Do you remember the first time you heard the sound of your own voice? I bet you were surprised. “Is that really what I sound like?”
The truth may have been hard to swallow but it was a valuable lesson for all of us. The human ear is efficient and intricate, but it cannot process internal sounds the same way it translates external noise.
Which means there’s no way around it: If you truly want to understand what you sound like to other people, you have to record your voice and play it back.
Of course, it’s not just for vanity; there are many uses for recording audio. From practicing a foreign language, to quickly storing lecture notes, to preparing for speeches – a good voice recording app will let you do things that can’t be done with pen and paper.
We decided to track down the best voice recorder app for the three biggest phone systems – iOs, Android, and Windows. We’ll look at both free and premium apps, compare their features, and rate them compared to the competition.
Table of Contents
Top 10 Best Voice Recorder App for iPhone
The simply-named Voice Recorder was developed by Lin Fei. Like the name suggests, it is a clean and well-designed audio recording without a lot of fancy bells and whistles.
What it does have are a solid set of useful features that cover virtually any scenario you may find where you need to record audio. It allows you to capture tracks that are currently playing, or even capture audio from video files saved to your device. You can even create remixes of these files with the touch of your hand. Select from all the major data formats – MP3, M4A, WAV, etc.
We were particularly happy about the scheduling feature. A calendar in the app allows you to choose a date and time for your phone to automatically begin recording.
If that’s too organized for you, the option to record only when you’re speaking will allow for capture of spontaneous inspiration, as well as filter out unnecessary silence from audio files.
Sharing files with others is not as easy as we like, but this is only a minor complaint for an otherwise outstanding voice recording application. Audio quality is great, considering the app is free (there is an optional small fee to remove ads).
- Clean, intuitive interface
- Efficient data compression allows for longer audio
- Snappy response with no lag
- Clumsy file sharing
Rev Studios created the Rev Voice Recorder with a unique feature: It allows you to send your recorded files to a professional transcription service in the app itself. The audio will be converted to a text transcript by a real human typist and returned. For only 1$ a minute, you can have a human-prepared document delivered to the app itself the very same day.
The recording program itself is easy to manage. Audio is crisp. You can trim and edit your files. It also has a handy feature which automatically pauses recording when you’re interrupted by a phone call or text.
Sharing is simple; files are automatically synced with your Dropbox. A search feature will let you find the file you want with no hassle.
- Attractive design
- Integrated transcription service
- Can continue recording even if your phone goes to sleep
- Transcription service does not operate 24/7
- Limited language support
If you plan to spend a lot of time using your voice recorder on your iPhone or iPad, then you should definitely take a look at the Voice Record Pro by Dayana Networks Ltd.
Want to record a long, boring lecture? Voice Record Pro lets you capture audio files of unlimited length; the only limit to how long you can record is the size of your phone’s memory.
What we liked best about Voice Recorder Pro are the variety of audio-tuning features. A musician or singer would be right at home with tools for echo, gain, speed, pitch, reverb, even distortion. You can spend hours playing around with your voice and cool effects.
The app design itself is charming. It gives a realistic feel, with gauges and knobs and a retro color scheme that’s easy on the eyes. Some text might be difficult to read on smaller phones, but this app looks fantastic on an iPad.
One drawback is that it only allows capture in 3 formats. A built-in conversion tool is included.
- Gorgeous design with distinct personality
- One-touch controls allow for quick data management
- Responsive customer support
- Limited to 4 file types
Interested in something with more features than the typical free iPhone voice recording app? Are you a businessman or woman who needs no-nonsense features that work the right way, every time, all the time?
Voice Recorder HD is a premium audio capture app for iPhone, designed with the busy executive in mind. For only $2.99, you gain access to some of the highest audio capture quality that money can buy.
The designers clearly understood the needs of the average entrepreneur. The design is sleek and professional; it can be shown to clients and partners with no shame. It has the feel of a much more expensive app.
Not only does the app support background recording, it has Bluetooth functionality and headset integration for a professional who’s always on the go.
If you really want to maximize the quality and range of recorded sound files, then you can even upgrade to an elite version that has audio boost technology. This reduces unwanted noise and focuses on amplifying quiet voices.
