Whether you are a budding videographer or just someone who needs a device for voice recording, then these top 10 best portable recorders in 2018 reviews can offer you with a wide selection of options to choose from. After testing and checking for ourselves the featured items on our list, we can be sure that the following products are among the best ones you can find in the market. It is our way of making the entire selection process much easier for you.
A good audio recorder includes numerous functionalities such as user-friendly control buttons, large capacity, excellent quality mic, and a long battery life. As an added feature, you may also want to search for a recorder that comes with a voice-activated control. This means that the device will start recording once it detects a sound. While this is not a necessity in some cases, outdoors enthusiasts who wish to record nature sounds will find this as a special, must-have feature. But for the most part, you need a recorder that is well-made, sturdy and has a solid feel to it. One that you can bring along anywhere, you go because of its lightweight quality and portability are also basic aspects to look into.
Best Portable Recorders in 2018
Check out our top 10 best portable recorders in 2018 reviews that will offer you a great start in choosing the right product for your specific needs.
- 10. Digital Voice Recorder with One-Touch Record and Voice Activated Control
- 9. Zoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder
- 8. EVISTR L53 Portable 1536K Digital Voice Recorder with Noise Reduction and Voice-Activated Control
- 7. TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Voice Recorder
- 6. 2016 Zoom H4N PRO Digital Recorder
- 5. Voice Activated Recorder with MP3 Playback
- 4. VASO VM690 Portable HQ PCM Digital Voice Recorder
- 3. Tascam DR-22WL Portable Voice Recorder, Handheld and with Wi-Fi Connectivity
- 2. EVISTR L53 Portable Digital Recorder
- 1. Trustin Portable 8 GB Professional Digital Voice Recorder
- Portable Recorders – Buyer’s Guide & Tips
10. Digital Voice Recorder with One-Touch Record and Voice Activated Control
Operating this portable recorder is never a problem with its one-touch control to record, pause, save, and play files. You can even switch from using the voice recorder on the MP3 player, which is perfect when you want to listen to the files saved in this device. With a wide selection of features including the mic and line-in recording, voice-activated control, password setting, variable speed playback, and a few more, you can get exactly what you want from this handy recorder. An excellent companion for videographers, students, lecturers, or just about anyone who needs to record audio content, this is a true investment worth your dollar.
This device also has a long battery life with a maximum of 90 hours runtime at a full charge. You can even continue recording even while you charge the unit. With the Built-in Li rechargeable battery included, there is no need to keep buying batteries once the juice runs empty.Pros:
- Comes with an 8GB built-in memory
- Extended battery lifespan
- Feature-rich recorder
- Lightweight and portable
- Small and low-contrast screen
- The controls may be a tad confusing
9. Zoom H1 Portable Digital Recorder
Compact and lightweight, this is the kind of digital recorder that you can easily slip into your pouch or pocket without the unnecessary bulk or heft. Even with its small size, you can expect this unit to provide you with a rich sound from your recorded files once you play them back. Whenever you feel like capturing new song ideas or documenting meetings and lectures, this small unit can make all of these possible. With a built-in good quality stereo X/Y mic, along with a low-cut filter, and auto level control, this is an outstanding device for recording your band’s rehearsals, live concerts, and interviews.
We love the portability of this recorder, which makes it a breeze to bring along anywhere we go. Recording file straight to the microSD card is also possible, so this saves us from the hassle of transferring the data to the unit. It also supports several MP3 formats and WAV audio without a problem.
- Stereo mic and line input jack
- Dedicated volume control for monitoring the speaker
- Runs on a single AA alkaline battery or a NiMH rechargeable battery
- As much as 10 hours of runtime
- The mic tends to pick up even unnecessary small and almost faint sounds
8. EVISTR L53 Portable 1536K Digital Voice Recorder with Noise Reduction and Voice-Activated Control
Whenever you record audio content, it helps to use a device that comes with essential features to make this possible without any hassle. This is why we like this portable digital recorder that comes with a voice activated mode for convenience in the entire recording process. Just set this option, and you can simply allow this device to do the recording for you. With 2 HD mic built into the unit, it is possible to record voices or sounds even if the source is 40 feet away from you. Plus, with a noise reduction feature, it eliminates unwanted sounds.
