Voice recording apps for iPhone, iPads and Apple Watches give you the flexibility to record conversations or conduct an interview from the comfort of your home and from a safe distance.
In addition, they can be a cost effective way to get started as a podcaster, musician, singer, journalist, voiceover artist or similar voice/audio based professions during these tough times.
We have no affiliations with any of these apps. So, this is an unbiased list of the best free and paid voice recording apps for iPhone to help our clients and readers alike.
Let’s get started:
Cost: FREE! (Comes pre-installed in your iPhone)
Works on: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch
You don’t need to go Apple’s app store to install this. All iPhones come pre-loaded with Voice Memos. Just look inside the “Extras” folder on your home screen and there it is.
Super simple and straightforward to record. Just hit the big red record button and off you go. Once it starts recording, you can pause and resume recording too.
Apple updates this app with almost every new iOS release adding new features.
It works on Apple Watch so you can capture new recordings from your wrist.
- Comes pre-installed and works on your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch
- You can pause and resume recording
- Allows you to trim and edit your clip
- You can choose compressed or uncompressed audio formats
- Label recordings based on your location automatically
- Sync to iCloud
- Share recordings via AirDrop, Mail, Messages
- Basic audio editing tools
- Can’t share large audio files
- It won’t record phone calls
FREE to install and use (with ads).
$6.99 or £5.48 to remove ads.
Works on: iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch
Its paid version has no advertisements, so one less headache. It lets you record voice and on-site sounds at unlimited length with configurable quality.
Furthermore, this app can record directly into compressed audio formats like MP4, MP3 etc. along with the usual uncompressed formats like WAV.
In addition, it has the convert function for all supported formats.
That can be handy, for example if you want small file sizes to quickly upload and transfer to websites for audio transcription or add to your cloud storage when you’re on the move.
- Works with all major cloud storage services like Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud etc.
- You can export to SoundCloud, your FTP server, or a web based script.
- Send your audio recordings via Bluetooth to other devices.
- Download and upload to PC using built-in web server and Wi-Fi.
- Share your recorded clips on Social Media or Upload to YouTube.
- Extensive Audio Editing Features includes adding sound effects and equalizer control.
- $6.99 to remove ads!
- No audio transcription options
Works On: iPhone, iPad
This app allows you to record your meetings, lectures, and other events with “codec noise reduction” technology. The app maker claims you can record anything within 10-100 meters around you.
It has built-in audio editing features and multiple playback options.
Auto upload and sharing works with iCloud, iTunes, Airdrop and Dropbox.
Furthermore, it works with an external input device like bluetooth or wired microphones.
Some more of its key features:
- You can continue recording into existing recordings.
- Call Interruption handling – Recording will continue after a call or other interruption.
- Available in 11 different languages
- Free to use
- Free audio editing tools
- Works with Dropbox
- Doesn’t work on Apple Watch
$5.00 U.S. or £3.99
Works On: iPhone, iPad
Compared to all the other apps above, this one has more bells and whistles, gives you more control and is aimed more toward professionals.
If you’re a musician, DJ or producer, this is a nice app to have.
Furthermore, it’s got some nice audio editing, file management and transfer tools that allow you to record, trim, convert, normalize, transfer, export, import, zip, unzip etc..
You can record directly in the app from your phone’s microphone or an external audio interface along with compatible apps.
In addition, you can preview and play soundfiles with waveform display and looping, trim and normalize soundfiles, and convert to other file formats with options for bit rate or bit depth and sample rate.
- Works with iCloud, iTunes and Dropbox
- WiFi Drive: transfer files from/to any computer on your local network
- Plays almost any kind of sound file
- Add notes with the built-in text editor
- Aimed at a niche crowd
- Steep learning curve
- Could have more audio effects for the price
Voice Recording on iPhone + Automatic Transcription
Cost: Free to install, but you need premium subscription to get full functionality.
Works on: Mac, iPhone, iPad
This app can transcribe videos and voice memos into text using AI.
- Automatic transcription of voice memos and videos
- Import files from other apps and DropBox
- Export raw transcribed text into a text editing app
- Free transcription only for the first 15 minutes.
- The time starts as soon as you start using it.
- You need their premium subscription to use advanced features of the app.
- AI transcription isn’t there yet and makes a lot of mistakes.
A Word on Automatic Transcription
As a transcription services company, we’ve gone through several iterations, versions and evolutions of automatic transcription software trying to find the one that can provide accurate transcription and save us the hassle of finding, testing and hiring transcribers.
Furthermore, they all claim accurate transcription. But that’s only true if you’re a single speaker, speaking really slowly, and in a quiet environment, as close to the microphone as possible.
Shortfalls of Automatic Transcription
Automatic transcription software will start to struggle as soon as there is a normal conversation between two people.
