Those of you who have known me longer know that I was once an avid team member of Amazon Vine. They sent products and I used them and then gave my most balanced review. Every product has pros and cons and I wanted my readers to know what those were even though they were limited to my personal experience.
As a freelance writer, I face a myriad of reasons for using voice recording devices. Specifically, db9Pro and J!gmo (same company). No drivers to install. No wires to keep track of because downloading is as simple as plugging it into a USB port on any computer. Then, they came out with a new 8 gig voice recorder with a few bells and whistles AND the same low price?? I had to check it out.
The recorded sound exceeded another name brand device (Olympus) I’d bought for four times the price. Did it have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive one? No. But when the drivers for Olympus failed to keep up with the Windows OS updates, I was so done with them. Give me a product that works, easy to use and I’m happy.
What I love about the new digital voice recorder:
- Sturdy. When it arrived, what I notice first of all is the weight. It’s heavier than their other simplified recorders. (It’s even heavier than my more expensive one which I no longer use.)
- Illuminated. While it was charging you can see the battery bar indicator, the screen lights up. Easy to use. The window is very tiny, but because it’s illuminated, I ‘m able to read it with no problem. It shuts off after about 20 seconds. Once you learn your machine, it’s simple to navigate.
- Pinhead light. When recording, the tiny pinhead light in the top right corner goes from white to red. That’s helpful to me. The backlighting of the screen turns off after a few seconds to conserve power.
- Quieter case friction. While handling the case, in record mode, you will hear it, but not to the degree or volume that you hear it on other models. It usually sounds like loud scratching and it can be distracting, but not so much with this unit.
- Excellent speakers. While the device recorded every word, even the whispered ones. The playback speakers on the device are really clear too.
- MP3 Player. I listened to the Carpenters which they had preloaded (haha-you guys!) a bird chirping and running water. The sound is incredibly clear, but to hear it even better, they’ve included ear speakers, or you can use your own earbuds or headphones. For storage beyond 8gb, you can insert a microchip.
- Button Controls. These controls are a decent size and room between.
- Accessories: One set of earphones plus a charging/download wire, all of which fit in a standard eyeglass case (not included)
- Instruction booklet. Almost 20 pages of clear instructions for familiarizing you with the device (be absolutely certain to read them!)
- Warranty card. I always make sure to activate this, because most of us understand that electronics can be fickle. Since they send it, I make sure to register. (FYI: They have never abused my email with a bunch of spammy information.)
- Sturdy cardboard storage box.
- Great price.
What I don’t love:
- Screen codes. I don’t love having to reference an instruction booklet to understand what’s happening on the screen. It’s another thing to keep track of when I have a lot on my mind at an interview.
- Boxy Storage. Great for shipping (as are the tins the others came in) but when I’m traveling, gear needs special care. Because the devices are small, they can disappear. I keep them in obnoxious printed cases or change purses. These can usually be clipped to something. (Even if they included a little bag it wouldn’t be what I’d need. I’d want something eye-catching.)
Best suggestions and insights:
- Familiarize yourself with the function keys of your device. I mistakenly turned off the device before saving since in low light, the keys look similar and I forgot which side of the unit save was on. (Right of the screen.) And it did not save. They really meant that line, save first and do not shut off to save.
- Additionally, if you do turn it off incorrectly your sound file will show as recorded but it will be empty. Certainly, it can be advantageous to have a backup device (I have 2 backups) you’re sure to get a good recording.
- In their very helpful and informative booklet, they warn against recording near other electronic devices (specifically phones.) Not wanting to risk interference, I leave mine far from the recording devices. But after recording, I have never lost any data due to a phone being in the same compartment as the recording device although I try to keep them separated as a precaution.
- Microchip port to maximize memory. I suggest getting one designed for sound recording (as opposed to date or photo storage) to maintain sound quality. I found it easiest to load the chip from the computer and then install in the device.
- The unit charges very quickly, under an hour. Mine went from dead to fully charged and if there was battery bar activity in accumulating percentages, I missed it.
Everything I needed to know was in the book.
- For those of you who will be using this to record important information that you don’t want to lose, I suggest getting a few of these.
An intrigued client held the device in her hand as I asked her how much she thought it cost. Her first guess was $100. She flipped at the true price. (Under $30!!) I suggest you buy several before the sellers realize their value!
I do not have affiliate links with this company or product. I just love good tools. So, what will you do with your voice recorder?