Can I record just audio on my phone?

Smartphones have come a long way in terms of their audio recording capabilities. With high-quality microphones and audio codecs, it’s now possible to record professional-sounding audio directly on your phone. This article will cover everything you need to know about recording just audio using your smartphone.

We’ll start by looking at the default audio recording apps included on most phones. We’ll then explore some of the top third-party apps that provide additional features and controls for audio recording. Other topics covered include choosing the optimal audio format for your needs, tweaking audio settings for the best quality, editing recordings, sharing audio files, recording long interviews or talks, and more.

By the end of this guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to record great audio on your phone, no matter what you aim to capture.

Default Apps for Audio Recording

Both iOS and Android come with built-in audio recording apps that allow you to quickly record audio on your phone. On iOS, the Voice Memos app has been included since iOS 3 and allows iPhone users to record high-quality WAV audio files. Voice Memos has basic features like trimming audio clips, labeling recordings, and sharing files, but lacks more advanced editing capabilities.

To use Voice Memos, simply open the app and tap the red record button to start capturing audio through your iPhone’s microphone. You can pause and resume recording as needed. When finished, tap done to save the file. Voice Memos will automatically name files based on the date and time, but you can customize the name and add tags for easy searching later.

On Android, the default audio recorder app is known as Sound Recorder or Voice Recorder depending on the phone manufacturer. This app allows recording audio in common formats like AAC, AMR, and MP3. Features are minimal, focusing only on basic recording, trimming, and sharing functions. To use the Android audio recorder, launch the app and tap the record icon, pause and stop as needed, then tap save when complete.

The built-in recorder apps on iOS and Android are convenient for quick audio clips, but lack more robust features that third-party apps provide. Their simple interfaces make them easy to use for basic recording needs.

Third Party Audio Recording Apps

There are many third party audio recording apps available beyond the default iOS Voice Memos app that offer additional features for recording high quality audio on your iPhone. Some of the most popular and full-featured include:

Voice Recorder – This app allows you to record in multiple audio formats like MP3, WAV, M4A, and more. It has a simple interface, editing tools to trim recordings, cloud syncing, and unlimited recording time (unlike Voice Memos which limits files to 2 hours).

Easy Voice Recorder – Easy Voice Recorder stands out for its transcription features. It can automatically transcribe your recordings and sync the text to the audio. This makes it easy to search and organize a large number of recordings by content. It also has a clean interface, editing tools, and iCloud support.

Just Press Record – Just Press Record has a very streamlined design focused just on quick in-the-moment audio recording. It turns on with one tap and has editing features like trimming, timestamps, and iCloud sync. The app also transcribes recordings.

Recorder Plus – Recorder Plus is full of advanced features like trim, merge, and amplify for detailed audio editing. It allows recording in multiple formats like FLAC and ALAC for higher quality. And it has transcription capabilities powered by artificial intelligence for automatic voice-to-text.

There are many options for recording apps beyond Voice Memos, with features like advanced editing tools, cloud syncing, transcription, and more. The best choice comes down to the specific audio recording needs of each user.

Recording Audio in Social Apps

Many popular social media apps allow you to record and send audio messages to friends or post audio content. This can be a fun way to quickly share thoughts, reactions, or updates without typing.

Here’s how to record audio in some top social apps:


WhatsApp has a microphone icon that lets you record audio up to 30 seconds and send it as a voice message. Just tap and hold the mic icon while recording your message, then release to send it.


On Facebook’s mobile app, you can record audio clips up to 1 minute long and post them to your Timeline, groups, or friends. Tap the Photo/Video icon when creating a post, then tap Audio. Record your clip, add a description, tags, etc. and post.


Instagram recently added the ability to record and post audio clips up to 60 seconds long to your feed. To do this, tap the + icon to create a new post, select Audio, record your clip, add any effects/filters, and post.

So if you want to quickly share some thoughts or reactions via audio, social apps provide an easy option right from your phone.

Choosing the Right Audio Format

When recording audio on your phone, you have a few options for audio formats. The format you choose depends on your priorities for sound quality vs. file size.

Some top audio formats to consider include:

  • AAC (Advanced Audio Coding): This is the default format used by Apple devices when recording audio or video. AAC provides good sound quality at a reasonably small file size. It is supported across most platforms.
  • MP3: The MP3 format compresses audio files to make them smaller. This reduces sound quality, but MP3s take up much less storage space. MP3 works well for sharing audio recordings online or via email.
  • WAV (Waveform Audio File Format): WAV files are uncompressed, so they preserve all the original audio data. This results in the best sound quality. However, WAV files are very large. WAV is a good choice if audio quality is critical.
  • FLAC (Free Lossless Audio Codec): Like WAV, FLAC provides lossless compression. File sizes are roughly half the size of WAVs, while retaining audio fidelity. FLAC is useful if file size is a concern but quality still matters.

For most purposes, AAC offers a good combination of sound quality and reasonable file size. But if you need pristine audio for music recording or plan to edit the audio heavily, a lossless format like WAV or FLAC is preferable. Just be aware these will take up more storage space.

