Trending December 2023 # Best Portable Audio Recording? Zoom H1 Review # Suggested January 2024 # Top 15 Popular

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Before actually owning the zoom h1, I did do my own research on the product. Everyone’s conclusion was that it felt like a cheap toy. However, I feel as though, while it is all plastic, it still feels sturdy.  I have dropped this mic before and it has yet to crack. (I hope it doesn’t of course!)  And upside to it being all plastic is that it is very light. The build itself is a very small mic intended for on the go usage. It might just be me, but there is something satisfying when you can buy an a product for use, and not have to worry about it getting scuffed up. Coming in an all plastic and cheap form actually makes me want to bring it around more. I toss it into my bag and go. And I think that’s a very important factor when considering this type of product to buy. Just don’t expect a tank when your buying this product. Keep in mind the satisfying buying price of it and you won’t have any complaints.

To be blunt the sound is fantastic.  With an onboard mic that you get with your typical DSLR, you’ll notice the sound levels are not equal. Every now and then I would record a conversation with two people, and while they are at the same exact distance from the camera, every now and then one voice would be extremely high while the other would be low.– Not with the zoom h1. If I aim the mic correctly, the audio is not only equal, but it is also accurate.Another problem that I had before using the Zoom h1 was the fact that my onboard mic picked up a certain humming noise in the background. The h1, as im sure many if not all external mics, fix this problem.  The Zoom h1 mic also removed the audio echo that I received with many other cameras. (Especially webcams)

I do not have a wind filter, as it does not come with one, but I have noticed, to no surprised, that in semi-windy condition, without a wind filter, it does pick up a lot of wind noise.  A LOT. Not a negative thing, that’s typical, but don’t be put off by it and buy a wind filter. (If you intend to work in windy conditions)

The Zoom H1 does cannot be directly connected into your camera. You must manually sync you audio. It could be a major pain, and it is something you definitely want to consider. I believe in the new Final Cut Pro X there is a way to automatically sync the audio, but even then, I would of course rather just have the audio recorded right into our DSLR. If this is a problem, you might want to consider the Zoom H1′s big brother: the Zoom H4n.

The zoom consumes only one AA battery, but I still wish it had a charging feature.  It also does have  tripod screw in so if you have an extra tripod you can mount it equally to your camera.

For a budget mic, I think it is a great product.  I do envy the Zoom H4n, but considering the price this product it is going for, I can’t complain much. It’s a mic, that I use to supplement everything, my DSLR, my webcam, and sometimes even my phone. The only downside I would have to say is, again, you have to manually sync the audio in post production. So do I recommend this mic? Yes, yes I do!

The Zoom H1, your portable audio recorder now the perfect supplement to any DSLR or video recording device. Small and affordable, but what does all of that sacrifice?

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Spatial Audio Transforms Music, Says Alicia Keys And Springsteen Recording Engineer

Bob Clearmountain, the US recording engineer who mixed Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the U.S.A. album, says that he hopes Spatial Audio will bring back the days when people sat down and actively listened to music – instead of it simply being a background soundtrack to their lives.

Artist Alicia Keys says that it should, as it completely transforms the experience of listening to an album …

What is Spatial Audio, aka Dolby Atmos?

Spatial Audio is Apple’s marketing term for Dolby Atmos, likely chosen in an attempt to make it sound like an audio format exclusive to the company’s own products. It first launched on Apple Music a little over two years ago.

It’s a form of surround sound, but is significantly more sophisticated than the 5.1 and 7.1 implementations which preceded it. Here’s how What HiFi describes it:

Unlike traditional channel-based systems, Dolby Atmos doesn’t just send audio at discrete levels to each speaker. The technology can also produce up to 118 simultaneous sound objects, allowing the sound designer to place each sound and voice to exact points within the sound field rather than simply assign them to specific channels.

These objects can be manipulated and moved around within the space creating a convincing 3D soundstage.

Spatial Audio requires careful remixes

“The labels seem to be farming this stuff out and it isn’t always being done with the original artist or production team involved,” Clearmountain said. “I know that’s not always possible. But sometimes what comes back are just bad mixes — or strange mixes, anyway.”

