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TascamDR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder
 
4.5

(based on 198 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (120)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (66)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

97%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (168)
  • Excellent sound (156)
  • Compact (107)
  • Versatile (101)
  • Low distortion (93)

Cons

  • Poor quality construction (6)
  • Difficult to use (4)
  • Weak (4)
  • 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)

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 198 customers

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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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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Loses files easily, pause/record problem

    By David

    from Chattanooga

    About Me Experienced

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Versatile

    Cons

    • Poor Quality Construction
    • Weak

    Best Uses

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

      I have been using the Tascam DR-40 for 3 years and the DR-05 for three months. I love the quality of sound from the internal mics on both machines. Rarely do I use external mics now. But I am beyond frustrated by the need to hit the record button twice to record: first for paused recording, second to actually record. In bright light, both recorders' record-indicater lights are nearly impossible to read: it can be nearly impossible to know if recording or paused (if record light is blinking, solid or at all lit). Of course, even using headphones, audio sounds the same. I've lost countless hours of material, conducted entire interviews on paused recording. Perhaps I've been spoiled by Marantz' field recorders, which have a separate button for pause and record, but when I hit "record," I would like to know I'm recording.

      The second huge problem is that these Tascams are terribly feeble and sensitive to jarring while recording: entire files are lost if the machine is bumped or tips over on a table. I've lost interviews to a subject's hand gesture, bumping the recorder while held as a mic in my hand.

      I haven't found a way to recover these files. Without end-of-track write-out, they're gone. Again, I hate to compare to my Marantz PMD660, because it's so much bigger and has no internal mic worth using. They are in kind of different categories--I can't carry my Marantz everywhere, the way I can these Tascams. But loss of files in both cases are very serious drawbacks and I believe design flaws: no amount of reasonable professionalism or compensation helps beyond a point. No matter how careful, the longer I use these machines, the more files and great tape I lose.

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      5.0

      En español

      By dani

      from Argentina

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances

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

        Hola, escribo esto en español ya que no hay, o hay muy poco de este producto en español. Antes que nada quiero comentar que estaba indeciso entre el Zoom H1 y el Tascam DR-05, Finalmente terminé eligiendo el Tascam por la posisción de los micrófonos incorporados. Me parece muy buen producto, a lo mejor un poco grande. Tiene una exelente calidad de grabación. Las baterías duran mucho aparHola, escribo esto en español ya que no hay, o hay muy poco de este producto en español. Antes que nada quiero comentar que estaba indeciso entre el Zoom H1 y el Tascam DR-05, Finalmente terminé eligiendo el Tascam por la posisción de los micrófonos incorporados. Me parece muy buen producto, a lo mejor un poco grande. Tiene una exelente calidad de grabación. Las baterías duran mucho aparentemente, todavía estoy utilizando las que me vinieron con la compra del producto. La tarjeta de 2GB esta bien sobre todo si grabamos en mp3 podemos grbar muchísimo! para wav si necesitamos muchas horas hace falta una tarjeta mas grande. Lo compré para utilizar con filmaciones DSLR y para cortometrajes de la facultad y creo que viene muy bien para esas dos cosas. Espero que les haya servido. Saludos!entemente, todavía estoy utilizando las que me vinieron con la compra del producto. La tarjeta de 2GB esta bien sobre todo si grabamos en mp3 podemos grbar muchísimo! para wav si necesitamos muchas horas hace falta una tarjeta mas grande. Lo compré para utilizar con filmaciones DSLR y para cortometrajes de la facultad y creo que viene muy bien para esas dos cosas. Espero que les haya servido. Saludos!

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        4.0

        Cheapest ACCEPTABLE sound recording

        By Chill Video

        from San Antonio, Texas

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Events

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

          It works well recording with the microphone or a direct connection. However the small speaker is not very useful. Need to use earplugs to hear playback.

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          4.0

          Good Machine, Good Price

          By WorkinJ1

          from New York, NY

          About Me Professional Musician

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Excellent Sound
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Performances

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

            Bought this to record a recital literally one hour before it started. I was able to set it up pretty quickly and get a good recording out of it.

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            5.0

            Perfect for ,y needs

            By Bullmakret

            from New York

            About Me Experienced

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Amateur Recording
              • Events
              • Performances

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

              Easy to use with a great compact design. I used it to record a rehersal session in a big room and it sounded great. loved the ablity to name tracks and then dump everthing into my computer quikly so I can edit all the stuff i didnt need.

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              5.0

              DR-05

              By Doctor 05

              from Marietta Ga

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Powerful
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Mobile DJ
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording

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

                Affordable, intuitive. Digitize and file program Music, live recordings with ease. Plenty of storage.Plenty of "keep it simple" functions. B&H has the best price for the DR-05 anywhere.

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                4.0

                Great Recorder for DSLRs

                By 3nityxcel

                from Ghana

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Compact
                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound
                • Powerful

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Events
                  • Professional Recording

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

                  Amazingly great sound from the device. Microphone sensitivity is good but with an external directional mic it gets better. For the price it is really worth the investment.

