What is the best app to send voice messages?

Voice messaging apps have exploded in popularity in recent years as a convenient way to communicate through quick audio clips. Rather than typing out messages, users can simply record and send short voice memos. The ability to convey tone through voice and the casual, personal feeling of voice messages have made these apps a popular supplement to texting or email.

With so many voice messaging apps now available, deciding which one is the best can be a challenge. After comparing the most popular options, WhatsApp stands out as the best overall voice messaging app because of its ease of use, strong encryption, and enormous built-in user base.

What Makes a Great Voice Messaging App

There are a few key features that make for an excellent voice messaging app:

  • Ability to record and send voice messages – At its core, a voice messaging app needs to allow users to easily record audio clips and send them to contacts. The best apps have an intuitive interface for recording, listening back, and sending voice messages.
  • User-friendly interface – The app should be simple to navigate and allow users to access key features like recording messages, managing contacts, and reviewing old messages with just a tap or two. Swiping gestures and clean designs make for the most user-friendly experience.
  • Reliable message delivery – No one wants to record long voice messages only to have them fail to send or get lost. Robust apps utilize push notifications, queueing systems, and delivery confirmations to ensure voice messages always reach their intended recipients.
  • Support for long messages – While some apps limit message lengths to just 30 seconds, the most versatile voice messaging apps allow recording clips up to a few minutes long. This gives users flexibility in the messages they create.
  • Sharing options – Top voice messaging apps integrate with other communication channels like social media, email, and cloud storage. This allows users to easily forward voice messages to others or save them for later reference.

Apps that excel in the above areas provide the best overall user experience for voice messaging. Developing an intuitive yet full-featured interface is crucial.

Top Voice Messaging Apps

There are several popular voice messaging apps, but the top 5 options based on user base and features are:


WhatsApp is one of the most widely used messaging apps in the world, with over 2 billion monthly active users. It offers free voice messaging that works well across both iOS and Android. Users can hold to record voice notes up to 30 seconds and release to send. WhatsApp voice messages can also be heard at variable speeds.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook’s Messenger app allows for voice messaging up to 1 minute in length. It allows flexible playback, with options to speed up or slow down messages. Messenger is convenient for connecting with friends on Facebook, but may not offer the call quality or extended voice messaging of more specialized apps.


Popular in China and parts of Asia, WeChat supports voice messaging up to 2 minutes during chats. It uses streaming to send voice notes as you record them, has an easy recording interface, and supports playback controls. WeChat has over 1 billion monthly active users.


Viber allows recording voice messages during chats for up to 2 minutes. It also includes messages delivery confirmations, group chats with up to 250 participants, and standard communication tools like audio/video calls. Viber has a worldwide user base over 1 billion.

Marco Polo

Marco Polo focuses on private and group voice messaging. It offers unlimited recording time for voice messages, which disappear after 24 hours. This popular voice app makes it easy to have extended conversations with contacts through asynchronous recordings.


WhatsApp is a popular messaging app launched in 2009. It was acquired by Facebook (now Meta) in 2014. WhatsApp has 1.5 billion monthly active users (as of 2018) and has pioneered voice messaging features, including voice messages, across all platforms.

WhatsApp has continued to develop innovative features for voice messages. This includes out-of-chat playback, allowing users to listen to messages while also reading and replying to other messages (source). Voice messages also have an option to pause and resume when listening, for convenience. Recently, WhatsApp has added “View Once” ephemeral voice messages for enhanced privacy, with a clear icon to indicate this. Voice messages get end to end encryption by default, providing security for sensitive communication.

The user experience for voice messaging on WhatsApp is seamless and intuitive. The voice message interface is easy to access by pressing and holding the mic icon. Replies to voice messages also capture automatically as a voice messages for a conversational flow. WhatsApp also provides helpful visualizations like audio waveforms when voice messaging. With over 1.5 billion users and over 100 billion messages sent per day, WhatsApp’s strong voice messaging capabilities make communication effortless.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is a popular messaging platform owned by Facebook that allows users to send messages, photos, videos, and more to friends and contacts. One of Messenger’s standout features is voice messaging, which allows users to send short recorded voice messages to each other.

Voice messaging has been a part of Messenger since 2013, and it remains one of the app’s most used features. According to one report from Rest of World, voice messages make up 50% of Messenger’s total voice traffic globally.

Messenger is deeply integrated with Facebook, allowing users to easily message friends and contacts from their Facebook profiles. This level of integration likely contributes to Messenger’s popularity as a voice messaging platform.

User feedback on Messenger’s voice messaging capabilities is generally positive. People like the convenience of quickly recording short voice notes rather than having to type out messages. However, some users have complained that playback speed of voice messages is too fast, making them hard to understand.