Fellow producer and sound engineer Brad Wood agrees.

Wood — who has done mixes in consultation with the original artists as well as on his own — [said] “In general, you have to try to put the tracks into a speaker array so it doesn’t sound too jarring or gimmicky,” he said. “The goal is to feel like you’re sitting amongst these musicians as they’re performing. Like all mixing, it’s subjective, and how you approach it really depends on the music itself.”

Spatial Audio transforms music

But when it’s done right, they say, it really transforms the experience of listening to music.

“Music has become background noise for most people. It’s something in your headphones while you’re out doing other stuff,” he said. “When I was a teenager, I used to listen to an album three, four times through just sitting in front of my speakers, entranced.” That way of listening has disappeared, he said, but he’s hopeful that Atmos can bring it back, “if we’re able to get people to understand what it is and hear it the right way.”

Alicia Keys, who has so far had eight of her albums remixed for Dolby Atmos, is another big fan of the tech.

Keys said that engineers working on her albums “completely reimagined every note, every sound, every instrument, every voice. It sounds like you’ve never heard it before. I mean, I never even heard it like this before. It really is a new experience.”

I was a Dolby Atmos skeptic so far as music was concerned, but quickly discovered I was wrong.

The idea of messing with stereo signals to create an entirely artificial sense of three-dimensional space didn’t strike me as something I was likely to enjoy. The technique involves adjusting both the sound frequencies and phase timings to fool the ears into thinking that each element of the sound originates from a particular position in space. That seemed to me to have great potential to ruin, rather than enhance, the sound reproduction […]

I didn’t get any sense of distortion – the pure audio reproduction sounded as good as stereo. But the soundstage was significantly wider. I went back and forth with the settings, to switch Spatial Audio on and off, and there was definitely no placebo effect at play: this stuff works.

It’s not dissimilar to listening to the same track on a pair of closed-back headphones and then listening to it again on some open-back ones of equivalent quality. You get the sense that the room in which the music was recorded just became twice as big.

What’s your experience of Spatial Audio?

While the AirPods maker is keen to brand it as an Apple experience, you don’t need AirPods to experience it: you can do so on any third-party headphones, after toggling on the feature.

Photo: Caught In Joy/Unsplash

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Netac Zx20 Portable Solid State Drive Review

Offline storage and backup can be a big problem. Basically, the data we generate monthly in 2023 would have been a lifetime supply only 10 years ago. Even with cloud storage, there is still a very present need for physical storage for temporary backup, transportation, security, and backup off site. With USB sticks so darn easy to lose, what we really need is some kind of reliable, high-capacity storage in a form factor that’s bigger than a USB stick and smaller than a USB hard drive. This leaves room for the Netac ZX20 Portable Solid State Drive.

This is a sponsored article and was made possible by Netac. The actual contents and opinions are the sole views of the author who maintains editorial independence even when a post is sponsored.

Netac’s Tiny Drive

The Netac ZX20 Portable Solid State Drive takes a small SSD and puts it into a small form factor suitable for your bag or even your pocket. It’s so small and neat, you could even slip it into the trouser pocket of a suit and not spoil the lining.

The case dimensions are only 8 cm x 4.3 cm, about as big as a cigarette lighter for comparison. The case is robust and silicone protected on five sides. It has a hole built into the corner so that you can use a carabiner clip to lash it to a bag or jacket or link it to your keys for easy transport. Attachment to a computer or device is handled by the included USB-C to standard USB cable.

Also included is a USB-C to USB-C cable for connection to the growing lot of devices using that standard. You also get a tiny leatherette pouch that doesn’t protect it so much as look nice. I can’t say I use it much, but it’s nice to have.

Netac is one of the claimants to being the inventors of the USB memory stick, which tells you something important: it has been doing this kind of thing for a long time.

Big Storage, Small Package

The initial response to opening the box and taking out the drive is how small and neat and nicely made the drive is. It feels expensive. Out of the box it is formatted for Windows, so I plugged it into the PC, and it recognized it easily. The USB lead is very well made and feels robust enough to carry around in a coat pocket without risking any damage in transit.

