Compare Digital Voice Recorders: Top 5 Voice Recorders Reviewed & Compared

1. Olympus WS-210S

This digital voice recorder from the house of Olympus is on the top of the list since it is extremely handy for recording lectures, personal notes or interviews.

Memory: It has a non-expandable 512 MB capacity in its integrated memory. Though this limit is restrictive, it can hold up to 130 hours with its minimum quality settings.


  • USB cable is not needed
  • Ease of use
  • Highly affordable
  • Integrated with stereo microphones


  • Limited memory
  • Audio quality could be better

Best Price: $91.46 on Amazon

Even with these drawbacks, the model tops the list because you cannot find a better recorder at a comparable price. Except for the limited memory and lack of its ability to play MP3 files, the Olympus WS-210S is quite similar to the WS-331M, which is our next contender.

2. Olympus WS-331M

The WS-331M stands apart from rest of the digital voice recorders due to its ability to play MP3 music files; the voice recording quality is also brilliant.

Olympus WS-331M

Memory: Though the memory cannot be extended, the integrated memory itself has 2 GB capacity. This can hold up to 556 hours of data in its lowest quality settings and 36 hours in its highest settings.


  • USB cable is not needed
  • Built in stereo microphones
  • 556 hours recording time
  • Can double up as an MP3 player


  • Memory cannot be expanded
  • Quality of music playback is average

Price: $108.99 at Amazon

The audio quality for podcasts or radio is not good. However, if you are ready to shell out more money, then the third product on our list – the Roland Edirol R-09HR – is an expensive but good option.

3. Roland Edirol R-09HR

The reason for this model being one amongst the top five digital voice recorders is its good audio quality, and ease of use.

Memory: It has built-in flash memory of 512 MB but it has a slot for adding memory cards up to 32 GB. It has a sampling rate of 96 KHz, which contributes to the good sound quality.

Edirol R-09HR


  • Professional audio quality
  • Ease of use
  • Memory card slot


  • Expensive

Best Price: $265.12 on Amazon

The Edirol R-09HR stands out from rest of the competitors in this list due to superior build quality and effortless operation.

4. Sony ICD-MX20

The ICD-MX20 from Sony is rated as the most precise voice recorder for use in combination with Nuance’s top-rated Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-to-text software.

Memory: It has a skimpy 32 MB internal flash memory but has expansion slots to hold duo flash memory cards of capacity up to 16 GB.

Sony ICD-MX20


  • Best accuracy with speech-to-text software
  • Expansion slots for memory
  • Built-in editing features


  • Expensive
  • Records using proprietary file formats

Best Price: $203.79 on Amazon

The inexpensive Olympus WS-331M is a better choice if you are using Mac OS as this model of Sony uses non-standard file format which is not compatible with Mac.

5. Olympus DS-40

The new DS-40 from Olympus is a professional grade audio recorder with a high sensitivity microphone.

Olympus DS-40 Digital Voice Recorder

Memory: It has a skimpy 512 MB of built-in memory capacity with 136 hours of recording time at low quality settings.


  • Good sound quality
  • Long battery life (30 hours playback)
  • Good for downloading and creating podcasts


  • Limited flash memory
  • Speaker is placed at back

Price: $182.48 at Amazon

On the whole, this voice recorder is excellent in terms of ease of use, high recording quality and good build. However, it is a bit expensive.