Sony launches new AI-featured digital voice recorder

Zhu Shenshen
AI and digital technology become growth engines for niche market.
Zhu Shenshen

Sony Corp has launched a new AI-featured digital voice recorder as the first model to support Chinese-language speech-to-text functions. 

The Japanese tech giant has aimed to integrate high-quality sound design and artificial intelligence functions in the recorder.

AI-featured voice recorders launched earlier by Chinese vendors like iFlytek and Sogou have been greeted warmly by the market. 

In 2019, the market for Chinese digital voice recorders had a niche value of 2 billion yuan (US$312.5 million), but it diversified with new AI demands, especially in the pandemic era.

New demand features include enlarged memory storage, multi-language speech-to-text function and subtitle video creation to encourage users to replace or buy digital recorders, industry insiders said. 

Sony's ICD-TX660 has increased its AI power with new functions that reduce background noise, auto voice recording, 16 GB built-in memory for extended recording, and easy and efficient speech-to-text functions in Chinese language, the latter through cooperation with local startup AI Speech Ltd.

It will sell for 1,299 yuan in China through Sony and MSC, the company's IT distributor.

In future, major drivers of the Chinese voice recording market will be models that cost 1,000 to 1,999 yuan, and feature AI and other digital functions, Sony said.

In comparison, iFlytek's AI-featured voice recorders cost from 999 to 2,500 yuan in China.

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