The Voice Tracer shines in interviews, where it does an excellent job of eradicating background noise and picking up relevant voices, no matter whether you’re on a busy street or in a crowded cafe. Phone interviews are also easy on the Voice Tracer, which picks up audio from an ear mic – which has to be bought separately – clearly and well. Sound quality is generally very good on the Voice Tracer – it’s more than adequate for transcribing, and could also easily be used to make pre-recorded content for SURG FM if student broadcasters were so inclined.
For those who aren’t budding journalists, the Voice Tracer is good for a sneaky lecture recording too. Is your lecturer refusing to post recordings online? Need to take notes for a friend? Can’t be bothered to write everything down? Whip out this baby, and take the lecture home with you. The sound quality from the middle of your average lecture theatre is not quite pristine, but it’s more than adequate to make notes from.
The recorder also has a sleek design and is extremely light. While the display and buttons look good, the interface could be more intuitive. However, basic tasks – starting and finishing a recording, and playback – are easy enough to figure out. Still, the recorder would benefit from a more comprehensive start-up information guide which directs users to all the bells and whistles available, as well as the basic stuff.
The Phillips Voice Tracer is reasonably priced, nicely designed and has excellent sound quality – all in all, a good choice for the student journalist.