Best Digital Voice Recorder For Journalists. What They Use.

If you’re a budding journalist or reporter, you may ask yourself “which digital voice recorders is best for journalists“. In this article, we look through some of them and fill you in on the features that you should be looking for when you’re trying to buy a digital voice recorder for journalistic or reporting needs. While some of the brands in the list below contain those features, the knowledge of what to look for will help you make a decision, even outside of the listed devices below. We hope this helps, so let’s get started.

What Voice Recorders Do Journalists And Reporters Use?

List in progress

What Are The Features You Need In A Digital Voice Recorder For Journalism

While the list of recorders above contains some of the top ones — backed up by journalists who use them in their daily — you may be interested in doing further research. Here are some of the features that you need to search for in a digital voice recorder.

Light and Portable Device

You never know journalism may take you, so to be ready for the action, you don’t need big and bulky heavy devices to chug along. You need a simple, light and nimble device that can go into your pocket without you feeling any difference. Fortunately for us, these modern digital voice recorders are very light. Much lighter than a smartphone and at less than half the physical dimensions. Depending on your use cases, you may be tempted to go for the bigger bulkier voice recorders because of the additional features and large microphone capsules. If that’s the case, then you could always have a backup small recording device in your backpack or pocket, ready to be pulled out and used any time.

Accurate and Sensitive Microphones

Beneath the recording business, you want to make sure that the microphones on your devices are accurate and sensitive. The last thing you want is to get back into the office, transfer the files over and find out that the recording quality is not good enough for you to transcribe or pick notes on. As long as you don’t go too cheap with your choice of digital voice recorder, this should not be too much of an issue, as most of the mid-range to top-level devices come with good microphones.

Long Long Battery Life

You need a recorder with long battery life, I’m sure you already know this, but in all seriousness, your digital voice recorder should be able to last hours and hours and hours. The last thing you want is to be stuck somewhere on the job, without that system new batteries and seeing the battery symbol on your recorder flashing. Fortunately, most digital voice recorders that are available today can record on a pair of batteries for days. Just make sure you keep a spare pair in your bag alongside the recorder.

Go for a Recorder with Replaceable Batteries

This one is subjective. Just like what happened when smartphone manufacturers went from replaceable batteries to fixed, glued in ones — some high-end digital voice recorders are starting to implement fixed rechargeable batteries as well. I personally love replaceable batteries as they are cheap, last long and can be easily bought anywhere. Knowing that these replaceable batteries last so long, our advice is to go for a digital voice recorder that uses them. You don’t want to be stuck somewhere without access to a charger or electricity and not be able to do your recordings. If you go for a more powerful digital voice recorder that consumes a lot of battery power, then you may want to look into recorders with rechargeable with bigger capacity batteries.

Simple Menu and Navigational Features

A digital voice recorder with a simple menu that is easy to navigate around is what you need in your life. As soon as someone starts talking, you want to be able to wipe the device, push a button or two and start recording right away. No fumbling with settings or any of that. Today’s range of digital voice recorders come with all levels of menu and navigation difficulty. If you don’t need all of the high-end bells and whistles, going for a simple voice recorder will serve you best.

Easy-to-use Hardware and Buttons

As mentioned above with the software menu navigation ease of use, having hardware buttons that are easy to use will help you speed up your work and be more efficient.

An Easy File Transfer System

Once you’ve recorded that precious interview, the next thing will be to send it off for transcription, storage or production. A digital voice recorder for journalists should come with an easy to use file transfer system. It doesn’t have to be too fancy but should enable the user to quickly transfer files over to their computers or other devices for further processing.

Good Build Quality with Long-lasting Materials

Journalists tend to move around a lot. You will need a digital voice recorder that is built well, with good strong materials. It should be able to survive a few falls and still keep chugging along. For additional safety, I use the wristband or a lanyard That attaches the device to my hand or neck. So whenever I use it for recording in the field, I’m sure that it won’t fall straight to the ground if I ever let go.



Do Journalists Still Use Tape Voice Recorders?

There are quite a few old school journalists who still go around with tape voice recorders. However, digitisation has pushed away these older devices for more sleek, light, fast digital devices that record directly to a memory chip. So while some old school reporters still hold onto devices that remind them of back in the days, sooner or later, they will have to move to digital voice recorders to keep up with the times and increase efficiency.

How Do Journalists Record Phone Interviews?

There are various technologies that enable journalists to record phone interviews. It really does depend on which device the phone interviews are being conducted on.

Recording Phone Interviews on Smartphones

When it comes to cell phones, there are apps that record voice calls. Most of these apps and the act of recording the voice call, in general, may not be legal everywhere, so a disclaimer and a notification that the cornice be recorded has to be given by the journalist and agreed to by the interviewee, for a legal recording of the phone interview to proceed.


Recording Phone Interviews on Landlines

On the other hand, for landline phone calls, there is dedicated hardware and computers used to handle this task. Production studios use them to record interviews that go over the phone.

Are Voice Recorders Worth It for Reporters?

Yes, and most journalists swear by them. Voice recorders are like having a cheat code in a game. They allow you to do things others who don’t have them just can’t do. Having a word for word transcription of what someone said can be vital. Especially in fields like politics, where what one said usually changes regularly. Digital voice recorders also enable you to make large amounts of content. While your handwritten notes may have just a few lines of paragraphs, the voice recorder contains hundreds, if not thousands of words, which can be used in your article.

Wrapping Up

So there you have it. We hope this article helps you find the best digital voice recorder for your journalistic and reporting needs. In this fast-paced day and age, relying on brainpower may not always be the best solution. Having a handy digital voice recorder in your pocket will simplify your day greatly and bring massive efficiency to your workflow. While technology can help make things easier for us, it’s still best to exercise your brain muscles once in a while. So alongside your digital voice recorder, keep your notepad and pen to jot down notes as well.

Thanks for reading this far down. Best wishes for your career