- Designed for professionals
- Frequent updates
- As seen in the New York Times
- Must upgrade to unlock advanced features
If you don’t need a lot of features, but just want a quick and free voice recording app, this may be your ticket.
It has all the essential functionality you’ve come to expect in voice recorders, such as one-touch activation, background recording, audio compression, and 3 levels of sound quality to manage file size.
Standard formats are supported, but there is no conversion available for obscure audio formats. You’ll have to upgrade for more advanced features, which is available in-app for purchase.
- Requires very little memory
- Over 25 supported languages, with more being added
- Must upgrade to unlock premium features
- Plain design
Voice Recorder Lite is one of the best free voice recording apps for iPhone and iPad. Don’t be fooled by the ‘lite’ in the name – this program tastes every bit as good as expensive apps.
Many programs overload themselves with features in an attempt to outbid the competition. Voice Recorder Lite goes in the opposite direction; it simply records audio extremely well. You can even capture sound from a distance of 100 meters with this free iPhone app!
Of course, it still offers the most important features. You can select file quality, use external mics to improve range and fidelity, and has Bluetooth integration.
Sharing your stuff is easy; it can automatically upload to Dropbox, or just send it to your iCloud Drive. Airdrop support is available.
- Focused design is user-friendly
- Updated regularly with new features
- Very basic interface
- Limited to 3 audio types
Priced at $2.99, Say&Go Voice Notes and Inbox is probably the all-around best recording app for your mobile device.
Unlike most apps, the graphical interface has been tastefully designed by someone who clearly had an eye for beauty. The controls are easy to grasp and user-friendly; text is legible. Space and color are both used effectively.
This app is all about usability. It stands out from the average iOS voice recorder with fluid controls and immediate response. We found the defining characteristic of this app was speed.
As soon as you open the app it automatically begins recording. All you have to do is speak; everything else is automatic. It will record for a set length of time and then stop, immediately saving the note to your reminders, email, or Dropbox.
Swift activation is often overlooked by consumers when searching for the best voice recorder app; but make no mistake, there is nothing more frustrating than needing to quickly make a recording only to wait for a long boot time. Endless recording sounds nice in theory…but in reality, how often do you need to save 12+ hours of uninterrupted audio?
Life happens in brief moments. Good ideas go fast, opportunities go faster – this app lets you stay one step ahead of the curve.
- Immediate audio capture
- Automated; no need to turn on for every use
- Top-selling voice recording app
- Only possible to record for short times
One of the most popular free recording apps available on the market. Why do so many people use Voice Recorder and Audio Editor?
Because it’s free, it works, and it lets you record in virtually any situation for as long as you want. It even offers a transcription service; although this one is not human but rather uses speech-to-text technology. We tried it out and it was more accurate than we expected, so no complaints from us.
Along with standard options such as notes, social media sharing, and file trimming, this voice recorder lets you put a passcode on your audio files. (If you’ve ever recorded yourself singing, this is a crucial feature).
You can also loop recordings. Only captured a few minutes of waves hitting the beach? Loop the files and you can listen to the relaxing sounds of nature for hours in the privacy of your own home.
- User friendly
- File numbering system allows for sequential playback of audio
- Quirky design with retro flavor
- English only
- Can’t rewind and overwrite current recording
Most apps we looked at are designed for capturing external sounds. Concerts, animals, voices, etc.
Call Recorder Lite is an audio recording app for iPhone and iPad that lets you record your actual phone conversations – not just outside noise.
Both outbound and inbound calls can be recorded by simply opening the app and pressing record. This puts the call on hold and merges you with an outside line that will record the conversation.
Be aware: Recording phone conversations is a legal gray area in many countries. This should be restricted to personal use only.
- Clear and unlimited recording of phone conversations
- Simple to use
- Few features
- Unlimited audio capture requires upgrade
- Only works with mobile carriers which support 3-way calling
This app is the standard. Our choice for best voice recorder app for iPhone, iPad, and Apple watch. Just Press Record has excellent features with great customer support, professional design, and impressive quality.
