There are a number of reasons why you might want to consider a USB recorder.
Maybe you’re a college student who wants to record lectures to refer to later.
Or, you’re a doctor and want to record notes on each patient for your secretary to type up.
Or, you may want to have a quick way to dictate notes for yourself or to get that genius idea on record before it slips away from you.
Finally, you may want a spy voice recorder that can help you overhear conversations. Some of these devices have very sensitive microphones are able to pick up conversations from a considerable distance away.
Whatever the case, we’re here to help!
We’ve done the hard work and tested out all of these USB voice recorders to help you find the right one for you needs. We tested them out during lectures at a college, at noisy coffee shops and then finally in a quiet home office—covering all the environments where you might use a USB audio recorder.
Best Flash Drive Audio Recorders Compared
Best USB Voice Recorder Reviews
Below are brief reviews of our favorite flash drive voice recorders.
Best Overall: Salo Co 8 GB Mini USB Voice Recorder
Mini USB Voice Recorder with Earphones - 8GB Small Digital Audio Recorder with Microphone for...
- 3 IN 1 VOICE RECORDER: This USB device works as a mini voice recorder, storage device and audio...
- CLEAR HIGH-QUALITY SOUND: Our USB voice recorder flash drive uses ultra-sensitive microphones with...
- PORTABLE & COMPACT: Thanks to the lightweight and compact design, this portable voice recorder is...
- LISTEN ANYWHERE YOU WANT & TRANSFER DATA FAST: Our Mini Voice Recorder is designed with 3.5mm jack...
- LIFETIME SUPPORT: We're determined to provide our customers with the finest pocket-size voice...
First on our list of recommended USB flash drive voice recorders is this 8GB one from Salo Co. It’s reasonably priced, works well and produces the clearest, highest quality sound of all the devices in this price range.
The noise reduction filter actually works quite well and in our tests in a busy coffee shop, it did a great job at filtering out background noise.
- Includes headphones
- Compatible with Mac and Windows devices
- 3-in-1 (audio recorder, storage device, and audio player)
- Ultra sensitive microphone with noise reduction filter
- Can hear conversations up to 40 feet away making it a perfect choice for a USB Spy Recorder
- Comes with a headphone jack for easy listening
- Lifetime customer support
- 15 hours of recording time
- Easy to use buttons
- Fast data transfer
- Built in rechargeable battery
- Voice activated microphone
“I have to make minutes of meetings at work and found it extremely stressful because I always felt like I was missing important thing. I tried using my cellphone to record meetings, but I found that the audio quality wasn’t that great. On the suggestion of my coworker, I bought one of these and there’s a huge difference. Easy to use and a big enough capacity for my needs. Love the headphone jack so I don’t have to transfer the data to listen to it.”
“Lightweight and easy to carry around. Plus, it records high quality audio that is easy to listen to later. I use it to record lectures at school and refer back to if I’m confused about something in my notes.”
Does it sound like the right USB flash drive audio recorder for you? Learn more on Amazon and see the current price.
Best Value: Recjoy 16 GB Mini Voice Recorder
Mini Voice Recorder for Lectures Meetings RECJOY,16GB Digital Audio Recorder 72Hours Recording...
- CLEAR PCM RECORDING: This mini recorder adopts professional recording chip which makes you enjoy...
- 16GB INTERNAL MEMORY: Let you store up to 72hours recording files or 5000 songs. Voice recorder is...
- EASY CHARGING & RECORD LONG: It only takes 2hours to fully charge the battery,and it also supports...
- SMART BATTERY DETECTION: The recorder was built in smart battery detection which makes it save the...
- PORTABLE CARRY & GIFT CHOICE: Small Voice recorder for lectures,meetings and speeches ect.As it is...
Next up on our list is this 16 GB flash drive voice recorder that can record up to 72 hours of audio. That’s an astounding amount and more than just about anyone would need. It could easily cover an entire semester of a class at university. Combine that with an impressive battery life and it’s a great choice for many people looking for a USB recorder.
The audio quality is far better than many other similarly priced audio recorders, but it tends to be too loud when recording close conversations.
The generous warranty and 30 day money-back guarantee mean that you can try this one risk-free. If it doesn’t work well for you, just return it for a full refund.
- 16 GB capacity
- 72 hours recording time
- Multiple charging methods
- Noise reducing chip
- 2 hours charge, and then 13 hours of use
- Smart battery detection (device will save the recording before the battery dies)
- One single key to record and save
- 18 month warranty
- 30 day money-back guarantee
- Compatible with Windows based and Mac computers
- Very small in size and weight
“Small, long battery life and large internal memory. A nice product, especially when you consider it’s one of the cheaper options out there. The audio quality is not professional of course, but it’s certainly good enough for my needs.”
