Picking a Digital Voice Recorder


I’m interested and purchasing a Digital Voice Recorder and want to get one that I can easily edit the files that it creates. Sony has the ICD-P520 digital voice recorder . Olympus has the VN4100PC which also looks good but people have said the software is bad. However, If I can use Audacity for the software then I don’t really care if the software that comes with it is bad.

Does anyone have any experience with these two devices?
Are they any good? I want it use it to record phone conversations and voice conversations in meetings.
Are they both compatible with Audacity? I think the Olympus uses ADPC but have know idea what the Sony uses and haven’t been able to find the specification listed on their web site.


I think portable mp3 players are more versatile. Most can record sound. See here for an article. Being smaller(cigarette lighter size), that would be important if you want to use it by a phone, because your ear & the microphone need to be as close to the speaker as possible. It’s less likely to damage if dropped too. They record wav files.

the matsui MAT105MR

I use mine for voice recordings(matsui MAT105MR £10, that has a bright blue light). I originally wanted it for playing mp3’s, but have never used it for that! The memory doesn’t depend upon the battery. Copy/paste files between it & the pc. I think that most mp3/Digital Voice Recorders will be the same in sound quality, & be in mono.

Audacity only uses standard pc sound files - wav mp3 ogg: on the left is a slider to change the volume. You can export files to mp3 or ogg, which take up far less space. (ogg is like mp3, common in Linux but not in Windows, but only a few portable players can play ogg e.g. Samsung YP-U2RZ £30 1Gb RAM). You choose the rate it’s saved at. 192kbps is cd quality. Even 16kbps is clear, but 32 would be better, 100 for decent music.

Audacity can remove background noise, sometimes well, if you select 2 seconds of audio with that noise, then choose ‘get noise profile’ then select the whole file, then press ‘remove noise’.

Get a player with at least 256Mb RAM, preferably 512. Click here for a demo of my mp3 player’s sound recording ability that I made, & here for a demo of a phone recording(which will be quieter)


I haven’t tried it, but I have received reported to work messages of this unit,





I think one of these will do, particularly the H2 is shipped with audacity according to wikipedia.
please correct me if I am wrong, I have never myself used seen or tested any of these devices.

any comments please ?

from wikipedia

Zoom H2 Handy Recorder

The free software package Audacity handles all the H2 file formats,
and facilitates editing and effects for recordings made with this device.
End of Correction.

It is not mentioned whether Audacity is shipped with this unit or not.