For only $4.99, you’ll get every feature you could ever want – speech-to-text functionality, background recording, external mics, adjustable playback speeds, unlimited recording time, one-touch activation – and adds the best file management system we’ve found.
It supports over 30 languages and you can choose freely between them no matter what your device normally speaks. It’s perfect for learning other languages, for sharing ideas and inspiration, for saving memories…Really, there’s not much this app can’t do.
Most importantly, it has Lightning Port functionality which allows for the highest quality external devices.
There are too many features to list – we’ve just scratched the surface for this article. If you want a voice recording app that simply works, then you’ll love Just Press Record.
- Automatically convert speech to text
- Frequent updates
- Works on Apple Watch
- Insane 24-bit audio
- Tutorial is confusing
Top 10 Best Voice Record App for Android
Smart Recorder is one of the best audio capture apps you can find. It has the most important features you expect for your recording devices: It works even when it’s simply running in the background, it’s well-integrated with Android file sharing systems (Hangouts, Drive, Gmail, etc) and has a very clean user interface.
What stood out to us the most about Smart Recorder was the Skip Silence mode. It allows you to record only the moments that have audible noise. If enabled, silence is removed from files to leave you with just the good stuff for playback.
This gives you many different benefits. Not only does it make it quicker to search through audio files to find certain segments, it saves on file space – and for app junkies like us, that’s always appreciated!
We also like how it translates your device’s storage space into how long you can continue recording. This is a quick and easy way to keep tabs on your phone’s available memory too.
- Long-term app with long-term support
- Skip silence option saves time and space
- Quickly and easily set a recording to ringtone or alarm
- Cannot record phone sounds
Sony is no stranger to acoustic excellence.
They’ve brought their years of experience to the mobile app game, and they haven’t missed a beat. Sony’s Audio Recorder is everything you want in a voice recorder for Android: It’s clean, easy to use, and captures amazing sound.
With options to select the quality of your files, speech-to-text capability, and excellent data management, it’s hard to find anything to criticize with this audio app.
- Sony build quality
- Outstanding sound capture
- Speech-to-text recognition available for certain markets
- Cannot change file format
If you play an instrument, sing in a band, or otherwise need the absolute best audio fidelity, then it’s hard to beat an app like Voice Recorder 2018. It allows for the highest possible audio definition, whether in .mp3 or .ogg formats.
You can edit files, trim, and adjust the quality. Like many apps, it continues recording even when it’s running in the background. It allows you to record both external and internal sounds, too, so you can save music or speech from the device itself.
Designs are often a matter of taste, and this app is fluid and responsive. The interface is not as clean or attractive as you might wish; still, if you’re just focused on performance, this app will do everything you want.
- Captures phone sound as well as external noise
- Single-screen functionality; all tools can be accessed with a single click
- Effective mic gain
- Limited format support
- Cluttered design may not satisfy every user
Parrots have always been one of the more beautiful birds, in our opinion. So it feels appropriate that Parrot Voice Recorder is one of the more attractive and visually appealing apps we reviewed.
It has a simple and easy to read display, with user-friendly features and intuitive controls. It even displays a visual waveform that allows you to customize and control playback; only the more advanced users will find this useful.
With calendar integration and onboard note attachment, you’ll be more organized than you ever thought possible. If you want more powerful features like Schedule Recordings and call recording, you’ll have to upgrade.
It’s definitely worth the cost to upgrade; Parrot may have designed the best call recorder app for Android on the market today.
- Beautiful user interface with vibrant colors
- High-definition audio
- Integrated with calendars and notes
- Advanced features require upgrade
- Cannot record phone sounds
For the audiophile, AudioRec has created a fantastic free mobile app that’s perfect for music. The secret? It allows you to use 2 microphones to record anything you want in stereo sound. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, try recording in mono, and then stereo. You’ll soon realize how much better it sounds!
Like most apps, it allows for background recording with no interruptions, supports a variety of common formats, and can automatically upload to Dropbox or Google Drive (keeping your phone memory available).
One of the cooler features is that AudioRec’s Voice Recorder lets you choose which microphone to use as a source, if you have a device with multiple on board mics.
