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on July 23, 2009
First, specifications require SD or SDHC memory cards from 512 to 8 GB. Not all cards are the same and recording on different cards may cause the recorded sound to skip; therefore, the recorder may have to be used to reformat the card. I suggest to make a sample recording first. The card provided is manufactured by Toshiba.

The ICR-FP700D records Stereo 192kbps @ 60-20k Hz, Stereo 64kbps @ 60-7.5k Hz and Mono 32kbps @ 60-6.5k Hz. High quality recording requires more card memory where low quality recording requires less card memory: Figure approximately 10 hours recording for 1 gig of memory for High Quality Stereo Sound and approximately 60 hours recording for 1 gig of memory for Low Quality Mono Sound. Battery life for recording varies depending on sound and battery quality so figure approximately 15 to 30 hours from an alkaline battery.

To get any quality from such a little device is a good thing. The ICR-FP700D currently is the only model that can connect to a PC and that is something to consider although removing the SD card and inserting it into a media card reader worked too. I transferred the MP3 file to my PC and transfered the file into a wav editor program to find that it is truly a Stereo MP3. Nice!

The ICR-FP700D has stereo mics integrated or use the line input to add an external device that can be another mic or a tape player or a radio. Input sensitivity can be adjusted manually by setting the switch on the back to MIC or LINE. I tried LINE at first and got a poor recording. Then I tried MIC (this is with a radio headphone output as an input source) and got the quality I was wanting to hear.

If you want to use the timer to start a recording you can and also set the time duration to 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hour and ALL. I would not suggest ALL as if you want to split the file you need card memory and if you used it ALL up there is none. It would be nice if the time duration could have been every 30 minutes...30,60,90,120,150,180 then ALL.

If you are going to record by the integrated mics, only one folder can be used. Line in can use both MIC and LINE folders if that is of any importance. All I care is that it is recording to a removable SD card and not internal memory.

Playback of any recording on the ICR-FP700D is possible but consider that it has a very small speaker. If you want there is a headphone jack. Playback should be at lower volumes only as the manual states higher volumes for sustained times can harm the ICR-FP700D. So, do not listen to music with the ICR-FP700D.

The ICR-FP700D has a very small door for the SD card and it is attached in a flimsy way. Yes, it would only be a matter of time before it breaks off. Attempting to remove the SD card can be a challenge because you don't want to break off the little door that is in the way. I didn't want a shiney black surface and I still don't care much for the shiny black surface as it does show finger smudges. No choice here.

What was somewhat confusing was the VAS (Voice Activated System). Appears all that has to be done is to go into the MENU and select ON then to activate press the RECORD button. Depending on the sensitivity any sound will activate the recording. Adjusting the sensitivity is done by pressing the - and + buttons while recording. Adjust then delete the file and your set. One thing to be careful of is the erase button that is on the right side, because depending on how you hold the ICR-FP700D you may accidently push it and have to back out of that mode.

It is nice that the ICR-FP700D comes with a battery and that it is a replacable AAA battery. I just don't care much for devices that I have to plug into a PC's USB port for hours.

I made the purchase to make recordings from radio and it works great... after I figured out how to make a decent recording. I'm happy with it. Turn on the radio, adjust the volume (start low), plug a line into the ICR-FP700D's mic(line)input, set the sensitivity to MIC or LINE (MIC worked best), plug the line into the radios headphone jack, turn on the recorder, use folder MIC or LINE, press the record button and there you are, recording. I'm happy the instruction manual is easy to follow, too.
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on August 16, 2009
I've been looking for an SD card-based recorder for some time. And while I have a couple of MP3 players that can record audio it's nice to find a dedicated voice recorder that uses replaceable SD cards.

The ICR-FP700D is the stereo version of the monophonic SANYO ICR-FP600D Digital MP3 Voice Recorder. It features a black instead of a whitish/silver case. The shiny black case does tend to accentuate fingerprints. But I'm more into functionality than aesthetics.