The first thing you notice while using it is how fast it is compared to the bulk of the external storage you use on a PC. Obviously, you only get full speed if you have certified USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20Gbps) sockets on your machine.

Of course, the primary limiting factor and primary bottleneck in any USB-based storage system is the speed of the socket itself, which is a serious thing you should bear in mind.

On that note, I have USB 3.0 and not 3.2, so I have to cite test results supplied to me by Netac. The USB-C test results sound impressive: 2031Mb/s sequential read, 1774Mb/s sequential write. If you can’t get a certified USB 3.2 with a USB-A interface (easy to spot with the blue tab), then clearly, USB-C is your best bet.

This doesn’t mean that if you don’t have USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20Gbps) this drive is useless. To the contrary, in fact.

Although the peak performance of the ZX20 can only be achieved with the USB 3.2 Gen2x2 (20Gbps) interface, this product supports full backward compatibility with a variety of interfaces and can still be used when connected to a USB 3.0 interface. This means that if you take the product out and about and use it on someone else’s device, it will work fine.

Using the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test tool and a regular USB socket, I could see the ZX20 managed speeds as high as 145MB/s. That’s good enough to read and write 2K cinema-quality video attached to a digital cinema projector.

This product gets on well in connection with a standard USB 3.0 interface. As you can see, it can reach levels of 429Mb/s read and 405Mb/s write. Basically, the type of performance you get depends entirely on the kind of interface you have. Suffice to say, whatever you are using with it will be fast.

I really like the Netac ZX20 Portable Solid State Drive. It’s difficult to put across how small it is – yet powerful and fast. The speed of regular USB sticks is usually terrible, as they are almost always cheap. That’s understandable, as if you are going to carry around something small AND expensive, it’s a recipe for disaster. But this device is not only compact, powerful and fast – it’s also not that expensive, and with USB 3.2 it really flies.

I only have two quibbles with it, and they are very minor and purely personal. Number one: it would have been nice to have a little LED activity light on it. I don’t like indicators that are too bright, but a nice discreet little light that flashes when it’s working would have been nice.

I also question why the cables you get with this and similar items are so stiff. I get that they have to be durable, but it doesn’t lie flat when I plug the drive. Admittedly, this is more to do with my own OCDs than any technical deficiency in the product, so it’s not a major issue, and the PSSD willl be dangling in some way anyway.

Where to get it

All things considered, the Netac ZX20 Portable Solid State Drive is a great little drive, and for an estimated retail price of about $70, not crazy expensive either. It’s probably about $10 more than I’d like to see, but the quality is great, so I’ll forgive the price immediately, as you can’t go wrong with the capacity.

All images by Phil South.

Phil South

Phil South has been writing about tech subjects for over 30 years. Starting out with Your Sinclair magazine in the 80s, and then MacUser and Computer Shopper. He’s designed user interfaces for groundbreaking music software, been the technical editor on film making and visual effects books for Elsevier, and helped create the MTE YouTube Channel. He lives and works in South Wales, UK.

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7 Best Browsers For Audio Quality

7 Best Browsers for Audio Quality [High Resolution Streaming] We’ve tested the sound capabilities of all the browsers ranked




Many users prefer listening to high-resolution audio on websites such as YouTube, Spotify, or Apple Music.

You can however increase the audio quality on some browsers by installing certain extensions.

This post contains the best browsers for audio quality.

Don’t hesitate in trying them.

Struggling with various browser issues? Try a better option: Opera One

You deserve a better browser! Over 300 million people use Opera One daily, a fully-fledged navigation experience coming with various built-in packages, enhanced resource consumption, and great design.

Here’s what Opera One can do:

Optimize resource usage: Opera One uses your Ram more efficiently than Brave

AI and User Friendly: New feature directly accessible from the sidebar

Gaming friendly: Opera GX is the first and best browser for gamers

⇒ Get Opera One

High-quality audio makes you able to enjoy listening, learning, or enjoying. Anything greater than 44.1 kHz sample rate or higher than 16-bit audio depth can be considered good audio quality.

