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Everything You Need to Know About USB Flash Drive Audio Recorders


DEC 11

USB Flash Drive Audio Recorder

When it comes to covert audio recording, one of the most popular styles of recorders are audio recorders designed to look (and function) as USB flash drives. These devices can be easily operated by the flip of a switch or dial on the device, allowing you to covertly record audio whenever you need it.

Battery Powered Operation

USB Flash drive voice recorders are small and portable, and feature an internal battery, allowing you to take them wherever you need them. Some have smaller size batteries, which get up to 4-5 hours of recording time, while some have high capacity batteries which can get up to 24 hours of recording time.

Some newer USB flash drive audio recorders now have what's called "standby battery" life, like our popular  VR95 Pro Grade USB Flash Drive Audio Recorder. This is a special type of voice activation that utilizes a microphone that operates independently of the recorder. 

This means that the recorder only fully powers on after it hears audio, which conserves battery life. In the case of our VR95 flash drive recorder, that standby battery can last over 3 weeks on a single charge.

Voice Activation Mode

As mentioned above, in voice activation mode, the recorder will only record when it detects audio nearby. Voice activation mode is the mode most people prefer to use, as it offers several benefits. The first benefit being that with recorders with "standby battery life" it will allow you to extend the amount of time the device can operate.

The second major benefit to voice activation mode is that there are no wasted recordings taking up space on the internal memory, which also means less recordings for you to listen to later.

While "voice activation" is the common term for this type of recording mode, it could more accurately be described as "audio activated" mode. This is because audio recorders don't have a way to distinguish between recognizing voices vs. any other type of audio. They simply detect when audio within range reaches a certain decibel level (generally 50-60db). 

In most cases, a normal person speaking within 15-20 feet of one of these flash drive spy recorders is enough to trigger the voice activated recording. But other things may trigger it too - like a door slamming, a TV, or even a loud fan.

So it is important to consider when using an flash drive recorder in voice activation mode whether or not there are any nearby audio sources that might trigger the recording.

Continuous Recording Mode

Depending on your recording needs, you may prefer to use a flash drive spy recorder in continuous recording mode. As its name implies, in continuous recording mode, the flash drive recorder will record continuously. It will continue to record until one of two things happen - it's turned off, or the battery life runs out.

Flash drive recorders like the SG-25DAY and the SG-VR95 feature not only voice activation mode, but continuous recording mode too - so you can choose either one depending on the situation.

If the battery life runs out - don't worry - before shutting off the flash drive recorder will save the current file, so you won't lose anything if the battery runs out.

Recorded Audio Files

Audio files recorded to these flash drive recorders are saved to internal memory built inside the drive, just like a regular USB flash drive. The amount of internal memory varies by device, but 4GB to 8GB of internal memory is most common.

Depending on the recording quality (some devices record in higher quality than others), 8GB of internal memory can hold between 150-300 hours of recordings at a time. 

Normal USB Flash Drive Operation

In addition to working as its main purpose as covert audio recording device, flash drive recorders also function as regular USB flash drives as well, allowing you to take your important files with you wherever you go.

This also helps the device blend in wherever you want to take it, because flash drives are so common, no one will give them a second glance.

Your audio files are saved in a folder usually named "VOICE" or something similar, and you can copy the files to your computer or delete them if no longer needed, just like you would files on a regular flash drive.

Listening to Recorded Files

When you're ready to listen to your recorded audio files, just plug the flash drive into your computer's USB port. Audio files recorded by USB flash drive recorders are either in AVI or MP3 format, which are universal formats, and require no special software for playback.

That being said, we do always recommend using VLC Media Player to listen to your files - it's a great (and free!) media player for both video and audio files, and is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. 

Compare Top Selling USB Flash Drive Recorders

Below our the top 3 selling flash drive audio recorders. Everyone has different and unique recording needs, so compare the features below to see which recorder is best for your situation:



Internal Memory 8GB 4GB 8GB
Recording Capacity Up to 50 Hours Up to 144 Hours Up to 288 Hours
Recoring Mode(s) Voice Activated Voice Activated or Continuous Voice Activated or Continuous
Recording Battery Life Up to 15 Hours Up to 15 Hours Up to 24 Hours
Standby Battery Life N/A Up to 25 Days Up to 25 Days
Records While Plugged In No Yes Yes
Time/Date Stamp Yes (PC Only) No Yes (PC Only)
Warranty Lifetime Warranty Lifetime Warranty Lifetime Warranty
Price $49.00 $79.00 $89.00
Product Details View Details View Details View Details


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