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                  (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Very good

                  By Nicolas, drummer

                  from Buenos Aires, Argentina

                  About Me Professional Musician

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Excellent Sound
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Performances

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

                    I bought this Tascam (the cheapest one, $) because the next one in the line was twice the price, I believe. It really worked for me, it was just what I needed. I asked the guy that helped me in the store (he was really polite and helpful) to compare Tascam vs Zoom, and he told me that in the cheaper version he preferred Tascam, even though I liked better the position of the mics in the Zoom. I also bought a 8gb memory, which was cheap. It turned out very well, I recommend it.

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                    4.0

                    Handy little recorder

                    By Proche

                    from Jamestown, NY

                    About Me Professional Musician

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                    • Poor Quality Construction

                    Best Uses

                    • Amateur Recording
                    • Events

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

                    I bought this recorder to use to capture all of the audio tracks of life that I can't get in my home studio. For instance, all the funny little things the kids do and say while we're out of the house, band practices/shows, the sounds of nature etc. to use in my productions. I really liked the thought of this recorder because of it's simplicity, limiting capabilities and price. I can spend a couple hundred or thousand dollars on top of the line mics and I have some pretty nice mic/preamp equipment (Neumann, Shure, Warm Audio, Focusrite etc) so I'm familiar with what great sounding audio sounds like and I can say that this recorder fits the bill for what I need it for. The sound is crisp and even, the limiting does not really distort the sound or create any unusual artifacts and it's simple to use, you just hold the power button for 2 seconds, it's now on, then hit record button twice and it's recording onto another new track. A nice feature for quickly grabbing a sound source in the moment. The only thing I'd like is for more line level inputs, though this can be had on one of the more expensive units. Transfer to your computer is simple, you can just plug in the provided usb and open the files on your computer without removing the sd card, so I can manage the device data at the same time I'm loading it to the computer to free up more room for new recordings. Highly suggest if you need something cheap and efficient. I don't see why I personally would need one of the loftier priced versions. I'd prefer to bring my recording set-up if I needed super pristine, studio grade audio recordings. The microphones on this unit are much better than I anticipated. The condenser mics capture the sound really really well at all volumes.

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                    5.0

                    Even My voice sounds great on Tasc DR-05

                    By Rich the A/V Guy

                    from Canton, CT

                    About Me Experienced

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Compact
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Excellent Sound
                    • Versatile

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Events
                      • Home Studio
                      • Performances
                      • Professional Recording

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

                      I plan to use the Tascam DR-05 in many applications from simple voice over narration to audio for live events. I like it because its small, light weight and versatile . Even I sounded good on it and I am not a professional voice guy and don't normally like the way I sound!

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                      5.0

                      Versatility and Affordability

                      By ZHollows

                      from Milwaukee, WI

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                      • Durability

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording
                      • Events
                      • Performances

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

                      For live music, demoing, and interviewing, this portable recorder is perfect to stick in my bag and go. I would buy this product over and over again.

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                      5.0

                      Good value

                      By Hal

                      from Nyc

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

                      Good value

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                      5.0

                      Great for the price!

                      By The6fingeredman

                      from Providence, RI

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Professional Recording

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

                        I film a lot of weddings and live events as well as web and social media promo videos. I had currently been using 2 sets of sennheiser g2 wireless systems and love them, but every once in a while I get super bad dropouts and for live events there's pretty much nothing I can do. As an experiment I bough a few of these and have been using them. So far it has been great. The downside is i cant really monitor the audio once I put it on them ( as I am recording directly to the unit by plugging in a lav) But if its a live event and I get dropouts there isnt much I can do anyway. The audio has been sharp and clear.

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                        5.0

                        excellent small recorder

                        By Roughtooth

                        from Hattiesburg, MS

                        About Me Experienced

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Compact
                        • Easy To Use
                        • Excellent Sound

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

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

                            A good recorder for interviews. No problems at all.

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                            4.0

                            Simple and to the point

                            By Mo Mo

                            from Lafayette, Louisiana

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

                            I didn't personally use this equipment for my short film shoot. I left that up to my boom operator. He received this equipment on our first shoot day and figured it out without any hassle. My 60 year old mother was even able to easily operate this recorder with a boom microphone. It was a great choice for my budget.

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                            5.0

                            Solid recorder for VoiceOver and Film.

                            By Myrra

                            from Kansas

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

                            I've been using this recorder with my Canon T3i and a Rode Videomic. I've purchased a Videomic Pro recently, because of the added features and better sound quality. You really should get a good mic for this thing if you plan on using it for film. As a standalone recorder, it is also very versatile. Solid little device, great for the money. Build quality is good as well.

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                            4.0

                            Handy, Affordable Handheld Audio Recorde

                            By Scott Spears

                            from Columbus, OH

                            About Me Experienced

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Compact
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Excellent Sound

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Amateur Recording
                              • Professional Recording

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

                              A great compact recorder. I bought it as a back up for recording interiews with my DSLR. Easy to operate. Good quality sound recording. Do I wish it had XLR connectors? Yes, but that's a different price point.

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                              4.0

                              Very Good Recorder

                              By meleze

                              from Edinburg,TX

                              About Me Experienced

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

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

                              Cons

                              • Only A Small Confusion By

                              Best Uses

                              • Amateur Recording
                              • Events

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

                              Very good option for backup audio on the videos, very easy to use, good quality audio recording and 2 GB a good amount of hours of audio, good for the price ... good investment

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