What’s best recording equipment for interviews?

There are some great devices on the market for recording interviews and even focus groups. I personally bought the Olympus WS-100 a few years back and it is tiny and excellent. I’ve even used my phone to record my notes whilst walking down the street and the quality was good enough to have transcribed easily.

However, if you are recording something very important like interviews and focus groups you will probably want to invest in something better. So, to help you decide I found a few articles and reviews on equipment that may help you.

Remember always that no matter how good the equipment is that you are using it is best to plan your interview or focus group recordings properly. Here are a couple of article that may help:

Recording an audio interview for typing ease

How to properly prepare for an interview

The fist place I looked was Google shopping and sorted by reviews.

This will take you to the search I created to find it here.

Up to £100

In the up to £100 category in a Google shopping search the product with the highest reviews is the Sony ICD-PX333 Voice Recorder – 4 GB – 178 hrs SP – Black

£100-£300 Recorders

The Zoom H4n Voice Recorder – 1 GB – Silver/Black is a crazy looking device and looks like something outZoom-H4n-Voice Recorder of Star Trek or a a self defence Tazer.

Turn your world into a world-class recording studio with the H4n, the next level of portable recording from Zoom. Its onboard X/Y stereo condenser microphones are arranged with the right and left microphones on the same axis. This design ensures that the microphones are always an equal distance from the sound source for perfect localization without phase shifting.

The Yeti (yes it’s really called that)

This is another recording microphone that I bought a while back and love it.

You need a pc to hook it up to, but it is impressive.

I don’t know about you, but I find with most digital equipment it has a lot of buttons and settings, but they rarely make any difference. With the Yeti, the buttons and setting make all the difference and you can really hear the difference if you choose between single or multiple voices and other options.

This is a review on the Yeti from PC World, but it isn’t the one I bought.

The Guardian on recording devices for interview transcription

Dictation products are aimed at recording voices either for memo-taking or transcription. The main features are long recording times and long battery life. The audio requirement is clarity, not fidelity, so sound is usually mono, and a bit rate of 192kbps in Microsoft’s WMA (Windows Media Audio) format counts as “super high-quality” (SHQ).

This is looking at the low end of the market and they say your cheapest option is the Sony ICD-PX312, but there is maybe a better option on Amazon now which is the PX333.

They also suggest the Olympus VN-713PC (also via Amazon).

This is another WMA/MP3 mono voice recorder with USB connectivity, but it has 4GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot instead of an SD slot. The VN-713PC has a neat little kick-stand built in, plus noise cancellation to reduce the effect of background noises such as air conditioning.

We also have an article on recording interviews on the i-phone and i-pad for easy transcription.

It offers some ideas on what free software was available to assist people with recording interviews on their i-phone and i-pads to then be sent to a transcription service for speedy transcribing.