Some of its biggest stumbling blocks are:
- Understanding fast speech.
- Differentiating between multiple speakers.
- Ignoring background noise.
- Deciphering foreign accents.
Oftentimes they struggle even with slow speakers.
Example of Automatic Transcription
Below is an example of how a machine understands people talking.
This is a quick transcription of a small clip from the incredibly popular Joe Rogan Experience Podcast Series.
You can see the video here, and below that is the machine transcript.
Is telling you guys before issue today were my credit card got robbed and you know whatever card fraud some to hold my number which is really that’s the one thing that people worry about the most about shopping online right because I could, happen everywhere but you think that if there’s anything that is change malls more than anything it’s got to be the ability to just shop online default Amazon that the fact that they figure that out when Amazon came out it was just a bookstore with who the focus of our books online at school to the bookstore is just a stupid business meanwhile the guy has more money than any human on the planet that’s related to investors get divorced I heard last night that there’s a rule in West Washington that everything that you make as a couple you to split your for 25 years else Arnie a little military law is just 50-50 will under marriages 20 years or 10 years or more is 50-50 in that clues downstream income will go from anything you did that you’re still getting paid for say 10 years ago you wrote a book or whatever well Mrs. basals is again a he’s worth 100+ billion dollar and 37 while so she’s gonna get half of that ligament because it’s a lot of stock the center to just be friends, though they better if she should be supervised usual user recorder actually I were on July were on the richest people in the are all these bookstores where business or some irony that Amazon I want to start opening physical brick-and-mortar stores that is, in my life but it does make sense though because there are some brick-and-mortar stores and think of as a conqueror think you just want to take over everything will wildly by whole foods and I was out of the supermarket business I can talk this up to well automated I can order whole foods delivered to your house I think that’s available yet but I figured is right is a state now most grocery stores even like all the routes have home delivery within two hours to compete with Amazon prime you are and if they don’t do that you can is where I want to pick it up to John I went to pavilions in the day met a bunch of delivery trucks parked in the parking mom is what will get this is cool delivery trucks have to buy one rate that we can walk in there’s no cashiers they just trust that everyone’s not stealing and I think they just are the comfortable with a certain amount of theft that’s interesting with the left hand was doing but it’s him the online purchasing like that is got a put that must be putting the most this was like the most impact on stores brick-and-mortar stores and ability to purchase online can be devastating from Dorian up in Santa Barbara I live now just writing up State Street this morning at the end of the ride units like the third to be a quarter the stores are closed and business empty and you state streets and Barbara this was like that happen in place to be and I and the real estate minimizes I will see that started at zero $22,000 a month to lease okay so you have to have a retail outlet that’s really turning over the customers and there’s a lot that just can’t do that became an antique store that’s going to do that are a little bit next-door
As you can see in the example above, audio quality of the video is actually pretty good, with no background noise.
While AI has shown promise over the last 20 years, it’s nowhere near replacing a human brain.
We strongly recommend you choose a transcription service if you want an accurate, proofread, time stamped, speaker labeled document.
Otherwise you will be doing most of the heavy lifting by spending hours editing the rough transcript that a transcription software spat out.
At the end of the day, your time can be better spent on tasks that are more important.
How to Record Phone Calls on an iPhone?
All the voice recording apps for iphone listed in this article will record your voice or the sounds around you, but not your phone calls.
There are some call recording apps for Android, but Apple doesn’t allow this function.
The easiest way around this is to use two iPhones (or an iPad); one to make a call with and put on speakerphone, and the other to record it using any of the voice recording apps for iPhone listed in this article.
Please note; before you record your phone calls, it’s a good idea to take a look at telephone recording laws by country.
In most states and countries recording phone calls without consent is not allowed. In others, it is okay as long as you inform the other person on the line or get their consent. So, make sure you do that.
Free or paid voice recording apps for iPhone take away the need for any specialized recording equipment that writers, journalists or physicians needed to have just a few years ago.
Especially as the quality of microphones and internal storage have increased by leaps and bounds with every generation of the iPhone.
In summary, the Voice Memos app comes pre-loaded on every iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch does the job of recording your voice or any audio around you.
If you want more control and a wide variety of audio editing tools, look at #2. Voice Record Pro and #4. Audioshare.
Also don’t forget to see our recommendation regarding automatic transcription.
Following the success of our 5 Best Audio Recording Apps for Android post, we thought we’d show some love to our Apple crowd as well, which is why we’ve worked hard to compile this list for you.
We hope this article helped you choose the best voice recording apps for iphone, and if it did, please share this with your friends and colleagues.
Similarly, if you think we’ve missed something, or want us to do another list, please leave a comment below.
Finally, if you have recorded voice memos, dictations, podcasts or interviews and need help with transcribing them, please see below: