes”. Because the fact is that a long range is by no means a quality criterion for a dictation machine.

In view of the fact that dictation machines can be used in a wide variety of areas today, it is obvious that the quality requirements are also constantly increasing. Just imagine that a recording device is used, for example, at a lecture. What if the lecturer is too far away from the dictation machine, so that the sound quality leaves a lot to be desired in the end and the content of the lecture is simply incomprehensible?

This is primarily due to insufficient range. Ideally, this is around two to five meters. In addition, the consumer should also ensure that a function is implemented that filters out disturbing noises. During a lecture, for example, it is quite possible that the voices of the other fellow students drown out the voice of the lecturer, so that at the end it is no longer audible on the tape.

Voice recorder accessories

Regardless of whether analog or digital: The variety of accessories for voice recorders is extremely diverse, and it is worthwhile to visit the renowned online shops.

When it comes to the “good, old” analog devices, the well-stocked specialist retailers, for example, hold up

  • powerful batteries,
  • Mini or micro cassettes ready,

which are characterized by a special storage capacity and good sound quality.

In addition, there is the possibility of

  • headphones,
  • magnets,
  • Foot switch
  • power supplies,

to additionally support or increase the service portfolio of the analog dictation devices in this way.

In addition, demanding users of analogue technology can add additional order

  • power supplies
  • bags
  • cables etc.

The creativity of the providers with a view to accessories for analog dictation machines is still practically unlimited.

Multi-faceted selection of accessories

The range of accessories for digital devices is also impressively large.

Quality-conscious consumers can of course also find them directly online

  • powerful batteries,
  • Foot switch,
  • Headphones etc.

But also

Power supplies,

  • USB cable,
  • SD memory cards
  • Microphones

and the still very popular docking stations are available in a wide variety of price ranges.

This makes them easy to use when it comes to transferring digital recordings from the dictation machine to the computer. The focus here is on both high efficiency and the fact that most docking stations can also be used to charge the dictation machine at the same time. In this way, the devices are ready for use at any time and anywhere in the world.

Depending on the model, it is even possible to charge several batteries at the same time. In addition, the use of W-Lan adapters is ideal.

If you have to be flexible in your job and react as quickly as possible to changes, you are well advised to opt for this accessory, as it ensures rapid and, above all, wireless data transmission within certain networks.

All in all, the multi-faceted portfolio of accessories that retailers have to offer with regard to dictation machines is characterized above all by the fact that working is easier, faster and more efficient overall. The handling of the individual devices becomes easier in the course of this, the functionality increases and thus additional flexibility in the job can be guaranteed.

“Time is money” is an old saying. And the best way to find out how much time can be saved in everyday work simply by using accessories for dictation machines is to simply use them and implement them regularly in everyday work.

Voice recorder alternatives

Dictation machines are specially made for extensive recording in a variety of situations and therefore offer very high speech and recording quality with many additional functions. If you don’t want to take a device of this type with you and only want to capture a few thoughts or conversations every now and then, you can also use a smartphone or tablet.

These usually offer a voice recorder as a built-in function directly in the device or allow various apps to be downloaded that are suitable for voice recording and improve the quality somewhat. The advantage of using the smartphone as a dictation machine is that files can be sent and forwarded quickly. Recommended apps include a. “Evernote”, “Dictaphone”, “Recordium” or “Cogi”. All apps are free and offer a selection of setting options and microphone adjustments.

Of course, you can also use the good old cassette recorder as an alternative, which allows you to record analogue and via a cassette at the push of a button. The devices are still commercially available in smaller versions and have a lighter and more practical design than the older models, but always require additional cassettes with magnetic tape to be purchased. The more compact and small voice recorder works in a similar way.

Alternatively, there is the USB stick with recording function in the test. It is well suited for occasional recording or when the model is to be used in a hidden way. The small format and the ability to use the stick as a storage module at any time are practical. The USB stick certainly does not offer any additional functions and also does not offer a particularly high recording quality.

Smartphone + recording app

Almost every smartphone is now equipped with a microphone with which voice recording is possible. This means that you can always generate easily understandable recordings from anywhere in the world.

Certainly one or the other smartphone lacks a dictation function, but – listen and be amazed – it can be complemented very well by one of the numerous dictation apps that are now available. Simply download it – and the functional app can be used without any problems.

However, it has been shown time and again that the sound or playback quality is not always able to achieve what would be required for a smooth process in the office. Experience has shown that there are always wishes open with regard to their usability.

MP3 player

Conveniently, MP3 players can also be used as dictation machines, provided they have a recording function. However, it must be taken into account here that they are comparatively inflexible in terms of their usability and that, for example, certain technical problems could arise when processing the spoken content.

Of course, they are quite suitable for short-term, sporadic use. However, it is advisable to use high-performance dictation devices for really professional projects, for example when recording interviews or with a view to monitoring rooms.


A promising “gimmick” or an outstanding technical finesse: we are talking about the so-called smartpen, which looks just like the mysterious ballpoint pens from the legendary 007 films.

In fact, the design of this unique voice recorder corresponds to that of a ballpoint pen, a pen that is able to store content spoken through a microphone. But not only that: while the user makes his notes on paper with this pen, the integrated technology assigns these written parts to special categories, with the aid of which this written content can be found on the basis of given keywords. This means that you literally only have to “click” once to find and work with the file or recording you are looking for.

Of course, this device is rather unsuitable for long interviews, interrogations or meetings. But this helpful device is indeed a good choice for recording short, concise content.

4.8/5 - (13 votes)

Last product update on 2022-06-28 | Source: Amazon Affiliate