Depending on your professional or personal situation, you may come into a scenario where you need to be able to record what is being said whether or not you are the speaker. In this instance, the best voice activated recorder can be a great tool, but unless you are able to openly record the information, this can be a bit difficult to wield.
In order to alleviate this issue, many manufacturers have come out with a feature that turns the voice recorder on once someone begins to speak and will shut itself off once no one has spoken for a time. These voice activated recorders not only allow you to record for significantly longer than most other types of voice recorders. They have the advantage of not needing to be used manually.
- Best Voice Activated Recorder 2018
- 1. Yemenren R5 Triple Microphone – Best Voice Activated Recorder
- 2. aTTo Digital (Upgraded 2018) – Best Voice Activated Recorder For Spying (Editor’s Choice)
- 3. Seanme – Best Hidden Voice Activated Recorder
- 4. Sony ICDUX560BLK – The Best Voice Activated Recorder (Editor’s Choice)
- 5. Olympus WS-853 – Best Voice Activated Digital Recorder
- 6. Evistr – Most Popular Voice Activated Recorder (People’s Choice)
- 7. Uqique – Best Small Voice Activated Recorder
- Best Voice Activated Recorder – Buyer’s Guide
Best Voice Activated Recorder 2018
Of course, there are plenty of other differences between different voice activated recorders, and figuring out which is the best for you can be a difficult and confusing task. That is why we have put together a list of the 7 best voice activated recorders, highlighting what each one does best. Then we provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can find the best voice activated recorder to suit your needs.
|3||8 GB||WAV & MP3|
|aTTo Digital (2018)|
|Seanme||1||8 GB||MP3, WMA, & WAV|
|Sony ICDUX560BLK||2||4 GB||MP3 & LPCM|
|Olympus WS-853||2||8 GB||MP3|
1. Yemenren R5 Triple Microphone – Best Voice Activated Recorder
Yemenren is not likely a company that you have heard of as it has only been around for a couple years, but it has taken note of all the different features that its various competitors offer and puts out a product that is not only superior in numerous way but is also less expensive than the higher end models as well.
By combining a budget-minded price with features that are not found on even the best-performing products we reviewed. We named this one of our Editor’s Choice and the best voice activated recorder all-around.
The Best Microphones
That said, it should be noted that all 3 microphones do use the omnidirectional polar pattern. It does limit the versatility of this product a bit, but it does not prevent the 3 microphones from allowing the Yemenren R5 to pick up even quiet voices over longer distances and from any direction than their competitors.
On top of that, this best voice activated recorder can also record in both MP3 and the WAV file formats. Moreover, it supports various bitrates between 128 KB/s to 1563 KB/s.
2. aTTo Digital (Upgraded 2018) – Best Voice Activated Recorder For Spying (Editor’s Choice)
Instead, this company has stayed afloat by servicing an incredibly specific niche better than any of their competitors. In fact, aTTo Digital is so committed to their niche that they literally manufacture 3 products. All of which are in some way, not merely a voice activated recorder, but one that is intended to go unnoticed. As such, we have little choice but to rate this our best voice activated recorder for spying.
Meant for Secrecy
In fact, it is so small that it can easily fit in the palm of your hand while you still use your fingers on your phone. On top of that, but the aTTo Digital is also one of the better voice activated recorders when recording sound through a muffled medium. This further extends the secretive functions of the aTTo Digital. Also, it can be worn underneath loose, thin fabric and still record without issue.
3. Seanme – Best Hidden Voice Activated Recorder
Seanme is one of many companies on our list that utilize an only online business model to keep their overhead down and pass those savings on to their consumers. As such, if you are looking for a voice activated recording for clandestine purposes but do not want to spend that amount of money a high-end model costs.
The Seanme provides an excellent option at a significantly lower cost. Moreover, though the company has not been around nearly as long as some of the others we reviewed. They do at least specialize exclusively in 2 different voice activated recorders to the exclusion of everything else. The Seanme made our pick for the best hidden voice activated recorder.
A Unique Appearance
Like any voice activated recorder that intends to be used for evidentiary purposes, the Seanme makes it a point to provide a form of cover to prevent its discovery. However, unlike some of the other voice activated recorders that would serve well in the role, the Seanme is able to stay hidden by hiding in plain sight.
Specifically, the Seanme hides in plain sight by being disguised as nothing more than an ordinary keychain. Moreover, the Seanme is also the only voice activated recorder with a body made of metal. It provides a much greater durability than most competitors do.
4. Sony ICDUX560BLK – The Best Voice Activated Recorder (Editor’s Choice)
Sony likely needs little introduction as by far better known brands of electronics and one of the oldest in the world as well. That said, this does mean that Sony does not specialize exclusively in voice activated recorders.
Though being one of the largest electronics manufacturers in the world, they do at least cover most of the niche bases. That said, this is more of a standard voice activated recorder, intended to be used in a setting where the various parties are aware that they are being recorded. In that situation, the Sony offers by far one of the best voice activated recorders that we saw.