Users can listen to high-resolution audio on websites such as YouTube or subscribe to audio-streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music and listen to songs and podcasts within their browsers.

But there always remains some confusion when choosing the best browser for audio quality. Don’t worry as we’ve got you covered. Keep reading this post to know the seven best browsers for audio quality.

How can I improve the sound quality of my browser?

Internal computer speakers are powerful. But what if you come across a low-level video, and there is only so much good pressing the volume up button will do. Then it’s a matter of sound quality.

If you are streaming music online and something sounds unpleasant, you cannot necessarily go into the track and remix/remaster it. There are certain steps you need to follow to increase the sound quality of your browser.

For example, you can add extensions to improve the sound quality in Google Chrome. Some of the best extensions are Volumix and Equalizer for Google Chrome.

Which browser has the best audio quality?

If you want something lightweight but fast, Opera One is the best browser for audio quality. This Chromium-powered web browser is often referred to as a more refined version of Google Chrome.

In terms of bugs, Opera as a web browser does a fantastic job. It is also extremely privacy-conscious, keeping all of your data safe and secure.

Furthermore, Opera will not disappoint you in terms of features. This web browser offers a range of services for modern users, including a VPN service, an ad blocker, a native chat app, and others.

Opera One

Enjoy multimedia audio content at high quality with this fast and light browser!

Free Visit Website

Google Chrome is the best browser for audio-quality wireless headphones. As we all know, Chrome’s surfing experience isn’t the most privacy-conscious; nevertheless, it is polished. It also has a variety of add-ons, privacy settings, and a straightforward user interface.

Expert tip:

Several users complain about Chrome black screen issues. Rest assured that our guide shows you what to do in case that happens.

⇒ Get Microsoft Edge

Which browser gives the best performance overall?

These were the 7 best browsers for audio quality. Among the above-mentioned, Firefox and Opera One are the two most recommended once you can try.

Still experiencing issues?

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10+ Best Voice Recording Software And Apps In 2023

When I need to record a quick note in a hurry, I turn to voice recording software. Often that’s when I’m on the run, so a mobile device is my first choice. For me, voice memos are usually a quick way to capture information, and not for long-term storage, a placeholder for something I don’t want to forget.

I’ll transfer the information to my calendar, task list, or notes app, then delete the recording. I use voice memo software more like an inbox than a repository.

For quick voice memos, the killer feature for me is convenience, and that will be the focus of this review. Usually, the most convenient recording app will be the one that came with your computer or device. For recording jobs where quality is the priority — say a voiceover for a video or vocals for a music track — then you’ll want a full-featured audio editor or digital audio workstation.

These apps can record and edit quality audio, and we’ve given our recommendations in the best audio editing software roundup.

Finally, we’ll explore the software options that lie between those two extremes of convenience and quality. What features can software developers offer to make voice recording more useful, relevant and accessible?

We’ll explore apps that can synchronize the audio you record in a lecture or meeting with the notes that you take, and also apps that make your voice recordings readable and searchable through machine transcription.

Have you made voice recording a productive part of your life? We’ll help you explore which apps will suit your goals and workflow.

Why Trust Me for This Software Guide

My name is Adrian, and I’ve been using portable cassette recorders since the 80s, and voice recording software on laptops and PDAs (personal digital assistants) since the 90s. I used these devices to remind myself of appointments and phone numbers, capture useful information I came across, record musical ideas, and talk through the contents of writing projects.

In the early days, handwriting recognition wasn’t always accurate, and typing on a tiny, on-screen keyboard was slow and took too much concentration. Voice memos were the quickest and most reliable way to take down information.

I still use voice memos today, but I’m just as likely to use Siri, especially when I’m driving and cycling. A double-tap on my AirPods, and she’s right there to be my digital secretary. There’s a place for both.

What You Need to Know Up-Front about Voice Recording

Before we look at specific software options, here are a few things you need to know about voice recording in general.

