All sound engineers and artists know that having a collection of interesting and unique sounds is essential. And with thousands of ways to incorporate ambient sounds into your project, nowadays, field recordings are a must. However, while you could use your phone for that, sound enthusiasts know the importance of high-quality gear. As a result, we rounded up the top 3 best field recorders that are sure to improve the quality of your project.

1. Zoom H8

Zoom is a well-known brand that delivers a variety of sound engineering gear, including field recorders and audio interfaces. While its H8 Handy Recorder might look like something straight out of a Sci-Fi movie, it is in fact, one of the best field recorders on the market. 

Offering a resolution of up to 96kHz/24-bit, the Zoom H8 field recorder can provide the highest quality needed for sound design and mixing. And thanks to its great battery life, you don’t have to worry about losing your progress while recording. 

The Zoom’s H8 interface is not only easy to use but also features additional sound modifiers and mixing settings. Add in the 8 inputs and 12 tracks, and it becomes impossible to run out of sonic capacity, no matter how much you try. 

With its great features, high-quality sound settings, and accessible interface, the Zoom H8 stands above all other field recorders. If you want the best gear available, then this field recorder is your go-to choice. 

2. Tascam DR-40X

Tascam is the direct competitor to Zoom, and it’s easy to see why. Its DR-40X field recorder is a more affordable alternative to most Zoom recording gear

Featuring a basic and accessible sound mixing interface, the DR-40X targets all types of sound enthusiasts. And with two XLR inputs and four different tracks, you can record a variety of sounds at the same time. You can even play all four tracks simultaneously while mixing the sound of each track as you please. 

With its high resolution and impressive battery life, the DR-40X is a truly portable device that can be used anywhere. So, if you want the quality of a Zoom H8 but don’t like the price, then the Tascam DR-40X is the perfect runner-up. Just keep in mind that it lacks a few extra features that would make it the best field recorder. 

3. Sony PCM D-100

Last but not least, we have the durable and reliable Sony PCM D-100. With its sturdy aluminum frame and mic protecting cage, this field recorder can withstand a lot of damage. 

When it comes to quality, there’s no surprise that PCM D-100 has excellent sound. As a matter of fact, this device is virtually the only recorder on the market that is able to record on a Direct Stream Digital format. The result? One of the highest quality sounds you can find on the market.

Moving on to features and we can see that Sony understands its audience and their needs. It has a variety of sound channels that allow for the seamless recording of multiple sounds. Additionally, the D-100 supports simultaneous LPCM and MP3 recording, meaning that you don’t have to convert file types before sharing them between devices. 

The biggest drawback is the lack of any XLR ports, meaning that you can’t connect it to an external mic. On top of that, the D-100 can be on the pricey side of field recorders, as it is intended for professionals. Nevertheless, if you want a top field recorder that will last you a lifetime, then the Sony PCM D-100 is the right choice. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, field recorders give artists the ability to record on the go without any limitations. Therefore, having your own field recorder is a must if you want to master your craft. And with so many options on the market, there is no chance that you won’t be able to find the right device for you.