Source: Easi-Speak USB Recorder –

Over the last week or so–thanks to a review version provided–my kids and I have been playing around with the $69 Learning Resources (@learninghandson via Twitter) Easi-Speak digital audio recorder. For a real test, I gave it to my 5 year old niece to try out as well as my other kids. They immediately started recording with it! Wow, what an easy digital audio recorder to work with!

Here’s a quick video overview of the device:

As you can see from the image above, the Easi-Speak is a handheld digital audio recorder in the shape of a microphone that kids just are dying to pick up and use, as my children and niece did! Some of the neat features of the Easi-Speak that separate it from other digital audio recorders:
  • Has 4 hours of “battery” power stored up by connecting to USB.
  • You have 128 megabytes of storage space on the onboard USB drive
  • Records directly to MP3 instead of WMA like other digital audio recorders, eliminating the need for audio conversion.
  • The microphone comes with an introductory audio file and
  • Includes the Windows version of Audacity free open source software loaded on the USB drive and includes NyQuist Plug-ins for special effects (I didn’t know about these, so it’s nice they included them!)
  • Remove a cap and then plug the microphone directly into a USB port on your computer (although I recommend getting a cheap USB cable extender)
  • You can get an Easi-Speak charging hub ($25) (shown below) if you have multiple microphones to charge…look’s like it can charge up to 5 total per hub.
  • Audio-playback immediately lets you hear what the recording was like
  • Easy recording and playback buttons make it easy for 5 year olds to use (my niece did after one demonstration) and she absolutely loved using it.

When first checking out the Easi-Speak, what impressed me–aside from recording directly to MP3, the easy off/on button, the simple recording/playback controls–was the audio playback. I immediately compared it to an Olympus Digital Voice Recorder that I like to carry around ($31). The simplicity of the controls make the little silver and blue Easi-Speak recorder a solid product for use with K-5 students. The only drawback in my mind is the 4 hour duration to the charge time, no indicator as to how much battery is left.

Still, the Easi-Speak’s recording quality is comparable to more highly priced products.

Here are two audio files, the first an audio file that actually comes loaded on the microphone and a recording I made with my 5 year old niece…those of you who have youngster may want to have them listen to the audio straight through to the end since she has some advice on how to get started in dancing and singing!

EasiSpeak Intro/Welcome

Interview with 5-year old dancer

Full Disclosure: In the interests of full disclosure, this blog was provided a free Easi-Speak microphone.  This review was not otherwise solicited or compensated from Learning Resources, and the opinions of the review are the opinion of its author.

Update: Via Twitter:

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure