Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide

Planning to buy the best digital voice recorder? Here are the top 6 best digital voice recorders reviews, buying guide, how-to tips, and FAQs. Read on this post to buy the best portable digital voice recorder for all your recording needs.

Do you think mini voice recorders are a thing of the past? Think again! Choreographers, choir members, musicians, journalists, and secretaries are extracting bigger value from these handheld devices.

Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders Reviews & Guide

For example, you want to capture top-quality sounds as you practice your speech, interview, or music, without putting your phone in flight mode. Better still, you can rewind at your pace, listen to your convenience, capture surrounding sounds, and more.

What Is A Digital Voice Recorder?

What Is A Digital Voice Recorder -

A digital voice recorder is a  portable device that effectively captures and preserves audio data in MP3 and WAV formats. Its mode of operation is simple and straightforward. When you push the “ON” button, it detects the available sound signals and starts recording them.

Depending on the settings, it can recreate these sound waves either electrically or mechanically. Besides, as a student, you can take solace in this best digital voice recorder during lengthy lectures. After the class or meeting, you can replay the sessions, while soaking up every bit of information.

So, that’s all with the basics of digital voice recorders. We hope now you are fully familiar with these devices or accessories. If not, please read the digital voice recorder buying guide, available below the reviews section, to know everything including how to buy the best digital voice recorders. For now, let’s start exploring the top 6 best digital voice recorders reviews with pros, cons, and comparison.

Best Inexpensive

EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder Voice Activated Recorder with Playback - Upgraded Small Tape Recorder for Lectures, Meetings, Interviews, Mini Audio Recorder USB Charge, MP3

The Best High-End

Tascam DR-40X Four-Track Digital Audio Recorder and USB Audio Interface, Black

Best Mid-Range

Zoom H2n Stereo/Surround-Sound Portable Recorder, 5 Built-In Microphones, X/Y, Mid-Side, Surround Sound, Ambisonics Mode, Records to SD Card, For Recording Music, Audio for Video, and Interviews

Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders Reviews With Pros, Cons, And Comparison

#6. Olympus Voice Recorder WS-852 with 4GB

Olympus Voice Recorders are sensitive devices that come with voice filters. Essentially, voice filters remove small amplifying sounds. Moreover, this best digital voice recorder captures sounds in MP3 format, creating a very sharp audio track. It also has a true stereo structure with two directional microphones tilted at right angles to each other. This positioning helps to catch definite voices meters away from you.

More importantly, this mini voice recorder is compact enough to fit into your pocket. It has a direct WS-852 USB connection that fits quickly into computers. As a result, information transfer is rapid and effortless. Besides, the WS-852 slot has a protective cover that repels dust, reducing the risks of wear.

Moreover, this recorder has two strong, rechargeable AAA batteries. Once charged, they last for up to five days. Meanwhile, to prevent surface vibration, it has a built-in rear stand. Luckily, you can also have all of your files arranged in folders tagged in a calendar format.

PRICE: $     Editor Rating: 4.2/5.0      Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 2  Fakespot Grade:  Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 3

  • Ability to erase unwanted files

  • Minimal space requirement

  • USB direct connection

  • Simple mode for beginners

  • Problem of uncharged batteries

  • Possibility of sound interference

  • Inadequate recording in pockets

#5. EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder

Do you know that you can activate the EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder by voice alone? Not only that but also you can define and select the types of voice tone and pitch to record. Besides, the captured sounds can have as high as 1536 kPbs.

To make it easy to use, this mini voice recorder comes with a red button to confirm you have switched it on. With just 5.4 ounces, you can quickly slip it inside your handbag and take it anywhere you desire.

Furthermore, it comes with an earphone that you could use to listen to the recordings at your convenience. Additionally, if you will like to move files to your PC, this USB voice recorder has a cord for that purpose. To cap it, it arranges your files chronologically with year, month, day, hour, and second labels. Also, this product comes with a lithium polymer battery that promises a long life. Therefore, you can use it in meetings and lengthy lectures.

