Olympus VN-702PC Review

Updated April 30, 2014
Olympus VN-702PC
Bottom Line

Resting at the low end of the digital voice recorder spectrum both in terms of price and added extras, the Olympus VN-702PC handles a solid range of everyday recording tasks like a boss. It's a top choice for anyone looking to capture lectures, classes and interviews.


Pared down but reasonably powerful. The Olympus VN-702PC can only record in MP3 and WMA audio formats, meaning it's not appropriate for music and professional work. But if you're looking for something for lectures and general note-taking, the digital voice recorder's value and performance are hard to beat. On the whole, users report getting excellent audio quality in classrooms and meeting spots, though some settings can produce more background noise that interferes with recordings. Audio playback through the internal speakers suffers due to low volume, reports say, but it's fine when using headphones or listening on a computer.

  • Good performance for the money
  • Small size
  • Voice-activated recording
  • Only records in MP3 and WMA formats
  • Partial file loss if battery dies while recording
  • High background noise in some situations

Ease of use

It's elementary. There aren't a lot of advanced functions to get tangled up in with this voice recorder. Many users find it intuitive to operate, easy to handle and reliable when they need to capture audio for work, class or play. A very limited number of users raise complaints over problems with understanding the manual or transferring files to a computer. We also saw complaints that you are apt to lose part of a recording if the battery runs out of juice while it is being made. The built-in 2 GB of memory holds a lot of recording time, and the Olympus VN-702PC can accept microSD cards (up to 32 GB) for additional space if needed.


Basic and affordable. The Olympus VN-702PC delivers reliable performance and great sound if you're looking to record speech and little else. Despite a dearth of fancy features, this recorder hits the sweet spot in affordability for basic day-to-day recording needs.

Buy from Amazon

Our Sources

1. Amazon.com

Olympus VN-702PC Voice Recorder, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2014

Affordability, ease of use and portability earn the Olympus VN-702PC a score of 4.3 out of 5, following nearly 325 user reviews. Poor playback volume through the unit's speakers is a commonly listed complaint. Most of the reviews are short, though some go into great detail.

2. TheWirecutter.com

The Best Voice Recorder, Bryan Gardiner, Aug. 15, 2013

Writer Bryan Gardiner says if you're against paying more than $50 for a digital voice recorder, then the Olympus VN-702PC is "probably your best bet." It doesn't have many features and can't compete with higher-end models in terms of sound quality, he notes, though it's a solid budget recorder.

3. Staples.com

Olympus VN-702PC Digital Voice Recorder, Contributors to Staples.com, As of April 2014

About 80 reviewers contribute to the Olympus VN-702PC's rating of 4 stars out of 5 at Staples.com. Many customers cite good sound quality and a budget-minded price as the recorder's pluses. Some feel it's tricky to download files and the manual isn't entirely clear on some functions.

4. BHPhotoVideo.com

Olympus VN-702PC Digital Audio Recorder, Contributors to BHPhotoVideo.com, As of April 2014

BHPhotoVideo.com hosts only a handful of user reviews, but almost all rank the Olympus VN-702PC highly. This no-frills recorder is lauded for being small, easy to use and great for lectures or recording interviews.