Digital Audio Recorder Reviews & Buying Guide 2019


Hello, I'm Gregor and I put this site together. At first, you'll find an overview of recommended digital audio recorders, followed by a public poll and a general buying guide on digital audio recorder. Further down on this page, we do link to other well-written articles and reviews about digital audio recorders. At last, you'll be able to weight in your own opinion in the comments section.

If you choose to buy an item that I've chosen indepenently and recommended it here, I may earn commissions to support my efforts. For you, the price of the product will not change, I'm just saying this to be completely open with you.

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The 8 Best Digital Audio Recorders of Our Choice

Quick comparison in an overall view
H1n Handy Recorder (2018
2018 Model
DR-05 Stereo Portable Digital
ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice
Tascam DR-05X Stereo
Latest Version
H2n Handy Recorder
DP-006 6-Track Digital Pocketstudio
H4N PRO Digital Multitrack
DR-05 (Version 2)
Zoom H1n Handy Recorder (2018 Image
Zoom H1n Handy Recorder (2018 Model)
Tascam DR-05 Stereo Portable Digital Image
Tascam DR-05 Stereo Portable Digital Audio Recorder
Sony ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice Image
Sony ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice Recorder with Built-in USB Voice Recorder
Great Deal
Movo Tascam DR-05X Stereo Image
Tascam DR-05X Stereo Handheld Digital Audio Recorder & USB Interface Bundle with Movo"Deadcat" Windscreen and 32GB Micro SD Card (Latest Version)
Zoom H2n Handy Recorder Image
Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
Tascam DP-006 6-Track Digital Pocketstudio Image
Tascam DP-006 6-Track Digital Pocketstudio Multi-Track Audio Recorder
Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Image
Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder
Tascam DR-05 (Version 2) Image
Tascam DR-05 (Version 2) Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black) with Deluxe accessory bundle
according to our criteria
92 %
in comparison
91 %
in comparison
87 %
in comparison
85 %
in comparison
84 %
in comparison
83 %
in comparison
83 %
in comparison
83 %
in comparison
  • Streamlined Body with matte finish and newly designed protective mi...
  • Built-in stereo condenser microphones in 90-Degree x/Y format
  • Localized and intuitive menus for easy operation
  • Discontinued Model replaced by Improved dr-05x
  • Built-in omni-directional microphones
  • Stereo mini headphone jack for external stereo microphones (provide...
  • Record mp3 Audio quickly and easily
  • Up to 57 hours of battery life for extended recording (mp3 128Kbps ...
  • Built-in direct usb Connection for quick file transfer to your PC
  • Tascam dr-05x Stereo Handheld Digital Audio Recorder usb Audio Int...
  • Tascam dr-05x features: Stereo Omnidirectional Condenser Mics 2-In/...
  • Movo windscreen features: Deadcat slips over the Tascam mics and re...
  • Over 20 hours of operation using two standard AA batteries
  • Key Control a-b Repeat File Dividing Normalize mp3 Post-Encode Mark...
  • Additional functions include Lo-cut Filter Compressor/Limiter Auto ...
  • Ensure you buy genuine tascam products Products from sellers which ...
  • Up to six tracks recording (2mono tracks 2mono/stereo switchable tr...
  • CD quality recording (16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Four-channel recording up to 24-bit 96 kHz Built-in stereo x/Y micr...
  • 2 xlr/trs inputs with locking connectors Records directly to sd/sdh...
  • 4-In/2-out usb Audio Interface Monaural speaker: 400 mW 8 Ω
  • The lightweight and compact design allows you to bring the recorder...
  • Quality wav and mp3 Recording in a lightweight and compact design
  • Records up to 24-Bit/96 kHz and can audios can be stored in MicroSD...
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Results of the Straw Poll: Popular Digital Audio Recorders

Every month, we analyze which products our readers like the most:

Which Digital Audio Recorder Would You Buy Online? (September 2019)

  • 0 % (0 votes) Zoom H1n Handy Recorder (2018 Model)
  • 0 % (0 votes) Tascam DR-05 Stereo Portable Digital Audio Reco...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Sony ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice Recorder with...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Tascam DR-05X Stereo Handheld Digital Audio Rec...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
  • 0 % (0 votes) Tascam DP-006 6-Track Digital Pocketstudio Mult...
  • 0 % (0 votes) Zoom H4N PRO Digital Multitrack Recorder
  • 0 % (0 votes) Tascam DR-05 (Version 2) Portable Handheld Digi...

