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TascamDR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder
 
4.5

(based on 216 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (130)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (72)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (170)
  • Excellent sound (156)
  • Compact (117)
  • Versatile (101)
  • Low distortion (93)

Cons

  • Poor quality construction (6)
  • Difficult to use (4)
  • Weak (4)
  • Heavy / bulky (3)
  • Unnecessary functions (3)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (133)
  • Outdoor events / games (106)
  • Performances (76)
  • Home studio (62)
  • Professional recording (49)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (115), Novice (47), Professional musician (23), Tech savvy (7), Technically challenged (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A Decent Audio Recorder for the Money

As a self contained multimedia journalist, I wanted to step up from the limitations of the Zoom H1 for the audio slideshow and video projects I produce/create. I went with the Tascam...Read complete review

As a self contained multimedia journalist, I wanted to step up from the limitations of the Zoom H1 for the audio slideshow and video projects I produce/create. I went with the Tascam DR-05 due to it's smallish size and additional capabilities.

The audio quality of the built in stereo mics works well with capturing ambient audio and even for voice recording if using baffling to minimize any room echo.

For using an external mic, I initially went with the Pearstone LMT-100 3.5mm to XLR adapter, but had issues with it. I then ordered the Comprehensive 3.5mm to XLR cable and found it to be of higher audio quality than the Pearstone cable.

A serious issue I discovered is if you're going to use an external mic with the DR-05, you NEED to use a battery powered mic such as the AKG C-1000S, Rode M3 or NTG-2 (and similar mics) due to the noisy mic preamps. There's a fair amount of pre-amp line noise if used with dynamic mics like the Audio Technica AT8004 or Shure SM58 - both of which I tested and found to be of no use with this recorder.

When I tested with a loaned AKG-C1000S from a colleague, the audio quality was flat out lovely (I ended up purchasing an AKG-C1000S as a result). I recommend this recorder/mic combination for NPR style voice recordings both in studio and in the field.

Bottom line: This is a much better audio recorder compared to the Zoom H1 for the money IMO. The overall build and ease of use of the Tascam DR-05 is superior and as long as you understand its limitations for external mics options, you'll be happy with this unit.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

No line-level input - a non-starter, in

In at least 3 places in Tascam's website, they claim the DR-05 has a "line in", this is NOT the case, the only input jack can only accept a...Read complete review

In at least 3 places in Tascam's website, they claim the DR-05 has a "line in", this is NOT the case, the only input jack can only accept a minuscule -20 dBV (nominal) input signal, way below the normal -10dBV output from a "recorder out" jack from a stereo or mixer and WAY< WAY below the +4 dBV output of a normal mixer standard output. It may be great recording from the built in mics or external mics (I don't know), but it really misses the mark for recording from other sources because of the lack of a line in (even though Tascam keeps saying it has one.) By the way, the new DR-07 mkII has no line level input either (but the old DR-07 did).

Note: Below, I checked "experienced" - had there been a category between 'novice" and "experienced" I would have selected that, but I'm closer to experienced than novice.

Reviewed by 216 customers

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4.0

Great sound!

By Steve C.

from Connecticut

Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

I used this to record my band rehearsals and it worked perfectly. It's not to hard to understand....press record once to place it standby again to record.

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(1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Confusing

By Jmarkos

from Kansas

About Me Tech Savvy

Verified Reviewer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

        Not easy to operate, poor sound. Poor customer service. It came with a bad memory card and service told me to get a new card to check if it would work. I've had this plastic paperweght three months and have not recorded three minutes of sound. Don't waste your $$.

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Better Audio = Professional Videos

        By Sergio the Cinematographer

        from Palm Springs, CA

        About Me Filmmaker, Video Editor

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Compact Design
        • High Quality Sound
        • Reliable

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Filming
          • interviews

          Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

          I am a dslr filmmaker and the one thing that has always interfered was audio. With the Tascam DR-05, that is but a problem of the past. The Audio quality that this outputs is incredible. All you have to do is sync it in post and you have great, clear audio to work in parallel with your amazing video. A must have especially if your in-camera audio lacks.

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          4.0

          great for price

          By rocky

          from tempe az

          About Me Tech Savvy

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Compact Design
          • High Quality Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Concerts
            • Conversations
            • Lectures

            Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

            recording film dilalog

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            5.0

            Great value and what I was looking for

            By Olivodc

            from New Jersey

            About Me Tech Savvy

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact Design
            • High Quality Sound

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Conversations

              Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

              I am currently using this to record natural ambient sounds (birds chirping, ocean waves, etc.) with the intent of manipulating them in my DAW. The sound quality is solid and the microphones are clear. It is lightweight and easy to use. The manual took about 20 minutes to read in order to understand every function. I probably didn't even need to use the manual because the layout is so straight forward, but there are some things that are hidden in menus that you may want to read to be mindful of.

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              5.0

              Technology is amazing

              By Papa Dick

              from Shawnee, KS

              About Me Tech Savvy

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Compact Design
              • High Quality Sound

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Concerts

                Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                I have been recording on a Tascam CD recorder at our church for at least 10 Years through our PA system. Recordings much better than cassettes. This little recorder blew that all away. Our Christmas eve, including pipe organ, bass trombone, trombone, french horn, two trumpets, handbells and choir came out fantastic. Thank you J.... and Tascam.

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                5.0

                Does the Job

                By Big E

                from New England

                About Me Tech Savvy

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • High Quality Sound
                • Reliable

                Cons

                • Bulky

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                  The DR-05 is a solid recorder. Used primarily for taking recorded statements, the directional mics work well. Only drawback is that it is slightly bulky.

