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The Best Voice Recorder

Updated Dec 10, 2022
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After doing 52 hours of research and testing 12 voice recorders over the past two years (adding four recent models for this update) in real-world settings—a college classroom, a noisy coffee shop, and a quiet office—we’ve determined that the best audio recorder for most people interested in capturing meetings, lectures, dictation, and in-person interviews is the Sony UX560. It recorded the most intelligible audio of all the recorders we tested and offers the most useful collection of features: It’s rechargeable via USB; it has a legible, backlit screen; and its menu system is the easiest to navigate.

Sony UX560, the best voice recorder

Sony UX560

The best voice recorder
The Sony UX560 is an easy-to-use recorder that provides crisp, clear audio in the most-common recording situations. It recharges via USB and lets you easily transfer files to a computer.
We recommend
Olympus WS-853, more storage and longer battery life, lower-quality audio

Olympus WS-853

More storage and longer battery life, lower-quality audio
Although its audio quality isn’t as good as our main pick’s, the Olympus WS-853 has more internal storage and longer battery life.
Another good choice
Sony ICD-PX470, if you mainly record in quiet environments

Sony ICD-PX470

If you mainly record in quiet environments
The PX470 is a bit bulkier than our main pick, and its audio quality isn’t as good, but it has a similar layout and navigation system. It does best in quiet settings with minimal background noise.
Budget friendly
Just Press Record, best for iphone

Just Press Record

Best for iPhone
Customizable recording settings, along with automatic transcription and cloud backup, make this a better option for important recordings.
We recommend
Parrot, best for android


Best for Android
Parrot has the most ways to fine-tune recording and playback out of the free apps we tested.
We recommend
Hi-Q Pro, more features for fine-tuning recordings

Hi-Q Pro

More features for fine-tuning recordings
The paid version of Hi-Q has even more features to finesse recordings and scored highest out of all the apps in our listening test.
A better upgrade

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