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Sony ICD-UX533

4GB digital voice recorder with expandable memory (Silver)

5 Reviews | 3 questions - 4 answers

Item # 158UX533S

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Our take on the Sony ICD-UX533

The Sony ICD-UX533 is a compact digital voice recorder with a lot of versatility. Its built-in stereo microphone records both voices and music with accuracy and clarity. The recorder features a built-in retractable USB plug for easy connection to a PC. Just plug it in when you need to charge the built-in battery or transfer your files — no need to keep track of a separate cable.

The Sony ICD-UX533 is a compact digital voice recorder with a lot of versatility. Its built-in stereo microphone records both voices and music with accuracy and clarity. The recorder features a built-in retractable USB plug for easy connection to a PC. Just plug it in when you need to charge the built-in battery or transfer your files — no need to keep track of a separate cable.

Sony ICD-UX533 voice recorder

The recorder's retractable USB plug means you don't have to keep up with a separate charging cable.

Expandable memory

Don't worry about running out of memory. The 'UX533 has 4GB of built-in memory that can store over 1,000 hours of recordings. If you need more, just insert a microSD card into the player and keep recording.

Easy on-the-go recording

The UX533 features an automatic recording level mode to ensure the sound isn't over- or under-recorded. Sync-Record activates the recorder when an audio source is started. So you can record yourself playing guitar, for example, without having to reach over to press the record button.

Playback options

Use the built-in speaker for playback, or plug in your headphones for more discreet listening. The recorder can deliver up to 30 hours of operation with its “AAA” rechargeable battery.

Product Highlights:

  • battery-powered digital voice recorder with expandable memory
  • built-in stereo microphone
  • 4GB embedded memory
  • supports playback of MP3, WMA and AAC audio files
  • built-in editing functions:
    • Sync-Record automatically starts recording when audio source begins playing
    • automatically adjusts recording levels
  • expandable microSD card slot (memory card not included)
  • LCD display
  • built-in speaker
  • Scene Select automatically sets levels based on activity (notes, music, lecture, etc.)
  • high-speed USB interface with retractable connector
  • headphone minijack output
  • stereo minijack input for an optional external microphone
  • up to 30 hours of operation with rechargeable "AAA" battery (included)
  • 1-1/2"W x 4-1/16"H x 9/16"D
  • weight: 2.62 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Computer Requirements:
  • Windows® 8, Windows® 7, Windows Vista® SP 2 or higher, Windows® XP SP3 or higher
  • Mac OS X v.10.3.9-v.10.8 (Sony software has limited Mac compatibility)

Well it's been a Couple of weeks,needed time to play with this, it is fantastic,I use for music, copy, edit,& mix. The sound is good ,most of my earlt music is off of my Reel To reel,(RCA jacks) The cutting & splitting & reproducing, is what i was looking for.

ltp, Goodyear, AZ

What's in the Box:

  • IC recorder (silver)
  • 6.75" USB extension cable (Male Type A USB on one end and Female Type A USB on other end)
  • Stereo earphones with 39" cord (3.5mm plug)
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Limited Warranty sheet
  • Online product registration sheet
  • Audio Studio promo sheet
  • Listening for a Lifetime headphone safety sheet

Sony ICD-UX533 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(5 Reviews)

Best recorder you will find

James from Massapequa, NY on 6/2/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Superb audio quality. I was amazed at just how clear and sharp the audio is. This recorder literally picks up voices from across the room as if the person was standing right next to you. Slightly smaller than an old bar phone, it fits in any pocket. You can even record while it's in your pocket and the audio will still be very clear. The controls are easy to understand. The design is built for one hand operation. The screen is backlit and has a very simple navigation system which makes using this recorder very effective and productive. Transferring the audio files to your computer is a breeze. Just attach the recorder to your computer using the built-in USB plug and the recorder shows up as an external HD. The files will be right there in a folder on your desktop. It couldn't be easier. I would buy this recorder again without a doubt.

Pros: Superb audio pickup, small footprint, one-handed operation, easy to use.


Sony ICD-UX533

ltp from Goodyear, AZ on 5/4/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well it's been a Couple of weeks,needed time to play with this, it is fantastic,I use for music, copy, edit,& mix. The sound is good ,most of my earlt music is off of my Reel To reel,(RCA jacks) The cutting & splitting & reproducing, is what i was looking for.

Pros: Compact good software, easy to use


Sony ICD-UX533

Anonymous from Tacoma, WA on 12/13/2016

I bought this for my office. the voice recordings were clear. The controls were not intuitive. I was extremely frustrated about the difficulties I had trying to go over and correct some of the dictation. This problem in effect made the Sony useless to me.



Great tool

Emigna from Pennsylvania on 11/20/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I attend conferences and seminars, and appreciate being able to review thru presenter's remarks, to better facilitate my retention. I have used this recorder over a year, in large 700 person conference rooms as well as small meeting rooms. The mic picks up a broad range of voice volumes remarkably clearly with sufficient amplification. The built in USB slide out allows for simple uploads to a computer, and the AAA battery power is easy to carry spares, although I am surprised at how long a single battery does power this device. I am getting another for a student child, and still happy to use my first one for years to come. Excellent value.

Pros: Size, recorded volume, battery life, ease of portability, simple offload of files, acts just like a USB drive when plugging into a USB2.0 slot of a computer.

Cons: Haven't detected any yet!

Just What I Wanted

Saiyasat333 from Georgia on 5/18/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I read many reviews for stereo recorders and finally decided to purchase this model from Sony. I had considered a few options from Olympus and other companies, but I finally decided upon this product because the reviews claimed that it had all the options I was seeking and that it was easier to use and more reliable than the others. I have been very happy with the product so far. It is very small, easy to use, offers many customization options and the filing system is logical and intuitive. The recorder even comes with a preloaded program from Sony for managing and editing the files.

