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How to record cell phone calls on computer

So you want to learn how to record cell phone calls on a computer! You’re not alone. I did some search on the web and there are lots of people looking for that same answer.

The simple and free method is the speakerphone method, where just use your cell phone’s speakerphone setting and place a sound recording device next to the speaker. It’s the easiest way to record a cell phone conversation and will probably cost you nothing. Of course, the recording quality of this method is terrible. You’ll get a lot of noise from your surrounding. So let’s look into better options.

James Geeo a few months back asked the question “How can I record cell phone conversations?” on Engadget’s website. He wanted to record calls into his Sprint phone and was having a hard time finding hardware options to do so. One of the answers he got required him to use a mixing table.  That tells you that a simple question may not have a simple answer…

Mr. Stark asked the same questions in a more technical way “Is it possible to record sound from the TRRS jack?”. Fortunately, he was much luckier as Schiffer has a better answer for him: RECAP.  So let’s have a close look at what’s this device…

Record cell phone calls on computer

how to record cell phone calls on computerYou need a special audio adapter to let you record a cell phone call into a computer. The device is called the RECAP. What RECAP does is intercept the audio signals seen at the headset and convert them to the level that a PC or Voice Recorder can detect the sound. In essence, RECAP works like a signal splitter. Of course, it just not simply split the wires – that wouldn’t work. Instead, RECAP has the circuitry to adjust the signals to correct levels.

Technical details aside below is a quick snapshot showing how to connect up this handy audio adapter.

As seen in the picture, the connection is pretty straightforward: you plug in your headset into RECAP, then plug it in the phone’s audio jack. Then attached the connection cord from RECAP output to the PC MIC port.

If you don’t want to you the PC, you can also use it with a Voice Recorder and MAC, as long as those devices have a stereo MIC input port.

No special app required on the phone. Actually, that is one big advantage of this adapter. No need to pay for 3 way call apps that require subscription plans. RECAP is hardware and you own it outright!

In your computer should run the software to record the call. Windows ships with Sound Recorder or you can download a more powerful audio software such as Audacity. Best of it all, Audacity is free.

That’s all!

By the way, before you start recording, I recommend having a quick look at the laws about recording. Check out items #1 and #2 of this WikiHow article “How to Record a Phone Conversation“. 

Happy recordings!

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Record phone calls with digital voice recorder

how to record phone calls with digital voice recorder
RECAP with smartphone and Digital Voice Recorder

Professionals, such as reporters and lawyers, who often need to record cell phone interviews into their digital voice recorders, now have a small and lightweight tool to help them in this task.

The RECAP S2 audio adapter is a small device that plugs into iPhone and Android and captures the audio of a phone call, either inbound or outbound calls, so that their digital voice recorder can store those conversations.

Record Phone calls & more…

Since RECAP is a hardware adapter, it is not limited only to phone calls. It can capture Skype calls, FaceTime, and any other call app you use on your smartphone. That is, RECAP captures any audio that passes through the audio jack. Best of all: no apps recording apps are required on your phone!

So how to record phone calls with digital voice recorder using RECAP?

It’s simple! Just connect RECAP as indicated in the image above. Plug your headset into RECAP, then the audio cord from RECAP’s output into the Voice Recorder (VR) microphone input. The plug RECAP in the phone audio jack.

My phone does not have an 3.5mm audio port, can I still use RECAP?

Yes! If your phone does not have the 3.5mm audio jack, you a port adapter. Check them out here

Configuring the Voice Recorder

record phone interviews into recorder

Only Voice Recorders with a stereo microphone input will work with RECAP. Check your voice recorder’s user manual to ensure it records in stereo. Note that some models can be configured between monaural and stereo modes, so make sure you have it configured as a stereo microphone before using it with RECAP.

Advantage of Stereo Recording

It’s handy that RECAP grabs the audio of a phone call in stereo. The left channel captures the sound you hear in the speakers, that is the audio coming from the party being interviewed. In the right channel it records your voice, picked up by your headset’s microphone.


Having separate channels for each party facilitate the audio post processing. It’s very convenient to have separate channels for your voice and the other party’s voice, because after recording takes place one would typically perform some audio processing to remove background noise picked up during the call and / or to amplify the speaker’s voice.


RECAP is a simple and useful tool for mobile journalists, reporters, lawyers, consultants and other professionals who wish to record interviews, client calls into their digital voice recorders.

