written by: infomarine•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 7/7/2011
Voice activated recorders are great devices. Several voice recorders are available on the market, so what makes a voice activated recorder different from the others?
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Voice Activated Recorders
Recorders are a boon for journalists, students, secretaries and even writers. You can record tons of information onto a single tiny gadget - be it interviews, lectures, seminars, readings, or even some secret spy footage. The problem with conventional tape recorder or most digital recorders though, is that they might be required to be kept on constantly to tape the entire desired conversation or speech. This ends up in recording random noises and nothingness, instead of merely the required spoken content. Transcribing or re-listening to such cluttered material is quite wearisome especially if you’re required to make a job out of it.
Voice activated recorders are essentially digital recorders, the only distinction being that they switch to recording mode when triggered by the spoken tone. Consequently the voice activated recorder stops as soon as the speakers stop talking and resumes on hearing the voice. The use of such gadget eliminates the wastage of recording space on the recorder as they do away with all other sound and din, which is referred to as ‘dead space’.
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Features to Look for When Buying Voice Activated Recorders
One major disadvantage of voice activated recorders is that they take a second to boot up when the recording mode is activated by a speaking voice. This could probably result in losing the first word of the sentence as the gadget takes a moment to power up.
When looking to buy a voice activated recorder, there are certain traits of utility to search for and certain others that can be overlooked. Balance out such odds to get the best efficacy out of the voice activated recorder. For instance, a major trade-off is between the recording time and the quality of the recording. Placing a higher priority on one of such aspects correspondingly compromises on the other.
Ensure that the recorder offers you the kind of battery life and recording modes that suit your needs. If you are generally looking to record seminars or the likes, where there is not much background noise or disturbance, then you could choose one that offers you a lower quality recording mode with a larger recording time. On the other hand, if stereo recording is your option and recording span can be given concession then a voice activated recorder that offers such a mode along with a good microphone ought to be your pick.
A common feature in most voice activated recorders is the ability to connect the device to a PC and transfer or edit the audio recordings. Such an application is of utmost convenience and is one to look out for. If transcription of these recordings is your thing, then you could go for a recorder that comes with digital markers, which could bracket the important sections at the press of an index button. Another aspect which aids transcribing is being able to play the footage at varying speeds.
Some of the higher-end models also specifically offer the feature of avoiding start-up lags so you don’t miss the beginning. Depending on your requirements, good voice activated recorders are available from companies like Olympus and Sony within a price range of $50-150. They are good value for your money and you are bound to be satisfied by their performance.