Portable digital recorders are now being used in a variety of settings and both for professional and personal purposes. From music and sound recordings to capturing live interviews and editing audio content for broadcasting, these digital audio recorders have become highly indispensable tools. Although some of the most popular recorders include Tascam DR07 and Sony PCMM10 to name a few, buying a portable digital recorder should be given due consideration.
Here are some of the features to look for when shopping for handy audio recorders:
Signal to noise ratio
Technically speaking, the signal to noise ratio can be measured by determining the difference between noise floor and reference level. It is used to determine the signal strength in relation to background noise. A higher SNR or Signal to Noise Ratio means lesser background noise, which results to higher quality recordings.
The number of built-in microphones determines how clear your sound recordings will be, however it is also important to note that the quality of these recordings will also depend on how sensitive these internal microphones are. While buying an external microphone is not necessary in order to get a full use on your digital recorder, there are cases wherein external microphones are considered useful. External mics help reduce unwarranted background noises, and may be used in recording extra sensitive conversations over the phone. A recorder with external mic inputs as well as built-in microphones can be a smart choice for many.
While most of the digital recorders available today have built-in USB connectivity and allows for the easy download of files to any computer, not all models are able to accommodate removable media or removable memory cards. If you will be recording for long hours, a digital recorder that has an extra slot for removable memory cards will allow you to continue recording even when your internal memory runs out. The Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder for example has a removable media card slot for an expandable capacity.
Portability and ease of use
For many users, a small-sized portable digital recorder is easy to lug around, whether for sound recordings, ambush interviews, or class lectures. Nonetheless navigation and screen visibility can be a problem for many pint-sized models. A portable digital recorder should be easy to navigate, while allowing you clear readings on an ample-sized LCD screen.
The right features will ultimately depend on how and how often you will be using your portable digital recorder. By reading up on reviews, you can find the audio recorder that best fits your personal and professional requirements.