“I’m looking to buy a recorder for my classes for ease and I was wondering what would be the big difference between the Sony ICD-ux560 and Sony ICD-PX470. I noticed the PX470 was cheaper and it was an amazon choice.” Ji.

Ji’s questions got me thinking. What’s amazon’s choice? And how do we turn subjective opinion (I like product x) into objective x is better than y; or best of everything (best shaver!)? Like everyone else, I turned to Google for answers.

And found out that Amazon choice label says nothing!  At the time of penning this post, the px470 was Amazon’s choice for the search term “sony icd-px470 digital voice recorder.” That’s a really specific search term; and Amazon labeling the px470 as Amazon’s choice for the px470 tells us nothing. My advice, ignore the Amazon choice tag.

The second was an essentialist question – that some products have a sets of attributes that are necessarily to their identity and function that makes them the “best” or better. But found out that our quest for the best is existential; our search (and consumption) of “the best” is what defines us – we are what we buy. That’s why we are always searching for the better, the best, because we want to be better or the best. We are not satisfied with good enough.

But back to the choice between the ux560 and the PX470, is price a factor, is one better than the other? Yes and no. In some instances, you get what you pay for. Cheaper voice recorders are usually of inferior quality than more expensive ones. But I’ve come across a lot of instances where what I’d consider to be better products are cheaper than their counterparts. For instance, when PX470 is cheaper than the PX370, but the PX470 is a better recorder!

The Big Difference

Sony ICD-ux560 vs Sony ICD-PX470
Sony ICD-ux560 vs Sony ICD-PX470

The point of this tirade is; choosing products is a subjective endeavor that, more often than not, boils down to personal choice.  So what’s the big difference between the Sony ICD-ux560 and Sony ICD-PX470? I’d say it’s how the recorders are powered.

But, someone else might point out that the ux560 has backlight (= very easy to operate in low light environment, but impossible to operate in blight environments), while the PX470 does not (= hard to operate outdoors). Or you could pick size, the ux560 is smaller than the PX470. Or the inbuilt speaker – the PX470 has a bigger and better inbuilt speaker. I could go on…your choice of which recorder you get should be determined by the voice recorders features that meet your personal needs.  

Power: ux560 vs PX470

For me, how the 2 recorders are powered is what I’d consider to be the biggest difference between the two. The PX470 is powered using 2 AAA batteries. You can use alkaline batteries or rechargeable NH batteries. The ux560 is powered using an built in lithium battery (3.7V).  

As I pointed out in my review of the ux560, the in-built battery was my greatest concern and probably the reason I use it so much. I do hate the fact that it has an in-built battery and I cannot replace it. But I love how it makes this recorder super convenient to use; the in-built battery turns the ux560 into a plug and play recorder.

And I never have to worry about charging the batteries. In fact, my current worry is storing the ux560 recorder with too much charge – you can read my post on how to take care of your ux560 to understand why it’s important to store your recorder with a 50% charge.  

The ux560 has changed the way that I use digital recorders. I find that it’s more likely for me to pick it up and record a voice note, or just drop it into my pocket when I’m going to a meeting – in case I need to use it. And that’s mainly because I don’t have to worry about batteries and it’s really easy to recharge it – a 3 minute recharge will last me an hour!

I do find the PX470 a little cumbersome to use. I find that I do always first have to look for batteries to power it – from previous experience I don’t store my digital recorders with batteries (in case they leak). And the batteries make the PX470 heavier than the ux560.

Comparison video of the Sony ICD-PX470 and Sony ICD-ux560

Here’s a video comparison with sound samples from the PX470 and the ux560

So there you have it, that’s my take on the main differences between the Sony ICD-ux560 and the Sony ICD-PX470. I do recommend you read my detailed reviews of the ux560 and PX470. And the only reason I’d recommend you buy the PX470 over the ux560 is if you’re on a tight budget and want to save ~$30.

That’s it for this post. Hope you enjoyed it and found it helpful in making a choice.  If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please post them in the comment section below. I look forward to reading/answering them. As always, please keep us in mind for all of your academic transcription services needs.

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