Mobile Devices are Convenient

Once you get into recording voice memos, you’ll want a way of making them wherever you are. Mobile apps are perfect, because you’ll have your smartphone wherever you go.

Even better is when your voice memos are synced to your computer, so you can process them when you’re at your desk, or edit them with your desktop software. Some mobile apps are pretty good at editing too.

For Quality Recordings You Need a Full-Featured Audio Editor

As I mentioned in the introduction, if you want to make high-quality recordings to use in a project, it’s best to use a full-featured audio editor, and not one of the apps we list in this review.

The aim of the apps we cover in this review is to capture information or an idea, so the focus is not necessarily on the quality of the recording.

Equipment That May Help

For basic recording, you can just use your computer or device. They have everything you need, including a basic internal microphone. For greater convenience, or higher quality, you may want to consider using a different mic.

If you can, choose a microphone that will work with your USB or Lightning port. Alternatively, you can connect a conventional mic to an audio interface.

Who Can Benefit from Voice Recording Software

Notes to self. Capture ideas as you have them, especially when it’s not convenient to type. If you think you might forget it, record it. Never lose an important thought. Record it anyway, just in case!

Capture important family moments. Record your kids’ speeches, plays, concerts and other special events. You might even manage to catch your child’s first words.

Record audio at work. Journalists can record their interviews to capture everything that was said, and type it up later. Others can create field recordings, whether they work with animals, traffic, or the environment. For the best quality, consider upgrading your microphone.

Capture your musical ideas. Vocalists and musicians can record musical ideas as they are inspired. Sing or play right into your smartphone.

Best Voice Recording Software: How We Tested and Picked

We’re not so much trying to give these apps an absolute ranking, but to help you make the best decision about which one will suit your needs. Here are the key criteria we looked at when evaluating:

Which Operating Systems and Mobile Devices Are Supported?

In contrast with full-featured audio editors, very few voice recorders are cross-platform. You’ll want to pay special attention to which operating systems are supported. Also, for convenience, you may often turn to a mobile device to record your voice memos, so besides Mac and Windows, we’ll also cover apps for iOS and Android.

Ease of use

Because convenience is king, ease of use is crucial for an effective voice memo app. Is it easy to quickly start a recording? Once you have a number of recordings, is it easy to quickly scan through them to find the right one? Can you rename them? Can you organize them into lists, or add tags? How easy is it to move the information in the recording to another app, or export to a different audio format?

Necessary features

The most basic features you need are just the ability to record your voice or other sounds, and play them back. If you listen to long recordings, the app will need to remember your playback position, too. The ability to easily share your recordings is also helpful.

Additional features

What other features add the most value to voice memos? Two features stand out from the rest:

Some features are part of a different software category which might deserve its own review. That includes apps for recording phone calls and Skype calls, answering machine software, and professional audio editors. We won’t cover them here.


The apps we cover in this review are relatively inexpensive, ranging from free to $25. In general, apps that cost more are more capable, and boast additional features. Here’s what they all cost, sorted from cheapest to most expensive:

Best Voice Recording Software: The Winners

Best Choice for Convenience: The Default Voice Memo App on Your Computer or Device

Voice memos need to be handy. For the ultimate convenience, use the app that’s already built into your computer or mobile device. It will have all the basic features you need, is well-integrated into the operating system, and is there when you need it.

Free, and preinstalled on your computer or device

The new Macs have a pre-installed voice memo app (since macOS 10.4 Mojave when the iOS Voice Memo app is now ported to macOS). Check the iOS details below to see what it’s like, and if you need an app right now, check out your options in “The Competition” section below.

Windows Voice Recorder is found on all Windows computers and mobile devices, and will handle your basic voice memo tasks.

The iPhone has a Voice Memos app with similar functionality. Like the Windows app, it is easy to record and playback a voice memo, as well as share your recordings and make basic edits.

Additional features include the ability to re-record part of your memo, trim from the beginning or end, and delete a section from the middle of the recording. You can open the Voice Memo app using Siri by saying, “Record a voice memo” or “Record my voice,” but you’ll still need to press the red button to start recording.

