iGearPro Voice Activated Audio Recorder
Have you noticed that our smart phones do, well everything? The corollary is not always true though. They don’t always do everything well. I admit my iPhone 6s Plus has just about replaced my need for a wallet, a camera, a calendar, address book etc. I also have a voice recorder app that works quite well. However, if I am actively using my phone it is difficult to use multiple applications at once.
I am looking forward to CES 2016 and am reviewing and gathering the tech that I am going to be taking with me. I do not want to miss anything! Between photography, video capture and note pad/pages documentation, my iphone/iPad are going to be busy. I have decided to use some older school tech, tech that has been used for quite a long time. Besides a pad of paper and pens, I will have my iGearPro digital voice recorder. Here is a review of this device for you.
The packaging is professionally designed. The front details the product, storage size and the capabilities very well. The back (not photographed) lists the compatible OS Win7, 98SE/ME/2000/XP. These are old compatibilities and unfortunately no listed MAC OS or newer Windows OS listings for Windows 8 or 10. The package contains the digital voice recorder, a set of earbuds (average at best), USB cable 2.0, the instruction manual and a service card (does have 12 month warranty). I do not have a Mac OS computer to test this device, but I do have a Win 8 and Win 10 machine. When you attach this device through the USB 2.0 port, it acts as a portable USB device when you plug it in. You can transfer your recordings to a desired folder. I am curious if this could transfer from USB to lightning to my ipad.
Reviewing the instruction manual, it is immediately apparent that there are numerous features to this recorder. The language is well written and easy to understand. The most important features are outlined on pages 1 and 2. Here, you are given a map of the key functions. Luckily if you forget, the important keys are labeled on the sides of the device.
The device takes about 3-4 hours to charge via USB to micro USB connection (the cord is included). It weighs in at about 120 grams, 3.7inches x 0.8 inches x 0.5 inches. It is small, about the width of my middle finger. It is rather dense but very small in size. The screen has a backlit display, which allows the device to work in the dark. However, the buttons are not illuminated/backlit. This is a minor inconvenience. There is a battery indicator at the top right of the screen that shows remaining power. There is a toggle on the side of the machine for power on/off. There is also a power save feature that turns it off if not used in 2 minutes. You can additionally long press on the play button for 4 seconds to turn off the device as well. The screen does have auto dim. To resume backlit features touch any button. This works quite well.
To record, short press the REC button on the front of the device. This is a well designed feature as it is readily available. To pause the recording, press the play (triangle) button on the side of the device. You can resume the recording by short pressing play again. To save the recording and finish short press REC again. It will then show SAVE on the bottom of the screen. Playback is easy, press the play button and you can listen through the built in speaker (bottom of device) or plug a set of earbuds(included) into the device for playback. I will mention here that the include headphones are similar to those skull candy like brands, soft tips, and average quality. I was only able to get mono sound, sound out of only 1 earbud. This did not change when I used my over ear Bose headphones, or the iPhone 6S plus earbuds. I do not know if this is a defect in my device (headphone jack problem) or an intentional design flaw. This is most evident when listening to music. The audio jack is loose and does result in crackling with movement of the device.
You can hold the volume button down for 3 seconds and change modes from music files and recorded files. At the top of your display you can see “Music” or “DVR.” The volume is adjusted by short press of the V button and then pressing the next button just above the play/pause button. This is easy to learn. You can delete files on the device. I have not done this. You can delete all as well (again I have not done this). This is easy enough to do through the desktop via micro USB to USB connection and manage this through file explorer. There are a few recording types that you can choose between. SHQ(Super High Quality at 383kbps, High at 192kbps (factory preset and honestly just fine for most things), middle 128kbps, low 64kbps. I have decided to leave it at high for now as the 8GB is adequate for what I need.
There is a voice activated/operated function that you can turn on. I chose to not do this as I record known meetings/times and I would rather have control of what is recorded than the device. I did try this out and it is a neat feature. Basically, it will auto detect sound above 30-40db and record and stop if sound drops below this threshold. There is a 1-2 second lag for recording as the device is activated and then when shutting off. This is not important, but may capture something unintended. There are a few other features that I did not utilize, like password, language change (Chinese traditional vs modern) or available space. When you connect the device to your computer you can set time stamps for your recordings by running the set time.exe file. Interestingly, at 192kbps recording, there is about 11 hours of total storage on this device but the battery lasts about 4 hours.
The device records well at about a distance of under 5 feet. Beyond this distance there is a lot of sound reduction and you capture a lot of ambient noise. The microphone picks up background/ambient sounds and wind (no known noise reduction). The headphone jack is very staticky. All in all this device is reasonable and will do what I need it to do at CES, which is record sound to review later. I have practiced with it, so that I know how to best use it. I can create individual notes to review later. I can also save these to my laptop for review at a later time. I will obtain a USB to lightning adapter to see if I can transfer files to my iPad Air 2. Consider this device as an adjunct to the tech you may use. It is very small, very portable and will do what you need. Cons: mono sound is a negative, headphone output is a negative, clear LCD without backlit buttons is a negative. 4/5 stars.
BUY FROM AMAZON
For more information, visit igearpro.com.