Today, I’m going to offer unsolicited advice. Why? Was at the office and made the mistake of plugging my Sony ux560 straight into my computer. Moved my chair to talk to a colleague, crunch! I’d smacked the recorder. Fortunately, nothing broke. It still works, but I was really disappointed for not following my own advice.

Taking Care of your Sony ICD-ux560 Voice Recorder

So here we are, I’d like you to learn for my experiences (good or bad) and hopefully take better care of your digital voice recorder. And yes, I’ve shared similar advice on the Sony ICD-ux560 review post, but I feel that this topic is worth a separate post, if for anything, to stress the importance of taking care of your digital recorder.

Connecting Sony ICD-ux560 to your Computer

Use a cable. Use a cable. Use a cable. If I could, I’d SHOUT this tip. Please use a USB cable to connect your Sony ICD-ux560 recorder to your computer or USB charger. Because the built in USB is fabricated to slide in and out of the recorder, it’s not securely fixed to the body of the recorder. It can (and does) easily break off. Note to Sony: please do away with the slide out feature, fix a USB female port (preferably micro or Type-C) and ship this recorder with a cable. I’d trade off the convenience for durability.

Anyway, the recorder does not come with a standard USB cable (I consider it to be a must have accessory for the ux560) you’ll need to get one. I know it’s a pain, but they are only $5 on Amazon and worth every penny! Search for female to male Type-A USB cable (this is a good one from Amazon) and you’ll get lots of options. If you have a more recent Mac laptop (2016 or later model), you’ll have to get a cable to connect your Sony ICD-ux560 to your Mac computer. You’ll need a female USB A to male USB Type-C cable (here’s one from Amazon).

Female USB A to Male Micro B USB cable
Female USB A to Male Micro B USB Cable

I’d recommend you get a short cable (a foot long), so that it’s easily portable. If you have different work stations (like me), get a few of them.  And don’t buy an adapter in lieu of a cable. You’ll want something that’s flexible; easily bends when you (accidentally) whack the recorder.

Charging your Sony ICD-ux560

Charge your recorder as often as possible. After you’re done moving/copying files from the recorder to your computer, let it charge. It only takes a couple of hours to fully charge the recorder. Why do you want to charge the recorder as often as possible?

The Sony ICD-ux560 has an in-built lithium-ion battery which can’t be replaced (well you can replace the non-removable battery, but it’s no small feat either). So, you’ll want it to last as long as possible. Now, the key factor that determines how long a rechargeable lithium-ion battery lasts is the number of times it fully discharges; aka charge cycles. Most lithium batteries have an estimated 300-500 charge cycles. However, research has shown you can extend the battery life to 2500 cycles (about 10 times) if you recharge it as soon as 75% of the battery charge remains.

My advice, once you’ve recorded about 5 hours of LPCM audio using the Sony ICD-ux560 it’s time to recharge it. I actually run lower discharge cycles on my Sony ICD-ux560. Whenever I use the recorder, usually 1 or 2 hours of recording, I recharge it. I’m hoping that’ll get me about 5000 charge cycles on the recorder.

Storing your Sony ICD-Ux560

Keep your Sony ICD-ux560 cool. Ideally, you want to keep your recorder between 5 °C and 20 °C (41 °F and 68 °F). So, don’t leave your recorder on your car’s dashboard, near a heat source, etc. Find a cool dry place to store your recorder, even when you’re on the go. High temperatures will fry the battery, and are the most likely cause of lithium battery failures.

My second tip is to discharge the recorder to about 50% battery charge before storing it for long periods. Storing your recorder with a full charge reduces battery capacity. Keep in mind that the battery discharges during storage, so make sure that you charge the recorder (to 50%)  every 6 months.

Bonus tip: do not store data in your recorder for an extended period (more than a couple of weeks). Make sure that you copy/move your interviews, focus groups, or lectures recordings to a more secure storage as soon as you can. If you don’t have access to a computer, if you are in the field for a few months et al, I’d recommend that you record your interviews into an external microSD card as opposed to the internal memory of the Sony ICD-ux560.

That’s it for this post. Hope you’ve found it useful. If you have other tips you’d like to share on taking care of your Sony ICD-ux560 voice recorder or questions, please post them in the comment section below.

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Tracy
Tracy
2 years ago

Do you know how the Sony Px-333 compares to this one besides the price?

