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There are lots of times you might want to save what you’re hearing for later — perhaps you’re using Android apps to help you in college Ten Android Apps Every College Student Needs Ten Android Apps Every College Student Needs If you're at College or University this semester, you need these ten apps. Read More and want to record a lecture, or maybe you just want to remember what groceries to grab later. Recording an audio note can be a lot faster than jotting it down manually Better Than a Notepad: The 3 Fastest Ways To Jot Down Notes on Android Better Than a Notepad: The 3 Fastest Ways To Jot Down Notes on Android Whether you need to jot down ideas for your next project or items you want to pick up at the store, it's always good to have something ready for taking notes. Many people carry around... Read More , and being able to do it with your smartphone, which is probably always with you Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone? Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone? At one time, landlines and payphones were all we had--and we survived just fine, thank you very much. But now, it’s almost laughable if you don’t own an iPhone or Android, and for some of... Read More , is a perfect solution.

We’ve looked at some great apps for recording audio before, but today we want to put the best head-to-head and decide which is worth your download. Read on and find out which one reigns supreme!

Note: These apps are for recording audio such as lectures, not for recording phone calls. We’ve shown you how to record Android phone calls without running out of space How to Automatically Record Calls on Android and Never Run Out Of Space How to Automatically Record Calls on Android and Never Run Out Of Space Have you ever forgotten important directions given to you over the phone? Or has a company ever reneged on its promise to you, and you were left with no way to prove that a service... Read More if that’s what you’re here for.

Cogi [Free]

Cogi takes a different approach to audio recording and wants to help you cut out the filler. Instead of recording straight audio, this app allows you to manually tell it when to stop and start recording, so you end up with just the highlights. Those who zone out frequently unless something important is going on will love Cogi.

01-Cogi-Recorder

Jessica covered Cogi in full Cogi Voice Recorder: Save All of The Highlights, None of The Noise Cogi Voice Recorder: Save All of The Highlights, None of The Noise Have you ever been in a lecture and wished you could record only the moments the professor mentions something will be on the test, or what the homework is? Read More and found it to be generally agreeable. Aside from audio recording, you can also type notes and take pictures to supplement your sound; these will all be grouped together in the post-recording Review session. You’ll also be able to use #tags on files for easy categorizing.

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On the downside, it includes a ton of permissions that are used for the Premium features, which lets you also use the service for phone calls. If you’re a smartphone privacy Smartphone Privacy Settings You Need To Activate Today Smartphone Privacy Settings You Need To Activate Today Smartphones ship with plenty of default settings that could be leaking your info. Let's dive in and tweak them. Read More aficionado, this might be one to avoid. Also, you can’t change settings such as the file type and there’s no support for syncing to Dropbox.

Overall, Cogi’s minimalist approach will work out great for some situations and poorly for others. Those who often record meetings or other long clips will probably find the ability to skip the fluff refreshing, but for those who just want to record memos, it will be slightly overkill and irritating due to its not recording in real-time.

It’s free and polished, though, so it’s certainly worth a try if it’s caught your eye.

Smart Voice Recorder [Free]

Those looking for a mainstream-type voice recorder will find Smart Voice Recorder up to par. It features more technical customization than Cogi, including options to change the quality, calibrate microphone gain for differing situations, and hide your recordings from media players so your notes don’t get mixed in when playing music on your phone The Best Music Player On Android: Google Play Music Reviewed The Best Music Player On Android: Google Play Music Reviewed One of the best things about Android is the diversity of apps, but sometimes the best apps are those produced by Google. Read More .

Being able to toggle the quality is great draw for those who don’t have much storage space on their phone Low on Storage? Save Space on Android With Great Apps Under 3 Megabytes Low on Storage? Save Space on Android With Great Apps Under 3 Megabytes Running low on storage space on your phone or tablet? These tiny apps should be able to remedy that! Read More , and if you can spare the space, it’s nice to have the option to capture as clearly as possible.