0 total votes.

If you also want to vote on the best digital audio recorder, click here to view the poll.

Digital Audio Recorder Buying Guide

Digital Audio Recorder Image
Picture: H1n Handy Recorder (2018 from Zoom

Are you a student who needs to record lectures for study notes? Or are you a business-person who needs a trustworthy record of meetings and interviews? Maybe you’re a professional musician who needs to capture audio from your rehearsals and live-performances. Whatever your reason, you want to find the right digital audio recording device. This buying guide is intended to help you find a device that meets your needs. It covers considerations, like audio quality, features, and price range. Plus, it offers tips on how you can research specific devices to find the one that best fits your needs.

How to Choose?

There are several factors to consider when you choose a digital audio recording device. While you’ll want to look at them all, there are some factors that weigh more heavily than others when it comes to your final decision. They are ranked below starting with the most important and ending with the least.

Use Case

How you plan to use the recording device is probably the most important factor for you to consider. For example, a student who wants to record class lectures will want a different kind of device than a musician who wants to record performances. Here are two different situations to show how purpose is the most important concern when you decide what device you want to buy.

Purpose 1: Voice Recording for Future Reference

Perhaps you are a student, journalist, lawyer, doctor, nurse, researcher, police investigator, or detective, and you need a device to record interviews, meetings, lectures, or your own ideas. All you need is a digital device that can filter out background noise and record voices with enough clarity for note-taking. There are several simple devices that are just right for this purpose. Some popular devices in this category include the Sony ICD-UX533 and Phillips DPM6000. People like them because they are simple to use, reliable, and are reasonably priced. If you just need to make voice recordings for reference purposes, then a simple, reliable recording device is probably all you need. However, if you are interested in recording music and want high-quality recordings, then the devices mentioned above are sure to be a disappointment to you. The purpose of the recording is the number one thing to consider when you decide which audio recording device to buy. As a musician, performer, or recording artist, your needs and priorities will be much different than a student, lawyer, or journalist.

Purpose 2: Music Recording

If you are a musician or performer, you need a device that can produce high quality, front-facing music recordings. While these devices come at a higher price point than simple voice recorders, they have the high quality, features, and functions that you need.

Recording Quality

Your reason for recording determines the quality of device that you need. If you are interested in recording meetings or interviews, you don’t necessarily need the most expensive recording device you can find. An inexpensive option may suit your purposes just fine. On the other hand, if you are trying to capture high-fidelity recordings, such as a live music performance, you’ll want to buy a more expensive device with more options, like multi-channel recording and mixing capabilities. There are some terrific options out there for musicians who want a digital audio recorder. Some of them are sophisticated enough to be a recording studio in a box. For example,

Battery Life

While battery life might not be the most important factor, it is still worth considering. Will you be doing any field recording? A battery life of three hours for one product versus two for another might affect your ultimate decision, in that case.

Storage Capacity

How many recordings to you plan to make each week? How long will the recordings last, one hour, two hours, or more? If you know the number and estimated size of the kinds of recordings you will make, you can determine how much storage your device will need. Like battery life, storage capacity will vary between products. It’s worth checking out product descriptions to find out the storage capacity for your top choices.

Charging Options

Some recording devices can charge via USB, while others don’t have this feature. If you are a busy student, journalist, or business person who is always on the go, multiple charging options might make a difference for you.