PRICE: $     Editor Rating: 4.2/5.0      Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 2  Fakespot Grade:  Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 3

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Neat filing system

  • WAV format of recording

  • Suitable for music recordings

  • Shutting down deletes unsaved files

  • Possibility of small sounds

  • Poor delivery in closed corners

Zoom H1n Portable Recorder, Onboard Stereo Microphones, Camera Mountable, Records to SD Card, Compact, USB Microphone, Overdubbing, Dictation, For Recording Music, Audio for Video, and Interviews


#4. Zoom H1n Portable Recorder

With a quick start guide, this device has excellent digital voice recorder reviews. It is sturdy and ergonomic, making it a favorite amongst users. The microphones are multi-directional. Besides, these mics are inclined at an angle of 90° to each other. To make it durable, it has a protector that looks like a cage. Another feature we like about this best digital voice recorder is the 25 monochrome LCD that brightens things up.

Furthermore, the recording device can save files (up to 32 GB) directly on multiple storage materials such as secure digital and SDHC cards. Also, in this device are two AAA batteries that should last for almost 10 hours.

Besides, it has are other interesting attributes like automatic capturing, pre-recording, self-timing, and input impedance up to 2K Ohms. To prevent distortion during operation, it has a 120 dB anti-board limiter. Moreover, this mini voice recorder has a sleek and attractive body with a matte finish. Moreover, you can plug straight to cameras.

PRICE: $$    Editor Rating: 4.4/5.0      Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 2  Fakespot Grade:  Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 3

  • The design is ergonomic

  • Compact and portable

  • Additional text display

  • Sharp and flawless recording

  • Functional only when charged

  • Probability of unwanted signals

  • Inferior functioning in restricted areas

Tascam DR-40X Four-Track Digital Audio Recorder and USB Audio Interface, Black


#3. Tascam DR-40X Four-Track Digital Audio Recorder and USB Audio Interface

An amazing feature of this best digital voice recorder is that it traps and preserves onstage tones and sounds on SD cards of various sizes, ranging from 64 MB to 2 GB. Moreover, you can use an SDHC card of 32 GB, or SDXC cards with 128 GB memory. These files are preserved in the hardware using the FAT16132 filing method.

The USB connector is of the micro B-type, and the device contains massive 48-V power. As a result, this USB voice recorder is suitable for versatile track recording. Besides, it has four channels, of which two are stereo.

Furthermore, the condenser microphones allow for a wide coverage of live performances. This best voice recorder makes dubbing swift, easy, and seamless. Also, the batteries of this device function continuously for up to 18 hours. To capture faraway signals, it has a rear placement receptacle and tripod stand.

PRICE: $$     Editor Rating: 4.5/5.0      Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 2  Fakespot Grade:  Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 12

  • Amazing sound quality

  • Extended battery life

  • Versatile track recording

  • Nondestructive dubbing

  • No quick start guide

  • It cannot record in pockets

  • Underground sounds might filter through

#2. Zoom H2n Stereo/Surround-Sound Portable Recorder

If you are looking for a mini voice recorder that weighs less than 5.0 ounces, you should consider the Zoom H2N. It uses both NiMH and alkaline rechargeable batteries as its power source. With either of these power options, it works continuously for over 20 hours.

Therefore, it has one of the best digital voice record reviews. Besides, its microphones are unidirectional and inclined to each other at a right angle to make provision for more coverage. Although this best voice recorder works analogically, it also favors advanced mixing techniques.

Moreover, this best voice recorder has five built-in microphones that perfectly capture environmental sounds in ambisonics mode. Not only that but also, it records sound signals in at least four different ways. It stores the files on miniature storage devices like SD cards.

Furthermore, it has an accompanying port for the remote control. Other exciting highlights of this device includes automatic gaining and recording, recovery of stored data, and prerecording functions, amongst other things. These features make this device perfect for live audio and video performances.

