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on October 1, 2016
I have owned this for a little over 6 months and have arguably used only a few of it's basic functions. But, I am a sound engineer, and the quality of the recording is the most important point as long as the ease of making the recording is reasonable. The sound quality of the recording of this device is exceptional, and just making a simple voice recording is trivial! For around $50 dollars, it sound close to professional microphones for the twice the price. The battery life is also exceptional, because it seems for the 2 or 3 minutes I plug in the USB connector to transfer a few voice recordings, it charges. In fact, I don't even know how to charge it otherwise because it has never come up.
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on September 22, 2013
I bought this for my daughter who's taking Organic Chemistry from a professor whose lectures ramble all over the place. She records his lectures then listens to it again where she can rewind, take detailed notes, and really sort it out. She LOVES it and so do her classmates who have asked that she send them the digital audio file as well. She can save it on her computer, burn it to a CD, listen to it in her car. Perfect for learning a tough subject! The device works great, picks up the audio wonderfully and is small enough to not be intrusive. I am VERY pleased with this purchase!
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on August 2, 2015
This thing is amazing!

Audio Quality
I recently recorded a company's public board meeting, which I attended in person by sitting near the back of a large auditorium space. The speakers used microphones, but the audio coming through the speakers was muted and monotone. I often strained to hear (with my own ears) what was being said during the course of the meeting. Having used the lecture capture setting, when I went to listen to my recording, I could clearly make out every statement by the speakers, and lots of snippets of conversations nearby! (Yes, there was overlap, but it was easily distinguishable in the recorded audio track.) I stress the usability of the audio for later listening particularly.

I spent 6 hours in a lecture yesterday sitting next to a circulating fan blowing at full tilt, next to a water cooler, 10 yards from the a panel of soft-spoken speakers without microphones, sitting in an echo-chamber of a conference room. I could usably understand just about everything said during that discussion. No where near the quality needed for a video's audio track, but no less than amazing for my use in capturing the content and value of these events! My iPhone would kill to have this functionality. Instead, like a garage queen '69 mustang, the iPhone sits collecting dust in the holster of my hip pocket, relegated to bouts of candy crush during the infrequent and oh-too-short recesses.

You're totally able to monitor the live recording through the 3.5 mm headphone jack too. A nice feature, attesting to the audio bona fides of the manufacturer.

Battery Life
Ridiculously good. I don't regularly use other audio recording devices apart from my iPhone 6 or my laptop. I use a Zoom H2n for higher-quality audio capture, but only for short capture times (like 5 minutes or less) because I plan on post-processing that audio. For the audio I capture with this Sony device, I play it back a couple times and then I delete the file, never processing or editing the files at all. That's just how I use it.

Anyhow, this thing routinely captures 8-hour days of meetings (like 6.5 hours with breaks) over two or three days without breaking a sweat! I usually put in fresh batteries before a marathon like that, but I've never run out of juice with this mighty mouse recorder even after going weeks between battery changes -- many many months if I'm not regularly using it. In other words, I would trust this device to receive the full spoken text of the gospels on a single set of batteries, without fail. You don't believe it could do it, you say? Have faith, my friend, and you shall see that this recorder will walk on water and can summon the dead (muhahaha).

Style and Usability
It's a black brick phone without speed dial. Then again, your mother-in-law will never be able to strangle you through it. Scratch that. If she gets her grubby hands on this sweet piece of kit while you're not looking, it's so simple that she'd surely be able to drop a couple sound bombs into the files for your later listening pleasure.

But seriously. It's really simple. There's a big red button to start recording. If you press that again, it pauses recording and can resume (i.e., a continuous audio file). Alternatively, you can press the square button (I assume this is the symbol known throughout the nine realms as the "stope button") to ... stop recording. (This closes up a single audio file. Pressing the big red button will start a new audio file recording.) The instructions could be reduced to "don't swallow it" and everyone would still be able to use 95% of it's functionality. That it has an FM radio is kind of awesome, because why not?