Tracy
Tracy
Reply to  Isaac
2 years ago

Issac-
Thank you for the quick response and this information.
Tracy

Tracy
Tracy
2 years ago

Issac-
So I think I should return the Sony PX333 and save myself 40 dollars by purchasing the Sony-ux560. Overall, I’m thinking the Sony-ux560 is a better recorder?

Tariq Niazi
Tariq Niazi
1 year ago

Hi,
I am wondering how to set up that all my data is directly stored in my micro sd card instead of device memory.

Please guide

John Johnson
John Johnson
1 year ago

After reading your review I am definitely going to purchase the Sony ICD-UX560 to replace my old Olympus WS-811 which has just stopped working. Your tip to using earbuds to monitor / adjust the recording settings is just what I was looking for. My question is: what earbuds would you recommend? A pair with or without a built in microphone?

John Johnson
John Johnson
Reply to  Isaac
1 year ago

Thanks for your reply 🙂

John Parkyn
John Parkyn
1 year ago

Hello…. I’m having difficulty finding a female to male Type-A USB cable … short in length … to link my Sony 560 to my MacBook Pro… Just like what you recommend… Please suggest a source.

John Parkyn
John Parkyn
Reply to  Isaac
1 year ago

Thank you Isaac… MacBook Pro Retina 13 inch, early 2015… Processor 2.9 GHz … Intel Core i5… running Mac OS 10.11.6

John Parkyn
John Parkyn
Reply to  Isaac
1 year ago

Thank you Isaac

John Parkyn
John Parkyn
1 year ago

re Micro SD card… What is “sensible” size to buy … not too large, not too small?

John Parkyn
John Parkyn
1 year ago

re interviewing technique when using an external mic … With the mic attached to the interviewee, how can the interviewer recall the questions asked? … One can infer from the answers and one can jot questions before and as the interviewee talks… Any other strategies?

John Parkyn
John Parkyn
Reply to  Isaac
1 year ago

Thank you Isaac… Please tell me more about double-mic.ing … But the recorder only has one mic port???

Alice
Alice
1 year ago

Isaac, I deleted a big wav file using the computer iMac, not the Sony recorder. The recorder says there are no files in the Rec File and Folder01, but when I link it to the iMac it says there are only 2.74 GB available on the Sony. Did I make a huge error? I thought I could delete the recording on the Sony by using the iMac . What should I do? There is a new file called “capability_02.xm”. Could that be something about the deleted file? When I click it I get a lot of gobbly-gook but it was… Read more »

Alice
Alice
Reply to  Isaac
1 year ago

Is there a way to compensate you for kind and excellent help?
Where is the format feature? How should I format it?

Alice
Alice
Reply to  Isaac
1 year ago

It worked to Reformat. What Micro SD should I buy? Do you have a link to it?

Alice
Alice
Reply to  Isaac
1 year ago

The library where we are storing the Oral History asked for the following:
We prefer .wav files recorded at 16 bit (or 24 bit), with a sampling rate of 44.1kHz (or higher). Is this the automatic setting when we do the Wav on the Recorder? Or do I need to do something added?

MAHALAKSHMI R.MAHALINGAM
MAHALAKSHMI R.MAHALINGAM
9 months ago

Hello Isaac, Thank you so much for doing this blog. I’m a PhD student in community development and I am in India now, studying women who do collective farming for my dissertation. I have two questions: 1) Does the Sony ICD-ux 560 voice recorder has 40 hours of recording time? 2) I’m unable to charge the recorder often when I’m out in the field recording interviews in rural areas. Can I record four, 1 ½ hour interviews (a total of six hours) and then recharge the recorder? Is this possible, or will the recorder run out of charge after a… Read more »

MAHALAKSHMI R.MAHALINGAM
MAHALAKSHMI R.MAHALINGAM
Reply to  Isaac
9 months ago

Thanks a ton Isacc. I will look at the link in detail and come back to you depending on what I can get in India.

MAHALAKSHMI R.MAHALINGAM
MAHALAKSHMI R.MAHALINGAM
Reply to  MAHALAKSHMI R.MAHALINGAM
9 months ago

Thanks for all your help Isacc. Regarding the mp3 format, which you do not recommend, what is it(pardon my ignorance) and what is the format you recommend and how do I set the recorder to the best format. Each day, I will be transferring the recorded interviews to my university dropbox via my computer and deleting them from the recorder, for secure storage of private data.Do I still need to use the SD card ?

Dante Ramirez
Dante Ramirez
7 months ago

Is there any way at all to fix lithium-ion battery being burnt.
Can I use a spray or can I put in the freezer.