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Voice Recorders For Journalists

5 Best Voice Recorders For Journalists

Keeping detailed notes is critical for any journalist or investigative reporter, but the days of the pen and notepad are a thing of the past thanks to high-quality audio recorders for lectures, interviews, and personal notes. Voice recorders have a large recording capacity, are voice-activated, have noise reduction features, and can give any journalist the ability to record anything from interviews to voice memos in seconds. If you are a journalist looking to easily document lectures, interviews, and voice memos with a digital voice-activated recorder, this article will be your guide to the best recording devices on the market for 2022. Here were the five points of evaluation we used when creating this buying guide:

  • Builtin Microphone 
  • High-Quality Audio
  • Internal Storage
  • Recording Modes
  • Background Noise Reduction

What Voice Recorders Do Journalists Use – Expert Picks

From the Sony ICDPX470 digital voice recorder to the Zoom H2N, we found the EVISTR 16GB digital voice recorder to be the top overall pick. Below is a breakdown of the features of the 16GB digital voice recorder and some of our other favorite audio recorders journalists use!

Related Article: Best Audio Recorders To Catch Cheating Spouses

1. EVISTR Mini Digital Voice Recorder Black

EVISTR Mini Digital Voice Recorder Black

  • Crystal Clear Sound: 1536kbps recording captures high-quality, detailed audio.

  • Voice Activated: Records only when spoken to, saving space and time.

  • Easy Transfer: Connect to your computer via USB for fast data access.


Several digital Voice recorders are available for audio recording, but the EVISTR voice recorder is at the top of our list for recording lectures and interviews. This awesome recording device is not only a budget pick at $39.99, but is also one of the top-selling audio recorders on Amazon. What we really like about this recording device is that when it is set at 1536 kbps WAV (maximum quality), the 16GB storage will provide approximately 24 hours of high-quality audio recording. If maximizing internal storage is your biggest concern, the recording device can be switched to 64 kbps MP3 and provide roughly 560 hours (or 23 days) of voice recording!

The EVISTR voice-activated recording device is a 16 GB digital voice recording device that you can use to record interviews, personal thoughts, or conversations in lecture halls in MP3/WAV form audio at 384 Kb per second. So, you will get MP3 quality recording using their stereo microphones.

This mini audio recorder is powered via USB charge and is classified as a Micro USB 2.0 Type B. This makes it easy to send files from the voice recorder to any computer without minimal effort. Users can record the press, stop recording, start recording and save the files safely.

  • ITEM WEIGHT: 62.8 Grams.
  • FORMAT: WMA, MP3 Audio, WAV.
  • HEADPHONES JACK: 3.5 millimeters.
  • NUMBER OF ITEM DIMENSIONS LXWXH: 3.94 x 1.06 x 0.39 inches.
  • BATTERIES: 1 Lithium Polymer battery.





  • High-Quality Recording

  • Easy Transfer to Computer

  • Simple Operation

  • Voice Activation

  • Time-Stamped Files

  • 1536kbps Recording

  • MP3/WAV Formats

  • USB Connectivity

  • With A-B Repeat

  • Includes USB Cable

As of 4/02/2024

4.3 Stars | 19,708 Ratings

Cameron Nielsen

Positive Review Review Date - October 4, 2023

This digital voice recorder is precisely what I was looking for! The build, sound, and functions are all excellent and far surpass what I expected for the price. It's also extremely easy to offload recordings to the computer for record-keeping to accompany meeting notes for later reference.

Aaron Stevens

Negative Review - Review Date -December 2, 2023

I enjoyed this recorder, and it worked seamlessly for about half an hour. After that, most recordings were drowned out with a harsh static overtone, so I assume the mic is defective. I will stick with name brands from now on.

2. Olympus WS-852 Digital Voice Recorder

Olympus WS-852 Digital Voice Recorder

  • Record for Days: Holds 985 hours of audio on 4GB built-in memory.

  • Easy Transfer: Connect directly to your PC for quick file access.

  • Micro SD Expandable: Add a card for even more recording space.

Do you want an easy-to-use digital voice recorder that offers low-cut filtering and high-quality audio? If so, the Olympus WS -852 is one of the finest voice-activated recorders any journalist could use. What we really like about this voice recorder compared to the Sony ICDPX370 is that it has 4 GB of memory, but you can increase the memory up to 32 GB with MicroSD cards. We also love the built-in speakers that make it easy to start and stop recording audio.

The Olympus WS -852 can record the voice in audio Mp3 instead of Wave format and produce tiny files, which allows for maximum internal storage.