Optimizing Audio Recording Settings

To get the best possible audio quality when recording on your phone, you’ll want to adjust the audio settings. Here are some tips:

Set the bitrate as high as possible. The bitrate determines how much data is captured when recording audio. A higher bitrate means higher audio quality, so set this to the maximum your phone’s recorder app allows. Many default apps now let you record at 256kbps or higher.

Use a high sample rate. The sample rate is how many times per second the sound is sampled digitally. For music-quality audio, use a rate of at least 44.1kHz, or up to 48kHz if your phone allows it.

Record in stereo. Recording in stereo will capture sound in two channels (left and right), giving a richer listening experience. Mono only uses one channel and should only be used if file size is a major constraint.

Use a lossless format when possible. Lossless formats like WAV and FLAC preserve all the data when compressing audio. Lossy formats like MP3 discard some data to achieve smaller files. Use lossless for the highest fidelity.

Avoid noise reduction features. Some recorder apps offer noise reduction to cut steady background noise. This often comes at the cost of reducing audio quality, so it’s best to leave this off.

With the optimal settings, you can record high quality audio suitable for music, podcasts, or other creative uses directly on your smartphone.

Editing Recorded Audio

There are a few different options for editing audio recordings made on your smartphone. Some common editing tasks include trimming the start and end points, adjusting volume levels, adding effects like reverb or EQ, and mixing multiple recordings together. Here are some ways you can edit audio on a smartphone:

Most audio recording apps like Voice Memos on iPhone or Recorder on Android have basic editing capabilities built-in. You can trim the start and end points of a recording to cut out unwanted sections. Some apps also let you split a long recording into multiple tracks. On iPhone, you can edit recordings in Voice Memos by tapping the recording then “Edit Recording” [1].

There are more advanced third party audio editors available to download for free or purchase on app stores. Options like FL Studio Mobile, MStudio, and Audacity provide features like fade ins/outs, copy/paste, filters and effects, normalization and amplification. With these apps you can edit multiple tracks to mix songs or podcasts [2].

Some social apps like WhatsApp also allow you to trim audio messages before sending them. You can edit the start and end points of a voice message to remove any unwanted sections [3].

Overall, smartphone users have a good range of options for editing audio recordings ranging from basic trimming to more advanced multi-track editing and effects using third party apps.

Sharing and Using Recorded Audio

There are a few different ways to share audio recordings from your Android phone with others:

Send as a message attachment: Open your messaging app like WhatsApp or SMS, select the audio file from your media folder, and send it. The recipient will be able to play the audio clip directly in the messaging app.

Upload to cloud storage: Services like Google Drive, Dropbox, etc allow you to upload audio files and share access via a link.

Share on social media: Apps like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc give you options to attach audio clips to posts and share publicly or with certain groups/friends.

Transfer via Bluetooth: Android’s built-in Bluetooth functionality lets you send audio recordings to nearby devices like speakers, cars, headphones, etc.

Your recorded audio clips can also be used in many creative ways. You can set them as ringtones or notification sounds, make audio memes to share, sample in music production, or just preserve memories with audio recordings.

Recording Longer Audio

If you need to record longer audio beyond the default limits like interviews, podcasts, or audiobooks, there are a few tips to follow:

Use an app designed for long-form audio recording like Smart Voice Recorder or Tape-a-Talk Voice Recorder which allow recordings beyond the 3-5 minute limit on some default recorder apps.

Make sure you have enough storage available on your device. Long recordings can take up a lot of space. Consider using an external SD card if your phone supports it.

Use a dedicated external microphone plugged into your headphone jack rather than the built-in microphone which may pick up more ambient noise. This results in higher quality audio.

Set your phone on a tripod or steady surface rather than holding it. This will reduce shake and movement sounds being picked up.

Record in a quiet environment without too much background noise. This gives you cleaner source audio to work with.

Use a pop filter on your external microphone to reduce plosive sounds and breathing noises.

Charge your phone fully or plug it in so you don’t lose power mid-recording.

Monitor levels and positioning to make sure your audio is being captured clearly without peaking or dropping off.

Consider using a lavalier microphone clipped to your subject for consistent close-up audio.

Edit the audio afterwards to polish, add intros/outros, transition music etc. Apps like Descript make editing easy.


In summary, most smartphones today come equipped with default audio recording apps that allow you to capture audio easily and quickly. While these built-in tools work well, third party apps like Voice Recorder offer more advanced features and settings for optimized recording. Choosing the right audio format like M4A and making adjustments to sample rate and bitrate can improve audio quality. Editing tools within various apps allow you to trim, cut, and enhance recordings after the fact. Once recorded, audio can be shared via messaging, email, social media and more. With the right app and settings, smartphones are capable of capturing lengthy high-quality audio comparable to dedicated recording devices.

The key benefits of recording audio on a smartphone include convenience, flexibility, quality, and sharing capabilities. Having an audio recording device already in your pocket allows you to capture audio anytime and anywhere inspiration strikes. Smartphone microphones and recording apps are capable of capturing crisp, clear audio suitable for personal memos, interviews, music, and more. And seamlessly sharing recordings across various platforms and users is a breeze.

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