What’s the Best Portable Sound Recorder in 2017?

Our guide will help you find the best portable audio recorder for your needs.

For those who may not know, a travel audio recorder is a device that allows users to record any type of voice. But my smartphone can serve me with the same functionality, so why should I pick a separate device to record sound (click here for our guide)? Travel voice recorders offer a much better sound quality recording when compared to smartphones. Similarly, you also get some extra features, memory space and much more to professionalize the art of recording.

Now, what next? People who are looking forward to a buy travel sound recorders might face some difficulties as every other product listed on the market mark itself the number one option. After searching forums, reading customer reviews and talking one on one with the experts we have come up to a conclusion. We have hand-picked ten deal-breakers that will help you to pick your first travel audio recorder.

1. TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder (V2)

TASCAM

Winning the hearts of many for over 30 years TASCAM has developed products for every portion of themusic industry. From a professional grade studio to the jamming apartment next door, TASCAM is everywhere.

TASCAM believes in providing customers with exciting yet easy to use innovations that are able to break through the stereotypes.

For people who are into audio/voicerecording, TASCAM has got something exciting for them. DR-05 brings high-quality stereo recording in a compact yet easy to use package with a price tag that everyone can afford.

Insert a microSD or microSDHC card and you are ready to record 96kHz/24-bit high-resolution sound in mp3 or WAV format. Say thanks to a pair of all-new microphone that handles up to 125dB SPL and allow a user to record every precise detail.

DR-05 include a lot of features but when it comes to operating this hardware the efforts are just simple. Recording, adjusting levels and deleting bad takes is now just a button press away.

Pros:
+ Enhanced playback functions.

+ Easy operation.

+ Stereo condenser microphones for high audio quality recording.

Why We Liked It – It doesn’t just get any better without DR-05 by TASCAM. With easy operation, high-quality sound recording and seamless gain control these recorders have some serious engineering team backing them up.

2. TASCAM DR-40 4-Track Portable Digital Recorder

TASCAM DR 40

For generations, users believe TASCAM for building professional-grade audio equipment so that they dont have to invest in those over-expensive products. DR lineup by TASCAM was dedicated to digital recording so that one can have pure professional recorders at an affordable price range.

Four track recording, long-lasting battery and adjustable mics of DR-40 by TASCAM give you the power of recording tracks anywhere and anytime.

DR-40 holds the potential of recording up to four tracks from built-in high-quality condenser microphones. For enhancing your recording experience according to the situation, the internal mics can be adjusted to from XY to AB positions.

High sound pressure design of DR-40 allow users to record the loud recordings along with quiet audio sources like lectures. So even if you are recording a concert or trying to be the next spy kid DR-40 has got you covered.

Apart from the built-in condenser microphones, the user can also add external microphones to the DR-40. XLR/TRS inputs make it possible to connect external condenser microphones and through it, phantom power can be supplied as well making your recording experience worthwhile.

Pros:
+ Peak reduction function automatically lowers the level when a peak audio is detected.

+ Record in both A-B and X-Y position through built-in unidirectional condenser microphones.

+ XLR/TRS inputs for adding external condenser microphones.

Why We Liked It – DR-40 by TASCAM is loaded with features that one wont find in any other sound recorders. With up to four-track recording, extended battery life and unidirectional condenser microphones this piece of tech hold some serious recording game.

3. Aketek 650HR Digital Audio Voice Recorder

Aketek Rechargeable

Aketek is all about new experiments, scientific research, development, and tech manufacturing. This company aims to provide excellent products to every consumer at a reasonable price.

From projectors to travel audio recorders, Aketek makes every effort to provide a customer with the latest technology.

650HR by Aketek are not just another voice recording gadget but multi functional rechargeable digital voice recorders. Easy to use interface allows users to efficiently record, delete and tweak settings without any prior experience. Interface language is a key to understanding multiple options provided in any piece of tech, these recorders have 24 languages available for the user interface.

Whether you want to record your class sessions or a studio jam these digital sound recorders support both .mp3 and WAV formats. Similarly, with a built-in storage of 8 gigabytes, you can store many long recordings without deleting any.

Pros:
+ Up to 24 languages for the user interface.

+ A-B repeat function.

+ Easy to use interface compact design.

