The best digital dictation machines in the UK 2023

We all know what a dictaphone is. This small device for collecting verbal notes is often used in movies. You should know that there are also digital dictaphones. No more need for a cassette, an internal storage, possibly expandable, can keep in memory hours of recording. Discover the best digital dictation devices on the market.


Editor's Choice


The best digital dictation machine in 2021

One of the best digital dictation devices on the market, the EVISTR L157 has 16 GB of internal storage with playback. It is ideal for a variety of situations, such as conferences, interviews or meetings.

30,40 £ on Amazon

This digital voice recorder is of a well thought-out design. Indeed, the sound quality has been improved thanks to the microphone with dynamic noise suppression technology. Its resolution amount reaches without problem the 1536 kbps. It is relatively easy to configure. To do so, simply press the REC button to start recording. The STOP button, for its part, allows you to save the voice recording.

Lessons, conferences, interviews..., in short, the EVISTR L157 is suitable for both professional and private users. The best part? You can set it up to automatically switch to audible sound when it detects it. All your audio files (in MP3 128 kpbs, 64 kpbs or WAV 1536 kpbs format) are stored in its internal memory of 16 Gb according to the date of taking. It is delivered with a micro USB cable, a free e-book, a digital user guide and a loyalty card.

aLLreLi digital voice recorder 1

Best cheapest

aLLreLi digital voice recorder

The best entry-level digital dictation machine

The aLLreLi is both a digital dictaphone and a USB key. It charges in 2 to 3 hours for a maximum autonomy of 13 hours in recording mode. This model provides you with a storage memory of 8 GB.

15,19 £ on Amazon

It is a perfect gadget for amateur spies and all those who need to make recordings in a rather constrained environment. Indeed, even in a bag, it continues to work properly and provides a quality sound. In addition, it has an automatic recording function when there is noise. On the other hand, it is necessary to take care to avoid the rubbings. Note that it is compatible with both MacOS and Windows and does not require any software or drivers to operate.

This recorder is also a USB key. It is very easy to use and does not require a driver once connected to a computer. Thus, it does not only accommodate voice recordings, but also other file formats such as photos and digital folders. Finally, the battery recharges quickly, from 2 to 3 hours for up to 13 hours of recording time.

Sony ICD-UX570

Best high end

Sony ICD-UX570

The best high-end digital dictation machine

The Sony ICD-UX570, with an internal memory of 4 GB expandable, has an innovative system of audio recording that is the S-Microphone high sensitivity and supports MP3 and LPCM formats.

104 £ on Amazon

This digital dictaphone is apparently the best in the business. And for good reason, the Sony ICD-UX570 gives you a more than satisfactory autonomy of 159 hours in mono MP3 recording mode with a speed of 48 kbps. Moreover, you can still enjoy 59 hours of autonomy even if the recording goes at a speed of 128 kbps (stereo). The sound quality is not outdone and you can use it in conferences, meetings or any other situation. Its internal memory of 4 GB is expandable with a microSD SDHC or SDXC card. Its greatest asset is its recording capacity of 1 hour for only 3 minutes of charge.

Apart from the automatic music recording function, the Sony ICD-UX570 is also very easy to use. With the help of its various buttons, you can easily find a precise playback point using the time jump system (short or long range jump). Of course, it is possible to go back 3 seconds and forward 10 seconds. To connect it to a PC, nothing could be easier. Just connect it to a free USB port without the need for a cable. It comes with a Sound Organizer2 application software when purchased.

Sony ICD-PX370

Excellent choice

Sony ICD-PX370

Excellent recording quality

Even with a built-in memory of 4 GB, the Sony ICD-PX370 has no less than a slot for micro SD card and a retractable USB connector. It can also be used as an MP3 player. What more could you want?

48,39 £ on Amazon

This 2 in 1, operating via 2 LR03 or AAA alkaline batteries, will only satisfy you. The Sony ICD-PX370 can play the role of an MP3 player in addition to its initial function of digital dictaphone. It records voices in MP3 format with an exceptional quality of 192 kbit/s. Likewise, the device has a retractable USB connector so you don't have to use a cable to connect it to a computer and transfer your data with ease. Its 4GB internal storage system can hold up to 1038 MP3 songs. If that's not enough, you can use the dedicated slot to insert a microSD card.

The Sony ICD-PX370 is certainly not the best in terms of autonomy. However, it lets you enjoy 57 hours of MP3 recording at a speed of 128 kbit/s, which is already very correct. The interface is quite simplistic, ideal to easily find all the recordings made. It is worth noting that it also has an Auto Voice Rec mode, thanks to which you will enjoy a quality audio recording, free of any background noise.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best digital voice recorder

Any specific needs?

