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I'm looking for a dedicated audio recording device. I'm looking for something under $30 (or a bit more), and which:

  • Has a 3.5mm connector mic socket, which also works with line-level audio.

  • Has good audio quality, which means no noises from the device itself, at least 44.1kHz and stereo recording to WAV or some other lossless format.

  • Has adjustable audio level, as well as displaying the audio level. Bonus points if you can hear what you're recording through the headphones.

  • Bonus points if it takes SD or MicroSD cards instead of having built in storage, both to keep the cost down and because then I can swap out the card when it is full.

  • I don't really care about the quality of the microphone, as I have my own high quality one. Would be even better if it has no built in mic - again, saves on price, and I would not use it much anyway.

I've looked around a bit, and devices with good quality start at around $60, so if I could get something like that, just without the built in mic and storage, that would work well for me.

Essentially, I'm looking for something like this Zoom digital recorder, but without the built in microphone and a bit cheaper.

Does something like this exist? Any recommendations?

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There's a vibrant market for these "digital audio recorders" (also often called "digital voice recorders"). Here's a Best Reviews description of the current market.

E.g., the EVISTR L36 appears to check all your boxes.

(Note that the marginal cost of the mics can be negligible, so you probably won't find a DVR without one.)

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