The Four Best Voice Recorders for Your Oral History Interviews

Top Four Best Voice Recorders For Your Oral History Interviews

In this post I’m going to share my top three picks for the best voice recorders for your oral history interviews and some amazing features they each come with.

My top four pics are

Zoom H1n

Zoom H1n

This is considered the newer and better version of the Zoom H1. It is an entry level professional digital recorder. If you want to dip your toes into the world of professional oral history audio recording, this is a great recorder to get you started for all your oral history interviews.

The key features include

Quality recording at 96 kHz 24 bit Wav

It has a 2.5v plug in power output. This recorder will work with most lavalier microphone that require plug in power. And it now takes 2 AAA batteries.

It comes with a USB that not only acts as a USB out, allowing you to transfer files from the recorder to your computer but also as a USB in. This allows you to power the Zoom H1n using USB (5V USB charger) because of this feature you don’t need to use the AAA batteries. You can also use the H1n as a USB mic – just plug it into computer (using a USB cable) and record using your favorite software.

When the AAA batteries are powered up, it offers up to 10 hours of recording time.

It does not have internal memory though but does support max 32GB micro SDHC external memory. You’ll need to format the SD card so that the recorder recognizes it. Check out my blog on the best microSD cards for this particular recorder.

Sony ICD-UX570

Sony ICD-UX570

This is a fantastic little recorder for your oral history interviews. You won’t go wrong if you are looking to get quality out of your recordings.

The key features include

It has a minimum of 20 hours of recording in one charge

It does come with a good number of recording settings; you can record clear voice recordings. This device captures very little background noise, has impressive signal to noise ratio and has a couple of filters (LCF and NCF) that can help you record less noise in a noisy location.

It has a 4GB internal memory which is not much but it comes with a microSD slot. So you can get additional memory as it is compatible with 256GB microSDXC (Secure Digital Extended Capacity)cards and the 64GBmicro SDXC which is enough memory to hold huge sizes of your oral history recordings.

It is very light and easily portable as it weighs 48grams, about 1.07 oz which is the weight of one kit-kat bar or 9 to 10 teaspoons of sugar.

With its 3.7v Internal battery, it powers up instantly and takes 3 hours to fully charge. And you can charge or power the UX570 using your computer, a USB charger, or a portable power-bank.

Sony ICD-PX470

Sony ICD-PX470

If you are looking for an oral history interview recorder on a budget this is the recorder for you. It does not record great sound as the Sony ICD-UX570 but it is close enough and does the job as well.

The main features include

According to Sony, the lifeline for this recorder is as follows 40 hours while recording in the LCPM format (uncompressed audio format), 53 hours to MP3. Playback is 16 hours using the speaker and 37 hours using headphones.

It comes with a 4GB internal memory but you can expand the memory using a Micro SD card, but only to 32GB.

This recorder comes with a choice of 9 different mic sensitivity settings that you can change on the fly and find the perfect setting for your location. And that makes this recorder perfect for recording your oral history interviews.

This recorder weighs about 2.7 oz / 77 g which is about the size of a tennis ball. So, it is pretty light as well.

It doesn’t have a rechargeable battery function. But on the other hand, if you use AAA alkaline batteries you can get up to 40 hours of recording before you have to replace them.

Olympus WS-853

Olympus WS-853 for your oral history interviews

This recorder is slightly more expensive than the PX470, but it is easier to use and a great self-contained solution for your oral history interviews

The main features include

It has 8GB internal memory and from this you get 130hours of oral history audio recording which is great if you a planning to record a lot of oral history interviews without having to worry about storage constraints.

It comes with a kickstand that reduces the noise from the surface when the recorder is placed on a table.

It captures very little background noise

It comes with two AAA Ni-MH (nickel metal hydride) rechargeable batteries which gives you about 30 hours of recording before you’ll have to charge them.

The recorder includes a microSD card slot that is compatible with microSD cards up to 16GB and 32 GB. You can select whether to use the built-in memory or a microSD card if you’d like to expand your memory.

I hope you see something you like in my recommendations. At the very least I hope they serve as a starting point for your quest to find a recorder that’s right for you. Please let me know if this post was helpful in the comment section below. Keep us in mind a well for all your transcription needs and good luck in recording your oral history interviews.

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