Sony ICD-B120 (16 MB, 7.5 Hours) Handheld Digital Voice Recorder Reviews
Click to see larger image

Sony ICD-B120 (16 MB, 7.5 Hours) Handheld Digital Voice Recorder

1 ratings (1 Epinions review)
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

A portable and compact digital recorder

Jun 1, 2009 (Updated Jun 1, 2009)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Very Good

  • Sound:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Battery Life:
  • Portability:

Pros:Inexpensive, digital recording, onboard memory, portable

Cons:Can't upgrade memory, one-year warranty

The Bottom Line:

Decent for the money and digital recording functions but may only last a year.


While on a business trip a few years ago (2005), I attended a seminar that required taking a lot of notes. Having to sit through power point slide after power point slide was tedious enough, but having to take notes at the same time and having to keep up with the lecturer, made learning the material a little difficult.  I thought that it would be nice to have a pocket recorder with me to record the sessions.  So I stopped into the local Wal-Mart store and found the Sony ICD-B120 recorder and purchased it for just under $20.

I selected the Sony ICD-B120 recorder because I wanted a compact device to keep on my person so that I could easily record a session that I felt was important or one to refer back to at a later time.  Portability and size was important in the selection of the Sony ICD-B120 recorder.  I didn't want to carry anything bulky or have to carry cassette tapes additional to the recorder.

What attracted me most to the Sony ICD-B120 was that it was a digital recorder and not one that required the use of tapes. I had an older version tape recorder but with that, I had limited use of the tapes and had to flip over to continue recording.  With the Sony ICD-B120 recorder, I was now able to record digitally, which allowed for no use of tapes.  This recorder provides a compact and portable digital recording source for your needs.

Exterior/Size. The size of the Sony ICD-B120 recorder was also something that attracted me to it.  The recorder measures 0.7-inches deep by 1.4-inches wide by 4.3-inches high with a weight of approximately 2.3 ounces.  With that small sized recorder, I could easily place it in a pocket and not worry about the pocket sagging because of the weight.  It's so lightweight I often forget it's in the pocket.  The exterior face color is silver with a black back and easy access to the battery door. The purpose of the recorder is to provide a compact and portable digital recording source for your needs. This recorder makes dictation or any type of recording easy to do. There are no tapes or cassettes to use with this device.

Memory. The Sony ICD-B120 has built-in memory of 16 megabytes, enough to record several hours of data.  With the built-in memory, you can easily record lengthy lectures or any kind of recordings with great ease.  When you being to record, you can easily stop and use the forward and back buttons on the records, just like you would with any recorder.  This recorder also offers the capability of erasing recordings. The downside of the memory is that it is not upgradeable or removable.

Recording Times/Length.  Depending on how you like to record or how you like to hear your playback recordings would depend on the quality you choose to record.  The Sony ICD-B120 recorder has a feature where you can record up to 99 messages and up to 7-3/4 hours of recording time.  Why not 8-hours?  Probably because Sony limited the memory use on the phone and uses the rest for something else.  However, with that overall length of time, you would use the LP mode.  Recording up to 99 messages, you would setup the recorder to use folders.  This recorder has four folder features (A, B, C, and D).  The folders allow you to separate different recordings, similar to setting up folders in a file cabinet, only now you're using a digital recorder to set up your files.  It's a little confusing to understand how the folder feature works, and even today, I have limited knowledge of how it works.  Only know this that you can record four different sessions and place each into its own separate folder on the recorder.  Hopefully that makes a little more sense.

Recording Modes.  The Sony ICD-B120 recorder has different recording modes ranging from High Quality (HQ), Standard Play (SP), and Long Play (LP).  Each mode has limits for recording times. HQ records up to 1.45 (1-hour/45-minutes); SP records up to 4.40 (4-hours/40-minutes); and LP records up to 7.45 (7-hours/45-minutes).  By selecting the HQ mode, you would get the best quality recording sound but you would also get the shortest recording time.  This is only handy if you plan on recording a short session.  Using the LP mode will give you the longest record time, which is especially helpful if you have a lengthy meeting or need for longer recording time.  I used the LP mode for the seminar because I needed the maximum allowable recording for the seminar.  At least that way, I could review the material at a later date for reference.  No matter which mode you select, you will still get the Sony quality of the recoding.  Another factor too is the distance you are from the speaker, but the quality is still good, at least from what I experienced while using this recorder.

On the front of the recorder, it has a large LCD display so you can view playback information. The display is easy to read, unless you have difficulty reading from small handheld devices like this. Otherwise, with fresh batteries installed, the features are fairly easy to view and scroll through. Also on the front are single button features for easy recording and playback. Setup is easy. Once you install the two LR03 (size AAA) batteries in the back compartment of the device, the device will allow you to setup the clock - date and time settings. This is only necessary at first setup, or when you replace the batteries with new ones.  The average time I experienced for the battery life was about 15 hours in SP mode.

