Think you might need to record lectures, meetings, or campus events? While a cell phone can record audio, it’s not the best option. Digital audio recorders provide higher quality recordings at an affordable price point. If you’re a college student heading to school, or a professional gearing up for work, there’s never been a better time to consider purchasing a digital audio recorder.


Cell Phones vs. Digital Audio Recorders

Recording a lecture or an interview using a cell phone has its challenges. The recording can be interrupted by an incoming call or a low battery charge.  Plus, the audio quality on a cell phone is typically mediocre because it’s optimized for “near field” recording (meaning for sound in close proximity to you).

As a dedicated device, the sole job of the digital audio recorder is to provide superior sound recordings.  It’s designed to pick up sounds at a variety of distances with greater sensitivity.

Files that are generated by digital audio recorders are generally produced in WAV or MP3 format.  WAV is the highest quality format for general audio recording, but the files take up more space on the recording device.  MP3 quality is fine for voice, but not always the best for music. On the positive, files saved in MP3 format take up little space.


Do you want to Record Voices, or Music?

Think about what types of situations you’ll be recording before selecting a device. Recorders intended primarily for voice often don’t do a great job recording music. On the other hand, a recorder designed to capture music can provide excellent results when recording voice.


Here are Bergen IT’s Top Three Moderately-Priced Choices in Digital Audio Recorders:


Inexpensive Digital Voice Recorders That are Good for theDigital Audio Recorders - Uqique Classroom

The Uqique Digital Voice Recorder is very simple, and tiny. It also offers high quality at a low price point.  With its built-in 8 GB of storage, you get about 96 hours of recording space.  The mini device from Uqique can record continuously for up to 10 hours, and recharges in a half-hour. The recording quality is not as good as the Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder (see below). But the clarity is sufficient for most classroom use, and is a bargain for the money.  One caveat: recordings cannot be paused, only started or stopped.

Uqique Digital Voice Recorder
Price:  about $30

Purchase on Amazon



Digital Voice Recorders for the Serious Student

Digital Voice Recorders - OlympusOlympus has been making voice recorders for decades and is well known for its wire and cassette recorders.  Voice recorders from Olympus now fully embrace digital technology, and sport easy-to-use features and options that offer impressive flexibility with recording and playback.  Buttons are clearly marked, and quick to thumb. The screen shows everything you need to know in high contrast.  The microphone is well placed and works very well.  There are many optional items that can be purchased to extend the usability of the recorder include a tie-pin mic, a telephone pickup mic, cases, and so on.

Olympus boasts of 4 GB of internal memory for up to 1,600 hours of recording time with this model.  The Olympus digital voice recorder is not the best for music recording.  But for the serious student or interviewer, the device is a great choice.

Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder
Price: about $50

Purchase on Amazon



Heavy-Duty Audio & Voice Recording Digital Audio Recorders - Zoom

For the student or individual who wants to get quality recordings of everything from classroom lectures to recitals or concerts, the Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder is a great, cost-effective choice.  Digital Audio Recorders costing twice as much — such as the Roland R-05 — have the reputation and name for music recording. But the Zoom H1 Handy Portable’s quality and features come very close.  This digital audio recorder is also easy to use.

A 2 GB microSD card for recording in WAV or MP3 formats is included. You can also use your own microSD card with up to 32 GB of storage. This will ensure over 50 hours of recording time at CD quality.  Unlike the Uqique, the Zoom requires a AA battery for 10 hours of use.

Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder
Price: about $100

Purchase on Amazon


So…What do you Want to Record?

Depending on your recording needs, we heartily recommend any of these digital audio recorders:

Uqique Digital Voice Recorder on Amazon

Olympus VN-722PC Voice Recorder on Amazon

Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder on Amazon


Contact Bergen IT:

Have questions about getting the right audio or computer equipment? Bergen IT is happy to help.


Bergen IT is a client-centered, comprehensive tech support and strategy company for businesses, professionals, and homeowners. The company services customers in the NJ and New York City metropolitan area, including northern New Jersey (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, and Passaic, NJ), Manhattan and the Bronx, Rockland and Westchester, and can remotely assist clients across the USA.
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