“Great sound quality and easy to use with only one button. I’ve been using it to record up to 4 hour lectures with no problems at all with storage or battery life. Nice product that works well!”
Where Can I Buy It?
Is this the USB spy recorder for you? Check it out on Amazon.com for more info and the current price.
Most Features: Slim 8 GB USB Flash Drive Audio Recorder
Slim Voice Activated Recorder - USB Flash Drive | 26 Hours Battery | 8GB - 94 Hours Capacity | 512...
- UNIQUE DESIGN - lightREC is probably the only Voice Activated Recorder designed as an USB flash...
- 👩 🕵 TAKE AUDIO RECORDING TO A NEW LEVEL - Simply press the "Mode" button to switch...
- 🎤 OUTSTANDING SPECIFICATIONS - Enjoy the advantages of digital technology and keep focus on...
- DUAL USB CONNECTOR - Built with a smart dual connector with both USB 2.0 and micro-USB plug so that...
- 📝 STELLAR CUSTOMER SUPPORT- Ask us anything, anytime! We respond all inquiries in a couple...
Next up on our list of the best USB recorders is this 8 GB model. It is one of the smallest and lightest ones on the market. For such a small device, it has a ton of features you’ll love, including an extra-long battery life and a dual USB connector.
Unfortunately, the audio quality, while good for a device this size, lags behind the other two models above. It just doesn’t pick up sounds that are a bit further away as well as the others.
Since the previous entry above was too loud for close conversations, I’d consider this one if you plan on recording mainly from a close distance and the previous one if you plan on recording from further away.
- 26 hours of battery life
- 8 GB, 94 hour capacity
- 1 hour charging time
- 2 recording modes (Voice activated or continuous)
- Ultra sensitive microphone with noise reduction
- Dual USB connector (USB 2.0 and micro-USB)
- Compatible with Windows and Mac devices, and also Android phones with a micro USB plug
- Lifetime of customer support
- No blinking lights or sounds of any kind making it a nice choice for a Spy USB voice recorder
“Easy to use and far better than average charging time. It’s a sensitive recording device that does a nice job at not picking up too much background noise. Really easy to hide what you’re doing—it looks just like a normal USB and doesn’t have any flashing lights or anything.”
“Great quality, very durable and comes with excellent instructions. I use it to record lectures because I’m a very slow note take and it works extremely well for that purpose.”
Shop Now For One Of The Best USB Recorders
You can find this top-quality audio recording device on Amazon. Check now for the current price and more information.
What To Look for In A Flash Drive Audio Recorder
There are a number of things you’ll want to consider when choosing among USB recorders. Here are just a few of the most important ones:
You can find devices that range from 8 GB to 32 GB or even more. Most people find that 8-16 GB is enough for them, because that’s generally more than 50 hours of recording time. When you go with more storage, the device gets bigger and more expensive so may not be worth it for most people.
Hidden Or Not
Some people are looking for a spy audio recorder of some kind. In this case, you’ll want something that looks just like a USB stick and doesn’t obviously look like a recording device. You’ll also want a very sensitive microphone because the conversation you want to listen to will obviously be further away.
If you’re not looking for a spy recording device, then these factors won’t be as important to you.
Battery Life And Charging Time
The better devices charge in 1-2 hours, and can last for at least 10 hours of recording time. The cheaper ones take longer to charge and don’t last as long.
Data Transfer Speed
If you you want to transfer the audio files to your computer speed matters. The better ones will do this very quickly and without any hassle.
Some USB recorders have a headphone jack so you can listen to your recordings without having to transfer the files. This can save a ton of time and makes it a multipurpose device. You can put podcast or music on it and use it as an MP3 player as well as audio recorder.
The best USB voice recorders have crystal clear audio quality. This is due to a good microphone along with a noise reduction system of some kind.
The lower quality ones often produce fuzzy sound. That said, any of these devices are usually better than your cell phone will be.
Almost all devices are compatible with both Windows and Mac computers. However, some of them don’t have time and date stamps with Macs for some reason.
There are a few devices that are compatible with Android phones as well, which can obviously be very handy.
Ease of Use
More buttons means more options and choices, but this isn’t always a good thing. You’ll want a device that’s simple and easy to use with just a few key options to choose from.
How Does A USB Voice And Audio Recorder Work?
Check out this short video below for all the details you need to know.
What About Long Range Listening Devices?
These audio recorders do a pretty good job at picking up sound from quite a distance away. However, they pick up sound from all directions and it can be hard to differentiate one specific conversation from other ones.
If that’s what you’re interested in, then you’ll want to consider a long-range listening device. You can find out more here: The Best Parabolic Listening Devices.
USB Voice Recorders: Your Thoughts
What are your thoughts about USB audio recorders? Leave a comment below and let us know. Also be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.
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Last update on 2019-10-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API