Compared to my older Panasonic flash-based voice recorder this device doesn't come with proprietary drivers or software. It records directly to SD cards. In fact it has no internal memory of its own so SD cards are required for use (no big deal). A separate SD card reader isn't required because it also has its own USB port. The recorder is simply recognized as yet another storage device.

The recordings, even in MP3 format, are quite good. However I wish that the recorder allowed the user to select between MP3 or WAV for the output format. It would be nice to find a recorder that can handle lossless audio recording without resorting to ADPCM. The three selectable levels for microphone sensitivity along with the usual selection of quality-based recording formats does help improve things. The built-in stereo microphones along with a stereo microphone jack also help to add some more definition to the recorded sounds. But, as always, know your equipment and experiment with it first.

An interesting note is that this recorder's microphone jack doubles as a stereo line-in jack. A switch on the back of the device allows the selection between that and normal microphone mode. So, with the right adapter, you can connect this device to a tape deck or turntable and do some impromptu analog-to-digital conversion.

Finally, since it does record and playback audio in MP3 format it does playback prerecorded MP3 files. But such files need to be organized in a certain way on the SD cards ("\MUSIC\Artist\Album\Tracks"). Plus the limitations of the LCD display (segmented, not dot matrix) obviously doesn't take advantage of ID3 tags. It does play back the MP3 files I've encoded using Lame flawlessly. It won't replace my Sansa e140, though.

This was a recorder I've been waiting for. And it does live up to my expectations. Maybe in newer versions they'll also include lossless recording to WAV or FLAC. The replaceable SD card makes it easy to record and, when one runs out of space, simply replaces it with a fresh card.

One note: The 1GB card that shipped with mine, on a glance, looked like a mistake. At first I thought they mistakenly placed in just a MicroSD to SD adapter. But, on closer inspection, that adapter came with a preinstalled 1GB MicroSD card! So, for anyone with cell phones with a MicroSD card slot, you can immediately record and playback the MP3 files from the included MicroSD card (or, since it's a cellphone, forward the MP3 files to your friends). The recorder itself has a standard SD card slot. So this is a small unadvertised bonus.
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on July 16, 2009
I had high hopes for this little recorder but it just didn't work all that well. The worst problem is the playback of the messages you record - they sound scratchy and have a slight hiss. The speaker is VERY small and doesn't reproduce sound that well. When I listed to the recordings on my computer, they sounded better - however, I had purchased this recorder to record notes to myself and listen back from the device - not the computer.

Also, the little door for the SD card is so flimsy - it would be only a matter of time before it breaks off. The surface is a shiny black and really shows finger smudges.

Another thing, it is decribed as having four folders - it does have 4 folders but only ONE can be used for recorded messages made with the device - this is the folder named MIC. The others folders are for line recordings and other things. I was quite disappointed with that - I like to put different kinds of messages in different folders.

It is handy that it records in MP3 format - you could record a note to someone and then just plug the recorder into the computer or pop out the SD card and put it in a card reader and send the message to someone else via e-mail.

However, in my opinion, the disadvantages of this recorder outweigh the advantage of recording in MP3 format. I decided to return it.
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on December 13, 2009
I found the Sanyo ICR-FP700D to be as advertised. Be aware that if you use the built-in speaker for play back, it will hum rather badly. However, if you play back via USB onto your PC, the audio is just fine. The USB plug cover is bound to break off; it just doesn't have a strong feeling, but it hasn't as of yet. I only use this for choir recordings and find the audio to be very good. The device is small but not too small for my big male hands. Overall, I like the device and would recommend it to others.
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on December 23, 2009
SANYO ICR-FP700D Digital Stereo MP3 Voice Recorder with Expandable SD Card Memory Slot

For the PRICE it's a good - no GREAT little device! One AAA battery lasts forever, easy to use and versatile. If you need audio from anywhere to mp3, this unit can do the job.

