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Here's something a little different.
Sure, your phone has a built-in microphone and, thanks to any number of apps, it can pull digital-recorder duty.
But it has just one microphone, facing in one direction. What if you want to record, say, the conversation around a conference table? Or a one-on-one interview? More microphones would definitely be better.
For a limited time, and while supplies, you can get the Etekcity EDVR-300 8GB Digital Voice Recorder with FM radio for $15.99, shipped free with Prime. That's after applying promo code IJIJQRXD at checkout. Regular price: $48.99! Update: Already sold out. :(
So I'm thinking, that's gotta be an artificially inflated price, right? There must be a dozen other records in this price range. Not quite: I see a lot priced between $35-45, but few with the FM feature -- which is a great perk.
A recorder like this can come in handy for all kinds of things: business meetings, classroom lectures, interviews, podcasts and so on.
The FM option is icing on the cake. Sometimes it's just nice to have a pocket radio, one that doesn't consume data when you're taking a hike or out working in the garden. What's more, the EDVR-300 can record FM as well, great if you want to preserve a broadcast for future listening. It can also play MP3s.
The recorder includes 8GB of storage -- enough for 150 hours of audio, depending on the quality setting -- and a rechargeable battery that's good for up to 144 hours of recording, according to Etekcity.
How well does it actually work as a voice recorder? That's a tougher question to answer. A handful of user reviews average out to about 3.9 stars, but the couple of negative ones are really more about a missing cable and brief delay before recording starts than they are about audio quality. Most reviews were overwhelmingly positive, though a few of the earliest ones are clearly fake.
My feeling is this would probably get the job done, and done well, for most users in most situations. That said, I have very little experience with pocket recorders. If you do, by all means weigh in!
Bonus deal: Are you looking for a DVR that can record over-the-air broadcasts? One that won't hit you up with monthly fees? Ending tomorrow, TiVo is offering the refurbished Roamio OTA 500GB 4-tuner DVR with lifetime service for $249.99 shipped. Compare that with the likes of the Channel Master DVR+, which costs the same but doesn't include storage or Wi-Fi!
What's more, the Roamio has a vastly superior interface, records up to four shows at once (versus two on the DVR+) and integrates with a lot more services (Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc.). The only thing you need to provide is an antenna. Thanks to reader Mike for sharing this deal!