Topic: what's the best voice recorder?

I'm an editorial training manager for a major newspaper and website publisher in the UK and our troops are starting to get into Soundslides in a big way. I'm keen to explore the best device for gathering high quality audio without paying pro prices. I'm currently trialling the Olympus LS-10 and Philips are due to send me the 9600 shortly. Any advice welcome....preferably if it involves a product under £150! Thankyou.


Re: what's the best voice recorder?

You might find this guide useful:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/find/news … -Guide.jsp

(I'm not connected with them, they just happened to have produced a useful guide)

Also, this is a good site for audio recorder reviews and other such stuff:





Re: what's the best voice recorder?

The Edirol R-09hr is a great piece of kit. at about £250 it is about the same price as the Olympus.

I tried the Zoom H2 but found it incompatable with my rode mic. ( alot of hiss.) the Eddie fits in with my workflow really well.


Re: what's the best voice recorder?

Hey Andrew.

I used the LS-10 at the recent NPPA workshop, and it did quite well. 

Also, in addition to the B&H link, here's the best review site I've seen:
http://www.transom.org/tools/recording_ … r_reviews/



Re: what's the best voice recorder?

I own the Zoom H2, the Sony PCM-D50 and have a trial LS-10.

The Zoom H2 does very good recordings with the internal mics and is capable of surround sound, which the others aren't.  But its cheap build quality disappoints.  Significant handling noise.

The small LS-10 is the most compact, has the best menu system but its internal mics lean a bit on the "high end."  That takes about 10 seconds to adjust in Audacity or some other audio editor by applying a Bass Boost effect. 

The Sony PCM-D50 is solidly built but not pocket sized.  The Sony dead cat windscreen is ridiculously priced at $50.  But it gives pleasing recordings on both the internal mics and any externals I attach. 

I haven't tried the Edirol recorders.

If you are going to be doing voicetracks, meaning have someone tell the story, you will probably want to use an external mic, like an ElectroVoice E50.  That gives too much hiss on the H2 but works on the Olympus and Sony.

The only mic I've found that works suitably on the H2 is a Sennheiser M66/K6 combo...it really pumps audio power.  That's about $600 worth of microphone with the grip and dead cat.

Of these three, the Sony is the best bet.  The Olympus a close second (unless size is of serious importance,) and the H2 is fine for recording ambient sounds.


Re: what's the best voice recorder?

Gearscout provided a very nice summary of some of the recorders. Unfortunately I have no idea of UK prices. It may be that given your price range the Zoom H2 is the only option, but gearscout's cautions about the device are warranted (I also have it). Don't get me wrong, the Zoom H2 can be used pretty well and give very nice recordings, but it's much trickier to use in interview type of situations (where the reporter has very little control over various things).

Given your price constraints I'd also throw the Marantz PMD620 into the mix. I have it and it works very nicely. Not pro. Not as good as the Sony PCM-D50 with external mics. But it may be almost as good, and have less handling noise issues, than the Sony when using internal mics. From sound samples I've heard the internals seem to sound better on the Marantz for spoken voice, but the Olympus and Sony for recording music. The Marantz is also much better than the Olympus and Sony with regards to handling noise (if you are using the internal mics). However, add on external mics and the Sony wins hands down.

As you probably realize, the conflict you've created is creating pro recordings without paying pro prices! The Zoom H2 would be like sending out your reporters with Canon's low end point and shoot. It will get photos, perhaps some very good ones. Would your folks be satisfied with it? For some analogous reasons, getting good audio costs a bit of money (though not as much as photography), especially if you are using the devices in reporting situations where handling-noise, wind, quality of gain, etc. are all very important factors.

I know you probably know all of this already, but while you may not be able to afford pro equipment you'll probably regret getting a bunch of Zoom H2s (or the equivalent). They're fine for sitting-at-a-desk recording but not for what you want. The better compromise is likely to be to get fewer recorders but spend a bit more money on each. Good luck!


Re: what's the best voice recorder?

Transom.org now has a review of the Olympus LS-10.

http://transom.org/tools/recording_inte … mpus_ls10/


8 (edited by Phil.Morin1 2008-09-14 15:44:38)

Re: what's the best voice recorder?

I work for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and these are the ones we use: Beautifully simple and sturdy machines. The sound quality is great, and it's easy to record right from the board at concerts, etc.

Plus with 4aa batteries, you can keep infinite supplies in a bag. Many hours of tape are possible and it exports right to USB.



Re: what's the best voice recorder?

More advice: spend on mikes, not on recorders per se.


Re: what's the best voice recorder?

hi all,

Where can I find Sony PCM-D50 or some equivalent model of Sony?

Thanks in advance.


Re: what's the best voice recorder?

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ … ws/#anchor


Re: what's the best voice recorder?

There are several places to buy the Sony PCM-D50, or the Marantz PMD661, or various equivalents including Sweetwater (listed above), Amazon, B&H Photo Video, Broadcast Supply Worldwide.

A much smaller store that hangles only portable recorders (and mics to go with them) is called Wingfield Audio run by Stephanie Wingfield. I'd definitely check out her site. I've done business with her and she's first rate—and great about handling questions related to portable recorders. You can check it out at: