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Sony ICD-SX712D

Digital stereo voice and music recorder with voice-to-text software

1 Review

Item # 158SX712D

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Our take on the Sony ICD-SX712D

Transcriptions made easy
The Sony ICD-SPX712D voice recorder, with its included Dragon Naturally Speaking® software, makes taking notes or transcribing speech simple. Record the lecture or event and transfer the resulting MP3 to your computer. The included software helps you transcribe recorded content into text documents — great for students, reporters, secretaries, and others who need to translate speech into printed words.

Transcriptions made easy
The Sony ICD-SPX712D voice recorder, with its included Dragon Naturally Speaking® software, makes taking notes or transcribing speech simple. Record the lecture or event and transfer the resulting MP3 to your computer. The included software helps you transcribe recorded content into text documents — great for students, reporters, secretaries, and others who need to translate speech into printed words.

Record music and voice
Use the two built-in microphones to record in stereo. The mics swivel to different positions, so you can optimize your recording quality. And the PX712D records not just in MP3, but also linear PCM so you can make high-quality recordings — great for capturing live music. You can also switch the mics to mono for voice recording.

Easy on-the-go recording
You can also choose either manual or automatic audio level settings, to adjust to different recording conditions. The voice-activated mode lets you make convenient, hands-free recordings. And the intelligent noise cut feature helps improve recordings made under less-than-ideal circumstances.

All the memory you need
Make voice recordings on the go without worrying about running out of memory. This digital recorder has two gigabytes of built-in memory — enough for over three weeks of basic-quality recordings. But if that's not enough, just insert a microSD card into the player for more storage.

Use the built-in speaker for playback, or plug your headphones into the minijack for more discreet listening.

Edit in the field or at home
The ICD-SPX712D also lets you do basic editing on the go. You can flip back and forth between two tracks to compare them, change the pitch, divide a track, or add to it — or simply overwrite what's there to free up space.

Product Highlights:

  • battery-powered digital stereo voice and music recorder with expandable memory
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking voice-to-text software included
  • 2GB embedded memory holds up to
    • 536 hours of basic-quality mono voice recordings
    • 22 hours of highest-quality voice recordings
  • records to MP3 audio files
  • records linear PCM for high-quality audio
  • MP3, WMA, and AAC format playback support
  • built-in editing functions:
    • intelligent noise reduction
    • A-B repeat
    • digital pitch control
    • divide and add to track
    • overwrite
  • expandable microSD card slot (memory card not included)
  • large backlit LCD display
  • built-in speaker
  • selectable voice activated recording
  • high-speed USB interface (compatible with both PC and Mac®)
  • headphone minijack output
  • external microphone minijack input
  • Sound Organizer audio editing software included
  • up to 72 hours operation with 2 "AAA" batteries (included)
  • 1-3/8"W x 5-7/16"H x 1-7/8"D
  • weight: 2.6 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Computer Requirements:
  • Windows® 7, Windows Vista® or Windows® XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later
  • Mac OS X v.10.2.8-v.10.6 (Sony software has limited Mac compatibility and Dragon software is not Mac-compatible)

This instrument is not for the diehard "intuitive user". On the other hand the instruction booklet is reasonably well written.

James B, Victoria, Texas

What's in the Box:

  • Digital voice recorder
  • USB Cradle
  • Stand
  • 2 "AAA" rechargeable batteries (1.2 V/800 mAh) in a clear plastic case
  • Wind screen
  • Carrying pouch
  • 35" USB cable (Type A on one end and Mini B Ver.2.0 on the other end)
  • Stereo earbud headphones with 40" cable (3.5mm miniplug)
  • Sony Sound Organizer Ver.1.1.0 CD-ROM disc
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking--Recorder Edition 11.0 DVD-ROM
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty sheet
  • Customer Support Home Page
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking 11 Quick Card
  • Earphone listening warning sheet

Sony ICD-SX712D Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(1 Review)

Sony recorder

James B from Victoria, Texas on 5/7/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This instrument is not for the diehard "intuitive user". On the other hand the instruction booklet is reasonably well written.

Pros: Ligthweight

Cons: Thicker than other Sony models


Hands-on research

Product Research

Overview: The Sony ICD-SX712D Digital Voice Recorder provides high-quality stereo recording for music, meetings, or lectures through its built-in microphone (or optional external microphone) and integrated 2GB flash memory. Additionally, the Sony Digital Voice Recorder features linear PCM recording and up to 536 hours of recording capacity (MP3, 8 kbps, Mono). Featuring Dragon NaturallySpeaking Voice to Print Speech Recognition software, the ICD-SX712D digital voice recorder is a great office assistant. You can easily translate all of your recordings from voice to print with a few clicks of a button. A convenient nylon carrying pouch is also included to store, transport, and protect the digital voice recorder.

