Best free recorder apps for recording interviews | ENBLE

Best free recorder apps for recording interviews | ENBLE

The Best Voice Recording Apps Already Installed on Your Phone

Source: Digital Trends

Voice Recorder

Before you rush to the app store to buy a voice-recording app, take a moment to consider the ones already installed on your phone. In my experience, they’re likely all you really need. I’ve been recording interviews and voice-overs for work for years, and I’ve found that the two best examples come preinstalled on your phone and are entirely free to use.

The caveat is that the availability of these apps depends on the smartphone you own. However, if you don’t have an iPhone, Pixel, or Samsung phone, I have a suggestion for you too.

iPhone Users Rejoice: Voice Memos

iPhone Voice Memos

If you own an Apple iPhone or iPad, regardless of the model, you are in luck. You have access to one of the best free voice-recorder apps available, which comes as a standard feature. Apple’s Voice Memos app is included in iOS, meaning it is already installed on your device when you purchase it. I’ve used it for years in various environments, and it has never disappointed me. More recently, I’ve been using it on the iPhone 14 Pro.

Using Voice Memos is incredibly simple. When you open the app, there’s a prominent red “record” button at the bottom of the screen. Tap on it, and the app starts recording. Tap it again to stop. There’s no need for any setup or options, making it perfect for impromptu recordings. The iPhone has always had excellent microphones, ensuring clear recordings.

After saving a recording, there are a few playback options to be aware of. You can adjust the playback speed, and there’s an option to skip silence, which works effectively. Additionally, there’s an “Enhance Recording” switch that minimizes background noise and echo from the room. It truly makes a difference and can salvage recordings that might otherwise be lost. But Voice Memos doesn’t just stop at recording; it offers an edit feature to trim your recording, record new sections, and insert them into the file.

Another reason why Voice Memos excels is its seamless integration with Mac devices. I often use a lavalier microphone with my iPhone to record voice-overs for videos, and transferring the file to my Mac via AirDrop takes just moments. Whether it’s a video call, an in-person conversation, or a voice-over, the simplicity of Voice Memos and its ease of file editing and sharing make it my go-to voice recorder.

Pixel Owners Delight: Google Recorder

Google Recorder

For Google Pixel phone users, Google Recorder is a standout app. While it’s unfortunate that it’s only available for Pixel devices, it offers a wealth of features and is relatively easy to use. I’ve recently been using it on my Google Pixel 7 Pro, and it stands out from the iPhone thanks to its AI-driven transcription feature, which transcribes the conversation in real-time as you speak. The transcription is saved alongside the audio file, allowing you to follow along during playback.

Even more helpful, the transcription can be easily shared to Google Docs. However, the app doesn’t separate speakers in the transcription, making it slightly bothersome to edit without listening to the audio file simultaneously, especially for multi-speaker conversations. To transcribe Voice Memo files from the iPhone, I’ve been using Trint, which reliably recognizes and separates speakers, but it requires a paid subscription unlike the in-built transcription feature offered by the Recorder app.

Google Recorder also offers other interesting features such as editing tools and the ability to create video clips of the audio and corresponding transcription. The app includes convenient quick skip buttons that advance or backtrack by 10 seconds, making it more efficient for listening to conversations compared to the iPhone’s 15-second skip buttons. However, the Pixel 7 Pro’s microphones aren’t as sharp and clear as the iPhone 14 Pro’s, so I always choose the Apple phone for recording voice-overs.

Other Android Options: Samsung and Dolby

Samsung Voice Recorder

What if you don’t own a Pixel phone? If you’re a Samsung Galaxy phone user, like the Galaxy S23 Ultra or Galaxy Z Flip 5, you’re in luck. The standard Voice Recorder app on Samsung devices offers similar functionality to Apple’s Voice Memos. It features easy one-tap recording, editing capabilities, the ability to skip silent sections, and the option to record and replace segments. Samsung goes a step further than Google, offering a scrubbing tool that allows for just a 3-second advancement or backtrack in a recorded file, giving users ultimate control. The app also includes a speech-to-text feature, although its accuracy is limited, and it can only transcribe up to 10 minutes of audio.

If you don’t own a Samsung phone and want an app that works on any Android device, I recommend Dolby On. Unlike most other voice-recorder apps available on the Google Play Store that require a paid “Pro” version to unlock advanced features, Dolby On is completely free to use. Its standout feature is the ability to record in Lossless quality. After recording, the app offers various enhancements, including noise reduction, EQ adjustment, and volume normalization. Additionally, Dolby On provides several different filters for your recordings, eliminating any sharpness or echo. While it is primarily tailored for recording your own voice, it works just as effectively for interviews.

The Built-In Apps Are Sufficient

Dolby On

If you find yourself in need of a voice or audio-recorder app, don’t rush to the app store and pick the first one you see. Give the free, standard apps already on your phone a try, as they are likely more than powerful and feature-packed enough for most people. I’ve never needed anything more when recording interviews, and you probably won’t either. Embrace the convenience and quality of the preinstalled voice-recording apps on your phone.