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8 Best Audio & Video Recording Devices for All Budgets (2024)

Discover the 8 best audio and video recording devices. We review their key features to help you find the right one! Plus, we share a software alternative.
Stephen Robles
Video & Podcast Creator
Published:
March 22, 2023
Last Updated:
December 27, 2023
9
min
Reviewed by
Ortal Hadad

Choosing the right type of recorder for your content is a challenge. 

With the number of devices out there, it can be difficult to judge the best recording devices from the ones that aren’t quite right for your setup. Landing on the right audio (and video) recorder for your needs will depend on your budget and the types of content you will create. And using a recording device isn’t your only option - software like Riverside offers an alternative way to record high-quality audio and video.

 In this article, we’ve put together our recommendations for the best audio and video recording devices and why you should consider recording with Riverside. 

TL;DR

  • When choosing a video or audio recording device, you need to think about budget and the kinds of content you’re recording
  • The best-combined audio and video recorder for beginners is the Zoom Q2N-4K. Pros should take a look at the BlackMagic URSA Mini Pro.
  • Before making a final decision, you should also weigh up using an alternative solution like Riverside which lets you record high-quality audio and video straight from your browser. 

What is a video recording device?

A video recording device is a piece of hardware that lets you capture video footage in a digital format - better known as a camera or video camera. Your device will usually record to an in-built storage drive or an SD card. 

A video recording device usually includes an built-in mic to record corresponding audio, although this isn’t always the best option for high-quality audio.

Audio vs video recorder

Audio recorders only record sound, whereas video recorders capture both. 

How to choose a recording device?

When it comes to choosing your device(s) for recording audio or video, it’s essential to know what to look for. Here are some tips: 

Budget 

You need to know how much you’re able and willing to spend. Narrowing down your budget will give you a better idea of which kinds of products you’re looking at. 

Audio or Video? 

For obvious reasons, you need to know whether you want to record audio or video. That being said, if you’re going to be shooting video, you’ll definitely want to invest in an audio recorder to ensure you can record high-quality audio for your visual content. 

Type of content

The type of content you intend to record will significantly influence the best products for your setup. For instance, if you’re recording video interviews out on location, your needs will differ greatly from an in-studio setup. 

8 Best Audio & Video Recording Devices

In this section, we’ve compiled our recommendations for audio and video recording devices. 

Let’s start with the best devices for content creators who are just starting out. 

Zoom H1N 

Zoom H1N audio recording device
Zoom H1N 

Price: $119.99 

Type: Audio Recorder :

The Zoom H1N is a compact and simple audio recorder with 2 built-in stereo condenser mics. This audio recorder is easy - you control the device with simple buttons and a screen. The H1N records audio directly to SD and SDHC cards and audio up to 96kHZ. 

Best for:

Beginners on a budget. For just over $100, the Zoom H1N gives you a lot of bang for your buck. 

Sennheiser MKE 400 

Sennheiser MKE 400 audio recording device
Sennheiser MKE 400 

Price: $199.95 

Type: Audio

The MKE 400 is what is known as a shotgun mic. Shotgun mics are ‘highly directional,’ which means they hone in on audio from one direction. This compact mic sits on top of your camera (or mobile device) and captures distortion-free audio for your video. 

Best for: Beginners who want to shoot on location. The built-in wind protection and suspension minimize disruption to your audio, and the light, and streamlined design is perfect for recording audio on the go. 

Zoom Q2N-4K 

Zoom Q2N-4K video recording device
Zoom Q2N-4K 

Price: $199.99 

Type: Audio and Video 

The Zoom Q2N-4K is a unique audio and video recording device. Zoom markets it towards musicians, but it is worth considering if you’re looking for a device that covers your audio and video needs. You can capture up to 4K videos and customize your field of view to suit your shot. And the Q2N-4K’s X/Y stereo mics are set up to capture crystal-clear audio too. It can even live stream directly using the Q2N-$k by connecting it up to your iOS device. 

Best for: Beginners looking for a convenient all-in-one solution. The Q2N-4K is a neat device that’s perfect if you’re looking to spend a modest amount on a device that’ll record you in high-quality without too many complications. 

Zoom F6 

Zoom F6

Price:$699.99 

Type: Audio 

The Zoom F6 is a multitrack field recorder which lets you record up to 14 tracks at the same time. It’s a durable and reliable audio recording device that delivers on audio-quality time and time again. It’s also additionally versatile because you can use it as an audio interface in the studio. 

Best for:Professionals and beginners (with big ambitions and budget). 

Read more: How To Choose The Best Zoom Recorder For Your Needs 

Atomos Ninja V 

Atmos Ninja video recording device
Atomos Ninja V

Price: $499.00 

Type: Video

The Atomos Ninja V is a small but mighty little device. You use it for HDR monitoring up to 6K and RAW recording, and it works alongside whatever camera you use. You can record directly in professional formats including Apple ProRes (RAW), Avid DNxHD/HR, and HEVC. Getting your framing, exposure, and focus right with Ninja V is easy, especially with its intuitive touchscreen display. 

