Best Laptop for Voice Over Work & Recording [2024 Reviewed]

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All text and image links lead to Amazon unless stated otherwise. All product scores are based on ProRec’s in-house scoring model

ThumbnailVoice Over Recording LaptopsProRec ScorePrice
Apple MacBook Air M2

Apple MacBook Air M2

9
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Acer Aspire 7

Acer Aspire 7

8.7
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Microsoft Surface Pro X

Microsoft Surface Pro X

8.3
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Introduction

Similar to podcasting, hardware requirements for voiceover artists are not all that intense. Most modern midrange devices can easily handle popular DAWs such as Audacity and Adobe Audition. A multicore processor is more than enough for your use case. However, we recommend getting at least an i5 to ensure your device remains futureproof and provides a smooth workflow.

A silent machine is always preferable. You want to make sure that your computer does not produce a lot of heat causing the fans to run loud. A loud fan will result in a constant “hiss” in the background. While you can edit the noise post recording, it is annoying and may affect the overall audio quality. That’s why we recommend going for a fanless machine or one that produces minimal noise.

As far as the RAM and storage go, opt for a minimum of 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512 GB SSD to get everything to run smoothly, so you do not experience any stutters or crashes. Since voice-overs aren’t as demanding, you can also get by with lower-capacity memory and storage. However, if you wish to get a lower-capacity model, make sure it is user-upgradeable in case your device slows down in the future.

The port selection of your laptop is important for recording. You’ll have to connect an audio interface to your computer, which will then let you connect other accessories, such as mics, mixers and studio headphones. You need either a Thunderbolt or a USB port to use your interface, so make sure your device has the corresponding port.

The operating system of your device is another aspect worth considering. While you don’t need something powerful for voiceovers, don’t go for a Chromebook. While they are affordable and do provide good performance with weaker processors, most software is incompatible with ChromeOS, so we recommend avoiding them. A MacBook can be a good option. Most are either fanless or barely make any noise and you also get access to Mac specific DAWs such as Logic Pro and GarageBand.

If you prefer using Windows, there are many fantastic Windows options on the market. You can find machines that are either fanless or produce minimal noise, and also provide better value than Macs. At the end of the day, what OS you go with is a matter of preference.

Best Laptop for Voice Over Work and Recording Review

All text and image links lead to Amazon unless stated otherwise. All product scores are based on ProRec’s in-house scoring model

9ProRec Score
MacBook Air M2
Price to Performance
9
Processor
10
RAM
9
Storage
7
Connectivity
9
Additional Features
10

Apple’s MacBook Air M2 is one of the best laptops you can get for audio recording. It comes with the M2 ARM chip, an 8-core CPU and GPU, and a 16-core Neural engine. On paper, it is identical to the M1 on the Air’s predecessor, but in our testing, we got 15 percent better CPU performance and 30 percent better GPU performance. We found it sufficient for voice recording and even audio editing on GarageBand.

The main reason we picked the M2 over other MacBooks is that it is the most powerful fanless laptop on the market. The M2’s ARM efficient architecture ensures that it produces minimal heat. As a result, Apple can afford to skip out on fans altogether. Unfortunately, under high load, the M2 throttles its performance by 20 percent, after which it stabilizes and maintains its clock speeds. Despite this drop, you will still not encounter any significant issues while recording, especially considering the chassis doesn’t get excessively warm.

Our model came with 16 GB of DDR4 RAM and a 256 GB SSD. The high RAM capacity combined with Apple’s excellent memory management makes multitasking a breeze. The storage is barely enough if you plan to store all your files locally. We strongly recommend getting an external SSD for all your audio recordings and other large files.

One of the main highlights of the Apple MacBook Air M2 is its display. It is a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina 1080p panel that covers the P3 color gamut for excellent color accuracy and has 500 nits of brightness, resulting in amazing viewing angles and outdoor visibility. The main upgrade it offers over its predecessor is significantly smaller bezels giving the device a much more premium look. A notch is also included on the top side of the display to house the camera and other sensors.