02-Smart-Voice-Recorder

The app is free and you can remove the ads for a $1.50 in-app purchase if you choose. Once you’ve started a recording, you can tap the big button to pause it and pick it back up later, or you can finish and save it. In addition, you can send them to cloud storage or share them in other ways right from the app. You’ll get a helpful little heads-up on how long your device has space to record at your selected quality, and if you like you can have the recorder skip silence when it detects it.

Smart Voice Recorder isn’t terribly complex, but it gets the job done. If Cogi seemed a little too confusing or not right for your needs, Smart Voice Recorder is one to try.

Easy Voice Recorder [Free | $4 Pro]

Easy Voice Recorder is similar to Smart Voice Recorder, but with some additional features. The app features an attractive two-panel interface, with the left screen allowing you to record and the right showing you all your past recorded files. As any good voice recording app should be, it’s dead-simple.

03-Easy-Voice-Recorder

Like Smart Voice Recorder, Easy Voice Recorder allows you to choose what quality you want to record in, but here you can actually choose the encoding, not just the bitrate What Is Bitrate & Why Is It Important? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is Bitrate & Why Is It Important? [MakeUseOf Explains] With today's technology, we can expect high amounts of speed and quality with everything that we do on our computers, our smartphones, and any other recent gadgets. However, while this increase in speed and quality... Read More . You can choose from AMR for small files, AAC for a balance, or PCM for high quality; note that only PCM supports pausing in the middle of a recording. You can also choose to use camcorder mode on your device instead of the main microphone for better sound.

A neat little feature is the ability to preface all of your files with a name by default, so if you were going to be recording a series of files for the same event you could start with “Summer 2014 Conference #” and the app would fill in the numbers for you sequentially. Easy VR also shows you the waveform when recording, which is a nice touch. Another novel feature is the ability to send your files to Quicktate for human transcription How To Transcribe Audio & Video Files Into Text With The Help Of Express Scribe How To Transcribe Audio & Video Files Into Text With The Help Of Express Scribe Read More . This is convenient, but the service is pretty expensive, so most won’t be able to take advantage of it unless they already subscribe for some reason.

04-Easy-Voice-Recorder-Pro-Options

Access to everything the app lets you do requires the $4 Pro version. With it, you’ll be able to remove ads, record in stereo, skip silence, and control the recorder from the status bar, among other benefits. It’s definitely a sizeable upgrade, but $4 is a bit expensive for a recording app.

Skyro Voice Recorder [Free | $2 Pro]

Skyro Voice Recorder takes a slightly different approach to recording. It’s by far the best-looking of these apps, as it follows modern Material Design guidelines Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? Exploring Android L: What Exactly Is Material Design? You may have heard about Android L and Material Design, but what exactly is this new design philosophy and how will it affect Android and other Google products? Read More and allows you to change the theme. Some other unique features are Dropbox sync Truly Sync Your Android Device With Dropbox Via Dropsync [Android 2.0+] Truly Sync Your Android Device With Dropbox Via Dropsync [Android 2.0+] Dropbox is my preferred syncing service, which works wonders on computers. However on mobile devices, especially Android devices, it leaves a lot to be desired, mainly because of the lack of support for two-way syncing... Read More and support for linking to an account on the music-lovers website, SoundCloud Music Lovers: Why Aren't You Using SoundCloud? Music Lovers: Why Aren't You Using SoundCloud? Discovering a new artist, album or record label that corresponds with your tastes and expectations can be a rewarding experience. These golden discoveries can be few and far between and that’s where I turn to... Read More .

05-Skyro-Recorder

Like Cogi, you can grab a picture when you’re recording for help with later recalling, and you can scrap it if you change your mind. The app also supports tags, letting you categorize the things in different spheres of your life. You’ll surely notice in the screenshot the attractive timeline view of your saved recordings, which is cool.

Skyro also delivers on the technical side. The default file name can be changed to different date/time formats, you can choose between WAV, MP3, and M4A file types, add audio gain, try out Bluetooth recording, and add your location to recordings so you can remember where you were later. The $2 upgrade (either an in-app purchase What Are In-App Purchases & How Can I Disable Them? [MakeUseOf Explains] What Are In-App Purchases & How Can I Disable Them? [MakeUseOf Explains] "I can’t believe it!" my cousin said to me the other day, "someone’s just bought a $10 in-app purchase on my mother’s phone, and she doesn’t even know what I’m talking about!". Sounds familiar? How... Read More or separate download) adds more themes, file compression, full Dropbox sync options, and Bluetooth recording.

