Customer Reviews: RCA VR5320R 1 GB Digital Voice Recorder
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on May 10, 2011
Bought this recorder for work to record one-on-one research interviews. PROS: very portable, inexpensive, sensitive mic, great editing capabilities, playback is good with decent volume. CONS: not very user-friendly; USB port is poorly designed. I bought this device for the easy USB transfer of files, but the port is at the top of the recorder and the batteries are at the bottom. This forces the weight to bear down on the port, which is bad for both machines and also means the connection goes in and out. I had to find something to prop it up so it could hold the connection. This port would be better placed in the middle on the side of the recorder so the weight is more evenly distributed. I downloaded my files once successfully (though I fought with it), but the second time I used it, the recorder became corrupted and now it won't work in any machine and I can't get my files off of it. If uploading files is important to you, I would recommend a recorder that can receive a USB or that has a removable memory card.
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on February 15, 2011
I bought this recorder 2 days before my classes started on amazon prime. Based on the one review that someone posted on here I was hesitant to purchase it but I bought it anyway and it works great! It picks up every little sound. During 1 of my lectures, the machine that the janitor uses to clean the floor was making a lot of noise and when I played back the lecture I could hear the mop machine going off as well as hear my professor close the door. The only thing I don't like about this recorder is that I find this recorder hard to operate. Its not hard to operate the record button and do the playback for the recording but trying to get to the folders is the hard part. The directions aren't really clear to me but I will figure out. The real cool thing about this recorder is that its small and it has a pop up USB port that u could just stick into the computer. I like playing with the button to push it up. LOL
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on May 10, 2012
I attend a lot of investment related seminars. I need a voice recorder for seminar recording purpose. Besides the requirement of good voice recording quality, I have following additional mandatory requirements:
(1) the capability of downloading the recorded voices into PC for archiving,
(2) the recorded files must be in a format that can be listened, edited by main-stream software tools. I do not want files in proprietary formats. And I don't want to install any vendor provided special software.

This RCA VR532R digital voice recorder meets all my requirements.

a) Low cost. I haven't been able to find another one that is cheaper.
b) Great Portability: The recorder size is small. It's easy to carry around.
c) Nice voice recording quality. I can not say it has the best voice recording quality to record life music performance. But for recording conversation from seminars, it's good.
d) The recorded voice files can be easily copied and past to PC, without the need of installing any additional software. All I need is just the window explorer.
e) It has 3 recording quality modes. By selecting the HQ (high quality) recording mode, it saves files in WAV format. The WV format is one of the main-stream audio formats. Virtually all main-stream software tools takes this format. And it is one of the native format that window supports (without the need of installing additional software).

The package comes with RCA's own software CD. But I don't bother to install any software from the included CD.

Some people complain about the placement of the included USB. I don't know why, and I don't see anything wrong about how the USB connector is placed.

Some people complain that the device is still draining battery when it is in OFF mode. The recorder need power to drive it's internal clock. So, it can put correct date/time to index the recorded files. If you don't care about the correct date/time setting, you can just remove the battery when you don't use it.

All in all, this voice recorder fits my need well and I am very happy with the price. Great Value.
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on May 8, 2012
...and I am the right person. I used to record voice/guitar demos on a handheld cassette before finally shopping around for the perfect digital recorder. After much comparison and a couple false starts, this is the model I settled on and I have to say, I'm very happy with it.

The recording quality is fine [I record on the highest-quality, still more than enough hours of recording time, like 35!]and nice and loud. The controls are completely easy with nothing in a weird place, no odd functionality. It's light as a feather, too. And the added USB port is the clincher. Sure it's a wee bit awkward if plugging into a desktop tower, but not too much, and it's fine with a laptop. No file-type headaches, no software, just simple, intuitive and convenient as hell.

I agree that having the clock running all the time is a waste, but so far it hasn't been a noticeable drain on the battery. If so, that would be the device's only flaw, though it would be a significant one. But as of this moment, I love this thing.
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on August 30, 2011
I bought this RCA VR5320R-A unit because of the price. I liked the included USB port.

