Sony ICD-AX412

  • Good audio quality
  • Reliable and easy to use
  • Long battery life
  • MP3 is only audio format supported
  • No LED backlighting
  • Included software is not Mac-compatible
Where to Buy

Bottom line

The Sony ICD-AX412 falls short compared to some high-end models, but it earns high marks as a digital voice recorder for everyday use. Great battery life and a useful noise-canceling feature are key pluses among those who feel this recorder delivers impressive sound quality and function for a reasonable price. This voice recorder has been officially discontinued by Sony, but remains widely available at retail at the time of this report.


Cancel the background crud. With a powerful noise-canceling function that cuts out extra background bleed-in, the Sony ICD-AX412 is a very capable pocket recorder that delivers ample recording quality for documenting meetings, interviews and lectures. The lower-fidelity MP3 format will undoubtedly be a deal-breaker for users looking for pro-grade features, though the vast majority of user reviews indicate that the ICD-AX412's recording quality is quite good for the cost.

Ease of use

Are you a Mac or a PC? The Sony ICD-AX412's straightforward controls are easy to understand, and the highly portable design is good for on-the-go recordings. The MP3 recordings take up less room than higher-fidelity formats, leaving plenty of room on the built-in 2 GB flash memory to work with, and that's easily expanded with memory cards. Transferring the MP3 files to a PC is simple and easy to do. However, many owners report that the included software isn't compatible with Mac computers, and may require a third-party plug-in or software. The lack of LED backlighting is a common complaint for users who record in dark settings.


Cheap and functional. The Sony ICD-AX412 delivers a lot of bang for the buck, even if it's not quite as proficient as the Olympus DM-620 (Est. $110). On the other hand, it's also a little bit pricier than some other basic recorders that perform about as well, such as the Olympus VN-702PC (Est. $45) . Still, though the quality takes a hit in comparison to recorders supporting a wider range of audio formats, this MP3 voice recorder is a reasonable choice for general use.

Olympus VN-702PC Voice Recorder
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Where To Buy
Sony ICD-AX412 Stereo Digital Voice Recorder

Buy new: $79.95   6 Used & new from $89.99

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Our Sources


Bryan Gardiner names the Sony AX412 the best voice recorder overall. The digital voice recorder "wasn't great at everything," he writes, "but it was quite good at a few really important things," citing voice clarity, features and consistent performance.

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

2.'s users value the Sony ICD-AX412 for its reliability, peripheral noise-reduction functions, ease of use and overall sound quality. It earns a rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 following more than 155 owner-written reviews, though some grouse over the lack of LED backlighting and unclear instructions.

Review: Sony ICD-AX412 Stereo Digital Voice Recorder, Contributors to, As of April 2014


Great battery life and ease of use are the Sony ICD-AX412's big draws among users at, who give the recorder a score of 4.6 stars out of 5, from more than 45 total reviews. Some users complain the included software isn't Mac-compatible, though the device itself is.

Review: Sony ICDAX412 Digital Voice Recorder, Contributors to, As of April 2014


Retailer's customer reviews place the Sony ICD-AX412 at 4.6 stars out of 5, from more than 35 user comments. Owners particularly enjoy the recorder's portability, reasonable sound quality and value for the price.

Review: Sony - Digital Voice Recorder, Contributors to, As of April 2014

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