From Front to Playback
When considering a voice activated recorder, people will often consider only one side of the coin, but the product is not designed for merely a single function by nature. Instead, voice activated recorders must not only record the audio but also play it back or transfer it to another device that can.
For instance, this is the only best voice activated recorder we reviewed which is able to record in LPCM format. It is used for numerous professional settings. On top of that, it can also playback AAC file formats, making it one of the few to be able to do so.
5. Olympus WS-853 – Best Voice Activated Digital Recorder
Olympus is definitely one of the more unusual companies to make our list as they are far more well-known and well-respected for manufacturing high-end photography equipment, but they have actually been one of the companies which help set the standard for higher end voice activated recorders.
This is likely to provide some photographers the ability to record audio alongside. Regardless of the reason, the Olympus WS-853 is a truly impressive piece of technology and is easily our best voice activated digital recorder.
Great Audio Quality
When it comes right down to it, the value of a voice activated recorder will primarily come down to how well it records the audio meaning what the quality of the audio actually is. All the different formats and features will not be able to cover up the fact that a voice activated recorder that records poor audio quality and is likely useful in an extremely narrow set of circumstances.
6. Evistr – Most Popular Voice Activated Recorder (People’s Choice)
Evistr is another company that has sprung up within the past few years though, this is one of the few smaller brands that does not specialize in voice activated recorders specifically and instead makes electronics and other accessories more broadly.
That said, this is still one of the many only online businesses that we saw. It does allow them to keep the cost of their products down while still giving them the ability to provide a solid product. In fact, this is the People’s Choice, most popular voice activated recorder that we reviewed.
A Journalist’s Recorder
One of the more interesting aspects of the Evistr is that it uses a single, somewhat large for voice activated recorders condenser microphone. This means that you should expect the use of this voice activated recorder to be limited to more intimate settings where all parties are aware of the recording.
7. Uqique – Best Small Voice Activated Recorder
In this regard, the Uqique could easily be seen as the most versatile voice activated recorder on this list. It is comfortably and naturally flow from one setting to another without disturbing anyone in between. That said, this company specializes exclusively in this particular product and is able to keep their prices low with an only online business model making this an easy choice for the best small voice activated recorder.
The Longest Lasting
It may surprise some of you to find out that though this is easily one of the smallest voice recorder. It is also the longest lasting without much competition. For example, the battery of the Uqique provides a list-leading 500 mAh. This is more than twice the capacity of all but a single competitor including the better-known brands.
Best Voice Activated Recorder – Buyer’s Guide
It is also important to note that the microphone can break down into a few different types. Though most of the microphones used for voice activated recorders come in a single type. Regardless, another quality to consider regarding the microphone is the number provided. It can actually increase the various options and versatility of the voice activated recorder.
The most common polar pattern of microphone used for voice recorders which is great for certain scenarios. Specifically, if you are using a voice activated recorder to record an interaction without one or more parties knowing, then an omnidirectional microphone is the best available.
If you need a voice activated recorder to record long meetings or lectures in a controlled setting, then this is not really the best directionality of microphone to have.
While you technically do not need 2 microphones to have a different polar pattern than omnidirectional microphones. It certainly does help though this means that the audio effects are digitally added as opposed to naturally received by the microphone.
Regardless, the use of 2 microphones allows the voice activated recorder to more easily utilize the various polar patterns beyond simply cardioid and omnidirectional. Moreover, this also allows you to record the audio in stereo which can be important depending on the situation. It can be an effective tool in situations where both parties are aware that the voice recorder is being used.
This is an uncommon arrangement for voice recorders of any stripe but it does offer the potential for virtually any and every polar pattern. This does not necessarily mean that the voice recorder will perform better than its competitors with only 2 microphones.
The increase in computing power for the firmware often prevents manufacturers from making 3 microphone models unless they are large enough to support a flagship model within the market or do not provide the necessary hardware and firmware to support the capabilities of 3 microphones. As such, this is one of the few microphone arrangements that depend more heavily on the other qualities of the voice activated recorder.
What is the best voice activated recorder?
As we can see, due to the sheer variety of settings in which you might need a voice activated recorder, there is simply not going to be a single product, which is the universal best for all people. Instead, it is a better idea to figure out where you primarily expect to use the voice activated recorder and get the best model for that specific setting.
For fairly ideal situations where you do not need to worry about the voice activated recorder being jostled or otherwise in action, we recommend the Yemenren R5 or Sony ICDUX560BLK. It offers by far some of the best recording quality. Thanks in a large part due to the use of few separate microphones that are all omnidirectional. While this is not ideal for a setting with a large crowd, it is excellent for business meetings, educational lectures, or other controlled settings.
On the other hand, if you want a voice activated recorder for its most common purpose to secretly record an interaction then we recommend the aTTo Digital. Aside from the fact that it is by far the smallest voice recorder that we reviewed. It also records well when muffled and is password protected to prevent discovery or revealing the recorded contents.