About Digital Voice Recorders

digital voice recorders - phone recorders

A voice recorder can be your best friend - as soon as it gets you the results you need. This can be as simple as recording a full lecture in an upper level college course, capturing your baby's first words, or getting solid evidence of a harassment case at work.

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We've been selling voice recorders of all kinds for decades, and we're pleased to say that they've really come a long way. But if you're coming to our site and this is new for you or you're in a sticky situation where you need to make sure you get the correct product for your needs - then that is our goal and mission in making this voice recorder page.

Voice recorders are IN and tape recorders are OUT

A voice recorder is a device that is capable of recording sounds or voices that it hears - so they can be saved or listened to at a later time or date. Years ago, there were only "Tape Recorders." But now, at Spy-Tronix, we only carry digital voice recorders.

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Look at our nice, sleek, compact stereo digital voice recorder above. It fits in the palm of your hand, records in high-quality stereo sound, and can record phone, cell phone, and normal person to person conversations for up to 17 hours on one single battery charge. Better yet, you can hide it in your clothing, your pocket, briefcase, or your purse and use our covert lapel microphone to record secretly without anyone else knowing.

But now, take a look at the huge audio/video recorder in the picture below. There's no chance of sneaking up on someone with it - because you'd have to put it in the back of a truck just to move it around.

> Then, below that picture is an old 1970's version of a Panasonic Cassette Tape Recorder.

> > Below that is our USB Flash Drive Voice Recorder. It fits in the palm of your hand, blends in with all types of recording environments, and can record up to 17 hours on a single battery charge.

Early Tape and Video Recorder

early panasonic tape cassette recorder with microphone

new mini usb flash drive recorder at spy-tronix spy shop

With tape recorders, which we do not sell at Spy-Tronix because they are so out-dated, you are truly limited in sound quality and the memory size of the recordings you can capture. Typical tape recorders used a "cassette tape" that allowed you to record 45 minutes, 60 minutes, 90 minutes, or maybe up to 180 minutes. That is only 3 hours - but now, many of our voice recorders allow you to record in excess of 500 hours in a single memory.


Voice activated recorders... What exactly are they and how do they work?

You can further divide them into voice activated recorders with - or - without voice activation. A normal voice recorder that does not have voice activation will record continuously until either the memory is full, you power it Off manually, or the battery is drained.

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A voice activated recorder has a special feature built into a chip that will "listen" for sounds to record once they go higher than the pre-set internal decibel level. This means that "if you whisper lightly" the voice recorder may not hear your voice and will not record anything, but if you SPEAK LOUDLY then the voice recorder is triggered to begin recording as soon as you voice (or a nearby sound) goes higher than the pre-set decibel level.

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Why are voice activated recorders so popular with customers?

Voice Activated Audio Recorders: They are very popular because people like the added feature of "voice activated recording." Sometimes you'll see this as "VOX" or "VOS" or even "VOR" - it just depends on the manufacturer. We have both the USB Flash Drive Voice Activated Recorder and also our Phone/Voice Activated Recorders.


spy voice recorders

Pros of Voice Activated Recorders

They have a special feature embedded in their chip "or brain" that allows the recorder to "not pay attention to sounds under a certain decibel level" and to "record sounds that are over that pre-programmed decibel level."

This means that in a quiet environment or recording situation, the recorder will remain ON - but it will only record when it hears a sound that is higher than the pre-set decibel level. This is a good feature because it will not leave hours and hours of "empty space" on your recorder's memory or in between your recordings.

Example: Leave our top selling voice activated USB flash drive recorder by your cookie jar at home. If you've been gone all day and nobody was home, the recorder will remain ON for up to 17 hours on a full battery, but it will not have recorded anything if there is no noise in the house.


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As soon as your kids come home from school, the recorder will catch the sound of the front door opening, books being dropped on the kitchen table, your kids talking on the telephone or cell phone (one side of the conversation), opening the cookie jar or refrigerator for a snack, water running in the kitchen sink, or it may even catch them fighting about what channel to watch cartoons on.

>> So, in the example above, if your house was empty for 8 hours and the first thing the recorder heard was the sound of the kids coming home from school - and it recorded their various noises for two hours before you came home from work....even though your recorder was ON for about 10 hours - you may only have 1 - 2 hours of recordings to listen to - depending on how loud the kids were while you were away.

People like this feature because it keeps you from listening through a full 10 hours of recordings when there was really only noise (or something to hear) for a 90 minute period....and it saves memory space on your recorder.

Cons of Voice Activated Recorders

Because a voice activated recorder has an "internal brain" that allows it to record when it hears a sound over a certain decibel level - it does take a split second to decide it has heard a qualifying sound and then to begin to record the sound. Because of that split second delay, sometimes a voice activated recorder will miss the first few syllables or words of a sentence.

For instance, if someone is speaking very fast, and then pausing in between sentences or thoughts, the recorder will record, and stop recording, and then record, and then stop recording - many times during a conversation. - So it is possible that it may miss the first word or few words of a spoken sentence.

In the end, we advise our customers that if they really need to catch every spoken word in an important conversation - then they should opt for a non voice activated recorder or turn OFF the voice activated feature on their recorder if that option is available.


Pros of Non Voice Activated Recorders

If you read the few paragraphs above - we just mentioned the Pros of Non Voice Activated Recorders. They are great when you're not concerned about wasting memory or having to listen through "dead space or quiet space" on your voice recorder....but when you really need to hear EVERYTHING that is going on - every sound possible - every voice - or every word...then you'll want to be using a Non Voice Activated Recorder so there is no chance of missing something.

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> Again, that reason is because a voice activated recorder takes a split second to determine that a sound is higher than the pre-set decibel level....and then it begins to record. This leaves the possibility that the first few syllables or words of a sentence (after a period of silence) will be missed by the recorder.

That is the basic difference between the two types of voice recorders on the market today and we sell all of them by the truckload on a weekly basis. We sell them to every kind of American citizen: Attorneys, judges, law enforcement agencies, private investigators, college professors, college students, insurance agents, realtors, small and large business owners, employees, moms, dads, grandparents and more....


Legal considerations regarding voice and phone recording of any kind...

At Spy-Tronix, every type of voice recorder, phone recorder, and mini camera with audio recording is completely legal. Just like your cell phone; it is a multifunctional device that more than likely has a mini camera and a voice recorder - so are our high-tech gadgets and security gear.

However, the precise way in which you record audio, voices or conversations can be considered illegal if you do it in the wrong way. All customers agree to our site policies and agree to use our products in a lawful manner so we are not responsible for what you do with your recorder after you get it.

voice recording law - legal issues

But please do the right thing and record legally and responsibly, you can get in a lot of trouble if you do not. Spy-Tronix in no way is a source for explicit or up to date legal information, so be sure to check your local, state, and federal laws concerning voice recording for where you live. You should always ask your attorney if you have any doubts, and pay close attention to one party consent and two party consent.

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