Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sony ICD-UX523F digital voice recorder (MP3 supported)

Digital voice recorder is an essential device for students to record lectures, seminars, group discussions, etc. It is also commonly used in business for recording meetings, presentations, dictations, notes taking, etc.

Although your smartphone (iPhone, Android phone, ...) or tablet (iPad, Samsung Galaxy Tab, ...) is most probably having the feature and app for digital voice recording as well, it is still preferable to use a dedicated digital voice recorder device for better recording quality, longer battery life, longer recording hours, and special features such as voice activation, index markers, intelligent noise cut, pitch control playback, A-B repeat, etc.

Here are some considerations in choosing a suitable digital voice recorder:

  • The price (of course)
  • Stereo recording capability (some basic unit only support mono recording)
  • High voice sensitivity
  • Maximum recording time
  • Battery life (better to be >20 hours)
  • Ability to record in MP3 format (some basic unit only support LPCM format)
  • Easy to operate
  • Internal storage capacity (better to have at least 2GB)
  • Expandable storage with MicroSD card
  • USB connect to computer
  • Windows and Mac support
  • Compact and handy in size
  • Support for Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software (for transcribing)
  • Recording and replaying features available
If you are looking for a digital voice recorder below the price of RM400, you can consider Sony ICD-UX523 which is available in Sony Center in the shopping malls. The shop will probably sell the ICD-UX523F model with FM radio function, which I think this "F" for FM radio is not that important though.

The Sony ICD-UX523F is a 4-in-1 stereo recorders:
  • Voice recorder (LPCM/MP3)
  • Music player (MP3/WMA/AAC )
  • USB flash memory (4GB internal)
  • FM radio
It has a USB Direct connector that can be slided out to connect to the computer (Windows or Mac) for battery charging and file transfer, or to connect to a USB AC adapter charger for charging. It operates with one NH-AAA rechargeable battery that comes together with the unit.
It has a microSD memory card slot that supports MicroSD/MicroSDHC for more storage. Its maximum recording time is as follow:

and its battery life is as follow:

It supports the following preset recording Scenes:

and the default setting of the scenes are as follow:

It comes with a very brief printed Introduction sheet. Its complete Operating Instruction Manual (hundred over pages) is stored inside its internal memory as PDF file, and available in various languages.

However, if you format its internal memory, these PDF file might be erased as well.

Its feature buttons/switches are well explained in the Operating Instruction Manual:
  • T-Mark: to add a track mark at a point during recording, pausing or playback, at which you would like to divide a file later or locate during playback. You can add a maximum of 98 track marks to each file.
  • Noise Cut: when you set the NOISE CUT switch to “ON”, ambient noise other than the human voice is reduced. A file is played back with clear sound quality because the noise of all frequency bands including a human voice is reduced.
  • A-B: to play back a specified section repeatedly
  • DPC: Digital Pitch Control to adjust the playback speed in a range from 0.50 times to 2.00 times.
Some other terms related to this digital voice recorder:
  • VOR: Voice Operated Recording starts and stops the recording when sound of a sufficient level is picked up by the microphone. This feature saves valuable recording time by not recording periods when there is little or no sound.
  • Intelligent Noise Cut: Sony technology to significantly reduces ambient noise during recording for clearer playback.
  • Low Cut Filter: helps reduce the effect of wind noise in your recordings.
  • Sync Record: when recording directly from an external device, the Sync Record function can be used to automatically pause the recorder during silence and resume recording when sound is detected.
The Sony ICD-UX523F comes with a CD with Sound Organizer software to manipulate the files. It is compatible with Dragon NaturallySpeaking software to perform voice recognition for a file and convert the voice to text.


Post a Comment

Hint: Click on the "Older Posts" link to continue reading, or click here for a listing of all my past 3 months articles.