06-Skyro-Recorder-Options

I was pleasantly surprised by Skyro. It doesn’t just use its aesthetics as an excuse, but rather crafts a well-rounded app that’s simple to use but still allows for deep control of the files.

Which One Should You Be Using?

I’d have to declare Skyro the winner this time.

Its beautiful interface and lack of ads make it wonderful to work with, but it’s much more than that. Most of the features the average user will need are available for free, but the upgrade is worth it if you want full control. Dropbox sync is such a huge plus, as managing many recordings can get hectic as they build up and fill up space How to Free Storage Space on Your Android Device How to Free Storage Space on Your Android Device If you've run out of storage space on your Android phone or tablet, we can help you free it up. Read More .

Add in that the app auto-saves your recordings every minute in case of a crash or battery dying and a specialized experience for tablets Get Your Tablet On: 11+ Epic Android Apps Optimized For The Nexus 7 Get Your Tablet On: 11+ Epic Android Apps Optimized For The Nexus 7 When Apple released the iPad Mini – jumping on board the 7" tablet trend pioneered by Amazon and Google – they said Google’s Nexus 7 lacked good tablet apps. While Android may not have the... Read More , and you have a winner. You really can’t go wrong with Skyro, no matter what you want to use it for.

For the others, Easy Voice Recorder is a bit more polished than Smart Voice Recorder, but most of its improvements come at a price. $4 is a lot for an in-app upgrade, so only those who want the most options need apply. If you just want the basics, Smart Recorder is still good, but Skyro doesn’t have ads and is also free, so there’s not much reason to stick with Smart Voice Recorder.

Cogi is a strange beast. You’ll have to try it for yourself and find if it’s what you’re looking for. If so, great! However, I suspect that many people who need a voice recorder won’t appreciate its unique approach, and are better off with one of the other three.

Now that you have a great app to use, check out our tips on making great recordings with your Android device 5 Great Tips For Recording Audio With Any Smartphone Or Tablet 5 Great Tips For Recording Audio With Any Smartphone Or Tablet Your phone is very smart. With Angry Birds, Facebook and mobile office applications, it's all too easy to forget that some of the features we use most were often available on those very old mobile... Read More .

What is your favorite voice recording app on Android? What do you typically use recording apps to save? I want to know your thoughts, especially if you find Cogi to be a good idea or prefer a traditional approach. Leave a comment to let me know!

  1. David Austin
    May 31, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    I wish there was a recorder that had an "auto redo" feature. If you flub up you say "auto redo" and start over a few words preceding the flub, and then the app automatically fixes the flub.

  2. Laurens
    April 26, 2015 at 6:36 am

    hi, I am looking for an android app that works like the Apple Iphone OS 4-6 Voice Memo. The voice memo gives me the ability to pause the recording on the fly, adjust the slider back in time when i made a mistake, and continue to record where i left off. I couldn't find any voice recording apps on the Android market that do the same! Any suggestions? Thanks!

  3. Pea Robertson
    April 22, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    Me too Carl Simmons and share directly to fb post.that would cover everything.like record .rewind continue. And share fb post button all in one.

  4. Carl Simons
    April 12, 2015 at 11:24 pm

    I've been looking for a voice recorder that allows me to - rewind and record over my stumbling vocal recording. I want to be able to keep my vocal 10 minute recording, but I would like to rewind a couple of seconds and continue my recording. Is there an android app out there for that

    • Laurens
      April 26, 2015 at 6:40 am

      I am looking for that app too, Android version. Apple Iphone 4 and above does offer such functionality in their built-in Voice Memo. FYI.

  5. Matthew
    April 5, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Got Skyro - it was an amazon app of the day a while back, so got pro for free - that sort of thing generally decides what app I choose, as I'm an eternal cheapskate and if I can get full for free, it's all good.