I hope this article show RECAP is a great tool for professionals who are looking for audio equipment to record and broadcast phone interviews.

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Phone Call During Live Streaming

Imagine you are a reporter broadcasting from the field using an iPad.

Say you want to interview a guest over the phone during your live streaming. How would you do that? Put the phone on speakerphone? That may work, but the quality is terrible. Now you can use RECAP C to get better sound quality.

Check out this email from one of our customers:

Let me tell you about our setup. I don’t if you heard of this, there’s a massive public protest happening right now in Kyiv, Ukraine and corporate-owned media weren’t covering events very well. So Hromadske TV was created to serve public interest. It broadcasts through Youtube Live ( often from the field using streaming from iPad.

A lot of people are calling during the broadcast to express their opinions and quick 1-5 min interviews are done live. At the moment, however there’s no connection between phone and tablet so the sound transmits just over the air which, of course, results in terrible quality. This is okay, because everyone understands that this is an amauter broadcast, not professional TV, but we’d like to get better. We’ll support your project to improve our quality. As the events uncover right now, I’d really like to get your devices sooner to serve our audience. Would definitely appreciate if you can help us.

– Sergii Kauk, Hromadske TV, Ukraine

If you’re a professional or amateur reporter and use RECAP C, let’s know! We’d love to hear from you.

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Is it legal to record phone calls?

Recording phone conversations is legal in all of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Federal law permits electronically recording a phone conversation with the consent of only one person involved in the conversation. This “one-party” rule requires the consent of at least one person in the conversation. The law deals primarily with wiretapping and law enforcement –- recording conversations to which the recorder is not a party. But for journalists, this means that only the reporter herself is required to know that the conversation is being recorded.” [1]

Rule of thumb: “you are always better off having the permission of the person you’re recording.”

“That’s the rule of thumb,” said Lucy Dalglish, executive director of The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which publishes “‘Can We Tape?’: A Practical Guide to Taping Phone Calls and In-Person Conversations in the 50 States and D.C.” “And that’s the ethical thing to do anyway. You always have to know what the law is, and you are always better off having the permission of the person you’re recording.”



[1] Think Before You Record –

[2] Reporter’s Recording Guide –

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Record Skype Calls

Update: RECAP Model S has been replaced with Model S2. 5/14/2014:

This article is about using the RECAP audio adapter to record Skype calls.

Quick intro: RECAP is a small gadget for Android and iPhone. It plugs in the phone audio jack and captures both sides of the phone call. It then output that signal for a second device (destination device) to pick up.

The diagrams below give a good illustration of what RECAP is all about. 

record skype calls

As you can see, there are two models of RECAP available: Model S and model C.

  • Model S: was designed to capture the phone audio and output for recording into a PC computer, Digital Voice Recorder and other devices that have a standard stereo microphone input (MIC IN). Remember: S = Stereo
  • Model C: was designed to capture the phone audio and output for recording into mobile phones and tablets, either iOS or Android devices, and any device with a AHJ combo port. Remember: C = Combo

record skype calls digital voice recorder

Record Skype Calls with Digital Voice Recorder

The diagram to the right illustrates that RECAP can be used to record skype calls into a digital voice recorder.

Recording into a digital voice recorder often times the preference of reporters and journalists that interview subjects and then need fine control of playing back the recorded audio for transcription or sending to a colleague.

The digital voice recorder must have a stereo microphone input. Check the device manual to ensure it has one. Most recorders do.

Record Skype Calls with Audacity

Another advantage of using RECAP to record Skype calls is that it allows you to record the phone call into your favorite computer application, such as Audacity.

Audacity is a powerful audio recording and editing tool. Audacity is available for download for free at:

An advantage of audacity is that it allow you to manipulate the audio recording in several ways, such as removing background noise, and amplifying portions of the phone call where the volume was too low. In summary, Audacity provides fine control over your recordings.

Record iPhone Calls

RECAP is a versatile device. It let you record Skype calls, regular phone calls, in fact any audio in and out of your phone. So RECAP is the best tool to record iPhone calls, since it works with any call software: Facetime or any other Voip calling app.

Alternatives to Skype call recording

RECAP is ideal for Skype call recordings involving a mobile device, phone or tablet. If your recording is in a PC computer or MAC you may want to check out these alternative method in the articles below:

(note: I have not tested those methods)