Best Portable Recording Devices – Top 10

If you’re a musician who likes to perform on the go, you’d probably love to record your jam sessions, live performances, and events for later use.

Whether you’d like to craft demos, bonus tracks for your next album, or want to record beats on the fly, here are some of the best portable recording devices to help you do it.


Sometimes, you just wanna keep it simple. These audio recorders bring you great sound quality and the ultimate in portability.

1. iZotope Spire Studio Recorder

With no setup required, Spire’s portable recorder boasts a 4+ hour rechargeable battery life, wireless and XLR hookup recording, and the ability to plug in multiple instruments at once via XLR/TS combo jacks. Upload songs to the Spire app and edit, mix, and remaster your tracks from your smartphone or other device. Built-in wi-fi provides reliable connectivity between Spire Studio and the Spire app. 


4.2 stars


2. Tascam DP-006 6-Track Pocketstudio 

Quickly and easily record up to six tracks with the Tascam DP-006 Pocketstudio. It can handle two mono tracks, as well as two mono/stereo switchable tracks. With studio-quality 16-bit/41.4kHz, you can record two tracks at a time and playback all six at once. Boost your recording capability with an optional extra battery pack. Has two in-built omnidirectional condenser microphones, as well as two input jacks, DC adapter port, and a USB port. 


4.3 stars

3. Tascam DR-05X Stereo Digital Recorder

Save your music anywhere you go with this pocket-sized recorder from Tascam. With two omnidirectional mics that record in either mono or stereo, this device has the streamlined features you need to easily use it on the go. It includes playback speed control from 0.5 – 1.5 times in 0.1 increments. Input (mic) jack is 1/8“ (3.5mm), and so is the headphone output jack. It also includes a micro-USB port for additional connectivity. 


4.2 stars 

4. Zoom H2n Handy Recorder

This is the only portable recording device to include five in-built microphones, giving you four different recording modes: X/Y, mid/side, two-channel surround, and four-channel surround. Record live concerts, rehearsals, jam sessions, layering tracks, or your composition sessions with ease. Save your audio files directly to SD/SDHC cards up to 32GB in quality up to 24-bit/96kHz in multiple MP3 formats and WAV. Also includes an analog-type mic gain knob, onboard effects like compression/limiting, low-cut filtering, chromatic tuner, and metronome. Runs for up to 20 hours on just two AA batteries. 


4.6 stars

5. Zoom H1n Portable Digital Recorder

Small but powerful, the H1n fits in the palm of your hand and records with a stereo X/Y mic configuration. It records in both MP3 and WAV  formats to a micro-SD or micro-SDHC card up to 32GB. Also works as an interface recorder for your computer via the USB 2.0 connection, with 44.1 or 48 kHz sample rates and 16-bit resolution, straight to your DAW. Improved button structure includes one-push record and other input buttons on the front of the device, in easy reach of your thumb. 


5 stars (1 review) 

Audio and Video

If you want to video record your songs, you’ll need a device with more features than the ones listed above. Consider one of the video devices below to fully capture your moment! 


1. ALSONE Video Camcorder with Mic

If you want to set it and forget it, you need this digital camcorder with windproof, lossless mic, IR night vision, 16X digital zoom, 2 spare batteries, and the ability to record while charging. It features 26.0-megapixel resolution, a 3” IPS touchscreen, timer, anti-shake, motion detection, and loop recording. Store to SD card or stream right to your PC. Supports mobile app connectivity over Wi-fi so that you can view your photos and videos from your Android or iOS device, and you can also plug it via HDMI cable for playback directly from your TV. 


4.4 stars


2. YEEHAO Digital Camcorder with External Mic

Record great video without compromising your sound with this 24-megapixel 16x digital zoom camcorder. It comes with macro and wide-angle lenses, two USB-rechargeable batteries, a 3” IPS touchscreen, SD card memory, in-built Wi-Fi for iOS and Android connectivity, anti-shake, and remote control functions. With a lens hood, dedicated microphone micro-USB charging cable, and included 3.5mm audio connector cable, it has everything you need to start recording right out of the box. Move your video files directly to your PC via the USB connectivity or access via the mobile app feature. 


4.3 stars


3.  AiTechny 4K HD Camcorder with External Mic


Step your shots into high definition with this 48.0-megapixel digital camcorder. Recoding at 880×2160 (24FPS) resolution, with a 13MP CMOS image sensor, and a 16X digital zoom. Includes 2 rechargeable batteries and shoot-while-charging capability so that you never have to stop your project. The 3” IPS touchscreen can rotate 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles. And X/Y stereo microph9one configuration allows for great sound clarity, while the IR night vision function enhances your ability to record in low light. Use the Wi-Fi connectivity to sync with Android and iOS mobile devices, playback video directly from your TV, or hook to your computer for webcam streaming. Also comes with a convenient carry case and all cables required for use. 


4.2 stars

4. ORDRO HD Digital Camcorder with External Mic & LED Light

Take it to the next level with this 4k Ultra-HD digital camcorder with included LED light, handheld stabilizer, 32GB SD card, and carrying case. Control with included remote, or via the smartphone over Wi-Fi connectivity. The shotgun mic has great sound pickup, and you can enhance the fixed-shot range with included macro lens. Shoot with 3 different video resolutions:  FHD at 1920×1080(30fps), HD at 1080×720(30fps), or VGA at 640×480(30fps), and get 70 minutes per battery–2 rechargeable lithium batteries included. Record in low-light environments with IR mode, and sync to PC or use as a webcam with HMDI and USB connectivity. 


4.1 stars

5. CEDITA Camcorder with External Mic

For a more modest HD capability at a better price, check out this digital recorder that records at 24 megapixel 2.7k HD and 34fps. This camera includes a lens hood, external mic for sound clarity, and a 3” HD touchscreen. With two rechargeable lithium batteries, Wi-fi connectivity, an included remote control, and smartphone (iOS or Android) app connection, this camera is the perfect way to get started on your next video project. Record while charging so you never miss a beat. Use it as a webcam with USB-connectivity or playback directly to your TV via HDMI. Also includes lens cover and carrying case. 


4.3 stars

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Craig Kelley

About Craig Kelley

Craig helps indie artists book more gigs, promote their music and submit to record labels @ GigFaster and GigFaster University . His latest release is his 7th album, Not So Blue. His band has supported Grammy artists including Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Rick Derringer, Gary Hoey, Joan Jett, Fuel and many more. He is also the host of The 5 Minute Podcast For Musicians.

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