Sunday, April 10, 2016

Product review: RecorderGear FD50 USB Flash Drive Voice Recorder 8GB

At the time I am writing this review the price of this recorder is around $90 and for the price I expected a better all purposes recorder. It did a reasonable job recording human voice, but did a very poor job recording music. The recorded music is clipped and sounds distorted. When I held the recorder in my hand the recording picked up a lot of crackling. I did not purposely do anything to generate that noise but as you hear in attached audio the difference between me holding the recorder and having it put down is dramatic.

The recorder looks like a regular flash memory stick. To make it discrete looking the interface that makes it work is not obvious. The recording switch looks like a loop for hanging the recorder on a key chain. The switch has three positions left, center, right. The center position is off, and left/right are the two modes. The two modes are "continuous recording" and "voice activated recording". They are indicated by a small dash and two small dots on the front of the recorder. The markings are black on black and are barely visible. The dash indicates continuous recording and the two dots indicate voice activated recording. The charge level indicator is barely visible as it points down when you plug the recorder to be charged. When it is charging you see an occasionally shadow of a red flash. I took about a dozen photos and on one of them I managed to time my photo and captured this flash of red light, so you would know where to look to see it.

To set the time and to see the recorded files you need to use a Windows computer. Normally fat32 flash drives can be read by Linux desktop, but this flash drive is not seen by my Linux computer so it is doing something non-standard. My Windows laptop has no problem accessing the memory stick.

I included several audio clips in my video so you can judge the quality of the recording for yourself.

My video includes four types of clips under different situations:
(1) Two clips with human voice
The recording has some echo, but not bad.
(2) Classical music
Clipped and distorted, not acceptable
(3) Pop song
Clipped and distorted, not acceptable

The recorder can be re-charged in any USB outlet. It runs on built-in 180mA rechargeable Lithium. Documentation states that battery lasts da day on stand-by. The recordings are produced in MP3 audio file format.

RecorderGear provided this voice recorder for an honest review be it good or bad. What is the bottom line? I thought it did a decent job for human voice in a quiet environment. The microphone is pretty sensitive so in a noisy environment it picks up a lot of surrounding sounds. It works for recording lectures and presentations where is one clear source of sound. It did a terrible job recording music. If it was priced in the $20-30 range I would have rated it as 3 star - ok for lecture recording. For $90 (the price at the time I am writing this review) I expected a more general purpose recorder which produced better results.

You can locate RecorderGear FD50 on Amazon via this link.

Ali Julia review

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