Pros: Small, USB built in with retractable dust cover, Ability to record in high quality uncompressed files, Stereo, Ability to turn off all filters and suppression settings, Easy to use.

Cons: Feels a bit flimsy which makes me paranoid about breaking it


Hands-on research

Product Research

General Features
Recording Features
Edit and Playback Functions

General Features

Overview: The Sony ICD-UX533 is an easy-to-use, hand-held portable digital voice recorder. It has a built-in 4 GB flash memory for hours of recording time. It has a built-in, 2-element stereo microphone, mono speaker, and jacks for an external microphone and headphones. The UX533 operates on a "AAA" Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery. Included with the recorder is a pair of stereo earbud headphones.

LCD Display: The UX533 features a 15/16" square, backlit, monochrome LCD display which indicates recording and playback information. The recorder will display the elapsed or remaining recording time in hours, minutes, and seconds. When not recording, the current time can be displayed.

Date and Time: The recorder features a built-in clock. 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 at a specified time.

Built-in Microphone: The unit features a built-in, 2-element, stereo microphone on the top of the recorder. You can set the microphone sensitivity for music, voice, or for zoom functionality. In addition to the built-in microphone, the recorder also has a 3.5mm external microphone input.

Built-In 4 GB Flash Memory: The UX533 Digital Voice Recorder features a built-in 4 GB flash memory which can hold hours of audio or voice memos. The unit has 5 pre-programmed folders (400 maximum), and up to 199 files per folder (or a maximum of 4074 files). Because a portion of the memory is used for system management and/or application files, available capacity is approximately 3.6 GB.

Memory Card Slot: In addition to the 4 GB built-in memory, the UX533 has a memory card expansion slot for more recording capacity. The slot will accept microSD and M2 (Memory Stick micro) memory cards.

USB Port: The UX533 has a retractable Type A USB plug that makes it easy to connect directly to your computer for file transfer or charging. A short USB extension cable is supplied for use with hard-to-reach USB ports. The unit is Hi-speed USB compatible, and can work with the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows 8
  • Windows 7 SP1 or higher
  • Windows Vista SP2 or higher
  • Windows XP SP3 or higher
  • Mac OS X (v10.3.9-v10.8)

Sound Organizer: The unit features built-in Sound Organizer editing software. When you connect the recorder, you can install the software on your computer. Sound Organizer is compatible with Windows XP (SP3), Vista (SP2), Windows 7, and Windows 8.

Power Requirements: The recorder is powered by a single "AAA"-sized Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) rechargeable battery. See the chart below for battery life information.

Recording Features

Recording Format: The ICD-UX533 records audio files in MP3 format in four recording modes at bit rates of 8 kbps to 192 kbps, or in 16-bit, 44.1kHz LPCM. You can record in stereo or mono, depending upon the recording mode. Lower bit rates provide longer recording times while higher bit rates offer better quality recordings. The selectable recording modes are as follows:

Recording Mode Frequency Response Maximum Recording Time
Built-in 4 GB Memory
Max. Battery Life
LPCM 44/16 50Hz -20kHz 6 hours 22 hours
MP3 192k 50Hz - 18kHz 44 hrs 40 min 24 hours
MP3 128k 50Hz - 16kHz 67 hrs 5 min 24 hours
MP3 48k (Mono) 50Hz - 14kHz 178 hours 25 hours
MP3 8k (Mono) 60 Hz - 3400 Hz 1073 hours 30 hours

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.

Intelligent Noise Cut: Sony's Intelligent Noise Cut feature significantly reduces ambient noise during recording for clearer playback.

Scene Select: You can select a pre-determined recording mode with the push of the Scene Select button. You can choose from Meeting, Voice Notes, Interview, Lecture, Music, and My Scene 1 or 2, to optimize the recording settings for each type of scene.

Edit and Playback Functions

Playback Formats: In addition to LPCM and MP3 files recorded by the UX533, the unit will also playback MP3, WMA, AAC, and WAV files.

Overwrite and Add Functions: The UX533 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.

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.

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

Track Mark: You can place up to 98 track marks for each file to assist you in finding an exact spot in your recording.

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.

Built-In Speaker and Headphones: The UX533 features a built-in mono speaker for listening back to your recordings. The recorder also features a 3.5mm headphone output. A pair of stereo headphones is supplied.

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.

Calendar Search: You can easily search for recordings by date. A calendar is displayed, indicating the dates when recordings were made.

A-B Repeat: You can place marks at the beginning and the ending of a recorded passage for repeated playback. This constant repetition feature can be used for language learning.

Hold Function: The UX533 has a Hold function that will lock the buttons to prevent accidental operations. The Hold function is activated by sliding the power switch to the left.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Q & A

Customer Q&A

3 questions already asked

When you attach the recorder to your laptop using the USB connector, it will automatically mount and show up as a drive. You can then search the recorder as you would any other folder or drive on your laptop. The recordings are located in the folders under voice. The individual sound files can be copied and moved to your laptop. [ Kristopher  Dec 12, 2015 ]
I forwarded your question to an Advisor and they responded with the following: There is no timer capability with this unit. It will start when it hears sound. If you would like to discuss further you can contact an Advisor directly by phone (1-800-324-9695) or online chat. [ Krissy  Aug 21, 2015 ]  Staff
The question was how to convert the file format. [ ichard  Jul 21, 2014 ]
Yes, very easily. Simply extend the USB connection that's hidden inside this unit and connect to your computer. I have been quite pleased with this recorder. I ordered a clip-on (lav) mic to record my speaking events. The recorder fits in my pocket and is much smaller than I expected, about the size of 2 9V batteries end-to-end. I recommend this.. [ JOEL  Dec 14, 2013 ]