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                  (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Easy to use

                  By Sphinx91

                  from Brooklyn, NY

                  Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                  Good recording device for journalists. Moderately easy set up. Good sound quality.

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                  5.0

                  Good quality, good price

                  By Colleen

                  from Illinois

                  Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                  I purchased this as a Christmas present for my son, who is an aspiring film maker. He used for to record sound from a boom microphone for the movie he was making. It records high quality sound, is pretty easy to navigate and organize files into folders, and comes with batteries and a micro SD card. Just make sure you figure out the how to change the volume at which it records first. Very good product. Definitely worth the $[$].

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                  (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great!!!

                  By Arnold

                  from Puerto Rico

                  About Me Technically Challenged

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Compact Design
                  • High Quality Sound
                  • Long Battery Life
                  • Reliable

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Concerts
                    • Conversations

                    Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                    Great recorder really easy to use and not so big as people claim. I See reviews of the h1 but this unit is better by far.

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                    (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    The Incredible Recorder

                    By Cedric

                    from Las Vegas NV

                    About Me Technically Challenged

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Compact Design
                    • High Quality Sound
                    • Long Battery Life
                    • Reliable

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Concerts
                      • Lectures

                      Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                      recording and playback quality, excellent.

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                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Had To Return

                      By Amateur Old Guy

                      from San Antonio, TX

                      About Me Technically Challenged

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Compact Design
                      • Decent Interface
                      • Easy to use
                      • Solid Buid

                      Cons

                      • No Stereo Input
                      • Poor Quality Sound

                      Best Uses

                      • Conversations
                      • Lectures

                      Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                      The unit seems solid and well designed for dictation but it is not designed for stereo input recording. The only line in on this unit is a 1/8 inch mic jack. With the record levels at optimal it will give you decent results in mono but when you switch to stereo you will get a really poor result. I am not a pro so the best way for me to describe what I got is some sort of lo-fi effect. Bottom line is that I could not get it to record anything usable with the 1/8 inch mic input in stereo mode.

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      satisfied

                      By bring it onn

                      from Queens, NY

                      About Me Technically Challenged

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to use
                      • High Quality Sound
                      • Reliable

                      Cons

                      • Bulky

                      Best Uses

                      • Dubbing

                      Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                      i'm not expert in audio/recording type of things, but i needed it for dubbing purpose and i'm glad that I got DR-05.
                      My friend who knows more about sound and recording sort of thing have been complimenting it and i guess that sums it up! :)

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                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Band rehearsal AND video production...!

                      By Carl

                      from Oregon

                      About Me Musician, Video producer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Compact Design
                      • Dslr Audio
                      • High Quality Sound
                      • Live Band Music
                      • Long Battery Life
                      • Perfectly Records
                      • Reliable

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Concerts
                        • Conversations
                        • Lectures

                        Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                        This little gem works great for everything I have tried it on.... mount it to a light stand to record your band rehearsal sessions - yes, it really works AND the drummer is not all you hear...I use the Limiter function when live recording my band. Get the 'Filmmaking Kit' and use it for your back-up and even primary audio. I do all my mixing and sweeting inside my computer programs so the DR-05 version is what I use. Really one of the best investments I have made in a while.

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                        5.0

                        High quality at a low price

                        By Olineman for life

                        from Charlotte, NC

                        About Me Tech Savvy

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Compact Design
                        • High Quality Sound
                        • Long Battery Life
                        • Reliable

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Recording Broadcasts

                          Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                          I am in sports broadcasting and need to record games at home and on the road. The Tascam DR-05 is portable and really easy to use. Also, I am impressed with the quality of the recording. I would recommend this product.

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                          4.0

                          Great bang for the buck

                          By Citikid

                          from New york

                          Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                          I used to use the first generation Zoom and couldn't deal with the very small display any longer.
                          The DR-05 is easy to use and the battery life is fantastic and the display is reasonably large.
                          The only thing that I wish I had was an input volume knob.

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                          5.0

                          Great buy!

                          By BBanse0627

                          from Sauk Village, IL

                          About Me Tech Savvy

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Compact Design
                          • High Quality Sound
                          • Long Battery Life
                          • Reliable

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                              Simply, great product, captures sound quite well. Great price, easy to use. The item demo is quite useful. 5/5!

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                              4.0

                              Tascam dr-05

                              By Lennyciotti

                              from New york

                              Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                              Amazing price/quality ratio!

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                              5.0

                              Simple and Clean

                              By Tim

                              from Charlotte, NC

                              About Me Novice

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Easy To Use
                              • Excellent Sound
                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Amateur Recording
                                • Events

                                Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                                I use this recorder with an interview mic for weddings and interviews. It's simple to use and catpures better sound than anything an on-board mic could.

                                You can't go wrong with this little guy.

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                                5.0

                                Great

                                By Aisse Gaertner

                                from Rio de Janeiro, BR

                                About Me Professional Musician

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                • Compact
                                • Easy To Use
                                • Excellent Sound
                                • Low Distortion
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                • Poor Quality Construction
                                • Weak speaker

                                Best Uses

                                • Amateur Recording
                                • Birding
                                • Events

                                Comments about Tascam DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder:

                                I use it for birding. To record and play some bird songs that I don't recognize. So I can attract it and take pictures. If well configured it can record far far sounds. The speaker power don't help, so you'll have to use an external speaker.

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