It can’t record phone calls or phone noise, so if that’s what you’re after, other apps will suit you better.
- Cutting-edge microphone utilization
- Clean interface
- Record in stereo
- Some features only work with select formats
Unlimited audio recording, excellent data compression (freeing up more precious space) and supports high quality formats like PCM and MP4.
With widget support, you’re never more than a quick tap away from being able to capture sounds. Then you can set it to your phone’s system sounds with another tap.
This app is cool because it actually comes with two different color schemes, and we’re all about choices.
Many features are only available after an upgrade, such as mp3 support, stereo, and skip silence. You’ll also have to upgrade if you want to use any bluetooth devices.
- Can interface and record from a Smartwatch
- Good user design with more options than most apps
- Supports high quality formats and can be used as a widget
- Many useful features require upgrade
- Can’t record phone call or sounds from your device
Samsung is a company that needs no introduction. Like Sony, they’ve earned a reputation for reliable build quality and customer satisfaction.
Given that Samsung has already established itself as a leader in mobile electronics, we were excited to check out their voice recorder app for Android.
As expected, the design of the interface is sleek and pleasant. The lack of color was a disappointment, but some of us preferred that to vivid designs, so it boils down to personal taste.
A few of the more notable features are audio bookmarking (so you can highlight certain segments), the ability to screen calls while in use, and 3 recording modes, including an ‘interview mode’ for 2 person conversations. Naturally, that means it also has dual-mic support and text conversion.
It even comes with a built-in sound player, which we found to be surprisingly robust. It plays music as any personal music player, voice, and environmental sounds with good fidelity.
The only real drawback is that the app is not supported on all Android devices. We’re sure that a company as famous as Samsung will continue to work and improve an already outstanding product.
- Professional design
- Can switch between modes to allow for more precise audio capture
- Reliable, bug-free programming
- Does not work on all Android devices
Though it shares names with another voice recording app for iOS, the Android product is designed by a different company, so we decided to evaluate it separately.
There are, of course, many similar features. Implied by the name “Pro”, this app is more geared towards users who demand the highest quality.
It offers 4 different audio formats, letting you choose your priorities: File size, portability, or acoustic accuracy.
We loved the amount of customization and user-tinkering with this app. We spent a lot of time playing with different tools, and enjoyed the flexibility to adjust sample rate from a low 8 kHz found in most phones, to 44 kHz usually found in specialized audio CDs.
Even better, it allows for the recording of phone sound itself, and the capture of phone calls. This ability, however, is unavailable on certain devices.
No other app allows you to move, copy, edit, share, mix (and more) as quickly and efficiently.
If you’re the kind of user who will spend a lot of time organizing, sharing, and otherwise managing your audio data, we strongly feel there’s no better Android voice recorder to suit your needs.
Design is elegant. Some users might find the interface too generic.
- Incredible array of features to customize how your sounds are recorded
- Supports stereo and mono
- Outstanding file management
- Live spectrum analyzer
- Phone recorder not supported on all devices
- Generic design and user interface
If you’re like us, you love widgets. They just make your mobile device feel so personalized and convenient! Netmemo Plus Voice record was designed with great widget flexibility and control. For $3.99 in the play store, it’s designed for a specific niche of customer.
This app is good if you’re always in a hurry and get impatient the longer it takes a program to activate. As fast as you can bring your phone in front of your face, you can record a voice message or audio note and have it immediately delivered to your email – all before you lower it back down to your pockets.
Simplicity is king here; the design is very basic and suitable for people of all ages. The elderly, those with poor eyesight, and children will all be delighted with how easy it is to see and navigate this app.
The drawback to simplicity, of course, is there are far fewer features and tools than more complex apps. You won’t find a lot of ways to manage, edit, or personalize your recordings – and that’s okay, because the result is the most impressively responsive and quick voice recorder on Android we’ve yet to find.
Those who just want to record themselves and others with no fuss and no hassle will find no other audio capture app on Android that works as well as Netmemo Plus.
More advanced users will be left wanting more.
