Feeds

Ten... digital voice recorders

Modern dictators

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Philips Voice Tracer LFH0615/27

RH Numbers

Although I quite like its almost 1980s styling, this Philips has no backlight on the basic calculatory display. Its plastic body isn't exactly robust either, which is a bit of let down following its retro-tastic start. A mini USB port on the side connects to the PC, so a cable is a necessity and, with no memory expansion, you'll have to make do with the 4GB onboard.

The Voice Tracer is easy to use, though, and can power on and start recording at an instant. There are 396 recording banks spread over four folders to fill, as well. However, this Philips drops the Wav format – which its predecessor had supported – instead, going solo with MP3, all in mono. There's a mammoth battery life of up to 141 hours, though and a fairly nifty voice actuation features, plus Philips ClearVoice - essentially an onboard dynamics processor to even out variations in signal level.

Sadly, sound quality is far from ideal and quite bassy. Talking into the microphone is a must here. For a triple figure price, the Philips was one of the least clear in my London Underground test too and I cant say I was overjoyed with the overall results.

Philips Voice Tracer LFH0612

Reg Rating 70%
Price £60
More info Philips

Sony ICD UX300

RH Numbers
RH Recommended Medal

Sony's ICD UX300 is a nicely-sized recorder that serves its purpose reasonably well, with just a few shortcomings. For starters, the 4GB memory is all you get, as there's no storage expansion. Even so, filling all 990 recording slots is an unlikely prospect.

The microphones also appear to have little protection from the elements, protruding from each side and picking up a lot of wind in outdoor environments. There is some noise reduction tech installed too, which won't solve the problem of wind, but does a good job cutting out noise on the tube and reducing the background hustle and bustle.

It's unlikely to serve too well in a voxpop interview on Brighton beach, but use it in a meeting or seminar and the UX300 does more than a sufficient job, delivering a crisp sound. A switch on the side changes the skip track buttons into playback speed controls, also skimming through the track without a chipmunk squabbling in your lugs.

Other features include voice actuation, a direct USB connection and the ability to double up as a music player. The lack of additional storage and the wind-sensitive microphones is just too much of a let down to justify the triple figure price point, though.

Sony ICD UX300

Reg Rating 80%
Price £119
More info Sony

The essential guide to IT transformation

Next page: UltraDisk DV7

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Samsung Gear S: Quick, LAUNCH IT – before Apple straps on iWatch
Full specs for wrist-mounted device here ... but who'll buy it?
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
HUGE iPAD? Maybe. HUGE ADVERTS? That's for SURE
Noo! Hand not big enough! Don't look at meee!
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?