Best Audio Recorder 2020: Editor’s Pick

Best audio recorderRecording audio is a simple process, but to get the best quality, and be able to edit your audio tracks, you need an audio recorder. Audio recorders are programs that allow you to use an input device like a microphone to record audio – they then save the audio as a sound bite or file that you can edit.

Audio recording software often has additional functionality and the best sound recorders are effectively fully-fledged audio editing tools. You can create music tracks, change the format and pitch of the sound, and apply other cool effects.

If you want to create high-quality audio tracks for personal use or business, a reliable sound recorder is vital. In this guide, we look at four high-quality free audio recording software for your benefit. We have included a mix of simple programs for recording only and advanced software with additional audio features.

1. Icecream Screen Recorder – multifunctional recorder

Icecream Screen Recorder

Icecream Apps Screen Recorder is primarily a screen recording program, but it also has audio recording functionality. To record audio, there is a simple toolbar that allows you to select between three recording qualities – low medium, or high bitrate.

A separate control box then appears, and it shows the current sound waves and voice recording options. The controls are easy to understand, and you can record either computer audio or input audio within a few seconds.

Once the audio recording is complete, you can easily save the file as an MP3 format. That is the only downside of the voice recorder app – that you can only record in MP3 format. However, this is a popular audio format and widely supported. This video and audio recorder by Icecream Apps is a brilliant choice for those who want to record game footage or create professional tutorials with audio overlays.

OS: Windows, Mac
Licensing: Freemium, Lifetime license for 2 Windows computers $29.95
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Sound recorder with simple interface and controls
  • Small installation size
  • Excellent screen recording functionality
  • Can record audio in multiple bit rates
  • Record both microphone and system audio
  • Only supports MP3 file extension for audio

2. Audacity – open source audio recorder

Audacity audio recorder

Audacity is one of the most popular audio DAW programs. This voice recorder features a simple interface and a great array of tools for audio recording and editing. We like that it supports multiple input devices including microphones, line-in jacks, and live streaming.

It also supports a wide range of sample rates up to 192 kHz. This means you can record audio in excellent quality and have great control over the end product. There is also an array of audio effects that allow you to tweak your recordings including speed, tempo, pitch, and fade in/out.

For those who want advanced voice recording and editing features, Audacity is a top choice.

OS: Windows, MacOS, Linux
Licensing: Open source
Our Rating: 10 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Advanced audio editing features
  • Completely free audio recorder
  • A simple one-touch audio recording process
  • Wide range of supported output extensions
  • Supports multiple input devices
  • The interface looks a little dated

3. Traverso – basic free audio recording software

Traverso voice recorder

Traverso is another simple but effective audio recorder program. It has a basic interface with toolbar and audio volume bars. You can record sound files in seconds, and there is also an option to export to different devices or CDs.

The export process also offers advanced functionality and you can change the bit depth. It also supports various file types including WAV and MP3.

OS: Windows, MacOS
Licensing: Freeware
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Easy to understand interface
  • Ability to record voice and export to CD
  • Support for various audio file types
  • Free audio recording software
  • Simple keyboard shortcuts for recording
  • The slow installation process with multiple adverts

4. Wavepad – audio recorder and editor

Wavepad sound recorder

Wavepad is a fantastic audio recorder from NHC Software. This program is free to use but there is a premium upgrade too. Using this program, you can record audio from various input devices in seconds. There is a simple audio recording bar that allows you to start recording, but also play, pause, and skip the track.

To improve or change the quality of your voice recording, Wavepad also has a good choice of filters and effects. This includes altering the speed of the recording, tempo, pitch, and other dynamics. These effects can be a little tricky to use, but once you become accustomed to the tools, your editing speeds will improve.

This voice recording software also supports a good choice of audio file formats including MP3 and WAV. It also has support for multiple channels so you can build up complex audio recordings with ease.

Finally, Wavepad has a quality clean-up tool that enables you to effectively remove noise and other distortions from your audio recordings. This means that if your recording device isn’t the clearest, you can still gain high-quality audio files.

OS: Windows
Licensing: Freemium, license starts from $24.99
Our Rating: 8 / 10

Pros Cons
  • Great audio effects for post-recording editing
  • Easy audio recording process with simple recording bar
  • Support for multiple audio file types
  • Automatic audio clean-up tool
  • Advanced range of audio effects
  • The editing features can be tricky to use

Best Audio Recorder: Conclusion

As you can see, there is a host of useful audio recorders available. If you want simple audio recording functionality, Icecream Apps Screen Recorder, or Wavepad are both excellent options. Alternatively, if you want something more advanced, Audacity is often regarded as one of the best audio software.

When choosing an audio recorder, always consider the support for input types, and the output files it supports. Different programs have varying levels of support for audio recording devices like headsets or microphones.

Also, some sound recorders may allow you to record your computer sounds too. For output types, this depends on what you intend to use the audio recordings for. Ideally, the program should support common audio file types like MP3, WAV, AIFF, and PCM. The more audio file extensions it supports, the greater flexibility you have in what you can do with the recordings.

Why not give one of these top audio recorders a try today and start creating the audio files you want?

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