Mic/line-in/phones = 10
Function buttons = 10
Navigation / user interface = 10
Play speed = 10+ (great feature)
Menu read-out = 10
Speaker = 1 (but who needs it)
Sensitivity selection = 10
USB to PC = 10 (seamless)
Storage capacity / folders = 10
Fit & finish = 8 (don't really care about the looks - hardware seems sturdy for its size)

I thought it would be nice for spontaneous recording for my son's guitar play but I use if often (might have to get another one). The plus/minus speed variation is great for him to learn various solos and you would be surprised how different songs sound when the speed is changed and pitch is maintained - makes understanding lyrics a breeze and it would definitely make a wild party - wilder!

It is smaller than you think (real easy to misplace) and in 'big hands' it won't be comfortable. It's not industrial strength so you need to treat it nice. Get a case that has some cushion and size to it and like most electronics, keep it far away from dust, liquids, etc.

The highest quality 192 kbps mp3 and an 8 gig card will give you 90+ hours and if you need more, you can drop the kbps down 2 notches. It's a recorder / music player / data card that will trade stuff with your computer.

I'm super happy with it :D
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on February 23, 2010
After considerable research I purchased two of these; one to replace a top of the line Sony that was too small to hold and use effectively. The Sanyo Recorder has been everything I had hoped they would be. Easy to use, Highly compatable file format, long recording time, variable speed playback, uses standard AAA battery (One!!!)and produces standard MP3 files. I use my Sanyo to record for Podcasting, and Audio CD production. The Sanyo Gets the Job Done, and the price is good too. Just be sure to properly adjust the mic sensitivity properly to prevent a scratchy destortion in the playback sound. Mine worked so well, I purchased another one for a relative for Christmas, and recommended it to a friend. 25 years ago, I had to spend $25,000 to get a major brand medical transcription system to get the features this Sanyo has for a mere $100.

I am back updating this review. Without a doubt this is one of the finest digital voice recorders ever made! We have used these for several months under all kinds of conditions, and the only thing that I can recommend is the use of a good external electret mic under some circumstances.
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on February 15, 2010
The device works great.
However some feature need to be improved:
1. The timer time is not very flexible (.5, 1hr, 2hr etc.) Would be better to specify start and end time. Also to establish everyday, M-F, Sundays, Saturdays recordings.

2. Navigation is clumsy. It need to organize file system: folder number, file number. User should be able to easy navigate thru all files and folders.
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on August 11, 2010
This is a very tiny device which you could take anywhere in your pocket. Apart from its portability, the recording quality is adequate. Haven't tried in a large room, but it appewars to record voices sufficiently in a small room. The voice activation system is a nice feature but the begining of the sentence gets lost due to the latency in voice activation resulting chopped up sounds. The batter meter is not very reliable. Besides of the above negatives, I like this compact device. I bought 4GB SD card as well and loaded some MP3 musics and it's working fine. Compared with my old tape recorder, this is a gem.
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on December 5, 2010
- Sound quality is very good in my opinion.
- Extremely easy and logical to use.
- It is light weight and small and can seem a bit flimsy, but in my opinion, it is not.
- The speaker is small and obviously won't sound like a hifi, but it is good enough to judge the recoding level. I use earphones or the computer to listen to the recordings.
- I use it for line-in recording, and the volume was to low on the line-in setting, but on the Mic setting, it is perfect.
- I'm very impressed with Sanyo. (I own a Sanyo micro cassette recorder which is also very good quality at a low price).
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on May 29, 2010
See title, about says it all, device is remarkably small, pretty easy to use, but voice activated recording is not too good and the file handling when moving over to PC is a challenge. Lastly, I don't like paper manuals but damned if I can find one on the vendor's website in PDF format so now I have to keep the hardcopy. Isn't this the twenty-first century when websites are easy to navigate and everything is in PDF format?
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