Why We Liked It – Getting more in less is all that 650HR by Aketek excels in. With a built-in storage of 8gb, Voice Operated/Activated Recording and Mp3 music playback this audio recorder device is surely a deal-breaker.

4. Olympus VN-7200 Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus VN 7200

Olympus is a worldwide leading manufacturer of sound and video technology. From digital cameras to voicerecording devices this company has got it all to flourish your needs.

VN-7200 is a mashup of simplicity with Olympus renowned sound technology. These digital audio recorders allow users to record hundreds of hours of recording time, all praises go to its large 2GB internal storage.

Features like voice-activated recording, placing index marks, and three different recording modes allow users to capture the ideal recordings.

VN-7200 features a mic input so you can connect external microphones to step further into the recording game. Similarly, an integrated speaker lets you listen to what you have recorded so far. Furthermore, an output jack featured in these sound recorders lets you connect headphones for private listening sessions.

Speaking more about the storage, it is divided into four separate folders and each folder holds 200 files.

VN-7200 by Olympus distract users from getting their hands dirty by those old unreliable tapes.

Pros:
+ Voice-activated recording allows you to set a specific level for start recording automatically.

+ Fast and slow playback modes.

+ Microphone input and headphone output jacks.

Why We Liked It – VN-7200 give users a load of reasons for switching to digital voice recorders. With indexing marking, voice-activated recording and up to 1,511 hours of recording time VN-7200 is marked as budget-breaking audio recorders.

5. Trustin Professional Digital Audio Voice Recorder

Trustin

The tag line of Trustin products is “have a trust in your voice”. For over 20 years Trustin is a professional sounding product manufacturing company that aims to provide quality sounding goods under an affordable deal.

Are you a student who want to record those class lessons for after-study? Or you want to upload a high-quality sound recording of that upcoming concert on the SoundCloud? Well, in that case, Trustin has got something for you.

Travel Rechargeable professional digital audio recorders by Trustin were designed to record high-quality audio regardless of the barriers. This piece of tech allows you to record crystal clear sound from up to 50 feet away to a specific target.

So your recording device died? No problem! As these voice recorders by Trustin has double power sources. Just add a LRO3(AAA) alkaline battery and you are ready to record once again!

No need to buy a separate SD card as its large capacity storage of 8 gigabytes ensures that your long recording sessions arent interrupted.

This professional digital audio recording gadget by Trustin has got it all to complete your needs – click to see the study on the basics.

Pros:
+ PC transfer function allows you to exchange files with your personal computer.

+ One key recording and saving makes it easy to use.

+ Variable speed adjustment.

Why We Liked It – Trustin is the name that people trust. With features like super maximal endurance, dual protection function and professional ADC active noise reduction it wouldnt be hard to comment that this recorder is topping its league.

6. EVISTR L53 Digital Voice Recorder

EVISTR L53

Distributing consumer electronics from a year back, EVISTR has gained some serious amount of audience. From a fidget spinner to audio recording device this company retails it all.
L53 by EVISTR is a great gift for users who are into recording sound. Reporters or students who are looking for a small yet clear voice recorders then L53 by EVISTR is a great deal to conquer.

These recorders are packed with features. Record monitoring feature allows users to directly monitor their recording. Similarly, voice activated recording mode lets you automatically record audio when a certain level of the signal is crossed.

Recorders often breakdown when it comes to the long recording session. L53 ensures 15 hours of high-quality recording on a full charge so you dont have to carry a charger every time around.

There is only one word for microphones, Flawless. 2 HD microphones and dynamic noise reduction records crystal clear sound even far up to 40 foot away. Similarly, 8gb of internal storage save up to 300 hours of recording so you dont have to buy an additional SD card.

L53 revives the concept of more for less.

Pros:
+ Premium metal sturdy body.

+ 800mAh rechargeable batteries.

+ New PCM linearity recording technology.

Why We Liked It – L53 is here to compete. With three different recording formats, crystal clear recording and up to 15 hours of continuous recording one cannot doubt the capabilities of L53 by EVISTR.

7. TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder

Tascam DR-05

DR-05 version 1 by TASCAM brings high-quality recording in a pocket-size compact design. This powerhouse records some serious audio.

Just add a microSD or microSDHC card to start recording in 96kHz/24-bit high-resolution sound. You can either record in .mp3 format or.WAV.

