Feeds

Ten... digital voice recorders

Modern dictators

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Next page: UltraDisk DV7

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Apple spent just ONE DOLLAR beefing up the latest iPad Air 2
New iPads look a lot like the old one. There's a reason for that
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
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?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.