Macally iVoicePro full review

One of the more stylish of the Macally Mac peripherals, the iVoicePro is designed to resemble a vintage Shure mic, popularised by the likes of Elvis Presley and many a lovesick crooner. It slides in the underside of your iPod, directly into your USB connection.

Depending on your iPod's model and vintage, it's either plug and play or a case of going to the iPod main menu and selecting the Voice Memos menu. A choice of settings, Low (mono) or High (stereo) are saved as WAV files, which can be converted to smaller AAC or MP3 files for storage.

As an aid to memory and for those who benefit from thinking aloud, the iVoicePro is ideal, producing excellent recordings at close range. The recorder is also aimed at those who want to record student lectures and conferences. Since it's been a while since we were last at college we tried a compromise, recording the television from a distance.

Playback was quiet but with headphones acceptable with some ambient noise, but in most cases you should be able to take notes from recordings without missing the finer details. Macally say you can use the device for recording live music although don't expect soundboard playback, this isn't ideal for making bootleg recordings or indeed home demos unless you use the supplied built-in 3.5mm line-in jack, which is an improvement.

A built in speaker is handy, it saves you listening on headphones continually and ideal when you want to share something of interest with others. Again the audio playback isn't the best, but you wouldn't expect a small single speaker to reproduce speech or music on any level other than one that's adequate. A little tinny and thin sounding then but perfectly audible, particularly when you have used the iVoicePro as a dictaphone, up close and personal.

Playback of music is possible and you can also charge your iPod using the supplied USB cable that connects directly from the device to your Mac. Stereo recordings will fill your iPod, particularly low capacity ones, pretty quickly so you will need to remove or delete these regularly or select the lower quality setting, which naturally takes up less space.

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