- User-friendly interface for all ages
- Lightning-fast sound capture
- Browser support for all files
- No tools for file management or editing
- Extremely basic design that may be unappealing to some users
Rounding out our top-ten, Tape-a-Talk Pro Voice Recorder is a premium app, available in Google Play for $4.99.
Like most executive voice recorder apps for Android, Tape-a-Talk comes equipped with a robust range of features that cover every possible niche in the voice and audio recording consumer markets.
It has all the features we’ve come to expect for paid apps, and a clean design that allows for easy access.
Widgets, waveforms, and automatic uploads – it does everything you want it to do and it does it well. What more could you ask for?
- Very efficient use of device resources
- Snappy user interface with a wide range of themes
- Excellent capture quality
- Limited format support
- When upgrading from the free version to the pro version, you must manually backup your audio files, or they will be deleted!
Top 5 Voice Recorder App for Windows Phone
First up for the Windows apps is the amusingly named Perfect Recorder.
It’s one of the more basic designs of any sound recorder we tested, but only you can decide if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
It has a few cool features; you can just shake it to start the recording (feels like magic).
If you’re a singer, you’ll definitely appreciate the ability to password-protect your audio files. Privacy still reigns supreme for creative types – yes, even us writers!
It’s simple and effective. Record your words, laugh at your voice, and dance the night away. (Just be careful you don’t shake your booty so hard it activates the app).
- Password protect your precious data
- Intuitive interface
- Limited features
For $4.99, you can live life on the cutting edge of audio recording. Yivosoft has made a very bold claim for their premium app – the first to offer the ability to sync your audio files over the internet without any special apps or programs.
We were skeptical, but it worked. This put us in a very good mood, and the beautiful graphical interface made us fall in love.
Most paid apps come with the essential features such as background recording, unlimited audio capture, etc. Unfortunately, no legitimate program available for Windows devices will allow for call recording – this is due to Windows policy, and not the fault of the developer.
If you want to record phone calls, you’ll have to switch to Android or iOS.
While we don’t have to personally pay for any of the apps we review, we certainly appreciate Yivosoft’s trial period, which gives you all the time you need to explore it’s many features.
In our opinion, this is the best voice recorder app for singing on the market – across all devices.
- Allows for direct internet syncing
- Comes with XBox Music integration
- Colorful interface; add images to your recordings
- Few music editing features
Many of the apps we reviewed – most, in fact – were meant for current generations of phones. This program is no exception, but what we enjoyed was the smooth interface, minimalist design, and tiny file size. Requires very little memory and is efficient with phone resources – making it perfect for users who might have older phones with less capabilities.
What else can we say? It doesn’t have many advanced features (it’s free, after all) but it works well and does it’s job, even on more basic and primitive devices.
- Sleek interface
- Can store recordings on the home screen
- Very few features
- No options to customize the user interface (hope you like the color blue)
One of the main drawbacks to using free apps are the onboard ads that require a fee to remove. VoiceNotes doesn’t want anything to do with that nonsense; the result is an interface easy on the eyes.
It has great audio capture quality, as good as most premium sound recorder apps, with an on-board voice meter and playback functionality.
- Continuous updates
- No editing tools
- Can’t fast forward or rewind
You read that correctly: The OG king of software has moved into the voice-recording arena.
The goal wasn’t to build a super-app chock full of features. Microsoft went the other direction, focusing on simple sound recording.
They did remember to put in one of the most important features – the ability to mark down important moments in your files. Ever tried finding a good quote from a 3-hour speech recording? Then you’ll give thanks for Windows for it’s emphasis on user friendly features.
- Unbeatable customer support
- Focused audio quality captures in high fidelity at impressive range
- Highlight tool lets you quickly mark down any parts of your recordings for later review
- Basically no features beyond sound recording
- Boring interface
10 Tricks to Record Great Audio with your Phone
So, you read through the reviews of apps for your device. You considered what your needs were, and selected the voice recorder app that fit you best.
Before you run off to start recording, it would be a good idea to run down a list of 10 tips and tricks to improve the quality of sound your device will record.
Of course, quality is influenced by app features, microphone placement and hardware, so these are general rules only. For more detailed advice, contact the developer of your app; likely they’ll have a few suggestions to bring you the best audio possible.