Speaking more about the recording, DR-05 features omnidirectional stereo condenser microphones that only record audio coming from the front making it great for every type of use.

While recording multiple voices it is difficult to playback because the volume of different people varies. Such cases are backed up by the level align function that automatically adjusts the sound volume for playback making it easy to listen.

Pros:
+ High sound pressure design.

+ Stereo condenser microphones.

+ Peak reduction function.

Why We Liked It – With high sound pressure design for recording quiet audio sources, stereo condenser microphones for high-quality recording and level align feature to prevent uneven volume levels DR-05 packs up all the goods to redefine your recording experience.

8. Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder

Zoom H1

Good things come in small packages, that is what zoom have to say about its H1 handy digital recorderdevices. H1 by Zoom is all about delivering big sound in a tiny package. Rather than jotting down the important points, one can simply turn on this piece of tech to capture lectures, meetings and you name it!

The high-quality recording is promised by the built-in X/Y unidirectional microphones set at 90 degrees angle relative to each other. The X/Y mechanism helps the user to cover a wide area with clarity and definition – much like a Mic Preamp (read our top 10 list).

For increasing the potential of these recorders one can connect external microphones or line level signal to the H1s Mic/line input mini phone jack or other types of stereo recording.

All such features make H1 by zoom a perfect solution for recording anything.

Pros:
+ Line/Headphone output for connecting headphones or interconnecting an equipment like DSLR.

+ Same frequency and SPL handling like Zoom H2.

+ USB port for connecting H1 to a computer.

Why We Liked ItWith X/Y microphones configuration, USB 2.0 port and Mic/Line input port H1 by zoom unleashes the potential of recorders.

9. Tascam DR-05 (V2) Digital Audio Recorder

Tascam DR-05 Version 2

DR-05 by Tascam excels the recording game as there is no competitor standing shoulder to shoulder with this audio recording machine. DR-05 is easy to use recording powerhouse that comes in an affordable price range.

For adding a more natural sounding to your recordings reverb effect feature of DR-05 Version 2 lets you add reverb to music demo and overdub recordings. Similarly, reverb effects can be added during playback so one can affect hall like feeling by simply tweaking some options.

In the package, you also get a professional lavalier condenser microphone so you can increase the range of built-in microphones and record for even further distances.
Tascam DR-05 is an absolute bang for the budget.

Pros:
+ Stereo condenser microphones for high-quality recording.

+ Professional lavalier microphone included in the package.

+ Self-timer recording function.

Why We Liked It – Quick menu for easy function access, level align feature for preventing uneven volume levels and a lot of features makes up this masterpiece of recording marked as DR-05.

10. Zoom H2n Handy Recorder

Zoom H2n Handy

It all comes down to H2n handy recorder by Zoom. This device comes in with five built-in microphones and four recording modes making it the beast of the recording league. H2n can handle live concerts to lecture recording which makes it good for every type of use.

When it’s about connectivity, H2n by Zoom stands tall as it offers a variety of inputs and outputs for flexibility while recording. A line in jack can accept two channels of mic or line-level signals as well as a stereo line out for connecting headphones.

For transferring files to a computer this recording gadget includes a USB port so one can edit the files via supplied software known as WaveLab LE.

Pros:
+ Support up to 32GB of SD or SDHC card.

+ Four recording modes.

+ Five built-in microphones.

Why We Liked It – H2n handy recording gadget by Zoom is a feature full recording box. With up to four recording modes, five built-in microphones and a variety of input/output ports this recorder defines every penny spent on it.

Portable Audio Recorder Buyers Guide

Handy sound recorders are the hottest product of the audio world. From recording lectures to covering up a concert, theserecording devices are the top solution to enhance the recording quality.

In this write-up, well guide you step by step to get your hands on the fittest sound recording gadget according to your needs.

Before jumping straight into the pool lets first discuss that what actually a travel sound recording gadget serves.

The travel sound recording gadget is a small hand-held device that lets you record rehearsals, interviews (click for the how-to guide) and much more. Wait! We know that a sound can be recorded by your phone, tablet etc but the quality provided by sound recorders is something you cant compare to any other source – click for the study.

Now let us dive deep into the pool of this guide so that you can pick the most appropriate audio recording gadget.

Is travel sound recorder for you?

The one who is looking forward to record a concert, band practice, songs, meeting or pretty much anything in a never-before experienced quality then a travel sound recorder might be his next stop.