Display Features
Recording Functions
Edit Functions
Playback Functions
Computer Requirements
Power Requirements

Display Features

LCD Display: The Sony ICD-SX712D features a full-dot, backlit, monochrome LCD display which indicates recording and playback information. The recorder will display the remaining recording time in hours, minutes, and seconds. The display's backlight can be set to stay on for 10 seconds, 60 seconds, or turned completely off.

Multiple Language Display: You can select the language used in the display for messages, menus, folder names, file names, etc.: English, French, and Spanish.

Date and Time: The recorder features a built-in clock that displays date and time on the unit's LCD screen. If you have set the time and date, information as to when a sound file was recorded is stored automatically with that file. In addition, you can set an alarm and start playback of a selected file on a specified date, once every week, or at the same time every day.

Recording Functions

Stereo Microphone: The ICD-SX712D features two built-in microphones on the top of the recorder. The microphones can be set at an angle to give you a wider pickup pattern, if desired. In addition to the built-in microphones, the recorder also has a 3.5mm external microphone input.

Built-In 2GB Flash Memory: The ICD-SX712D Digital Voice Recorder features a built-in 2GB flash memory which can hold hours of audio or voice memos. The unit can recognize up to 400 folders, and up to 199 files per folder (or a total of 4,095 folders and files for one memory media). Because a portion of the memory is used for system management and/or application files, available capacity is approximately 1.8 GB.

External Media: In addition to the built-in memory, the SX712D has a slot for a Memory Stick Micro (M2) up to 16 GB, or a microSD card (microSD smaller than 2 GB or microSDHC from 4 GB to 32 GB).

Multiple Recording Formats: The digital voice recorder offers multiple recording formats and quality modes:

Recording Mode Frequency Response Maximum Recording Time
Built-in 2 GB Memory
44.1kHz, 16-bit
40Hz - 20kHz 3 hours
MP3 320 kbps 40Hz - 16kHz 13 hrs 20 min
MP3 192 kbps 22 hrs 20 min
MP3 128 kbps 33 hrs 30 min
MP3 48 kbps (Mono) 40Hz - 14kHz 89 hrs 25 min
MP3 8 kbps (Mono) 50Hz - 2kHz 536 hours
WMA: 32 kbps - 192 kbps
AAC-LC: 16 kbps - 320 kbps

Adjustable Recording Level: The Sony digital voice recorder offers a manual and 5 automatic recording level settings. During manual recording you can adjust the recording level manually. The 5 automatic recording level settings include: Low (to record dictation or sound near the recorder), Medium (to record normal conversation or meeting), High (to record a sound far away or a low sound), High (Music) (to record more natural acoustic sound) and Low (Music) (to record a loud sound, such as band practice).

Limiter Function: The Limiter function sets the input level automatically to prevent sound distortion that occurs when a sound that is too loud is input.

Pre-Recording Function: The Pre-Recording function allows you to record sound sources for a maximum of 5 seconds prior to the point when the recording is started. Sounds for 5 seconds are buffered in the memory. This is useful to record during interviews or when making an open-air recording so that you will not miss the chance to start recording.

VOR Function: The VOR (Voice Operated Recording) function makes the digital voice recorder start recording when the recorder detects sound, and pause when no sound is heard, eliminate recording during soundless periods.

Low-Cut Filter: When you set the LCF (Low-Cut Filter) function to "On", the digital voice recorder cuts out frequencies lower than 200Hz to reduce the roaring noise from wind. This helps to record a sound source more clearly outdoors.

Noise Cut: This function reduces the distortion of very low and high frequencies which are outside the human voice range, allowing you to hear the human voice more clearly.

Wind Screen: When you use the IC recorder outdoors, attached the supplied wind screen to the IC recorder so that the wind screen covers the built-in microphones to reduce wind noise.

Stand: The ICD-SX712D comes with a convenient clip-on stand which allows you to place the recorder upright on your desk or table.

USB Cradle: The recorder also comes with a USB Cradle which holds the unit upright at a 60° angle. The cradle has a Mini B 2.0 connector that plugs directly into the recorder. The supplied USB connecting cable then plugs into the cradle and your computer for downloading files.

Auxiliary Input With Synchronized Recording: The digital voice recorder's microphone jack also acts as an auxiliary input so you can connect a portable music player to the ICD-SX712D and record audio. When you use the synchronized recording function, the digital voice recorder enters the recording pause mode when no sound is detected for more than 2 seconds and the recorder starts recording again as a new message when sound is detected.

Edit Functions

Divide: In the stop mode, you can divide a file into two parts, with the new file number being added to the newer part of the divided file.