PRICE: $$   Editor Rating: 4.7/5.0      Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 2  Fakespot Grade:  Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 15

  • It contains compressors and limiters

  • Multi polar patterns

  • Durable batteries

  • Sophisticated fixing and mixing options

  • Microphones are sensitive to wind

  • Plastic tripod stand.

  • Deficient sound capture in tight areas

Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder for Audio for Video, Music, and Podcasting, Stereo Microphones, 2 XLR/TRS Inputs, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered


#1. Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder

This best digital voice recorder has the capability to save multiple sound signals simultaneously. Its replaceable in-fed capsules provide room for every form of microphones that you might have. Besides, you can detach the multimedia microphone, just like those in camera lenses, for quick usage.

Also, the structure is sensitive enough to pick up sound signals to a maximum of 140dB SPL. This best digital voice recorder has provision for different types of storage media such as SD and SDHC devices. Moreover, you can store 32 GB worth of files conveniently.

Furthermore, this battery-powered USB voice recorder has sophisticated microphone attributes that favor perfect audio and video capturing. For instance, the MSH-6MS module enables the mini voice recorder to capture movies, TV, and various video projects with minimal disruption.

The XYH-6 large-diaphragm X/Y transmitter module allows for fixing different sounds like classical music. Moreover, the XYH-5 shock-mounted megaphone module is perfect for capturing music from onstage musicians, as well as from electronic newsgathering apps.

Besides, the EXH-6 port can support both XLR and TRS plugs comfortably without any hassles. Other devices you can connect to this mini voice recorder include mixers, MP3 players, and wireless megaphones.

PRICE: $$$    Editor Rating: 4.9/5.0      Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 2  Fakespot Grade:  Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 12

  • It allows consecutive recording

  • Two AA batteries

  • Detachable stereo microphones

  • The batteries last long

  • It does not use electricity

  • Risk of unwanted sounds

  • Ineffective in confined spaces

Digital Voice Recorder Buying Guide

Top 6 Best Digital Voice Recorders 2020: Reviews & Guide 19

It can be challenging to settle for one brand, design, or a set of specifications. Moreover, this comprehensive digital voice recorder guide on digital voice recorder reviews will clarify any issues you might have.

Why Buy Digital Voice Recorders?

The best digital voice recorders have some inherent advantages that can change your mind on its usefulness. Some of these include:

Digital Enhancers

Except for expensive smartphones like the iPhone series and some tablets, you cannot modify your sound recordings. However, these hardware products contain digital enhancers that favor high-quality modifications and adjustments. For example, you can increase the depth of captured sounds.

Zero Stress

Does being in long lecturing sessions sound boring to you because you can barely catch up with taking notes? Best voice recorders take the stress off you with just a push of the “record” button. Besides, you can capture multiple voices at the same time.

Highly Portable

No one likes an extra piece of electronics that increases the weight of his bag or pocket. Mini voice recorders are compact and portable. As a result, you can hold them throughout your recording sessions without feeling an ounce of pain. Besides, some fit perfectly into your palm like your smartphone.

Strong Batteries

If you live in areas with inconsistent electricity supply, you have nothing to worry about. Once you charge these devices to their maximum capacity, some can last for 48 hours. Besides, you can use these best voice recorders as long as you want without the fear of them running down.

Types Of Voice Recorders

Types Of Voice Recorders -

There are several models, designs, and brands of digital voice recorders. However, they fall within some of the following categories:

Analog Voice Recorders

This type of recording device comes with a megaphone diaphragm, which can sense minute changes in the atmospheric pressure due to sound waves. After detecting these changes, it represents them as mechanical disturbances of sound signals on phonographs. Besides, you can quickly transfer your audio file from another device to the other. Moreover, stored files are kept permanently.

