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How to record a call on your iPhone

  An iPhone, a Shure SM58 microphone and headphones, all connected to a H5 Zoom Recorder and placed on a table.

Apple is pretty strict about what apps can do on its platform Fixed line on call recording. But with a little hackery you can record a call from your iPhone. Here's how.

First: Find out about local laws.

Before dealing with this approach, it is important to understand whether recording a telephone conversation is allowed. The super-short version reads: If you are an active participant in the call, you have a good chance that this is legal. If you do not, this is almost certainly illegal. The slightly longer version states that various national and federal laws treat the subject. To make the water even muddy, these laws also vary from country to country. There is a fairly comprehensive list on Wikipedia, but as with anything on Wikipedia you will find a second source for your local laws. Rev, a company we talk about below, also has a great blog entry on the subject.

There are two types of agreement: one-party and two-party agreement (which is a bit of a misnomer). , Declaration of consent means that you can record a call while you are in the conversation. Most US states, federal law, and most other countries require party approval. Two party agreement means that each caller must approve the recording, regardless of whether it is two, three or more people. There are several US states and some countries that require the approval of two parties. Inquire again about local laws.

The penalty for non-compliance varies from civil to criminal proceedings. If in doubt, clearly state at the beginning of a call that it is being recorded and ask everyone to confirm that it is okay.

Now that we are legal, we can do it. There are two ways you can record a call on an iPhone: hardware or software. The following describes the options for each option from the simplest to the most complex.

The Easiest Option: Handsfree and Voice Recording

Recording hardware calls can be as easy as making a call through the handsfree and setting up a digital recorder at the bottom of your phone. The Sony Voice Recorder ICD-PX Series is a highly prized option on Amazon for $ 60. It has a built-in bbUSB connector, a microSD extension and a lavaliere microphone in case you want to meet someone face to face.

However, this method works with any dictation machine. Just turn it on to record, put your phone on hands free and pick up. If you never plan to transfer the recording, and this is for personal notes only, this option is probably for you. However, if you need higher quality, things get a bit more complicated.

The Software Option: Recording a Call with Rev Call Recorder

Apple does not allow apps to record a call on your device. However, there are some apps that allow you to record via a three-way conversation. The call is routed through the company's servers and recorded there. It's a clever little remedy if you need something more sophisticated than a speakerphone recorded on a dictation machine, but do not want to invest in specialized recording hardware.

Rev Call Recorder is a highly rated call recording service (4.4 stars and almost 2,000 reviews at the time of writing). It is also free, but you can pay for the optional service of transcribing a recording.

But before we go into the process, we'd like to talk to Rev about privacy and security. Call records will be kept indefinitely until you delete them. They are stored encrypted on Rev servers and have never been breached (#KnockOnWood). If we look at their privacy policy a bit, we'll find that most of the company's use of your records relates to the transcription service.

There are other provisions for compliance with laws, business transfers, and the like. Since call transcriptions are checked by freelancers, technically they are considered "third parties". In short, you can trust Rev in your records as well as any other service with your data. If this annoys you, the hardware options above and below are the better choice for you.

Recording an Outgoing Call with Rev.

To record an outgoing call, start the Rev. App . They even start the call. Tap Start recorded call> Outgoing call.

 In the Rev. app, press Start recorded call.

Enter the phone number you want to call (or select from your contacts). Touch "Start Call".

 Enter the phone number then press "Start Call".

When you do this for the first time, a brief tutorial will be displayed to guide you through the process of recording an outgoing call. Press the arrow key in the lower right corner to go through the tutorial, and then tap "Got it! Start button.

 Step 1 of the Tutorial for recording an outgoing call in the Rev. App.   Step 2 of the Tutorial for recording an outgoing call in the Rev. App.   Step 3 of the tutorial on recording an outgoing call in the Rev app. Touch the "Got it! Start" button.

Tap Call to call Rev's recording phone number. After the call starts, the app prompts you to call the recipient's phone number.

 Tap Call to call the recipient's phone number.

When both calls are connected, tap Merge calls.

 Tap Merge Calls after both calls are connected.

You will receive a text reminder asking you to merge the calls as well Call recorded and stored on Rev servers.

Recording an incoming call

It is easier to record an incoming call by answering the call as normal, and then pressing the Home key on your phone Return to the Home screen.

 Pick up the call, and then press the Home key.

Open the Rev Call Recording app.

 Open the Rev. Call Recording -App.

Tap Start recorded call> Incoming call.

 Tap "Incoming call."

Tap "Call" to log in Revs A dial in to the line.


. After connecting, tap Merge calls.

 Tap Merge Calls.

There is a lot of tapping and multitasking here, but overall it is not too difficult. There are other software options like Google Voice. However, with Google Voice, you can only record incoming calls. Other software options also have their own limitations. Rev offers the most complete and flexible solution we could find.

The disadvantage of the software method is that you entrust your private conversations to a third party. If you are not satisfied, the hardware method may be the better choice for you. However, it requires more setup and equipment.

The Pro Method: Using a Recorder with an Input

 A Zoom H5 recorder for a table.

This method is recommended for every recording in broadcast quality. If you do not sync your interview to tape (a fancy industry term that means you both record your own local audio), this is the best way to eliminate as much signal noise as possible. There are no third-party servers, and you reduce so many problems with delayed Internet and phones with bad signals as possible. The downside is that it is complicated and expensive.

The first element you need is a recorder with an input. There are many options at different prices, but the Zoom H5 recorder (slightly priced at $ 280) is one of the best. It has all the necessary I / O inputs for recording and outputs for headphones. It also has a MicroSD extension and is versatile for all your recording needs.

Next, you'll need a cable to connect your iPhone to your recorder – like this one. 3.5mm Male to XLR Male Audio Cable for just over $ 8.00. If your phone has a headphone jack, you're ready. However, if you are using a newer iPhone, you will need a flash for the headphone jack dongle (#donglelife). If your iPhone came with a dongle, it would work. If not, you can get one for $ 9. From there, take your iPhone (and your dongle if necessary) and plug the 3.5 mm cable into the phone / dongle. Connect the other end to the zoom recorder.

If you want to record your conversation party, you will also need a microphone and an XLR cable. We recommend the proven Shure SM58 microphone along with this 7 USD AmazonBasics XLR cable. Connect this to the second input of the Zoom Recorder.

Finally, you'll need a pair of headphones connected to the Zoom Recorder so you can hear the person on the other end.

 A Shure SM58 Microphone Lying on a table over an AmazonBasics XLR cable.

After connecting your headphones to the Zoom Recorder, call. Let the other party know that the call is being recorded, and then press the record key.

This is the entire setup in action.

 An iPhone, a Shure SM58 microphone and headphones, all lying on a table connected to a H5 zoom recorder.

Of course, this is just one way to record calls with hardware. There are a number of options, but they may work differently than described here. However, if you want the best possible recording quality, the Zoom / SM58 combination is hard to beat.

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