Here is what is wrong with this unit:

* The audio files play in a format called .VOC. That means you can't replay it in Windows Media Player, and there is no point to uploading or emailing the file to someone else since they probably won't have the proprietary software

* You can't change the name of the file within the program itself, you have to open up the drive letter, and change it there

* If you downloaded the audio file to your computer, maybe your Desktop or a file folder, you can't drag and drop the file into the RCA program. You have to open up the program then search for the drive the audio file is on. Also, there is no way to look for the file on the "Desktop," as "Desktop" is not an option, only C Drive, D Drive, etc.

* Battery life on this thing sucks. Goes dead in a few hours

* It is very difficult to set the date and time if you don't do it correctly when you put in fresh batteries. Even if you remove the batteries, and re-insert them, that doesn't mean you will be able to reset the date and time

After much research and frustration, I just ended up buying a Sony recorder for around the same price. Much more well designed and practical... and it plays in Windows Media Player because it records in MP3 format.
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on November 13, 2011
As some people may have bought this device for similar reasons, I am a ghost hunter and therefore use very much equipment. Despite some reviews about this product stating that it is horribly built, uncooperative, and other issues, I have not once had any of those problems. The battery life on my device is phenomenally long. I had this record up to 100 hours and play back the same amount and the battery was at half at least. As far as using this device on my computer I haven't had any issues at all. As a music producer I know that setting the recorder to HQ would give me a .wav file (especially since in the manual (and I always make sure to read those things) it says that the device will record files in .wav format on the HQ setting and the lower settings would record in .voc format). Seeing as I use this for EVP, I have to do this to use it on my computer in an audio program (such as Wavepad or Audacity). I haven't had any issues with this device whatsoever and it's quite easy to use.

The thing is though I do most of my recording through my iPhone and the clarity is much better. Of course this isn't a preferred method since the phone accepts radio waves but to be honest I get a lot less EVP from my phone than I do from the DVR since the device has a wider recording range and picks up sounds much better than the iPhone.

If you're looking for a starter for EVP work, this is a great starter and can possibly be a mainstay as it is quite powerful, easy to use, compact and versatile.
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on January 7, 2012
-- The reason you are viewing it and the reason I bought it: it's the cheapest recorder
-- The mic is pretty sensitive
-- It technically works... just not well

-- Sound quality is bad. Lots of hissing and scratchy noise throughout.
-- The USB port is oddly placed; don't expect to be able to plug it in without a challenge
-- Records in the company's own ".voc" format. As one user ("Mike De Bruyn") keeps commenting, you can install the software that is on the device to change files over to a .wav format. This is possible, but just horrible design. Why would I want to have to install some ugly single-use program just to play my sound files, and then have to transfer each one over to .wav (and then perhaps a third format from there) and delete the original? It's such an annoying and pointless.
-- The necessary software that comes with this product says "do you accept the terms of service of this product, and wish to install weatherbug?" after the terms of service spiel. If you glance at it and hit yes, it automatically installs some unrelated spamware called "weatherbug" which just launches randomly to tell you the weather.
-- Hitting the "off" button doesn't turn the device off, it just makes it so you can't record and displays the time (which still kills your batteries pretty fast, as I've found out). If you want to get the most out of your batteries, you will need to manually take them out every moment you aren't using the device.
-- The screen and display feel very unintuitive

It's not worth buying this just to save a few bucks. Do yourself a favor and buy a low-end model from Sony, Olympus, etc.
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on May 7, 2012
I purchased the recorder to help me record memos to myself. So far the recorder works perfectly and does exactly as I want it to. I recommend seniors with memory problems to buy this voice recorder and use it daily.
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on February 27, 2012
I just bought this item for paranormal investigation. With mix reviews I decided to just buy it and give it a try. Let me tell you, it works perfectly! Took me only 5 mins to get the hang of it. Instructions were very easy to read. USB to the pc was not hard at all. If you would like to review audio on pc with WAV. file, you must set recorder in HQ. Since I love reviewing the audio for ghost voices, it was a lot easier viewing my audio in WAV. file then the lower quality of the recorder. Much easier. Great recorder for the price! Recommended!
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on October 15, 2011
This is a fairly nice little recorder for the price. The main problem is in the lack of volume. I bought it to be able to record college classes and lectures and the result is barely audible. It's been disappointing that way. As a personal recorder for note-taking or memos it would probably be fine, but to record a voice at any distance, it doesn't seem up to the task. I've had better luck with an old cassette recorder.
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