Digital Voice Recorders

After capturing sound signals, these recording devices transform them into their digital equivalent. That is, they modify analog signals into binary numbers to ensure no file is lost during the capturing session. This conversion happens in rapid succession that you rarely notice. Besides, during the playback period, they return them to their analog styles. As a result, digital voice recorders are more effective and appealing than their analog counterparts.

Pen Voice Recorders

Have you watched a movie where an investigative journalist or detective walks into an office without any device but comes out with a full record of all that transpired in the office? Well, they used a pen recorders. Since they look just like typical pens, you can rarely suspect their capacity or functions. Besides, there are no displays on their bodies due to their smallness.

Field Voice Recorders

Field digital voice recorders are larger and more visible. As a result, they are perfect for onstage performances and lectures. One prominent feature of this type of recorder is its sophisticated microphones. Besides, they have advanced functionalities to enhance the audio output during playbacks.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Digital Voice Recorders

Factors To Consider When Choosing Digital Voice Recorders -

Intended Use

Before deciding to buy a digital voice recorder, you must have figured out a problem that you need to solve. Consequently, these devices have different features, such as X/Y megaphone modules, dual capsules, camera ports, etc. These highlights vary depending on the purpose.

For example, if you perform live musical sessions, you need devices that have the XYH megaphone capsules. Firstly, you don’t have to worry about vibration or underground noise while performing. This is because it has superb noise-canceling effects. Secondly, it has sufficient insulation.

However, if you work as a DJ, the most suitable mini voice recorder is the EXH model that features both XLR and TRS formats. You can plug this device to trap sound signals from different sources simultaneously. Whether these are wireless microphones, mixing equipment, or MP3 devices, it works just fine.

Furthermore, if you’ve got the intention of using it for movies and other filming activities, you need to consider its compatibility with cameras. Besides, make sure it contains a tripod stand for easy mounting and accessibility. Otherwise, you might spend more buying the accessories separately.

That’s not all, for broadcasters and OAPs, the ideal device contains voice filtering settings, condenser megaphones, and the ability to activate with your voice.

Lastly, as a student, having your recordings in a chronological format will improve your productivity and save time. As a result, search for mini voice recorders with excellent filing styles.

Audio File Weight

You need to pay extra attention to this specification if you will use this mini voice recorder for movie production. The reason is not far fetched since high-quality audio formats are heavier. Besides, they consume massive space in storage devices. As a result, you need devices with about 128 GB of memory space. Other options might be SDXC and SDHC cards.

However, secure digital cards can get missing mistakenly. Therefore, you might want to check for those recorders with USB ports to facilitate seamless file transfer to a PC. These USB voice recorders will save time, stress, and money. A rule of thumb is to ensure compatibility with the PC model. Otherwise, you might just waste money. If possible, look for functionalities like Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Proposed Budget

This factor is a major deal-breaker for anything you want to buy. Unless you define your budget beforehand, you might end up confused. Meanwhile, remember that the higher the quality you desire, the pricier it becomes. Also, if you desire more functions, you will pay more.

Besides, it is advisable to walk into a nearby electronics store where you can ascertain the integrity of your purchase. This is necessary to prevent a situation where you get a defective product that takes almost the original price to return and replace. However, you can use trusted platforms with responsive customer care representatives and marketplace integrity.

 Recording Time And Frequency

This becomes necessary with respect to battery life. If you are capturing audio signals for extended periods, consider getting a USB voice recorder that can last for up to 48 hours or more. That way, you can always have it handy regardless of time and frequency.  Besides, ninety-four minutes of recording is equivalent to 1 GB audio size with 16-bit and 44.1Hz properties.

On the other hand, devices with AAA batteries are proven to keep working for longer hours. Although they might be quite expensive, they compensate for this increment with durability.

Size Of Device

As mentioned earlier, recording devices could be as small as a pen. On the other hand, some are bigger than your palm. They have different weights, thanks to their various functionalities. Typically, heavier models are more valuable and expensive than lighter ones. Moreover, justify this with the intended purpose. If need be, you might compromise one factor for the other.