The best digital dictation machine in 2021

The best entry-level digital dictation machine

The best high-end digital dictation machine

Excellent recording quality

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best digital dictation machines

aLLreLi digital voice recorder 2
Sony ICD-UX570
Sony ICD-PX370
aLLreLi digital voice recorder
Sony ICD-UX570
Sony ICD-PX370
One of the best digital dictation devices on the market, the EVISTR L157 has 16 GB of internal storage with playback. It is ideal for a variety of situations, such as conferences, interviews or meetings.
The aLLreLi is both a digital dictaphone and a USB key. It charges in 2 to 3 hours for a maximum autonomy of 13 hours in recording mode. This model provides you with a storage memory of 8 GB.
The Sony ICD-UX570, with an internal memory of 4 GB expandable, has an innovative system of audio recording that is the S-Microphone high sensitivity and supports MP3 and LPCM formats.
Even with a built-in memory of 4 GB, the Sony ICD-PX370 has no less than a slot for micro SD card and a retractable USB connector. It can also be used as an MP3 player. What more could you want?
Hardware interface
Micro USB 2.0 type B
Audio MP3, LPCM
Audio MP3
Battery type
110 mAh Li-battery built-in
Memory storage capacity
16 GB
8 GB (96 hrs recording)
4 GB expandable
4 GB expandable
Range of use
24 hrs
13 hrs
59 to 159 hrs
57 hrs

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Buying guide - digital voice recorder

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How to choose your digital voice recorder

For a successful investment, consider the following parameters and find the best digital voice recorder for your needs.

#1 - Audio quality

When looking for the best voice recorder to meet your needs, it is important to consider the clarity and quality of the recording. For this, look for a device with automated voice recognition technology. Good sound also goes hand in hand with a high quality microphone. A voice recorder with an omnidirectional microphone is an excellent choice for recordings in a large room with multiple speakers.

Also, if you plan to record in a noisy area, test the device before purchase. This is to ensure that the device's microphone is able to muffle background noise as much as possible and only pick up sounds coming from one direction.

#2 - Memory capacity

To be able to record audio content for several hours, make sure your device has plenty of storage capacity(2GB and up). It is also important that it can support different formats like mp3, wma, etc. It is obvious that clear and crisp sounds with higher bit rates take more storage space. A device with a memory card slot and a USB port are also very useful for transferring and storing recorded data.

#3 - Easy sharing of recorded audio files

When transferring files between the recording device and a computer, check if the dictaphone is compatible with Windows and Mac. Be aware that some dictation device models do not share data via a USB port, but differently. Some use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to do so. In this sense, make sure you check with the manufacturer and consider checking the file sharing facility before buying the dictaphone.

#4 - The possibility of editing files

Having basic editing features on your dictaphone will make your job much easier. If your budget allows, invest in a device with this feature. With this option, you will be able to easily crop, cut, merge and delete files directly on your dictaphone instead of on your computer. This will make your transcriber's job much easier. Thus, you will be able to cut out sections of an interview at will and at the same time, reduce transcription costs.

#5 - Battery life

Since it is dedicated to audio recording only, a dictaphone usually comes with a very durable battery that can last several hours on a single charge. If battery life is important to you, look for a recorder with a larger battery. Be aware, however, that a larger battery will have a major impact on the size of the device. Therefore, invest in a model with a compact design and increased performance.

Also, consider whether you are constantly using your dictaphone near a power source or not. If you go out in the field to make your audio recordings most of the time, choose a voice recorder with a battery life of at least 24 hours. A model that uses disposable batteries is also an excellent choice if you are away from a power source for a long period of time.

How does a digital voice recorder work?

Compact and easy to handle, the digital dictaphone is a voice recording tool that you can take with you everywhere. It is used, more precisely, to record personal ideas, interviews or training courses. The objective is indeed to reproduce lectures. It can also be used to record musical arrangements or concerts.

In general, the use of this device is not complicated. To make a recording, the only thing to do is to press the "ON" button and the tool is turned on. Normally, there is a red light that flashes, which will later be replaced by a green or blue light, indicating the beginning of the recording.

The recorded data will obviously be in an audio format and you can of course transfer them to your computer, tablet or even cell phone. The file transfers can be done like using an external hard drive.

Digital dictation machines come in different models on the market. Regarding their mode of operation, you can find models that work by using batteries, and there are also those that work with accumulator batteries with a long autonomy.

In addition, the file storage memories vary from one device to another. There are even digital dictation machines that have a memory of 8 GB. In addition, they can be used not only as a recorder, but also as an MP3 player.

Digital dictaphone or mini voice recorder?

Digital dictaphone

A digital voice recorder has the ability to capture voice in an interview, meeting or conference. This recorder guarantees a sound quality superior to that of a smartphone recording. It works by converting the recording into an audio file that can be transferred via a USB cable or other similar accessory to another device such as a computer.

The digital voice recorder can make the job easier. When all the files are digital, it is easier to import and sort them. This efficiency also offers great flexibility in the dictation or transcription process. In addition, digital dictation machines are usually equipped with three microphones, which can filter out noise to ensure perfect sound. On the other hand, some digital dictation machines have poor stereo quality.