Best for: Serious professionals. The Atomos Ninja V is best for industry pros who know what they want and what they’re doing. Its powerful features, though certainly worth every dollar, are probably over the top for beginners. 

Zoom Q8 

Zoom Q8 video recording device
Zoom Q8 

Price: $439.97 

Type: Video (and audio) 

The Zoom Q8 is a combined HD video and 4-track audio recorder. With a 160-degree wide-angle lens, you can capture great and versatile shots. You can record a maximum of 2.3K video. 

Though it has in-built mics, you also have the option to connect up external mics for even better audio. Its flexible mounting means you can place it wherever you need to capture your shot. 

Best for: Mid-range professionals that are looking for an all-in-one solution with flexibility. Though it can’t capture top-quality video, the medium price tag combined with the compact design may well be a win for some creators. 

Panasonic X2000

Panasonic X200 video recording device
Panasonic X2000

Price: $2,197.00 

Type: Video

The Panasonic X2000 probably aligns with what you picture when you think about a film camera. Though its form feels ‘traditional’, the design is actually lightweight and compact. And it can shoot up to UHD 4K60 video and record to MP4, MOV or AVCHD Progressive. You can also live stream over Wi-Fi. 

Best for: Professionals who are looking for a more classic setup. 

BlackMagic URSA Mini Pro

BlackMagic URSA Mini Pro video recording device
BlackMagic URSA Mini Pro

Price: $6,385.00 

Type: Video

BlackMagic calls this ‘the world’s most advanced digital film camera’. Though they might be a bit biased, the Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K is definitely an industry-favorite for a reason. It can record up to 12K video at 60fps. Its cinematic super 35 12K sensor features 80 megapixels per frame which results in stunning footage. You can also change out the lens with a modern or vintage one to match the look you’re trying to achieve. 

Best for: Industry professionals who don’t want to compromise on quality, capability or performance. 

Best video recording device

There are plenty of options out there for all kinds of creators. If you’re on a budget and looking for video recording device that’s easy to use but won’t break the bank, try the Zoom Q8. 

For professionals who have bigger budgets, there’s no better choice than the BlackMagic URSA Mini Pro. 

Best audio recording devices

The Zoom H1N is a budget-friendly and compact device that will get the job done. 

Best audio and video recording devices for beginners

An all-in-one, simple and easy to use device is best for beginners. That’s why the Zoom Q2N-4K is a solid choice. 

Recording Alternative: Video & Audio Recording Software

Before settling on your video or audio recorder, it’s good to think about alternative solutions. Specialized software like Riverside allows you to record high-quality audio and video from your browser - without the need for dedicated software or equipment. 

Here’s how it works: 

Local recording 

Riverside automatically records each remote participant on their own device rather than over the internet. This ensures that your final recording won’t be patchy or blurry even if someone has a weak internet.

High-quality 

Riverside can record up to 4K video and up to 48kHz for audio. 

Uncompressed & lossless files 

To protect the integrity and quality of your recording, Riverside defaults to uncompressed and lossless files. These are file formats that don’t compromise on the original quality of your recording in exchange for a smaller file size. 

Multitrack recording 

Multitrack recording means each individual participant has their own individual audio and/or video track. This makes your life a lot easier during post-production because you can tweak, edit, and refine each person’s recording individually without affecting the entire audio or video. 

Browser-based 

Riverside is completely browser-based. This eliminates the need to download separate software and means you can record anytime and anywhere. 

Other features: 

Here are some other features that make using Riverside worthwhile: 

  • Progressive upload to the cloud. Riverside automatically uploads each participant’s tracks during your recording session. This minimizes risk of loss of data and saves you from waiting around. 
  • Magic Clips. Create promotional short-form videos for your social media in just one click
  • Transcriptions. You can automatically and quickly transcribe your content using Riverside’s transcription tool. This is included with all Riverside plans. 
  • Text-based editor. We use Ai transcriptions so you can make precise edits as easily as editing a text-document.
  • Mobile app for multi-angle video. You can use your mobile as a secondary angle camera through the Riverside mobile app. This is a great way to add dynamism and difference to your video. 

FAQs on Audio & Video Recording Devices

In this section, we’ll answer some of the most commonly asked questions: 

What is the best portable recording device?

This totally depends on what you’re looking for and how big your budget is. There are a variety of different options that you can choose from. And if you’re not able to invest in a dedicated recording device, often your phone will actually do the trick. In fact, using the Riverside iOS or Android device, you can transform your mobile into a portable recording studio.  

What is a visual recording device?

A visual recording device records video (and audio) in a digital format. Investing in a dedicated visual recording device is the best way to guarantee the quality of your videos. And the same goes for audio - it’s always best to opt for a dedicated mic rather than rely on the in-built microphone on your visual recording device. 

What is the best way to record a video?

Riverside offers a streamlined, intuitive and easy way to record high-quality video from your browser. Designed to enhance, support and optimize video creators’ workflow, Riverside means you don’t need all the bells and whistles to record a studio-quality video. 

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What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

What’s a Rich Text element?

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