The recorder has features such as Auto Mode adjustable, MIC sensitivity, quality audio, built-in speakers, record button, stop button, and menu system.





  • Voice-Activated Recording

  • Low-Cut Filtering

  • Expandable Memory

  • Built-In Speakers

  • Direct PC Connection

  • 4GB Internal Memory

  • Up to 32GB with MicroSD

  • USB Charging

  • MP3 Format Recording

  • Transcription Mode

As of 4/02/2024

4.6 Stars | 235 Ratings 



  • Extensive memory: 4GB built-in, expandable with Micro SD.

  • Easy PC transfer: Direct connection for quick access.

  • Long recording duration: Holds up to 985 hours.

  • High-quality audio: Clear sound with low-cut filtering.

  • Convenient built-in speakers: Immediate playback without extra equipment.

  • Limited to MP3 format: No WAV recording option.

  • No wireless file transfer: Requires physical connection to PC.

  • No advanced editing features: Basic functionality for journalists.

  • Not waterproof: Unsuitable for outdoor reporting in adverse weather.

  • Requires Micro SD purchase for more space: Extra cost for expanded memory.


Positive Review Review Date - July 22, 2020

I like the recorder in general. The sound quality is fine. It is an MP3 player. I think you can make the sound be a wav, but I am not sure of that. A wav is better; the only reason I gave the sound a 4. Not sure what sheerness means, but if that is the general overall good and no extraneous sounds, yes, a 5.


Negative Review - Review Date -February 12, 2017

Not easy to use. Poor quality in recording from a computer or another audio device Better results with a smartphone! What a waste of time! What a pity!

3. TheOneSpy Voice Recorder App

TheOneSpy is one of the best applications to turn your phone into a hidden voice recorder and the best for investigative journalists. Install the OneSpy voice recorder app on any cell phone device, configure the application, and access its online dashboard to activate features that work to capture audio-video recordings.

Investigative journalists can use this app to capture interviews, lectures, and voice memos in secret.  You can activate features such as live surround recording, live surround listening, live camera streaming, and camera bug to capture everything going on while also offering a noise canceling feature!

One of the things we really like about TheOneSpy is that it can also record surround visuals using front and back cameras with the audio-video combination. The best part is the app is less expensive than purchasing a digital voice recorder, and you won’t need to take an extra device with you! This app literally turns your cell phone into a digital voice recorder with huge memory, audio, and video recording!



  • Converts phone into voice recorder: No extra device needed.

  • Secret recording capabilities: Ideal for undercover journalism.

  • Surround audio-video recording: Front and back camera use.

  • Online dashboard for easy access: Manage recordings remotely.

  • Cost-effective: Cheaper than buying a separate recorder.

  • Requires cell phone installation: Limited to phone's capabilities.

  • Potentially limited storage: Dependent on phone's memory.

  • May drain phone battery: Extra usage could reduce battery life.

  • Internet dependent: Requires connectivity for optimal functionality.

Learn more about this spy app by CLICKING HERE!

4. Zoom H1n Portable Digital Recorder

Zoom H1n Portable Digital Recorder

  • Studio Sound: X/Y mics capture pro-quality stereo audio.

  • Simple Setup: Intuitive menus for easy recording.

  • Versatile Tools: Speed control, voice boost, and overdubbing.


ZOOM H1 n Portable Digital Recorder is an easy-to-use, digital voice recorder considered one of the more top-end audio recording solutions found on Amazon. Some of the unique features of this digital audio recording device include built-in 90-degree X/Y stereo microphones, a rechargeable battery, and 50 hours of recording time.

One drawback of this voice recorder compared to the Sony PCMD100 is that it does not have an internal memory system and uses a MicroSD card to record audio files. It has a sleek design and a round proactive microphone enclosure. H1 n is a recorder that has a one-touch button to start or stop voice recording with alkaline batteries.

 You can do 10 hours of Voice recording with 44.1 kHz/16 microphones. It has many other features, like a playback speed controller, stereo dubbing, and Voice Emphasize Filter that provide good sound quality.





  • Protective Mic Enclosure

  • Stereo Condenser Microphones

  • Intuitive Menus

  • Playback Speed Control

  • Accessory Pack Included

  • 2023 Model

  • Matte Finish

  • Voice Emphasize Filter

  • Includes Power Adapter

  • Foam Windscreen Included

As of 4/02/2024

4.3 Stars | 156 Ratings  



  • Stereo condenser microphones: Clear audio capture.

