Phone recorders quality

Hi, are there mobile phones that have good quality recorders incorporated? I use my mobile phone to make voice recordings, but the quality is really poor. I don’t need professional quality, just something more or less decent.

I use my mobile phone to make voice recordings,

Which one do you use that doesn’t work?

Yes, recording a telephone of any sort is a frequently asked question. The two foolproof ways are Pamela and Total Recorder, the Skype recorder software (Windows only) and a real broadcast telephone hybrid and copper phone line. Neither is particularly cheap. A hybrid can go into thousands.

They tend to fall off a cliff. They either work or not. There is no “this one works slightly better than that one.” Radio Shack makes $14 phone recorders and I own both of them. They’re terrible.

You would have thought there would be an app for that.


I think that I didn’t explain myself very well. What I’m looking for is a mobile phone that I can use as a standard audio recorder, to record face to face conversations, not to record calls.

Any iPhone can do that very well. There are thousands of Voice Recording applications. The later iPod Touch devices can do that as well. They’re even smaller and lighter – and cheaper.

That one has a testimonial from someone using it for exactly what you want to do.


If you still prefer for a mobile phone, I believe most of them (& mp3/mp4 players) have this recording options :

MMS compatible (for mobile phones only, producing low quality AMR format)
Low/Standard (in AMR format as well, still less decent quality)
High (I think this is what you are looking, much clearer sound quality, but this time, in WAV/MP3 format, those of heavier file size).

Hope this helps. :wink:

We should also consider that people have unrealistic expectations for recording in the field. No recorder is going to give good results from the back of the lecture hall or at the bus stop. This American Life gets all those terrific interviews by hand-holding a normally long-distance shotgun microphone and jamming it under the guest’s nose.

You know how you can always tell when somebody’s using speakerphone because you can’t understand what they’re saying through the echoes and room noise? That’s the effect, yes.

The video people get burned with this regularly. You can’t zoom in a microphone.

I see the New York Times Video Service finally gave up on the idea of free-wheeling video interviews. They’re using a controlled room and little tie-tack microphones on everybody now. Much better sound.

That and you can do very well with a small, hand-held recorder (like an iPhone) by putting it on a multiple-times folded over men’s handkerchief or bandanna directly on the table in front of the guest – in an echo-proof, quiet room.


Sorry I didn’t reply to this before. I eventually bought a medium range smartphone, the LG Optimus L7. It works very well for what I use it, but my requirements are not very demanding. I’m happy with a recording where I can understand what is being said and there is not too much distortion. I guess any smartphone fulfills this requirement.

For me, the main disadvantage of using a smartphone as a recorder is that it runs out of battery so quickly. If that happens while you’re recording, you get a corrupted file that’s very difficult (or expensive) to fix. I guess that conventional recorders are better in that sense, but for me having everything in one device is so convenient that it pays off.