The best recorders for coxswains

Besides a 7/16 wrench, one of the most important tools you can arm yourself with is a recorder. The benefits are numerous and can really help take your coxing to the next level. Plus, if you’re considering coxing in college you’ll need a recorder so you can capture your audio and submit it to the coaches of the teams you’re interested in.

There are many models available and each has their own specific features that make them great. Finding the one that works for you is key – you don’t want to get one that has a million different buttons or features you won’t use. There’s nothing more frustrating than pressing the wrong button and realizing after that you didn’t record yourself during your race or that you accidentally deleted a recording while you were trying to move it to a different folder.

The most common one I’ve seen coxswains use are the Sony PX333. I’ve used both Sony and Olympus models and like them equally, though I tend to lean towards the Olympus brand simply because that’s the primary one I’ve used for the last 10+ years (and it still works great). Regardless of which one you choose, it should be a pretty affordable investment since all the ones above are between $32 and $60 (as of writing this).

Additional accessories you might consider (though they’re not 100% necessary) are something to store/carry your recorder in and an external mic. I have both but the external mic came with my recorder when I bought it and the “carrying case” I use is actually an old toothbrush traveling case that I just happened to have lying around (similar to this). A soft or hard shell case like the ones linked above would be great options though to keep it protected as you travel to/from races or practice.

An external mic can be useful because it’ll allow you to pick up sound better since most people keep their recorders in their pockets when they’re on the water. My recorder has a clip on the side so I usually just clip the whole thing to my shirt but if it the wind is bad, it’s raining, etc. I’ll put the recorder in the inside pocket of my jacket and then clip the mic near the top part of the zipper on my jacket. This helps block most of the outside noise while also keeping everything dry. Like I said, it’s not 100% necessary but it is nice to have sometimes.

Image via // @ryanjnicholsonphoto

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Comments (4)

  1. I have all of the adapter cords set up to link to the Cox Box and I was wondering if I could plug the adapter into my phone and use a recording app rather than paying $70 on a device. Is that an option or should it be incompatible? Just wondering, my phone is Android software if that makes any difference.

    1. Good question – I’m not sure! I don’t know how plugging your cox box into your phone would work but it’s definitely worth trying. The only downside is that you wouldn’t be able to have your phone in any kind of waterproof case since you’d need to either have it out in the open or have the top open enough that the cords could go in (if you’ve got one of the waterproof bag-like things). There are plenty of voice apps you can download though that pick up your voice really well without having to connect anything. You might try doing that first before trying it with your cox box.