Recently I've been recording phone interviews which are turned in to stories for the GovHack website. The dictation recorder I've been using is an old Sanyo one that takes annoying AAA batteries. I've just bought a low cost, A$30, rechargeable recorder from Banggood.
There's no brand name mentioned anywhere.
It's described as follows:
1. One-Button recording by press REC
2. Three recording modes
3. VAR/VOR system (Voice Activated/operated recording)
4. Recording via high grade built-in microphone
5. Playing back via high quality speaker
6. Recording via external microphone
7. LCD screen with backlight
8. Working as drive free USB flash disk
9. Built-in rechargeable lithium battery
10. Low battery indicating function
11. Display hours and minute (24-hour format)
12. High Quality Recording for 48 Hours / Normal Recording for 60 Hours
Usage is a little cryptic. Here's my notes...
The sliding "power" switch on the side is also a kind of button lock in that the unit can go to sleep while on and then to wake it you press the play button.
The display is very clear and bright. The tiny speaker is amazingly loud.
To start a recording you long press the Rec button until the display says "init". After a few seconds the red record light comes on and recording starts. Yes, it's a bit slow to start recording.
To pause recording you press the pause button. To stop recording you short press the record button again.
Note that the default is HQ recording which is a stereo 48kHz 16 bit WAV recording - so quite large. Via the menu you can switch to record MP3 which they call SP. The audio sounds the same to me but the MP3 file is much smaller.
The microphones are very sensitive and it often clips when recording speech.
Having said that, it's very good at picking up anything said in the room. While recording you can monitor the audio by plugging in headphones.
The device is very light weight and very sensitive to picking up noise from touches to the case.
It has an A and B folder plus a folder for MP3 music. When connected to a computer via USB it mounts as a drive with a Chinese character name that doesn't render well on this mac. I couldn't get it to re-name.
Tap the menu button to roll through the settings:
- A or B folder selection
- Record mode SP or HQ (displayed H9) SP is MP3.
- Voice activated recording on or off
- Record via internal Mic or Line
- Playback repeat cycle
On a menu page, use the fast forward and rewind button to roll through the options and then press Play to select the item.
To delete a recording, move through recordings with the fast forward button until the one you want is displayed. Long press the side Mode button until a trash can is displayed. Press Play to confirm the delete.
For the price, it's excellent value. It seems capable of very good recordings except that the mic sensitivity is too high and it frequently clips for me. The recordings are very intelligible and suitable for transcribing.