The Android operating system doesn’t include a voice memos app by default, but your phone may. Android phones are often heavily customized. The Samsung Galaxy, for example, does include a recording app.

Android apps from different manufacturers will vary in features and interface, so consult your user manual for more details.

Best Choice for Lectures and Meetings: Notability

Are you surprised to see a note taking app in a voice recording roundup? Notability (by Ginger Labs) is a Mac and iOS app that allows you to record what is being said at a lecture or meeting while you take notes, and the audio is synced with those notes.

So if you tap on something typed or wrote by hand, you’ll hear exactly what you were hearing when you wrote it. That’s a killer feature — no more scanning through recordings looking for the right part.

$9.99 from the Mac App Store, $9.99 from the iOS App Store (one-time fee)

Recording lectures and meetings is a good idea. Imagine getting distracted and missing a crucial bit of information. You hope it wasn’t important, just to hear the lecturer say, “And that will be in the exam.”

Notability is one of the leading note taking apps available for Mac and iOS. In particular, it’s one of the top apps for handwriting using an Apple Pencil or other stylus. But it also includes a voice recorder. Once you start recording, the synchronization with your notes happens automatically, whether you’re typing or handwriting.

But note that this app is Mac and iOS only. If you’re not in the Apple ecosystem, have a look at our alternatives in “The Competition” section below.

Best Choice for Searchable Voice Notes: Otter

Long recordings are hard to navigate. To find the right information, you may need to listen to the whole thing, possibly at double speed to save time. Avoid that by making your recordings searchable with automatic, machine-based transcription. Otter offers a convenient way to achieve this, with mobile versions for iOS and Android, and a web version for desktop operating systems.

Note: While machine transcriptions are constantly improving, they are still no replacement for a human typist. So check the transcription carefully and correct any errors, or decide up front to pay for a human to transcribe the recording for you.

The free plan includes 600 minutes of transcription per month, unlimited cloud storage, and sync across your devices. For 6,000 minutes of transcription a month, Otter costs $9.99/month or $79.99/year.

Otter automatically transcribes your recordings, and displays the text while you listen. While machine transcriptions are not 100% accurate at this time, it is helpful, allowing you to better understand, share, and search for what is said. The transcription can be edited to clean up any errors.

Apps are available on the two biggest mobile platforms, iOS and Android. You can also access Otter on your computer through a web app.

Otter’s voice notes are smart, because they combine:



speaker identification,

inline photos, and

key phrases.

Whether you’re a business person attending a meeting, a journalist working on an interview, or a student revising a lecture, the app will make you more efficient, focused, and collaborative with your recordings. You can take photos of a whiteboard or presentation to help you visualize what was said. Words and photos are highlighted in time with the recordings on playback.

Recordings can be tagged with keywords for organization, and transcriptions can be searched so you can start playback at the section you’re interested in. If you take the time to record a voiceprint of everyone in the meeting by tagging the speakers of a few paragraphs in the transcript, Otter will automatically identify who said what during the meeting.

If long voice recordings are important to you, have a close look at Otter. The free 10 hours of transcription a month should be enough to fully evaluate the app for your needs, and for $10 a month you get 100 hours.

Best Voice Recording Software: The Competition

Other Voice Memo Apps

In case your phone or computer didn’t come with a voice memo app, or you’re after something with a few more features, here are some alternatives that are worth considering.


Currently, macOS doesn’t come with a voice memo app. In the meantime, here is an app that works well:

iScream, free


Axara Voice Recording Software ($24.98) is a more capable alternative to Windows Voice Recorder. It looks good, is able to automate the starting and stopping of recordings, and can split them into one-hour files for easier management. It supports recording from a variety of sources.


There is a huge variety of voice recording apps on the iOS app store. A few that offer more features than Apple’s Voice Memo app include:

Smartrecord is also able to include notes and photos, and export to cloud services. It adds unlimited public sharing of your recordings, and folder management. The app is able to recognize and skip silence. The free plan lets you get a handle on whether the app will suit you, and various add-on services are available, including human transcription and text editing.