Tips On How To Use Digital Voice Recorders

Tascam DR-40X Four-Track Digital Audio Recorder and USB Audio Interface

  • To get maximum coverage and sufficient ambient recording, time the microphones to be at right angles to each other. Otherwise, the audio quality might be low. It might also exclude some voices.
  • Recording from your pocket or purse does not always produce the best audio output quality. This is because your cloth or leather obstructs sound waves reaching the device. Consequently, the sound is dull and blurred.
  • Ensure you save your recordings properly before pushing the “OFF” button. This is necessary since there is no “autosave” mode on mini voice recorders. Besides, when you shut down without saving, you stand the risk of losing all your work.
  • As much as possible, make sure the echo is reduced to the nearest minimum. Areas with the largest echo include extremely quiet places. You can check the digital voice recorder reviews to see how well you can adjust it to suit your preferences.
  • The closer you are to the sound source, the clearer and sharper the resulting output will be. Therefore, position yourself within the source’s circle of influence.
  • You might consider getting a microphone sheen if you will deploy your USB voice recorder in places with inclement weather conditions. Failure to do so might lead to the damage of your device.

FAQs Related To Digital Voice Recorders

FAQs Related To Digital Voice Recorders -

How do digital voice recorders work?

The first step is to detect different sound signals. After this, the digital voice recorder stores these waves as numbers. For each number present, there is a corresponding sir pressure at a particular period. Furthermore, built-in microphones pick up and amplify these signals before sending them to a format converter. Finally, they are transformed from analog to digital formats.

Can Google Docs transcribe recorded audio files to text?

Presently, Google Docs has no command for transcribing an audio file into its text equivalent. However, you can use the voice typing option on the keyboard or tools menu. Also, ensure you connect a speaker to a PC. As soon as it starts playing, click on the microphone button to start transforming the audio to text.

Can you modify a .ds2 file to a .dss format?

Of course. It is quite a simple process. Moreover, both formats are similar in quality and size. If it were from an MP3 or WMA format, it might make more sense. However, it is advisable to leave those former formats that way.

What software can you use for direct transcription of audio files to text? 

Most digital voice recorders cannot carry out transcription all by themselves. As a result, they need a software called Dragon Naturally Speaking. Available on both Windows and Mac devices, it allows you to convert your recordings into text without any hassles.

For how long can a digital voice recorder last?

Typically, these devices should last up to 10 hours after full charging. However, some models have advanced batteries that last up to 48 hours and behind. Furthermore, models with AAA batteries tend to keep working non-stop for several hours.

What playback options are available on mini voice recorders?

Depending on the model you get, some playback periods could be as fast as 2X or 4X. On the other hand, it could be as slow as ½ the original pace. Not only that but also, you can erase unnecessary files and pause appropriately.

What distance can the mini voice recorder cover effectively?

Some models are quite sensitive to sounds more than three to six feet away. However, some can only function in close proximity to the sound source. Therefore, it’s vital to check the label to ascertain the distance it can sufficiently cover.

How can you send recorded files to your PC?

Most recording devices contain USB ports and cables for a seamless connection to PCs. If the cable is missing, you might have to get a replacement. Besides, the sound signals are captured in MP3 formats. Once you plug into your computer, you are good to go. However, for a Mac that is compatible with only USB-c cable models, you will need an adapter.

So, that’s all with the best digital voice recorders reviews and digital voice recorder buying guide. Hope you enjoyed reading this post and it has helped you in one or another way. Stay tuned with The Keen Hunter for more such product reviews and buying guides.

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Zoom H5 4-Track Portable Recorder for Audio for Video, Music, and Podcasting, Stereo Microphones, 2 XLR/TRS Inputs, USB Audio Interface, Battery Powered

About the Editor

Simon wagner

Simon Wagner

Simon is the owner and editor-in-chief for He has been writing and publishing online reviews for fifteen years. Brett spends most of his time in the sunny Southern California beach town where he grew up.