Running on an 800mAh rechargeable battery, this device can last up to 15 hours on a full charge. You can also save up to 300 hours of record file in the 8GB memory storage that is included in this device. Lastly, the metal body gives the unit a solid feel to it.
- Handheld and portable recorder
- Crystal clear audio
- High-quality mic included
- A bit complicated to use the controls on the menu
- Vague instructions
7. TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Voice Recorder
If what you need is a dependable digital recorder for all your needs, then this device will be perfect for you. This unit enables you to record audio content with ease whether you want to put it in WAV or MP3 format. With excellent quality mic included, this can pick up about 125db, along with ultra sensitivity to capture even the slightest detail you want. There are also impressive features added to this unit such as the Quick Menu and Peak Reduction, which transform every recording into an album-quality material.
You can choose from several functions available to this device such as adding markers, deleting bad takes, or adjusting levels. Other features include the low cut filtering, chromatic tuner, and limiting, among a few others. Then, the basic functionalities are still included in this unit for transcribing purposes or whenever you want to learn new music.
- Tripod stand mount included
- Built-in speaker
- Level Align helps smooth out the level jumps on playbacks
- The controls may take some getting used to
6. 2016 Zoom H4N PRO Digital Recorder
The new and improved features of the H4N Pro digital recorder will impress you in many ways, which includes the preamps made more natural-sounding, low noise floor, and clear stereo or 4-channel recording. It also includes redesigned and enhanced stereo X/Y mic that can handle up to 140db SPL without a problem. What’s more, the FX processor is remodeled to give you a realistic bass/guitar emulation, along with reverb/delay, limiting, and compression.
This unit comes with a brighter display with a backlit LCD screen to make items easier to read. With upgraded locking connectors, your mic cables remain secure at all times. We also like the ergonomic design for the body with a rubberized exterior for ease of handling in the field.
- Outstanding mic quality
- Ease of handling
- Portable and convenient to use
- The instructions may be a little confusing to deal with
5. Voice Activated Recorder with MP3 Playback
We’re impressed by the low power consumption and energy-efficient feature of this voice recorder, which makes it last for 94 hours on a full charge. You can record audio files with stellar quality at about 192 kbps, and there is an option to select the lower quality to extend the recording time a bit more. In fact, you can continue to record for 4 hours more. Plus, with the easy to use functions, you can switch from your recording to listening to your favorite music with just a touch of a button.
This unit also features a voice activation mode, which means you can have quick access to recording content without having to deal with the controls. With several functions including the MP3, delete, USB connection, and A-B repeat function, and a few others. Since this is a plug-and-play device, it is easy to use right out of the box.
- Voice-activated recording
- Compatible with Windows and Mac
- Clear LCD screen and built-in speaker
- Wide selection of functions available
- A slight friction detected sounds like a major scratching noise
4. VASO VM690 Portable HQ PCM Digital Voice Recorder
We love this pocket size, yet robust digital voice recorder that offers an outstanding voice quality. This is a device that you can bring anywhere you go, whenever solid recording is necessary. It offers a maximum of 20 hours recording time on a full charge, and it can be connected to your PC for charging whenever you are on the go. Whether you need to record content during a meeting, in the classroom, when you attend a webinar or lecture, or for your band rehearsals, this device is just what fits the situation. It comes with a plug-in mic for an outstanding audio recording output.
This device as very thin, but it is sturdy at the same time as it is made of aluminum alloy for the case. There is also a built-in omnidirectional condenser stereo mic for a crisp and rich recording with a professional outcome.
- Output formats include Mp3 and WAV
- Has an expandable memory up to 32GB
- Easy to use
- The built-in mic needs improvement
3. Tascam DR-22WL Portable Voice Recorder, Handheld and with Wi-Fi Connectivity
With this voice recorder that is portable and lightweight, you can surely take it with you anytime and anywhere you want. It is also the first portable voice recording unit that comes with Wifi connectivity, which is excellent for a convenient file transfer, audio streaming, and transport control. You can quickly stream content to your PC or smartphone with a wireless option. Then, there is the Scene Dial that lets you capture professional quality recording, which you can also share online in an instant.
The microphones included are great-sounding, and these are arranged in a legit XY pattern to attain the finest stereo imaging. Whether you are a beginner or a pro when it comes to recording audio content, this device will never disappoint. It is portable and easy to navigate, and you will enjoy long hours of recording with just a single charge of the battery.