Overwrite and Add Functions: The ICD-SX712D allows you to correct dictation in playback and add a recording after the original recording. Added recording will be placed after the current file, and will be counted as a part of the file.

Track Mark: You can add a track mark at a point in a file and use it during playback. You can add up to 98 bookmarks to each file.

Move Files: You can move a file from one folder to another folder, or copy files between the built-in memory and the memory card in either direction.

Erase: You can erase your recorded messages one by one, or all message in a folder at time.

Protect Files: To prevent a file from being accidentally erased or edited, you can protect an important file. When a file is protected, it is regarded as a read-only file. Protection can be released, if desired.

Playback Functions

Built-In Speaker and Headphones: The ICD-SX712D features a built-in speaker so you can listen back to your recordings. The digital voice recorder also features a 3.5mm headphone output and comes with a pair of earbud-style headphones for private listening.

Playback: The Sony digital voice recorder offers Play, Stop, Previous, Next, and Repeat playback functions.

Easy Search: You can go forward for approximately 10 seconds or back for approximately 3 seconds to locate a desired point in a long recording.

Digital Pitch Control: The Digital Pitch Control allows you to adjust the playback speed of your recording. The playback speed can be decreased from 0.25x to 1x, or increased from 1x to 3x. The recording is still played back in a natural tone using digital processing.

Digital Voice-Up: The Digital Voice-Up function amplifies the low-level part of a recorded message, allowing you to hear even low/small voices more easily. There are two levels of Digital Voice-Up: Maximum and Medium.

Sound Effect: You can choose from the following Sound Effects:

  • Pop: Stresses the middle ranges, ideal for vocals
  • Rock: Emphasizes high and low ranges for a powerful sound
  • Jazz: Emphasizes high ranges for lively sound
  • Bass 1: Emphasizes the bass sound
  • Bass 2: Emphasizes the bass sound even more
  • Custom: Adjusts the level of 5 frequency bands (0.4kHz, 1kHz, 2.5kHz, 6.3kHz, 16kHz) from -3 to +3 in 7 steps. Adjusts for Clear Bass between 0 and +3 in 4 steps when listening to headphones.

Computer Requirements

USB Port: The Sony ICD-SX712D features a mini-USB type-B connector and comes supplied with a USB cable to connect the digital voice recorder to your computer. The ICD-SX712D also includes a handy USB docking cradle to rest the digital voice recorder when connected to your computer. You can do the following when you connect the digital voice recorder to your computer.

  • Copy Files: You can copy the files and folders recorded on the ICD-SX712D onto your computer to save them. You can also copy music or other audio files from your computer to the recorder, including WAV, MP3, WMA, and AAC-LC by a simple drag and drop operation.
  • Mass Storage Device: You can store image data or text data saved on your computer temporarily on the Sony digital music player.

Editing Software: The ICD-SX712D Digital Voice Recorder comes supplied with two CD-ROM discs which include the following editing software:

  • Sony Sound Organizer ver.1.1.0: The Sound Organizer software allows you to import files from the recorder to your computer. You can also import songs from music CDs, MP3 and other audio files, and podcasts for transferring to the recorder. The software also lets you edit, view track marks, burn CDs and DVDs, and playback with Intelligent Noise Cut and other useful features.
    • Operating System: For the Sound Organizer software, your computer will need to have one of the following operating systems installed:
      • Windows 7: Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium, Home Basic, Starter
      • Windows Vista: Ultimate (SP2 or higher), Business (SP2 or higher), Home Premium (SP2 or higher), Home Basic (SP2 or higher)
      • Windows XP: Media Center Edition 2005 (SP3 or higher), Media Center Edition 2004 (SP3 or higher), Professional (SP3 or higher), Home Edition (SP3 or higher)

Note: The SX712D only has Drag and Drop Mass Storage Device functionality with Mac OS X (v10.2.8-v10.6).

  • DRAGON NaturallySpeaking Recorder Edition 11.0: With Dragon NatruallySpeaking speech recognition software installed on your computer (PC only, not compatible with Mac), you can use the Sony Sound Organizer software to transfer the files recorded on the recorder onto your computer's hard-disk and then link it to Dragon NaturallySpeaking software to transcribe from voice to text.

Power Requirements

Battery Life: The Sony digital voice recorder requires two "AAA" alkaline or Ni-MH batteries. Two Ni-MH batteries are included, and provide up to 19 hours of recording and 22 hours of playback time (16 hours through the built-in speaker). The Ni-MH rechargeable batteries can be charged in the recorder using the included USB cable and USB docking cradle.

Note: Optional Alkaline batteries provide up to 25 hours of recording and 30 hours of playback time (21 hours of playback through the built-in speaker).

Our Product Research Team

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