These recorders are compact and one can simply hold them whole day long in the hands. Apart from a small design, they just require a minimal setup to get things go voila. One needs to simply point the recording gadget at the source, press record to start making out wonders.

They sound amazingly good that is all we have heard from the buyers. So if you are looking forward to recording some high-definition sound than a handy sound recorder might be the gadget that you must have.

Which sample rate you should look for?

A sample rate constructs the sample recorded to the original sound signal. Higher the sample rate means the higher sound quality.

Different handy recorders have a variety of sample rates but one must choose the highest possible. If the sample rate is too low the sampled signal wouldnt be able to reconstruct itself to the original sound signal.

So remember, higher is better.

Recording time?

Some record short interviews while others record hours of lectures. Recording time is proportional to the storage available in these recording devices.

Many audio recording devices support SD cards but some have a built-in storage that cannot be expanded. So one needs to analyze his/her requirements and choose the storage size according to it.

According to us, one must go for the handy recording gadget that supports an SD card as you never know when you may run out of storage.

Built-in microphones or more options?

For an average consumer the built-in microphones are enough to record some superb quality sound but what about the fanatics?

Many known handy sound recorders offer connecting external microphones to enhance the recording game. On the posh side of the story, somebrands also offer input types like XLR, mini jack and more. Some high-end models also offer phantom power for connecting condenser microphones.

Now choose wisely according to your needs so your budget stays blessed.

Battery Life!

Just think that you are recording an important meeting and suddenly your voice recording gadget flashes the low-battery caution and dies.

Battery life factor must be checked while buying a new recorder. A typical recorder has built-in rechargeable batteries that can offer up to 10-15 hours of continuous recording time. If you want some more juice then buying a dual powered( built-in rechargeable batteries along with the option of adding an AA alkaline battery ) recorder would be a favorable option.

Support for a USB connection

You recorded some great tracks and now you are looking forward to uploading them on YouTube, now what? Pulling out the SD card, inserting it into a card reader and then plug in the card reader into your PC is way too old-school for transferring files.

Look for a USB port while buying a new recorder as a single connection will help you to transfer files more efficiently.

The budget talks

At the end of the day, it all depends upon your pocket. We suggest you to pick a comfortable range while not going too cheap or too expensive.

Stay at the middle ground and then analyze the options left for you. Going too cheap will cause you in near future and picking an expensive handy voice recorder will burden your budget.

Pick a normal yet comfortable budget and stay dedicated to your needs to pick the fittest travel audio recorder.

After thoroughly going through this guide one can easily pick the fittest voice recorder but what if you need the say of experts?

Here we come into play once again. By going through forums, consulting sound professionals and reading customer reviews we came up with a solution. We have hand-picked three different voice recorders that are topping their league.

1- Top pick

TASCAM DR-05Mashing up fittest ingredients under an affordable price range refers the product listed in our top pick category. We doubt that one can find such an audio recording gadget under an affordable tag.

Allow us to introduce you to the kings of music industry, Tascam. For more than 30 years Tascam is developing products for every portion of themusic industry. From speakers to handheld recorders Tascam is everywhere, winning the hearts of many.

DR-05 version 2 is the utmost solution by Tascam for travel audio recording. This easy to use compact powerhouse records high-quality stereo audio under a price that any user can handle.

Such high-quality sound recording is achieved by a new pair of built-in microphones that withstands up to 125dB SPL. Furthermore, one can record sound from 200 feet away without losing any detail. If you want some more boost to the capabilities then simply add a microphone through the stereo input.

Speaking more about the microphones, DR-05 is equipped with omnidirectional stereo condenser microphones. These microphones record ambient audio from all directions including the sounds coming directly from the front. Such capabilities make this recording gadget ideal for every use.

DR-05 version 2 was designed for simple operation with one thumb. Recording, adjusting levels and deleting is now just a button press away. Digging deep into the features, peak reduction automatically sets your recording level by listening to the input for adjusting the top level possible.

For adding a more natural sounding, DR-05 version 2 includes the support for reverb effects to vocals and instruments. Jump into the feature, set an effect and boom, the selected effect is successfully added to your music recordings or overdubs.

Pausing and starting recording manually is boring. That is why this audio recorder features an audio recording function that can start and stop automatically. Just set the minimum signal level and whenever the input falls below it the recording will stop and vice versa.

