Best Voice Recorder for Interviews

A selection of voice recorders we've tested over the years

There’s a myriad of ways to record your research interviews. You could use your phone, laptop, or even a camcorder. However, I strongly recommend using a digital voice recorder. Handheld digital voice recorders are compact, affordable and enable you to easily manage the audio recordings, which makes the process of getting your dissertation interview transcripts easy and cost effective.

Summary: Best Recorder for Interviews
Sony ICD-ux570: lightweight and low profile; powers up instantly; amazing sound Continue reading…

Sony ICD-PX470 vs Sony ICD-UX570 Comparison

Sony ICD-PX470 vs Sony ICD-UX570 Comparison

Which voice recorder, between the Sony ICD-PX470 and the Sony ICD-UX570 is right one for you? Let’s talk about it. Today, we’re going to compare the Sony PX470 and the Sony UX570 voice recorders and look at the 3 main reasons you should choose one over the other. The Sony ICD-PX470 and the Sony ICD-UX570 are very similar. Both have 3.5mm mic inputs, headphone jacks, support high capacity microSD cards, record in mp3 and WAV format, come with 2 microphones and have similar microphone sensitivity controls. Both also have slide out USB connectors and speakers, though the px470 has a slightly large speaker.   Sony ICD-PX470 Sony ICD-UX570 Product Dimensions w/h/d 1.51 x 4.5 x 0.0.76 inches 1.45 × 4.05  × 0.49 inches Recording Formats LPCM (WAV), MP3 LPCM (WAV), MP3 Storage 4GB, microSDHC expansion 4GB, microSDHC, microSDXC expansion Microphones Stereo microphones Stereo microphones Ports 3.5mm microphone input, 3.5mm headphone output, USB 2.0 for PC… Continue reading…

Sony ICD-UX570 Accessories

Sony ICD-ux570 Accessories

We recommend the Sony ICD-UX570 voice recorder for recording research interviews, lectures and focus group discussions. One of the frequent asked questions I get are what are the accessories that I recommend. So, here’s a post with all the accessories that I recommend. I try to keep the Amazon links updated, but if you find any are broken, let me know in the comment section below. Thanks. USB PC/Charging Cable It’s possible to charge/connect your Sony UX570 recorder to your PC/Mac without a cable, but the built in USB is the weakest part on this recorder. If breaks off, you are left with a very light paperweight. Now, the cable you should get depends on your PC/Mac. If you own an older computer (PC/Mac) that comes with the full size USB port, get this Female to Male USB-A cable (Amazon link). If you own a newer computer (PC or Mac) with a USB Type C… Continue reading…

Sony ICD-UX560 vs Sony ICD-UX570

Sony ICD-ux570 compared to Sony ICD-ux560

If you are looking to make a buying decision between the ux560 and the ux570, here’s my advice. Head over to Amazon (I’ve found Amazon offers the lowest prices) and compare the price of the ux560 and ux570. Whichever is cheaper, buy it. There’s very little that differentiates the ux560 from the ux570. Continue reading…

Sony ICD-UX570 Review

Sony ICD ux570

The ux570 is a wonderful voice recorder. It’s compact, easily portable and can easily fit in your pocket or bag. Records good audio using the 44.1kHz/16bit audio format and the right setting and allows you to monitor your recording. The LCF and NCF filters are powerful and help reduce noise when recording in a noisy location. And the ux570 provides plugin power through it’s 3.5mm TRS mic input.
The USB connector is poorly designed and can lead to a lot of mishaps, I recommend you buy a male to female USB-A cable and use it connect the ux570 to your computer. Without any reservations, I recommend the Sony ICD-ux570 for recording interviews, lectures, focus group discussions and meetings.
Continue reading…

About Me – Academic Transcriber Par Excellence


If you have rummaged through this site, (which you should – it has great tips on how to make your qualitative research a success), you’ll have noticed that it lacks an about me page. And that’s because I am (I really should say “we”) client-centric. This site is not about me, an academic transcriber or us, Weloty. It’s about You, the researcher. It’s about helping YOU, again, have a successful research project. My sole aim to provide a transcription service that assists researchers achieve their research goals – and I want to help you make your research experience better and easier.
Recently though, I had a chat with a researcher from California. I am transcribing his dissertation interviews and he asked me, “Don’t you find transcription monotonous, a chore?” I “interpreted” the question and… Continue reading…

3 Tips for Recording Research Interviews

Recoridng Research Interviews

Recording research interviews is a great way to capture qualitative data in thesis or dissertation research and ensures descriptive validity. While taking notes and writing down your observations is important, it’s likely you’re going to miss out on some details. An audio recording of an interview also allows you to refer back to the interview and take a fresh look at the interview data, these are some of the advantages of recording interviews in qualitative research. While recording an interview can be as easy as placing your iPhone on the table and tapping record, though we recommend getting a voice recorder ((check out our great post on choosing the best voice recorder for research interviews), researchers tend to underestimate the challenges of getting an interview recording with good audio quality. This, coupled with the fact that the descriptive validity of qualitative data is directly related to the quality of the recording, means that researcher need… Continue reading…

Recording Research Interviews; Using Your Laptop

Recording academic interviews on a laptop

Can you use your computer to record your research interviews and focus groups? Yes, you can. But there are 2 mistakes that researchers make when recording their interviews using a laptop that I don’t want you to make. Also, what are the best microphones for interview on your computer? But first, what are the 3 main advantages of recording research interviews on your computer. 1), If done right, you’ll get awesome audio quality which leads to more accurate research transcripts. 2), You also don’t have storage constrains, especially if you have an external HDD drive. And 3), laptops are versatile. You can use your laptop to record 1-on-1 interviews, Skype interviews (here is a great post on how to record Skype interviews), Google hangouts, WebEx meetings et al. The 2 mistakes Researchers who record their interviews using their laptop type during the recording! This is a big mistake. Because, the sound of your keystrokes is… Continue reading…

How to Record Phone Interviews

Record phone interviews

Update: Here’s a more recent post on how to record phone interviews.  Conducting research interviews over the phone and the internet has become really popular. Mainly because of the widespread use of smart phones and web based services (for instance and Skype). If you conduct your research interviews over the phone it’s important to record them. Why?  Increase the rigor of you research by getting your research interviews transcribed  Allows you to focus on the engagement with the interviewee.  Avoid note taking Here are a few things to keep in mind when recording phone interviews Know and obey the law: The laws for recording phone interviews vary from state to state, but they all require at a minimum that you inform the interviewee. As you are recording research interviews, your IRB requires that you get written consent to record the interview. Keep in mind that consent should be granted before you start recording the… Continue reading…

How to Record Research Interviews Conducted via Skype

Record interview on Skype

“Hello Isaac. I’m going to be doing one of my research interviews via Skype. Do you have a preference for the type of recorder I use for Skype or do you just want the mp3 file?” – PhD Student. Dear PhD student, Skype is a great asset in your research. If you, and your respondent, have a decent internet connection, you can get a very good recording of the interview – superior to a mobile phone interview. There are a number of ways to record your research interview via Skype. There is one method, however, that I’ve tried and tested and I was able to get high quality recording. Before I can share that with you, a few tips on using Skype to record interviews. 1) Unless you and your participant have broadband internet with lots of bandwidth, I strongly recommend that you DON’T USE the video call feature on Skype. I have a 40mbps… Continue reading…