Like other MacBooks, the port selection on the Air M2 is a bit lacking. You get two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a MagSafe charging port (not included in the Air’s predecessor), and a 3.5mm headphone jack. No USB port means you can only connect Thunderbolt audio interfaces. Considering all MacBooks launched in the last half-decade have similar port selections, we can’t complain much. However, we still recommend getting a USB docking station to connect accessories such as an external SSD or an SD card.

The high-quality headphone jack on the MacBook Air ensures that you can listen to your audio while maintaining sound quality. Moreover, the quad speakers provide you with spatial sound making audio playback better. Although you will primarily use studio monitors to listen to your recordings in the studio, it’s good to know that you have access to a great set of speakers if you are ever in a pinch.

The MacBook series has many features that set it apart from the competition, including a great backlit keyboard, a best-in-class trackpad, and access to a fingerprint scanner and facial unlock(through the notch). There are many Apple-exclusive features as well, such as iMessage and AirDrop, which are really useful for those already part of the Apple ecosystem.

As the name suggests, the MacBook is pretty light and portable, coming in at 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches and weighing 2.7 pounds. Despite being the least expensive series, it comes with an upgraded design with many different colors to set it apart from the rest of the MacBook lineup.

The MacBook Air M2 provides extraordinary battery life thanks to the efficient M2 chip. We got about 18 hours of screen time, which easily lasted us through 2 full days of usage, similar to the Air’s predecessor.

Overall, the MacBook Air M2 is an excellent option for those looking for a powerful yet efficient machine for voice-over work. It provides incredible battery life and features, making it an attractive option even for those not in the Apple ecosystem.

Apple MacBook Air M2 Benefits

You get one of the best processor performance with the M2 chip.

The MacBook Air is completely fanless; thus, you get a practically silent machine that does not interfere with your voice recording sessions.

You get excellent battery life that easily lasts 2 days on a single charge that too without making the device heavy.

Apple MacBook Air M2 Drawbacks

Since there are no fans and the M2 is a very powerful chip, there is some thermal throttling, but it doesn’t massively hinder our voice recording experience.

The port selection on the Air isn’t the best because of the absence of the USB-A port, which limits the types of audio interface you can connect.

All text and image links lead to Amazon unless stated otherwise. All product scores are based on ProRec’s in-house scoring model

8.3ProRec Score
Microsoft Surface Pro X
Price to Performance
8
Processor
8
RAM
9
Storage
8
Connectivity
8
Additional Features
9

Microsoft Surface Pro X, like Apple’s MacBook Air, is also an ARM-based PC equipped with the SQ 2 CPU, made in collaboration with Qualcomm for surface devices. Compared to the M2, you get about half the performance. The Surface Pro’s predecessor came with the SQ 1 chip, which performed about 10 percent worse. While there is a noticeable difference in performance when compared to the MacBook Air, the Surface still manages to run voice recording software like Audacity without any issues. However, it does have slightly slower rendering times, which is especially apparent when you use a lot of effects.

Just like the MacBook Air, the Surface Pro is also passively cool, making it absolutely silent. Since the SQ 2 chip is less powerful than the M2, it produces less heat and thus doesn’t encounter any thermal throttling issues, unlike the Air.

The ARM architecture is relatively new, so many Windows applications aren’t designed for it. Initially, even basic applications such as Adobe Audition and other Adobe products were incompatible with the Surface Pro X. Luckily, since then, many companies have worked with Microsoft, including Adobe, to expand their compatibility. Even if a particular software doesn’t run on 64-bit ARM, it can be used through a virtual machine, albeit with a performance cut. We recommend checking whether your regularly used applications are supported by 64-bit ARM so you don’t encounter any problems.

The Microsoft Surface Pro X comes with 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD. Multitasking on the Surface is just as good as the MacBook Air, which is especially useful if you work with multiple audio tracks. The storage is also perfect for getting you started with voice recording and even storing quite a few audio files locally. If you ever feel that the internal storage is limiting, you can always get an external storage device.

The 13-inch 2880×1920, 3:2 display works and provides excellent colors, sharpness, and even decent outdoor visibility, albeit not under direct sunlight. The main highlight of the Surface Pro X is its tablet functionality. This means it has a touchscreen that allows users to navigate the UI much more seamlessly. Using programs like Audacity is much easier since you can easily control and navigate the audio timeline.

