CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. And find more great buys on the CNET Deals page.
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!