1. Get Close
I know what you’re thinking: Geez, this is supposed to be a tip? Get closer to hear better? Duh!
But have you actually considered what close means? Close in audio terms is not measured just by distance as we see it. How far do the soundwaves have to travel to hit the microphone on your phone? Are there any barriers that might distort and interfere with their movement through space? How about vertical distance – is the source above or below you? Where -exactly- is the recording microphone on your device? Better double check – many phones have two or more mics, and the mic you think is recording audio might not be doing anything at all!
2. Reduce Distortion
Obviously distortion and gain controls depend on your hardware and the app. But did you know that you can use a simple filter such as scotch tape or plastic over your mic to reduce background noise? It might sound ghetto, but it works surprisingly well. Give it a shot!
3. Location, location, location
We’ve already discussed distance, yet the phone’s location isn’t important only in terms of how far it is from the source. It also matters where you set your device.
Rigid surfaces should be avoided, as they tend to amplify distortion and create rattles. Try to place your phone somewhere soft, with open space in all directions, and keep the mic pointed away from any other electronic device to keep interference to a minimum.
4. Do Not Disturb
Obviously, it doesn’t matter if you have the very best voice recording software for mobile devices if your recording gets interrupted by phone calls, texts, messages, and other apps.
The easiest way to eliminate any possibility of an ignorant friend spoiling an important audio moment is to put your phone in airplane mode.
This will guarantee that the only interruption to your recording is when you decide.
There’s no other tip that can do more to improve the quality of your audio recordings. Spend a little extra to get an external microphone and attach it to your mobile device.
This simple step will improve sound recording more than you can imagine. Even the best onboard mics are limited by the physical constraints of engineering.
An external mic allows for a much larger volume of soundwaves to intercept your device. It’s similar to looking at Jupiter with the naked eye, and with a telescope – the extra surface area captures more waves and compresses them into your device.
This means you’ll hear further, louder, and with greater clarity.
6. Explore Your App
Casual users often download apps with robust features and then fail to ever take advantage of them. Instead of just going straight to recording, try playing around in the settings and trying out different tools that could dramatically improve acoustic performance.
7. Don’t Get Crowded
Before you begin recording any important or lengthy sound event, make sure to double-check your phone’s available memory. Most apps will stop recording as soon as your space runs dry – leaving you with few options to immediately fix the problem.
Apps that allow for automatic and immediate upload to the cloud can help mitigate the effects, but it’s always a good idea to keep your phone as empty as possible. All apps run smoother when there’s more room for them to ‘stretch out’.
8. Eliminate Sound Pollution
Soundwaves are like waves of water; they bounce and cascade off of each other and go off in all sorts of directions. This is why you can shout into a canyon and hear your voice echo long after you stopped.
Anything that makes noise should be removed. Rooms with foot traffic and hard floors create a lot of background chatter. No appliances, machinery, or unhappy children.
9. Mind the Wind
If you’re outside, don’t forget to protect your mic from the wind. This is obvious when the wind is strong enough to be heard with your ears; but even a slight breeze can reduce capture quality.
10. Practice Makes Perfect
Don’t download your voice recorder app and then immediately run off to use it in an important situation. Before you can be good at something, you must first be bad; and the more experience you have with how your device responds to different situations, the better you’ll understand how to optimize your audio capture when you need it the most.
Technology has come a long way, and modern components are capable of capturing sound with higher quality than ever before.
The fundamentals of good audio capture, however, have not changed. The basics remain the same: Good mic placement, quiet environment, proper distance, quality acoustics, and the widest possible exposure to soundwaves.
There are literally hundreds of voice recorder apps for iOS, iPad, Android, Windows; all devices across all user needs. We selected the top 25 sound recorders for the three major mobile brands.
Whether you’re just wanting to quickly save ideas while you’re on the go, or a professional musician, there’s an app for everyone. The ability to record music and speech is so useful that no device can be considered complete without one of these apps.
The best way to learn what works for you is to simply get out there and start playing!
After all, you just never know: you could discover you have the most beautiful voice in the world and didn’t know it. Go find out today!