Unfortunately, the stylus and keyboard are not included in the box, which significantly increases the total cost of the device when you purchase these accessories. Luckily, you will not regret your purchase since both of these vastly enhance your user experience for voice over recordings.

Since the Surface Pro X is a tablet, it packs fewer ports than a full-fledged laptop. That’s why you only get 2 USB-C ports (which can also be used for charging) and a Surface Connector. The absence of Thunderbolt ports will limit some audio interfaces and other accessories you can use. we strongly suggest using a USB hub to connect accessories such as an external display or an SSD.

One of the main advantages of the Surface Pro is its portability. The dimensions are 9.35 x 12.55 x 1.89 inches, and it only weighs 1.7 pounds making it even lighter than the MacBook Air.

We were a bit disappointed with the battery life. Microsoft claimed that their device lasts 15 hours on a single charge, which is believable considering the MacBook Air achieved similar endurance because of the ARM architecture. Unfortunately, during our testing, we only got 8 hours of battery life, which was barely enough to last us the entire day.

To summarize, the Surface Pro X is a great device for those looking for a tablet-like laptop that still has most of the functionality of a Windows device. It is beneficial for voice-over work if you’re constantly on the move but still want something that is powerful enough for voice-over work.

Microsoft Surface Pro X Benefits

The tablet design provides a fantastic way to navigate through the operating system while still maintaining a Windows device’s functionality.

You get 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB SSD, ensuring you don’t encounter any memory or storage-related issues.

The Surface Pro X only weighs 1.7 pounds, making it perfect for portability.

Microsoft Surface Pro X Drawbacks

The 64-bit ARM architecture on the Surface Pro X doesn’t natively run all applications natively, so you will have to run them virtually, causing a slight drop in performance.

The port selection isn’t that great since you only get 2 USB-C ports.

All text and image links lead to Amazon unless stated otherwise. All product scores are based on ProRec’s in-house scoring model

8.7ProRec Score
Acer Aspire 7
Price to Performance
10
Processor
9
RAM
7
Storage
8
Connectivity
10
Additional Features
8

Acer Aspire 7 is a great budget option that provides amazing performance for the price. It comes with a 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H, and a 14-core and 20-thread processor. It performs about 85 percent faster than the Microsoft Surface Pro X and about 10 percent better than its predecessor.

Despite not being a fanless device, the Aspire 7 is very silent. We barely heard the fans turn on during normal loads, such as when recording audio. Even under heavy loads, they are relatively quiet. If you want to reduce the noise levels further, you can slightly lower the clock speeds, making the machine practically noiseless. However, the stock settings are good enough for voice-over.

The cooling system manages the heat really well, as the laptop remains relatively cool even under load. There was barely any thermal throttling, and the machine maintained its peak performance levels really well. We were shocked at how well the temperatures were maintained, despite the silent fans, high performance, and budget price point.

You get 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD with the Acer Aspire 7. The RAM is enough for basic workloads involving voice recording, but the machine struggles a bit once you start heavy multitasking or rendering.

If you are going for heavier workloads, we recommend upgrading the internal memory to ensure you get the smoothest possible performance. Unfortunately, there is only a single-channel RAM stick, which means you will have to replace the pre-installed kit. You won’t be able to use the memory at its highest frequency either, but this won’t be that noticeable for voice recording.

The 512 GB SSD is fast and plenty to store all your required programs, plugins, and a few audio files. If you ever find the internal storage limiting, you can always upgrade the internal storage device or get an external SSD.

The main sacrifice Acer made to make this laptop so affordable is the display. It is the most lacking aspect of the machine. The 15.6″ Full HD IPS panel has 250 nits of brightness with a matte coating, making it decent for well-lit environments. However, the colors and viewing angles aren’t that good, even for the price. That being said, the display is still usable, and if you don’t care too much about display quality, it will work just fine.

It comes with 1 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, a USB 2.0 Type-A, an Ethernet RJ-45 jack, an HDMI, a headphone jack, and a power connector. Access to both USB-A and USB-C ports means you will be able to connect all kinds of audio interfaces and still have ports left over for other accessories. The predecessor of the Aspire 7 didn’t come with Thunderbolt support, so we are pleased to see that this model includes that. Moreover, the HDMI and RJ-45 are great additions, as they were absent on the other two models we reviewed.