What else is there to say? It's simple. It's easy. It works really well for a range of tasks, and doesn't waste any space or weight trying to do anything else. Except the radio. But that's just a nice, effortless feature.
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on January 7, 2017
I've been using this recorder to record lectures for class, and the sound quality is quite good. The included software was not compatible with my computer (Windows 10) so I just use Windows Media Player to listen to my lectures. The menu navigation is not really intuitive and there was basically no instructions or information on how to access different folders. Overall though it is easy to use, reliable, and durable despite being tossed around in my backpack.
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For the price, this is a good quality, portable recorder. It's strength over other similar units is that you can connect it to your PC via USB to transfer recordings (you'd think that all portable recorders do that, but read their descriptions carefully: you'll find that many do not allow "offloading" of the digital recording to a computer), the ability to add a micro SDXC card to expand memory (again, a feature not on all portable recorders in this price range), it's lightness, and its ease of operation via only a small number of buttons on the front of the device. You have a series of recording quality options (but no lossless, PCM format), and the unit will hold many, many hours of recordings in its internal memory (4 Gb), but then if you add in an inexpensive micro SDXC card, you can record for extremely long periods of time, even at the highest quality settings. The microphone quality is perfectly acceptable for a device in this price range, and you can get some good quality voice recordings with it. (If you need more professional results with lossless recording ability and higher quality microphones and electronics, try the Sony PCM-M10 Sony PCM-M10 Portable Audio Recorder). A small, cloth carrying pouch is provided, nice to help keep the device from getting scuffed up in your bag while you are carrying it around, but will not protect from hard drops. Five stars.
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on January 7, 2014
I had one of these for over two years then I lost it while in the woods. All of the features matched my needs. The ability to store music, podcast, and make my own voice recordings made it a one-device does all for me. You can set date/time on recordings (music or voice recording) to play as an alarm so I wake up to a different song each day of the week. The sound quality is excellent and when you use Sony's Sound Organizer you can easily set-up podcast downloads, move music and recordings to/from your PC. Anyway, I lost one of these and I looked for it for a month or two and I just couldn't stand being without it so I bought this replacement. I didn't rate it at 5 stars because the display isn't back-lit. Everything is great on this device except you can't see the screen in low light without you flashlight or something. Some folks say the menus are complicated but I disagree. The right-left button scrolls through the top level menu and then there is a choice for "Details" to take you to a second level. A different list of menu items may appear if you are in playback or record mode. It wasn't long for me to get familiar with how it works. Oh and the batteries...I have left it running all night in the woods to "listen" for game sounds. I retrieve it and review the recording in Sound Organizer for peaks in the sound graph. I can do this three nights on one pair of batteries. It's very efficient with energy consumption. It can go 16-20 hours easy on a battery and records.

Another cool thing about this device is it has an external speaker so you can chose to use ear phones or just playback through the speaker. It also has a mic-in jack so you can add one of those ear piece microphones and record meetings or conference calls for later use to take notes. All in all, I have been very pleased with this device and my 15 year-old son has bought one and is using it to keep all of his music on now...and he has iPhone and other devices but he likes this thing better.
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on February 19, 2016
This is a great little recorder. It has mutable functions like voice activated recording, microphone recording, interview, lecture, meeting, and voce notes. You can put the recordings in different folders to keep everything organized. With out added micro SD card the preinstalled 4GB hard drive gives you 43h 55m of record time. If you need to you can add a Micro SD card for extra record time. But what puts this aside of the rest of the voice recorders is that you can connect this to your computer and transfer all the recorded files for later reference. This is a must for every student that is able to record there teachers lecture.
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on April 27, 2016
The picture of this item shows a nice crisp view when in fact no matter what lighting conditions are or any angle, I couldn't see the display very well & in fact the information at the top of the screen is nearly impossible to see. I would not recommend this for a person who has sight issues.
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on February 22, 2017
I use this item for my lectures in school. I sit near the back of a moderate sized classroom and it can pick up every word the professor says and doesn't pick up too much ambient noise (I can occasionally hear the girls behind me talking, but the instructors voice overpowers theirs). Great purchase, I bought one for my sister and a friend attending college. Would buy again
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on June 16, 2015
Worked better than I expected. I have not used it extensively; rather, not very often.

Pros: I have used it when I need to voice record conversations and lectures I want to review, or hide it in my pocket for more clandestine purposes. Couldn't believe that it actually picked up voices through my suit jacket or pants pocket (though distant during playback).

Cons: It is not as user friendly as I would have imagined. No instruction book included. I had to test multiple settings in order to find those that fit my needs.

Annoying feature: When you want to delete a recording, the device begins playing the recording until you finalize the deletion.
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