Display and Navigation

Some recording devices are easy to operate with just a few simple features. Others have lots of features and options for high-fidelity, or multi-channel recording. Depending on your preferences, comfort level with new technology, and desired recording options, the type of display and navigation will matter to you. Here are a few questions to help you think about your options? • Do you want a device that’s simple to operate with push-buttons? • Or do you need advanced features, like voice activation or cloud backup? • Will you be recording in low-light situations? • Does a back-lit display matter to you? • Do you want an LCD display or dot matrix? Take some time to look at pictures and product descriptions for several devices. You should be able to get a sense of the features and ease-of-use for different recorders.

Other Features

If you have looked at several devices, and you’re still not sure which is the best fit for you, there might be an optional feature that breaks the tie for you. Look through descriptions for the products you like for additional features, like voice activation, USB connection or charging, and wireless connectivity. You might see a feature that helps you make that final decision.

How to Research a Digital Audio Recorder

With all the information available online, it’s not too hard to research different recorders and find the right one for your situation. Here are some research tips to help you make the best possible decision.
1. Consider your reasons for purchasing an audio recorder. Are you recording meetings, lectures, or interviews to take notes from later? Or do you want high-quality recordings of music performances? The answers to your questions will help define the kind of device you need.
2. Use a search engine, like Google to find recommendations for a product that fits your needs. Use search terms, like “best digital audio recorder for interviews,” or “best portable audio recorder for music.”
3. Choose two or three products that are the best match for you in terms of budget, features, and design.
4. Do an internet search for the devices you have chosen.
5. Visit their product pages to find the price-point and feature descriptions. Take notes on important features for each and do a pros and cons list for each.
6. Look for customer reviews on the products, pay special attention to reviewers who bought their devices for a similar or the same purpose as yours. The honest reviews of other people who have used these products will give you a good idea of which one is going to be the best fit for you. If you follow the steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to choosing the digital audio recorder that best meets your needs. Don’t forget to consider the reason you need the recorder, it’s the most important factor when you decide what to buy. After that, you’ll want to think about product features and your budget. When you’ve selected the one or two that seem like the best fit, look for honest product reviews. Other customers who have used the product will give you a good idea of how well the device will work for you.

Your Opinion Matters!


Digital Audio Recorder Reviews & Additional Articles

New: Our editorial list of additional articles. We decided to gather informartion all around the internet and present you a list of helpful, external links to interesting reads about the best digital audio recorders and their reviews and guides.

Buying Guide you are recording your audio. Most pros know (and will tell you), not all audio is captured equally. Portable Digital Recorders Buying Guide. By jaime traba |. ...
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Reviews We looked for any new editorial reviews of voice recorders that have and we browsed Amazon's 40 best-selling digital voice recorders. ...
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Buying Guide The last to be updated is the Digital Sound Recorder Buyer's Guide. Gear Buyer's Guide in that it focuses specifically on audio recorders. ...
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Buying Guide Handheld recorders are some of the hottest products in the audio world! You can use We've compiled this Buying Guide to help you sort out the features of the many available handheld recorders. If you have Shop for Portable Recorders   ...
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Buying Guide So, instead of providing a detailed list of the best recorders today, I'll post a checklist of features to look for when buying a digital audio recorder. ...
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Buying Guide All digital multitrack recorders are designed to record multi-channel audio. Nonetheless, there are several types designed for different applications, such as   ...
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The Digital Audio Recorders of Our Choice At a Glance

You're not convinced by the previous writings about digital audio recorders? Of course you can just choose by visual impression, that's why we present you all our chosen products at a single glance. A click on any image is enough to open an external link to the best offer we could find.

Tips from YouTube about Digital Audio Recorder

Today - Portable Audio Recorders

Portable Audio Recorders at B&H: These moderately priced hand held audio recorders deliver great sounding recordings and are ...

Disclaimer: This video is not from us, but we found it relevant enough to show it here.


Conclusion for this Digital Audio Recorder Buying Guide in September 2019

Finally, we want to present you our rating criteria for our digital audio recorder comparison, so you can better understand and comprehend our recommendations and the rating process itself. Furthermore, we still ask you to keep your eyes open for short term deals in order to make some great bargains with digital audio recorder in 2019.

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19 of 30 readers found this article helpful.

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(Corresponds to a rating of 3.17 / 5)