The Acer Aspire 7 comes with all the essential features we expect at this price range, such as a fingerprint scanner, facial unlock, and a pretty decent backlit keyboard and trackpad.

Due to having a dedicated cooling system, the Acer is heavier than the other models on the list. Its dimensions are 14.26 x 9.35 x 0.78 inches, and it weighs 4.63 pounds, making it a bit heavy to carry around, yet still portable.

The battery life on the Aspire was a bit disappointing. In our testing, it usually lasted around 7 hours of use which meant we had to plug it in sometime during the middle of the day. This is the same battery life as its predecessor, and we had hoped Acer had improved the longevity of the newer model.

To conclude, the Acer Aspire 7 is a fantastic device that provides excellent performance and ports for the price. If you are looking for a powerful machine with an active cooling solution that still manages to remain silent during voice recording, then this is the device for you.

Acer Aspire 7 Benefits

You get amazing performance for the price with the i7-12700H that even rivals more expensive devices.

The cooling system is excellent as it manages to prevent any thermal throttling while also being very silent.

The port selection is the best on this list, with access to USB-A, Thunderbolt, Ethernet, and HDMI.

Acer Aspire 7 Drawbacks

You only get 8 GB of single-channel RAM, which reduces multitasking performance.

This display of the Aspire 7 isn’t that great because of the subpar viewing angles and colors.

Verdict

voice over work and recording scoring model comparison quantitative analysis

Based on our scoring model, you can see the highest variance in 4 categories, which is pretty rare. Two of these are Processor and Connectivity. The M2 on the MacBook provides the best performance on the list, helping it score a perfect 10. On the other hand, the Surface Pro delivers the weakest performance, because of which it only has an 8 in this category. The Acer Aspire 7 is the strongest option in the Connectivity category, with both USB-A and USB-C ports, thus scoring a perfect 10. However, the Surface Pro, with only 2 USB-C ports ends up with an 8.

The MacBook Air remains stable in almost all categories. It only struggles in Storage because of the 256 GB SSD, which is half in capacity of the other options but due to the M2 processor and other impressive features, it does well overall. Even though MacBooks are known to be expensive, the Air still manages to provide great value. It even performs well in the RAM and Connectivity categories when compared to the competition.

The Acer Aspire 7 is also a great option, especially if you’re on a budget. It only has a total
average score variance of 0.3 compared to the top contender. It has a perfect score in Connectivity and Price to Performance due to having a really powerful processor yet being really affordable. But it falls short in the RAM category.

According to our testing and scoring model, we can safely say the best laptop for voice-over work and recording is the Apple MacBook Air M2, with a total average score of 9.0. The highlight of this device is undoubtedly the M2 chip, which provides great performance while also being very efficient. This helps it achieve two days’ worth of battery life, something unheard of in consumer laptops. It also has a fanless design making it virtually silent, which is crucial for audio recording. Combine all that with amazing features and a great design, and you get an excellent machine for voice overs! Highly Recommended!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important aspect of choosing a Laptop for Voice Recordings?

The most important aspect of a device for voice recording is the fan noise. A loud device will completely ruin your experience. That’s why we only recommended fanless or extremely silent devices on our list.

How much should I spend on a Laptop as a Voice Artist?

This will depend on your budget and what features you want. We recommend spending around 1000 dollars to get all the essential features, as well as excellent performance and user experience. You can certainly get a good device under this price range as well if you are willing to make a few minor sacrifices, such as missing out on the Thunderbolt port. Additionally, you can spend extra to get a more premium build quality, a better screen, or something of that sort.

Will my Laptop come with a Voice recording program already installed?

Voice recording software such as Audacity are third-party, and don’t come preinstalled on your device. You can download them from the respective website or install them using a USB/CD drive.

What other equipment do I need for Voice Over Work?

Besides your laptop, you will require an audio interface that connects to your machine. You also need equipment to record and play the audio, such as microphones and headphones. Additionally, you can use other equipment, such as a pop filter or acoustic foam, to remove background noise and improve the quality of your recording.