Most user-friendly and high quality digital audio recorder

I’d like to buy a digital recorder for recording vocal tracks (quite a deep voice) for some elderly friends of mine. They are ‘not of the computer age’ (they don’t even own a computer or ipod etc) so I’m after some that is really really user-friendly/simple to use. I won’t be able to show them how to use it in person so I think I’ll have to buy one myself as well to walk them through it over the phone.

I have a H2 Zoom that I record on currently and I quite like the quality of the sound it records. I was thinking about getting the Zoom H4n but am worried that it will be too complicated to use.

Budjet is $500-600 (for both).

Features it must have:

  • Extremely user-friendly
  • Ability to play back the recording (i.e. inbuilt speaker).
  • Can record high quality vocals.
  • Not dangerous at all (I once accidently tried to record on the H2 Zoom with a portable speaker plugged in and nearly made myself deaf).

Probably will buy from

Could anyone recommend a recorder that fits this purpose? It doesn’t need any bells and whistles. The Tascam models seem to have very good reviews, are they very user-friendly?

I have an H2. I think it is as user friendly as any other.
If you want to use a speaker with it, turn off the monitoring. Alternatively, use headphones rather than a speaker.

The H4 has a lot more features than the H2 so I’d expect it to be more complicated to use, but I’ve never used one.

These days there are quite a few to choose from, but the H2 is the only one that I own, so the only one that I can comment on.

Thanks for the reply steve, I’ve also got the H2 but found having to carry around a separate speaker to be a big hassle. I think I’ve mostly decided on the H4n, they sell on ebay for $270 which isn’t bad for Australia, pity amazon won’t ship them here. I just need to find a place that will sell the tripod, a voltage converter/adapter and a bigger capacity sd card.