Have you ever wanted to record your vocals first and instruments after? Overdubbing function in DR-05 version 2 allows for overdub recording while playing a recorded file. Now you can record the overdubs of musical instruments later on your recorded vocals.

DR-05 version 2 is a feature-full sound recorder equipment that promises quality at every node. With condenser microphones, peak reduction function and level align feature one can record a whole new audio experience.

2- Premium Choice

TASCAM DR-40 4-TrackWhen the barriers of price range are held at a side then the product listed in our premium choice category comes into play. This audio recorder isnt just known for its posh price but the qualities that others can hold up.

Known for developing audio products for over 30 years, Tascam aims to provide customers with audio/video solutions that break the set boundaries under a price that everyone can afford. Tascam provides user with the tools that help them to bring their creativity to a whole new stage.

DR-40 by Tascam takes your audio recording experience to a whole new level. Adjustable microphones, extended battery life, and four-track recording give you the control of recording tracks anywhere and anytime.

For tailoring the fittest audio possible this recorder is equipped with adjustable unidirectional microphones that can be positioned in both A-B and X-Y position. Advanced control over directions allows for a wide and clear stereo sound recording to achieve a professional quality.

Apart from recording loud audio, DR-40 can also record those quiet sound sources, thanks to the proven high sound pressure design that enable wonders. Does your recorder own such characteristics?

Peak sounds are annoying while recording. DR-40 includes a peak reduction feature that automatically lowers the level when a peak audio is detected. One can simply set the optimal level as the level sets itself automatically according to the sound source.

What if you need an external microphone to cover a wider zone? The XLR/TRS stereo inputs of this recorder make it possible to connect a condenser microphone and a PA console line-level output. XLR/TRS ports are made by Neutrik which are highly reliable and trusted by the professionals.

While recording meetings volume of different people vary that makes it difficult to listen to the playback. DR-40 is equipped with level to align feature that automatically adjusts the sound volume for playback that makes audio easy to listen.

DR-40 packs up a lot of features that other audio recorders cant even think of. With unidirectional condenser microphones, four channel mode and reverb effects one dont only record the sound but its soul as well.

3- Great Value

Aketek Multifunctional Rechargeable 650HRGetting more for less is hard these days but what if you really get it? This product defines every penny spent on it.

From fidget spinners to the audio recorder Aketek manufactures it all. Aketek aims to provide consumer electronics at a price that everyone can easily reach. Now let’s move on and see what Aketek has brought for users looking to buy a handy audio recorder.

650HR multi functional rechargeable audio recorder by Aketek comes in when one needs to get more in less.

User-friendly and easy to use device is all that we have heard from the professionals and customers. This recorder packs up all the good in a compact yet easy to use design that needs no prior experience. Just hit the record button and you are ready to go!

650HR has a long battery life of up to 20 hours of continuous recording so you dont have to charge this thing up again and again. Built-in capacity allows you to record high-quality sound of more than 7000 minutes and a included USB port let users to efficiently transfer files between PC.

This piece of tech is perfect for pretty much every situation. With 24 languages available for user interface, A-B repeat function and voice operated/activated recording this recorder is an absolute budget banger.

FAQs

1 – What is a portable audio recorder?

The portable audio recorder is a device dedicated to recording sound. Additional features, high-quality recording, and a small form factor make up a portable audio recorder.

Note that mobile phones can record sound but they lack in quality and some advanced features. Furthermore, a portable audio recorder can be hooked up to a DSLR or with guitars etc.

2 – How do you use a travel audio recorder?

Just tap the record button for start recording and stop button to pause or end the recording.

For transferring files to PC simply connect one end to recorder and other to the USB port. Drag and drop files to successfully transfer the files.

For accessing advanced features read the products manual or look for the additional button to explore some insights.

Be sure to sufficiently charge the recorder before starting the recording.

3 – Does price affect quality of the resulting audio?

One doesn’t give you all the goods in a cheap offer.

Cheap recorders have basic microphones that lack in recording quality while expensive to mid range audio recorders are equipped with condenser microphones that serve a hell of quality.

Other innovations are also included in the mid-expensive options that redefine the recording experience.

So yes! Price affect quality of the resulting audio as at last cheap is cheap.

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