Sony ICD-BX140 digital voice recorder review

The Sony ICD-BX140 digital voice recorder is a super affordable and portable voice recorder from a reliable brand.

Sony ICD-BX140 4GB Digital Voice Recorder Review
(Image: © Sony)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Sony ICD-BX140 is an affordable way to get a a big name brand offering a simple to use and compact digital voice recorder.


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    Reliable brand

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    Reduced wind filter

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    Voice activated recording


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    Only 4GB memory

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    Mono microphone

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    No file transfer option

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The Sony ICD-BX140 digital voice recorder is a very simply to use device that offers the quality of a Sony branded device but with a price that competes with even the cheapest devices the likes of Amazon has to offer. 

Despite only offering 4GB of storage this has a lot of features and plenty to more than justify that low price. So if you're looking a big name brand, but don't want to spend big name brand prices then the Sony ICD-BX140 is the best digital voice recorder for you.

Sony ICD-BX140 review: Overview

Sony ICD-BX140 specs

Storage: 4GB onboard only
Power: 2 x AAA batteries
Transfer: No
Microphone: Single

The Sony ICD-BX140 is a digital voice recorder that can fit in your pocket, be used without even looking at it and be relied upon to get the job done. It packs in a lot of features for the price and manages to do that with a few recording quality options and plenty more features too.

Find out everything on offer from this device in the Sony ICD-BX140 review.

Sony ICD-BX140 review: Design

The Sony ICD-BX140 might not have the most simple name in the world, but it's design ethos keeps it minimal. That means a few buttons on the front to control recording and navigate menus. Side buttons are also there for easy one handed use - that erase button being kept separate for safety.

There is a power and hold slider on one side, alone, so this is easily powered up quickly if needs be. It also makes sure you don't waste battery by accidentally powering this on in your pocket or bag.

There is a decent sized screen with plenty of detail including battery life readout, folder organization and of course recording details. 

Sony ICD-BX140

(Image credit: Sony)

The build is super compact, fitting in one hand easily. It's also light even after you add the two AAA batteries this runs on.

The Sony ICD-BX140 lacks any sort of port though, so there is no ability to transfer files to a computer. There is also only internal memory so all recording and playback happens on the device. There is a headphone port so you can listen privately to recordings easily. 

Sony ICD-BX140 review: Features

The Sony ICD-BX140 features voice activated recording, impressively for the price. That means that this will only record when talking is detected, saving you on battery and cutting back the need to track through a recording if there were otherwise lots of silences. 

The microphone is mono, meaning a single ear piece is enough to listen to the audio, but it will come out in both ears of normal headphones too, just as a mono rather than stereo recording. 

You can record in MP3 using varying qualities. Either way this should be clear even if outdoors thanks to a low cut filter which is able to keep wind noise to a minimum on recordings. 

Sony ICD-BX140

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony ICD-BX140 review: Performance

The Sony ICD-BX140 records clear audio and the voice activated feature works very well. This is a really useful addition since you have to listen on the device itself. There are forward and backward tracking buttons to scan through but it's best not to use this in case you press rather than hold and skip to the next audio recording and lose your place. Annoying doesn't do that feeling justice.

This, unfortunately, is your only option though as there is only internal memory and no file transfer capability on this recorder. 

The use of AAA batteries is both a positive and a negative. It's great if you're out and this dies, allowing you to swap out and instantly get recording again. But it means you need to buy batteries and carry them with you.

Sony ICD-BX140

(Image credit: Sony)

This device is able to record up 4,175 hours of audio at the lowest quality. You have the option to vary this with the choice to either use 128 kbps MP3 or 192 kbps. The battery life is up to 28 hours with a drop to 26 hours for the higher quality recording mode. 

Should I buy the Sony ICD-BX140 digital voice recorder?

If you want a very affordable digital voice recorder from a well known and reliable brand then the Sony ICD-BX140 is a great option. This is easy to use, offers excellent features like a low cut filter and auto voice detection recording.

However, the lack of file transfer and need to replace AAA batteries could be a negative for some. At the price, this is well worth a try.

Luke Edwards

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.