We’ve all been there. It’s the middle of a college lecture and you suddenly snap out of your trance. Panicstrinken, you realise you’ve missed the last 15 minutes of your professor explaining next week’s assignment. Or perhaps you’re that student that gets dragged into a round-up of last night’s action in the college bar. Only to discover 20 minutes later that you’ve missed the most important part of the module.
It happens! But we’re here to help. In this article, we are going to share with you the Best Voice Recorders for College Lectures. Voice recorders are a useful study tool and one that many college students have turned to, to enhance their learning.
Recorders also hold great worth to students with disabilities or a special educational need. Whether it be an issue that makes rapid note taking difficult, or perhaps a hearing impairment that makes listening live tricky, voice recorders help students overcome these barriers.
So, for whatever reason you are considering to use a recording device, let us guide you through some of the best voice recorders on the market in 2021.
Our Top Picks
If you don’t have time to read the complete article we have summarised ‘our top picks’ to save you time.
Best Voice Recorder for Sound Quality:
The Philips – VoiceTracer Audio Recorder – Silver/Chrome, with 3 high-fidelity microphones it can’t be beaten in quality.
Most Affordable Voice Recorder Without Compromising on Features:
The Wohlman. Digital Voice Recorder with Touch Screen. It has all the essential features, it looks great and is highly affordable.
Best Alternative Voice Recorder:
The 64GB Keychain Voice Recorder, Vandlion Voice Activated Recorder might not live up to others in terms of features, but if it’s a simple recorder you are looking for this does the job.
1) Sony ICD-UX570 Digital Voice Recorder
Made by Sony, this voice recorder offers enhanced sound quality compared to others on the market. With the choice of 3 different sound modes to record in, you will be able to find a setting that suits the acoustics of your lecture hall.
The slim design, easy to view screen and push buttons, all make this device very user friendly.
The real bonus of this device is the quick-charge function. Perfect for when you wake up late for a lecture and realize you haven’t charged. Simply switch the device to quick-charge, jump in the shower, and within 3minutes you will have enough battery life to last a 1hour lecture.
2) EVISTR 16GB Digital Voice Recorder
A recorder with all the essential functions to get the job done.
The standout features on this gadget is the voice activation. This means that it only records when someone starts speaking. A great feature as it saves memory and saves you time when it comes to playing back your lecture notes.
One thing this recorder is missing is the option to alter playback speed. This means when you are skimming a recorded lecture for a particular piece of information you either have to listen in real-time speed or play a game of fast-forward roulet.
3) Philips – VoiceTracer Audio Recorder
This is one of the more expensive voice recorders on our list but when you consider features and sound quality you can understand the price tag.
Philips, one of the leading brands in electricals, promises ‘exceptional recording with crystal clear sound’.
With 2 high-fidelity microphones, and 7 presets audio scenes which find the right combination of audio settings for you. This small appliance can record in top quality whether you are in a small classroom or giant lecture hall.
The large screen, powerful battery and the fact it can record in MP3 are also added bonuses.
4) Olympus – VP-Series Digital Voice Recorder
Another top brand when it comes to electricals and another more expensive price tag. However, take a look at the unique design and you’ll understand why this recorder is special.
Let’s be honest, turning up for lectures on time can be a struggle, let alone remembering all your equipment. This gizmo is not much bigger than a pen. So, slip it into your pencil case and reduce your chances of leaving it behind.
It also has a USB connection built-in. This means you can connect it straight to your computer without the need for a lead. It seems this device really is designed with a disorganized student in mind! Thumbsup!
5) TileRec – Slimmest Voice Activated Recorder
This tiny, compact voice recorder is one of the smallest available from online and mainstream retailers. It claims to have 24 hour battery life and enough capacity to store 145 hours worth of recording.
If it’s size and simplicity that wins you over then perhaps the TileRec is the one for you. However, do note that with no screen or playback facilities, this is simply a device to capture sound.
It comes with a USB lead to connect and download to your PC so you can listen to your recordings there.
6) 64GB Keychain Voice Recorder
This Keychain recorder is similar to the TileRec above, as it doesn’t have a screen or playback features. This means managing your recordings is more difficult and requires you to connect to a PC.
