4 Ways to Record Audio on Android

The built-in tools can record internal or external audio, but some free apps can do even more

Audio recording is a function built-in to most, if not all, Android devices. But there are other options, too, depending on what you need.

Below are easy-to-use, free ways to capture audio on Android. There's a method for any situation, whether you want to record a voice memo, something playing on your device, or sounds from around you.

Use Google's Recorder App

What We Like
  • Creates a transcript.

  • Recordings are accessible from a computer.

  • Supports editing the recording.

  • Auto-detects music and different people.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires a Pixel phone.

Recorder is a free voice recording app from Google that might even already be installed on your phone. It's awesome for recording audio because it turns spoken words into searchable transcripts, is easy to share and back up to Google Drive, will automatically tag music versus spoken words, and can also record sounds coming from your other apps.

We're describing Google's audio recorder here, but your phone probably has a built-in audio recording app even if you don't have a Pixel. Voice Recorder, for example, is Samsung's recording app.

Use a Third-Party Audio Recorder

What We Like
  • Tons of free options.

  • Can record device audio and external audio.

What We Don't Like
  • You have to download the app.

  • Most show ads and hide features behind paywalls.

Most if not all Android devices should have a built-in method for recording audio, but there are other options. Head to the Play Store and do a search for audio recorders, and you'll find dozens of third-party apps that are no doubt similar to the one pre-installed on your phone.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • MyRecorder: Easily make a recording your ringtone, plus choose the recording quality, the format of the recording, and the encoder bitrate.
  • Easy Voice Recorder: Start recordings with a widget, turn on noise and echo suppression, pick which mic to use, and prevent your screen from locking during a recording.
  • Smart Voice Recorder: Super clean user interface. Can skip silence automatically.

Record Your Screen With Audio

What We Like
  • Great for recording videos.

  • Built-in to your phone.

What We Don't Like
  • Overkill if you just need an audio recording.

  • You can only stop the recording, not pause it momentarily.

Another way to record audio on Android is to do so while recording video. When you record your screen, you have the option to record device audio and/or audio coming in through the microphone.

Use an External Recording Method

What We Like
  • Ideal if you need to edit the audio on a computer.

What We Don't Like
  • Requires more than just your phone.

  • Adds steps if you need to share the audio from your phone.

If you have another device nearby that can record sound, you can put your Android device near it as it's playing audio and just use the other device to do the recording.

Audacity is one example of a desktop program perfect for this. All you need is a mic connected to your computer, which could come in the form of a headset, one that's attached to a webcam, or a plugged-in mic. Play the audio on your device, and use the record button in Audacity to capture the sound.

  • How do I record a phone call on Android?

    There aren't any built-in tools to record a phone call on Android. Also, there is a legality issue around recording a phone call, but if you've already gotten the permission the part out of the way, you can use an app like TapeACall to do the recording. If you need more app suggestions, take a look at our article How to Record a Phone Call on Android to see if anything else meets your needs.

  • How do I record a Skype call?

    In a Skype session, click + (More Options) > Start recording. Skype first makes sure everyone knows the call is being recorded. We have more tips on using Skype on mobile or desktop to record calls in our How to Record Skype Calls article.

  • How do I record a call for a podcast?

    Depending on your setup and the setup of the person on the call, you can use a variety of ways to make a recording for a podcast. You can typically choose an app like TapeACall or a service from Audiofile Solutions. If the other person is using a landline your bit more limited. We go into more detail in our How to Record a Phone Call for a Podcast article.

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