WeChat is a popular mobile messaging platform launched in 2011 by Tencent, a Chinese multinational conglomerate ([url text](https://qz.com/1329259/sending-wechat-voice-messages-is-a-status-symbol-in-china)). It offers free instant messaging and voice/video calls, along with features like voice messaging, broadcast lists, and mobile payments.

WeChat has an integrated voice message functionality that allows users to hold a button to record messages of unlimited length. The receiver can then play the message and reply by voice ([url text](https://help.wechat.com/cgi-bin/micromsg-bin/oshelpcenter?opcode=2&id=160526zi67fb160526ujabz7&lang=en&plat=2&Channel=helpcenter)).

WeChat has over 1 billion monthly active users globally, with high penetration and engagement in China. Voice messaging is extremely popular amongst users in China ([url text](https://qz.com/1329259/sending-wechat-voice-messages-is-a-status-symbol-in-china)). It’s useful for longer messages, privacy, expressing emotion, and convenience.

Some downsides of WeChat voice messaging are potential miscommunication without visual cues, background noise interfering with messages, and the inability to skim through voice messages like text.


Viber is a voice messaging and video calling app that allows users to communicate with contacts from their phone’s address book. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices. Viber first launched in 2010, and now has over 1 billion registered users worldwide.

Some key voice message features in Viber include:

  • Sending audio messages. Users can record and send voice messages up to 2 minutes long.
  • Listening to audio messages at any time. There is no expiration on voice messages.
  • Pause and resume recording messages before sending.

Viber also includes features such as video calls, text messages, group messaging, stickers, location sharing, and end-to-end encryption.

A strength of Viber’s voice messaging feature is the ability to record messages of unlimited length and replay them at any time. Viber also prioritizes rapid delivery of voice messages and stable connectivity. A weakness is that the voice message interface can sometimes feel clumsy compared to the app’s slick text messaging.

According to data from GetApp, Viber users give the app positive reviews for core messaging features, but technology issues appear to be relatively common complaints.

Marco Polo

Launched in 2016, Marco Polo is a popular video and voice messaging app focused on facilitating real conversations. According to their website, Marco Polo’s mission is to “bring you closer to the people who matter most without asking you to compromise on trust.”

A key feature that sets Marco Polo apart for voice messaging is the ability to record messages without needing the recipient to be actively using the app. Messages of any length can be recorded and sent, with no limits. The recipient can then view the message whenever is convenient for them.

This asynchronous approach makes Marco Polo incredibly easy to use for voice messaging. You don’t need to coordinate schedules or availabilities. Marco Polo also has features like notification settings, activity status, and read receipts to provide insight into how messages are being received.

Limitations of Marco Polo include requiring a separate app exclusively for messaging, whereas platforms like WhatsApp allow multiple forms of communication. Additionally, Marco Polo’s help documentation notes that are no options for saving or storing messages long term, with unviewed videos automatically deleted after 14 days.

The Best Voice Messaging App

When comparing the top voice messaging apps, there are a few key criteria to consider:

  • Audio quality – How clear are the voice messages?
  • Security – Is end-to-end encryption available?
  • User base – How many people already use the app you can message?
  • Ease of use – Is the interface intuitive and simple?

Based on analysis across these factors, Signal emerges as the best voice messaging app:

Audio Quality: Signal uses high-quality Opus audio codecs for excellent voice message clarity.

Security: All messages and calls on Signal are end-to-end encrypted by default. It offers the highest level of security.

User Base: With over 40 million users globally, Signal has a sizable built-in network to message.

Ease of Use: The app features a clean and minimalist interface that makes recording voice memos intuitive.

While apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger have more users, Signal surpasses them in audio quality, security, and ease of use. For the best overall voice messaging experience, Signal is the top choice.


In summary, voice messaging apps allow us to communicate in a more natural, conversational way through asynchronous voice messages. The top contenders for best voice messaging app are WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, WeChat, Viber, and Marco Polo. Each has its own strengths, whether it’s huge user base, built-in voice messaging, video messaging, group messaging, or quality audio.

While there are many great options, Marco Polo stands out as the best dedicated voice messaging app due to its excellent audio quality, usefulness for both one-on-one and group conversations, ability to replay conversations, and fun features like filters. As voice messaging continues to grow in popularity, Marco Polo is poised to be the top choice for those looking to connect through voice.

Voice messaging has certainly changed the way we communicate for the better. With the ability to have meaningful conversations asynchronously, voice messaging allows us to connect when real-time communication is challenging or undesirable. The natural feel of voice continues even when we can’t actually talk in real time. While texting and calling still have their place, voice messaging hits the sweet spot between them and provides a flexible, personal way to keep in touch with friends and family.

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