It includes a voice-activated Variable Control Voice Actuator feature which automatically records once it hears sound to save memory and battery life. The device is an upgrade to the J300 since it also offers a battery level indicator which the J300 lacks. The J500 has a volume control for adjusting the recording volume as well as a tape counter to quickly find important audio. It also has fast playback and a dual tape speed function for recording 3 hours of audio on a 90-minute cassette. The recorder operates on two AAA batteries which provide up to 17 hours of recording time and has a suggested retail price of $45.