If your Android phone didn’t come with a voice recorder, or you’re just looking for a better one, here are a few to consider:

Other Apps for Lectures and Meetings

Microsoft OneNote (free) is one of the most popular note taking apps out there. Like Notability, it allows you to record a lecture or meeting as you take notes, and everything syncs up.

For Windows, Mac and Android users, the feature works well, and is recommended. An alternative that works on all platforms is AudioNote. Its cost varies according to platform: Mac $14.99, iOS free (or Pro for $9.99), Android $8.36, Windows $19.95.

A free alternative is Mic Note (Chrome, Windows, Linux and Android). It automatically puts timestamps of your recording in the margin of your notes for easy playback. Recordings can be edited, and basic transcription is supported.

Other Recording Apps with Basic Transcription

Finally, if automatic transcription of your recordings is your priority, Otter has a little competition. Though not as full-featured as Otter, you may like to consider these alternatives.

Just Press Record ($4.99 for Mac and iOS) brings one-tap recording, transcription and iCloud syncing to all your Apple devices, including your Apple Watch. The record button is there when you need it, transcription makes your recording searchable, and sync puts it on all of your devices so your recordings are ready to be listened to and shared.

Voice Recorder & Audio Editor is a free voice recorder for iPhone and iPad that can be upgraded to include transcriptions and text notes with a $4.99 in-app purchase. Your unlimited audio recordings can be stored on a range of cloud storage services, and basic audio editing is available in the app.

Alternatives to Voice Recording Software

To finish this review, we’ll note that voice memo software isn’t the only way to take quick notes with your voice. Web apps and recording gadgets are great alternatives. And intelligent assistants can now act on your voice commands with reasonable accuracy, offering a better alternative to voice recording in many scenarios.

Online Services

And if you want your recordings transcribed so they’re readable and searchable, try Trint. Upload your audio (or video) files, and Trint’s artificial intelligence will turn them into text. The service costs $15/hour, $40/month (includes three hours), or $120/month (includes 10 hours).


Many fans of Evernote try to use the app to organize as many parts of their lives as possible. Why not use it to record your voice as well. The app lets you attach audio recordings to your notes.

Although recordings are attached to notes, they are not in sync as they would be with Notability and OneNote. But the recording feature is handy, and if you use Evernote for your notes, it makes sense to use it for recordings as well.

Hardware Options

Instead of a software solution, some people choose hardware. Modern dictaphones and digital voice recorders use solid state storage that can store many hours of audio, record for 48 hours or more on a single battery charge, and have higher-quality built-in microphones. Because they’re dedicated to just one task, they are easy to use and have dedicated buttons for easy access.

Recording devices like this are useful in many ways. In fact, when my SoftwareHow teammate JP had to do the speaking part of a language test, the conversation was captured on a digital voice recorder. Interested?

Most of us already carry a smartphone wherever we go, so it’s understandable if you’re reluctant to carry a second device. However, many people still find hardware recorders an excellent alternative.

Intelligent Assistants and Dictation Software

Throughout the last few decades, I used voice recording a lot, especially when it wasn’t convenient to type.

“Fred’s phone number is 123456789.”

“Don’t forget the meeting on Tuesday.”

“The dentist appointment is at 2:30 on Friday.”

These days our devices are more intelligent. Siri, Alexa, Cortana and Google Assistant are able to hear phrases like that, and actually record the phone number in our contacts app, create an appointment in our calendar, and add entries to our notes app. So I’m less likely to record my voice, and more likely to say, “Hey Siri, create a dental appointment for 2:30pm on Friday.”

Or instead of using voice recording to dictate documents, consider voice dictation software instead. This is now available on most phones and computers, or you can purchase a third party app like Dragon. Instead of recording your voice into an audio file and transcribing it later, your devices will interpret what you say and type it as you speak.