Smartphone recording

With a smartphone in your pocket, you'll always have an audio recorder app accessible. This can help you record an interview, create a podcast, or record a class session. Many phones actually offer several functions equivalent to digital dictation machines. The built-in sound recorder in most smartphones may already be enough for someone who doesn't use voice recording as part of their job.

In addition, there are several audio recording apps that can improve the fluency of speech. But there will always be situations that require high quality recordings. This is because smartphone recording capabilities are limited compared to a dedicated digital voice recorder. And if you record frequently on your smartphone, it can affect its operation.


These 2 tools are all practical, as they allow you to concentrate entirely on a conference or meeting. You won't have to worry about taking notes. A smartphone recording is best for simple sound recording. On the other hand, a digital dictaphone will be more useful in order to obtain a good quality of digital sound.

Why buy a digital voice recorder?

For its ease of use

Using a digital voice recorder is a breeze. All you have to do is press one button to start recording. To stop, you have a stop button and the play button for playback. These devices have been designed to make recording sound or voice easier and can be used by a wide audience. The most advanced dictation devices have other additional options to improve the quality of the recording.

For its long recording time

Unlike an analog dictation machine or a smartphone, the digital model has no limit to the recording time. In fact, this device offers a thousand hours of recording. Depending on the model, you also have the option of segmented recording. In addition, a digital voice recorder has a more or less correct autonomy. Some models even have a second battery.

For its practicality

Once the information is recorded on your dictaphone, it is converted into a digital file. You can then easily send them to your contacts by e-mail. You can also make all sorts of modifications and insertions.

For sound quality

Most digital dictation machines are equipped with high-performance microphones. External noise is also reduced to a minimum. As a result, you get impeccable sound quality. That's what recording is all about. Many of the models available have a function that suppresses feedback or indescribable noise.

For its affordable price

The price of a digital voice recorder is affordable. Unless you opt for an ultra-perfect model, you can buy a dictaphone for around 30 euros. You will benefit from an excellent quality/price ratio.

To work with peace of mind

A digital voice recorder means you don't have to take notes during your meetings, training sessions or workshops. You won't need to use paper anymore, because this little device will do all the work for you.

The best brands of digital dictation machines

In our opinion, the best brands of digital dictation machines in 2022 are :


Philips is a Dutch brand whose quality and reliability are well known. Whether it's in the field of lighting, connected alarms or dictaphones. Buying a Philips product means opting for reliability, performance and quality.

Allreli is a brand that was created in 2004 and has since specialized in the manufacture of trendy electronic products, including quite powerful dictaphones. This brand offers rather entry-level dictation devices for small budgets.

Sony Group Corporation was founded in 1947 and has grown to become one of the most sought-after brands in the electronics market, including dictating machines. Its products are among the best in terms of quality, performance and longevity. The brand is reliable.

Founded in 1919, Olympus Corporation is a Japanese company that specializes in the design and development of optical and reprographic products, microscopes and thermometers. But thanks to a constantly expanded and renewed product range, the brand is now also known for products such as digital dictaphones. This brand is reliable because of its seriousness, its performance and its rigour in the design of its products, which gives excellent quality results.

Vormor is the latest addition to the dictaphone market. It's a brand that currently has only one project on the books, but it's a big one: to produce the very first professional portable translation device that supports digitization and voice translation for 112 languages. The first device to record and translate your conversations in a single gesture. This little gem is already available on the market. Vormor is a brand to watch.

What is the price for a digital voice recorder

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

15 £ to 35 £
35 £ to 50 £
more than 50 £
Price range diagram


Keep your recorder as close as possible to the sound source

Despite the fact that your dictaphone is of the best quality, it is always advisable to place it as close as possible to the person speaking or the speaker. This will increase the quality of the recorded sound and thus make transcription work easier, especially for journalists and students.

Handle the device with care

It is easier to delete recordings on a digital dictaphone than on an analog dictaphone. However, this little plus can become a disadvantage, because improper handling is enough to cause the loss of recorded conversations. It is therefore important to handle your digital dictaphone very carefully.

Use your smartphone as a dictaphone

Most Android and iOS smartphones have an app that acts as a dictaphone. It allows you to make basic, simple and short recordings. In order to benefit from better recording quality as well as advanced options, you can also download some more powerful apps like Titanium Recorder App or Voice Recorder Pro.

Turn to a professional for repairs

In case your digital dictaphone is damaged, take it directly to a dedicated professional for repairs. Indeed, it is a small device composed of several units, and you will risk damaging it even more if you try to repair it yourself, especially if you are not skilled in DIY.

Store the device in a suitable place

To ensure the good condition and proper functioning of your digital dictator, never place it in a dusty place, in high temperature and humidity or exposed to strong vibrations. Also, be sure to keep it away from heat sources such as radiators or stoves.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
aLLreLi digital voice recorder 3
aLLreLi digital voice recorder
Sony ICD-UX570
Sony ICD-UX570
Sony ICD-PX370
Sony ICD-PX370


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