  6. John Williams
    April 3, 2015 at 11:51 am

    Sadly the word "app" has belittled the hundreds of hours of work that go into coding. Software used to come in huge boxes that only contained a CD-ROM and a manual (yes, a paper manual!)
    The over packaging served as a visual reminder that herein was a lot of someones hard work, similar to a big book.
    I find it incredible when people comment that 3 or 4 dollars is "too expensive for an app". This dismisses every app as if it were dashed off quickly, merely the work of an afternoon.
    I would like to see a Google Play Pro store, so that high quality code like these sound recorders could be seperated out from all the apps that frankly belong in Toys R Us.
    Maybe we could go back to calling them Programs? A much better fitting description of months or even years of hard coding.

    • Ben S
      April 6, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      I agree with you, John. People do the same thing when they demand all updates to games for free, like in the case of Monument Valley's DLC. In my opinion, spending the same amount of money as you would on a coffee for an app you'll use all the time, especially when you consider you're supporting an independent developer, is well worth it.

      For all the garbage on the Play Store, it makes me proud to purchase the product that dedicated developers put out there.

    • David Austin
      May 31, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      And that my friend is why I will never develop for the mobile platform.

  7. pat
    April 3, 2015 at 3:24 am

    automatic call recorder will record phone conversations on Android, and recforge lite is the best voice recorder you can save mp3 or wav, and can adjust the input from within the app

  8. Tmm
    April 2, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    Anyone found a working solution for Nexus 4? Or is it impossible because of HW limitations?

    • Ben S
      April 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      I don't have a Nexus 4; do voice recorders not work on it at all?

  9. Ze
    April 1, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    voiceX is my choice, you guys should definitely give it a try

  10. Rhonda Lea Kirk Fries
    April 1, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    I use Netmemo+. It has been around for some time, has good ratings, and continues to be updated.

  11. Filipe
    April 1, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    Audio Recorder by Sony.

  12. Fik of Borg
    April 1, 2015 at 11:44 am

    I haven't found what I'd like in a sound recorder:
    1: Start recording inmediately when one opens the app (or widget). This in order to record unplanned, potentially short conversations without losing half the desired audio while fumbling with the app.
    2: Record continuosly, keeping the last minute or so until one taps a button and then it records normally. This in order to get the audio prior to the actual command to start recording.

    • Ben S
      April 6, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      It sounds like Cogi could be for you, then. I didn't mention it, but a few of these apps have a "start recording at launch" option that makes record as soon as you open the app, IIRC. Cogi's time delay can be adjusted to fit your second criterion.

    • Fik of Borg
      April 6, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      Thanks Ben, I will try Cogi. I read in the Play Store that it indeed keeps the last X seconds heard and then includes that period in the recording, but I can't find the “start recording at launch” option.

  13. CALI
    April 1, 2015 at 11:33 am

    what about Call recorders?

    • Ben S
      April 6, 2015 at 6:58 pm

      Cali, this article wasn't meant to be about recording calls. See the article I linked to in the into if that's what you're looking for.

  14. Brian
    April 1, 2015 at 5:06 am

    I've heard great things about Field Recorder, and the ratings on it are rock solid. It is expensive - around $5 - but if you need a pro-caliber recording app,check it out.

    • Ben S
      April 6, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      That's another one I didn't see when writing this! Thanks for the recommendation.

  15. steve
    March 31, 2015 at 11:04 pm

    Am looking for one that allows me to do the above and record my phone calls on my android.

    • Ben S
      April 6, 2015 at 6:57 pm

      Steve, I linked to an earlier article detailing how to record your calls, and Cogi claims to have that functionality built into its Pro version. Give it a try and let me know how it works.

  16. Paul
    March 31, 2015 at 10:14 pm

    I have found "Pure Audio Recorder" to be the best. It records at highest levels possible so you get HD sound. It is also fantastic at recording nature sounds. I cant recommend it enough. I was surprised it wasnt reviewed here.

    • Ben S
      April 6, 2015 at 6:56 pm

      Paul, that one didn't hit in my searches but it sounds like a great app. I'm glad there are good choices other than the ones I found!

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