Sandisk Extreme Pro Portable Ssd Review: Fast, Tough And Reasonably Priced

Best Prices Today: SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD




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Well, that didn’t take long. A few short weeks after reviewing the Samsung T7, SanDisk’s Extreme Portable Pro SSD (1TB) showed up at our door and easily surpassed its rival for the top-performing USB 3.1 Gen 2 drive. SanDisk’s drive doesn’t offer the T7’s handy and fun fingerprint security, but it’s about the same price and offers software-based password protection if security is a concern. 

This review is part of our ongoing roundup of the best external drives. Go there for information on competing products and how we tested them. 

Design and features

Close rival, not quite as fast

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch (500GB)

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The Extreme Pro Portable is designed with an aluminum chassis and ABS top, and is IP55-rated (Ingress Protection), meaning it will fend off dust and low-pressure water. The ingress weak spot with storage devices has historically been the connection port, but Type-C ports, such as the one on the Extreme Pro, are far better sealed than previous types.

Note that the IP rating indicates survivability when disconnected. With electricity flowing through a cable connection, fluid can short cable pins, causing electronic damage.


SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable SSD has an aluminum (the orange parts) chassis with a dimpled ABS cover.

The Extreme Pro Portable SSD lacks the fingerprint reader that graces the Samsung T7; however, it does come with SanDisk’s own SecureAccess software security solution. It provides password protection for the drive’s 256-bit AES encryption (when enabled), though it must, of course, be installed on any device or PC from which you wish to access your data—not as convenient. Neither drive is FIPS 140-2 certified (Federal Information Processing Standards security), which will limit enterprise interest and rule it out for conforming government agencies. 

Cheaper but slower predecessor

SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD (1TB)

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Why is the Extreme Pro Portable so fast? While it does transfer data via speedy USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10 gigabits per second), it’s likely far more important that the internal storage uses the NVMe communications standard, instead of the slower SATA standard used by its Extreme Portable SSD predecessor. Beyond that, SanDisk offered no details, and I didn’t want to destroy the drive to find out what’s inside.

The WD store (SanDisk’s parent company) sells the Extreme Pro Portable in three sizes: 500GB for $120Remove non-product link currently, 1TB for $230Remove non-product link currently (the size we tested), and 2TB for $430Remove non-product link currently. We found the same prices on major online sites: 500GB for $120 on AmazonRemove non-product link and 1TB for $230 on Amazon. The five-year warranty is in effect no matter where you buy. 



In CrystalDiskMark, the Extreme Pro was rated as far faster than its predecessor and Samsung’s T5, but only marginaly faster than Samsung’s newer T7. Longer bars are better. Note that this chart was corrected after initial publishing to show the T5’s true, and lesser performance.


Though it was slightly slower than Samsung T7’s reading, the Extreme Pro Portable blasted its rival when it came to writing. Shorter bars are better.


The Pro version of the Extreme Portable rules when it comes to long sustained writes. No other USB SSD we’ve tested even comes close. Shorter bars are better.

The primary reason for the landslide victory was that the Extreme Pro Portable wrote at a relatively steady 600MBps or so, while the T7 started at over 500MBps and dropped to around 300MBps when it ran out of cache. That occurred at around 4 percent of total capacity, or the 20GB mark with the 500GB T7 we tested. More capacious models of the T7 will run out of cache later in the process, narrowing but not eliminating the margin of defeat. 

Testing is performed on Windows 10, 64-bit running on a Core i7-5820K/Asus X99 Deluxe system with four 16GB Kingston 2666MHz DDR4 modules, a Zotac (NVidia) GT 710 1GB x2 PCIe graphics card, and an Asmedia ASM2142 USB 3.1 Gen 2 (10Gbps) card. Also on board are a Gigabyte GC-Alpine Thunderbolt 3 card and Softperfect’s Ramdisk 3.4.6, which is used for the 48GB read and write tests.

It’s the winner

The Sandisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD is faster and only a bit larger that the Samsung T7. I admit that I enjoy the Samsung T7’s fingerprint swiper, but otherwise, the Sandisk Extreme Portable Pro is the portable USB SSD you want when you’re dealing with large amounts of data.  

This article was edited on 2/27/2023 to correct the discussion and chart for CrystalDiskMark which showed the Samsung T5 as being much faster than it actually is.

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