But, if you simply want to record lectures and listen back to them on your PC then perhaps you’ll find that it is a viable option.
The benefit of this recording device is in the name. The Keychain Voice Record can easily be attached to a set of keys, your college pass or even your belt. A handy feature for forgetful students, don’t you think?
7) Aomago, Pen Digital Voice Recorder
Feel like James Bond when you rock up to lectures with this pen recorder. That’s right! This is a recording device built into a working pen.
It’s a fun gimmick that would certainly be useful to make quick voice notes on as you frantically scribble down your lecture notes. But, we are a little dubious about the sound quality at long distances.
So, we recommend this device as a good tool to record those ideas and questions that pop into your head mid-way through a class. If you are looking to record whole lectures in large lecture theatres then this one is probably not for you.
8) Wohlman Digital Voice Recorder
Sleek and ultra modern. No more clunky buttons and sliding switches. This voice recorder has a touch screen and coloured LED display.
It is voice activated to save recording space but with 16GB memory you should have more than enough space to record a few semesters worth of lectures.
Promised sound quality, even at long distances, makes this device a suitable tool for recording professors that like to move about the room.
And, get straight down to revision with the Wohlman. It has in-built playback to save you the hassle and time of uploading your recordings. Plug-in to the headphone jack and listen straight from the device.
9) Philips – Voice Tracer Digital Audio Recorder
A superior to the Philip VoiceTracer that we mentioned earlier in the article. This model is serious when it comes to sound quality and as a result costs more than the previous Philips model.
It comes with 3 high-fidelity microphones to ensure sound is captured with crystal clarity. And, 8GB of memory as standard. If you need more memory there is also room for a memory card.
The thing we love about this piece of kit the most? Well, that has to be the free smartphone app that makes downloading and sharing recordings easy. Win over your classmates and share your audios in just a few steps.
10) Olympus – WS-Series Digital Voice Recorder
All the essential features and comparable in spec to the other Sony and Philips models featured in this article. This is a great piece of kit and is lower in price than many similar models.
But don’t let its price tag be the only thing to persuade you.
The voice recorder contains a built-in calendar, organising your recordings by date and time. This makes navigating and finding your audios stress free. It also holds the ability to place index marks within your recordings, helping you pinpoint and retrieve important parts of your lectures.
11) Aomago Digital Voice Recorder
One of the most affordable but without compromising on features. It includes the usual voice activated recording with a high quality mic and good battery life.
The recordings can be saved in dual file formats, MP3 or WAV making their exactration suitable for various devices.
Like many of the more expensive recorders this affordable one has a feature we love. MP3 Music can be saved and played by the device, giving you the chance to wind down and relax in between class or on your way home from lectures without draining your smartphone battery.
12) Sony ICD-PX370 Mono Digital Voice Recorder
Finally, our last entry on the list is an affordable digital recording device from Sony. Get the big brand quality at a budget-friendly price.
This Sony recorder has a built-in USB connection so plug-in and play your recordings without the need for leads and wires.
It has all the basic features and the buttons are organised in a way that makes using these features easy.
It has 4GBs of memory and space for an additional micro SD card.
One thing to point out is that like some other models mentioned in the article it is powered by AAA batteries. With no in-built charging facility you’ll need to make sure you have a supply of batteries on hand.
As you will have now noticed many of the devices on the market are very similar in their functions. And, this makes choosing a device a difficult decision.
We recommend that first you fix a budget, then make a list of the 5 most important functions and features, the ‘must-haves’. Next, whittle down your list.
If you still can’t decide, consider the brand. Big brand names are usually better quality, more reliable and if something goes wrong they may be under guarantee.
And finally, it is important to mention that different colleges may have different rules when it comes to recording lectures.
Before you use a voice recorder always make sure you receive permission from your college faculty and the lecturer. For one, it’s common courtesy to do this before you record anyone but two there may also be restrictions on what materials are allowed to be recorded.
That being said, most colleges have equality and inclusion policies that allow students with disabilities or a special educational need to record. So, if you intend on using your recorder for these purposes it is likely you will be given the go ahead.