  • Intuitive menus: Easy operation for fast recording.

  • Playback speed control: Customize playback as needed.

  • Voice emphasize filter: Enhances speech clarity.

  • Comprehensive accessory pack: Includes case, cable, adapter, windscreen.

  • Matte finish: Prone to visible wear over time.

  • Limited in-built memory: Requires external storage for long recordings.

  • No Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: Lacks wireless connectivity.

  • Requires external power source: Limited portability without battery.

  • Windscreen may not suffice for high wind conditions.

Real V.

Positive Review Review Date - December 22, 2023

Zoom made five different colors of this item, and Amazon was the only reasonably priced place I could find a blue one. With this purchase, I now have all five colors. I love this recorder. It's so sensitive you can hear a mosquito fart, which is perfect for ghost hunting. I may buy more in the future because they are that good. There are probably better ones out there, but they're going to be more expensive. The recorded audio syncs up with the video and stays synced up. Cheaper recorders sound lousy and fall out of sync over time. If you're looking to get a high-quality recorder on a budget, this is it. It will not disappoint!

Nick Rickatoli

Negative Review - Review Date -July 18, 2023

The promise of USB chargeability is a complete lie. Plugging it into a USB only allows you to use it for as long as it is currently plugged in. If you want to use it like that, an external portable battery is the only way to get it to work as advertised. I couldn't be more upset. I recommend against this unless you add a nice battery pack to the cost of this unit.

5. OgyMogy Cell Phone Spy App & PC Monitoring Software

For journalists trying to be more covert or working in quiet environments, OgyMogy is an excellent alternative to the traditional digital voice-activated recorder. Unlike the Olympus ws853, OgyMogy is a voice recorder app that can turn any cell phone into a digital voice recorder.  Users can install the app on their phone, activate the features via the dashboard, and then begin stereo recording. You can then easily transfer MP3 recordings to a computer or send the audio formats right from your phone!

Investigator reporters can activate the MIC bug and camera bugging features before they begin their quest for the truth. This will turn on the front and back cameras and microphones all the time to record surrounding audio and video, turning your smartphone into a portable recorder.

The best part of OgyMogy is a journalist can conduct an investigation and then simply uninstall the application to erase any sensitive data. Of course, we would encourage you first to deliver data to your web control panel so any captured photos, audio, and videos are saved. Moreover, investigative journalists can save all the secret data into the OgyMogy dashboard where it can be reviewed at any time!



  • Covert recording: Ideal for discreet journalism.

  • Easy installation: Turns phone into a recorder.

  • Dual camera and mic activation: Captures audio and video.

  • Easy data transfer: Send recordings from phone directly.

  • Secure data storage: Saved in OgyMogy dashboard.

  • Requires app installation: May not suit non-tech-savvy users.

  • Privacy concerns: Continuous recording might raise ethical issues.

  • Limited by phone's battery life.

  • Dependence on phone: No standalone functionality.

  • Potential compatibility issues with certain phone models.

Voice Recorders For Journalists

Learn More: Are Voice Recordings Allowed In Court?

Voice Recorders For Journalists – Frequently Asked Questions

What Features Should Journalists Consider When Choosing A Voice Recorder?

Consider audio quality, battery life, storage capacity, and ease of use. The Olympus WS-853 is a popular option, known for its high-quality recording and user-friendly design. This audio recorder offers an Intelligent Auto Mode and built-in noise cancellation making it a reliable choice for journalists in various environments.

How Important Is Audio Quality For A Journalist’s Digital Voice Recording Device?

Audio quality is crucial for journalists. Devices like the Zoom H1n have excellent sound quality, ensuring accurate transcriptions and preventing misquotes. With its X/Y microphone configuration and multiple recording formats, the Zoom H1n is perfect for capturing clear, detailed audio in various situations.

Are Smartphone Voice Recording Apps Suitable For Journalists?

Smartphone apps can work in a pinch, but dedicated voice recorders are better. However, the app stands out for its built-in transcription feature, which can be useful for journalists. With real-time transcriptions and the ability to export notes, can save time and improve organization.

How Can A Journalist Ensure Their Audio Recorder Has A Long Battery Life?

Choose a recorder with long-lasting battery life, like the Sony ICD-UX570. Also, carry extra batteries or a portable charger to avoid missing important moments. The Sony ICD-UX570 boasts a quick charge feature, providing up to 1 hour of recording time with just a 3-minute charge, making it a convenient option for busy journalists.

Matthew Henson
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