Another great feature to the recorder is the voice-activated recording.  Instead of having to hit the record button on many other recorders, on the Sony ICD-B120 recorder, the voice-activated recorder starts and stops when a voice starts and stops.  It's a handy feature to use especially if you're recording for a long time and don't want to keep going back to the recorder to start and stop recording.

Volume. The volume setting is located on the side of the recorder.  I have found that by increasing the volume setting to the highest setting during recordings, I get a better quality of recording.  This is important to test before going into a recording/lecture so that you know how well the recording will be at the different levels of volume.

Warranty. Manufacturer warranty is for one year only.  This is a problem because after not using the recorder for a couple years, when I did go back to using it, I could not power it on.  No matter if I had fresh batteries or not, the power would not turn on the device.  As the saying says "you get what you paid for".  That's a true statement; I paid for a cheap item and am left with a useless device now.

Overall, the Sony ICD-B120 recorder is a great digital recorder for portability and functionality for the small cost of the product.


Recommend this product? No


Amount Paid (US$): 20.00


Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!


Related Deals You Might Like...

Sony Icd-bx800 (2048 Mb, 89 Hours) Handheld Digital Voice Recorder

Sony Icd-bx800 (2048 Mb, 89 Hours) Handheld Digital Voice Recorder

Voice Recorder, Handheld Design, Digital Recording, 2048 MB, Recording Time: Up to 89 Hours, Weight: 2.3 oz. (65.2 g)
eBay

$69.99

+$5.95 shipping
Sony Icd-p520 (256 Mb, 130 Hours) Handheld Digital Voice Recorder

Sony Icd-p520 (256 Mb, 130 Hours) Handheld Digital Voice Recorder

Record important lecture notes or dictations on this excellent digital voice recorder without having to worry about carrying around tons of tapes.
eBay

$34.99

+$12.99 shipping
Sony ICD-AX412 Digital Flash Voice Recorder

Sony ICD-AX412 Digital Flash Voice Recorder

Sony ICD-AX412 Digital Flash Voice Recorder
Office Depot

$79.99

FREE Shipping
Sony - ICD-TX50 Digital Voice Recorder, 95 Hz - 20000 Hz Frequency Response, 11.025 kHz -

Sony - ICD-TX50 Digital Voice Recorder, 95 Hz - 20000 Hz Frequency Response, 11.025 kHz -

Sony ICD-TX50 Digital Voice Recorder, 95 Hz - 20000 Hz Frequency Response, 11.025 kHz - 48 kHz Sample Rate The Sony ICD-TX50 Digital Flash Voice Recor...
Adorama

$119.00

+$6.95 shipping
Sony Icd-bx800 Digital Voice Recorder 2 Gb 534 Hours

Sony Icd-bx800 Digital Voice Recorder 2 Gb 534 Hours

Sony ICD-BX800 Digital Voice Recorder 2 GB / 534 Hours New Still In Box Voice Operated Recording Noise Cut for Clearer Speech Playback Selectable Mico...
eBay

$42.99

FREE Shipping
Sony ICD-TX50 Voice Recorder, 4GB, Stereo, MP3, LPCM,  Micro SD Slot

Sony ICD-TX50 Voice Recorder, 4GB, Stereo, MP3, LPCM, Micro SD Slot

Micro SD Slot ultra-slim stereo voice recorder,built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 24 hours of operation,microSD card slot for expandable mem...
Crutchfield

$149.99

FREE Shipping
SONY ICD-SX712D Digital Recorder + Voice-to-Print

SONY ICD-SX712D Digital Recorder + Voice-to-Print

Features Type of Use Ultra Portable Voice Recorder Microphone Sensitivity Feature Yes (SENS Settings) Recording Features 6 Modes Linear PCM / MP3 320k...
Newegg.com

$399.95

FREE Shipping
Sony Icd-bx112 Digital Multi Track Recorder

Sony Icd-bx112 Digital Multi Track Recorder

The Sony ICD-BX112 digital voice recorder features a built-in 2 GB flash memory, giving you up to 534 hours of recording time. This Sony voice recorde...
eBay

$33.90

FREE Shipping
Sony Handheld Digital Voice Recorder Icd-bx022

Sony Handheld Digital Voice Recorder Icd-bx022

Soaring Store Sony Handheld Digital Voice Recorder #ICD-BX022 NEW Description SONY HANDHELD DIGITAL VOICE RECORDER #ICD-BX022 NEW UP FOR AUCTION IS A ...
eBay

$48.00

FREE Shipping
Sony Icd-b600 Digital Multi Track Recorder

Sony Icd-b600 Digital Multi Track Recorder

Up for sell is a Sony ICD-B600 Digital Multi Track Recorder. (see picture for the actual item) The recorder are brand new seal in package. (see pictur...
eBay

$75.00

FREE Shipping