- Free DR control iPhone and Android app
- Wireless import of audio recording to SoundCloud
- Outstanding design and performance of the built-in mic
- For recording music, the output quality is not very good
2. EVISTR L53 Portable Digital Recorder
You probably need a dependable digital voice recorder for your meetings, lectures, or interviews, yet have not found the right item to fulfill the criteria you are searching for. With this portable digital recorder by EVISTR, the search is over since it comes with everything you want in a solid and robust recorder. It features the voice activation mode, which enables you to begin recording instantly once a voice is detected by the unit. This is perfect for nature lovers or musicians who are looking for inspiration in the outdoors. Plus, with easy to use buttons and settings, you can achieve the right quality of sound you want for your recordings. The battery also offers a long life span with a total runtime of 15 hours.
There is 2 HD mic included in the unit, and these can be adjusted in terms of the sensitivity or to minimize the noise picked up by the mic. What’s more, it is possible to record audio even if it is far away – up to 40 feet, and with reduced unnecessary noise.
- Long lifespan of the battery
- High-quality mic included
- Noise reduction feature
- Voice-activation control
- The manual is a little tough to understand
1. Trustin Portable 8 GB Professional Digital Voice Recorder
We are amazed by the exceptional build and design of this recorder. The user interface is easy to understand, and the simple design works without compromising the functions. With a high-performance built-in mic, all the recorded content turns out to be professional quality. There is also a backup power source to this recorder as the rechargeable battery can offer about 18 hours of run time, and the AAA alkaline battery gives you 12 hours additional time to record your content.
You can vary the playback speed whenever you need to catch important details from the recorded content. Adjust the speed at about 1 to 8 times slower or faster when reviewing your content. Plus, with a lossless sound quality, you can monitor your recording and efficiently listen to it using your headphone throughout the process of recording.
- Two options for the power sources
- Repeat playback option
- Ultra light body and portable design
- The built-in mic is very sensitive and picks up slight sounds
There you have our top 10 best portable recorders in 2018 reviews. After reading our reviews, we hope that you were able to decide on the product you need based on your budget and standards. Our list of features should guide you further in comparing the different featured items for a more informed purchasing decision.
Portable Recorders – Buyer’s Guide & Tips
Whether you’re a musician, film maker, podcast creator, TV reporter, or even a student, having a reliable portable recorder can make things much lighter for you. This handy device is one that you can use for audio recording purposes without having to use a smartphone with a less-than-perfect sound quality. Plus, you can record for several hours, so you don’t have to worry about the storage capacity reaching it limits too soon.
If you need to buy a portable recorder, be sure to check out these features from the options available in stores. More than the audio quality, you also want to check the storage capacity and overall ease of use. These all contribute to your total satisfaction with your purchase that should last for a long time.
- Recording Time: It’s common with portable recorders that the data are stored into either a Secure digital card or a Compact Flash. You’ll be surprised by how such as small package can hold so much. But before you begin your recording, always make it a point to choose the audio format you need. The storage is dependent on the audio format. So, if you want to save space, go for a format that requires less storage. With this option, your total recording time may go up to 63 hours. That’s pretty long for sure!
- Microphone Type: Most handheld recorders come with a stereo mic built right into the unit. This is usually attached on the front of the gadget and often comes with an excellent audio quality. Other recorders also feature an XLR and minijack with superior power for your condenser mic. You should have no problem plugging your keyboard, guitar, and any other instrument with a line-level input source.
- Battery Life: How many hours of recording can you expect to get without the batteries dying on you? Most recorders can last for 6 hours total recording time, while others may run out of juice in 5 hours. This is why it’s a good idea to get rechargeable batteries that are economical and reliable at the same time. Bring a few spare ones, too, so recording doesn’t stop even when your first batch of batteries are out.
- File Transer: Once you have finished recording, you’ll need to transfer the files to your laptop or computer. It’s why you should choose a recorder with easy steps for file transfer, perhaps by plugging the gadget to your computer using the USB port and a data cable. Easy-peasy!
There you have our quick guide on how to buy a portable recorder for your use. Consider these features to spare yourself from trouble when buying a recorder that works well according to your specific needs.