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TascamDR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black)
 
4.4

(based on 261 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (157)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (83)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (7)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (194)
  • Excellent sound (181)
  • Compact (139)
  • Versatile (116)
  • Low distortion (106)

Cons

  • Difficult to use (9)
  • Poor quality construction (7)
  • Unnecessary functions (5)
  • Weak (4)
  • Heavy / bulky (3)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (148)
  • Outdoor events / games (120)
  • Performances (83)
  • Home studio (75)
  • Professional recording (63)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (136), Novice (57), Professional musician (25), 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

 

Loses files easily, pause/record problem

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...Read complete review

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.

Reviewed by 261 customers

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4.0

So good, I bought a second one

By Bryguy83

from Los Angeles

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Build Quality
  • Reliable
  • Value

Cons

  • No Screw Locking 18"

Best Uses

    Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

    The tascam is a great value and super easy to use. I use it as a second recorder for wedding ceremonies (can't have too many microphones on the altar). The only downside it I wish it came with a screw locking lavalier microphone - I had to tape down a the 1/8" connection so it doesn't get pulled out when I mic up the groom. It does have a setting to go to sleep after 30 mins but you can turn that off.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Great Product

    By More Dave

    from Nicholasville, KY

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

    Does a great job for the money.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    would buy this product again

    By dan ram

    from mexico df

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Economic
    • Good Price

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Media Work
    • Professional Audio

    Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

    a professional product at a good price available for media projects and socials

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Great

    By Gonzzalo

    from Mexico

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

    Very easy to use, battery life is good.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    4.0

    good for the price

    By quintanilha

    from brazil

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Operate
    • Size
    • Strong

    Cons

    • Battery Life

    Best Uses

    • Any Kind Of Simple Record
    • Audio

    Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

    good for shooting shorts and home movies

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Coconut Ron's Review: Tascam DR-05 Digital Audio Recorder

    By Coconut Ron

    from Jackson Heights, NY

    Verified Buyer

    Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

    I was looking for a good quality digital audio recorder that didn't hurt my pocket book. Well, look no further. The answer to my prayers is the Tascam DR-05 Handheld Digital Audio Recorder. It was super easy to set up and use with only two AA batteries. Also, I found the audio quality superb. A choice of different audio files (wav, mp3)at different sampling rates. Also choice of selecting stereo or mono recordings. The built in microphones are great as well. It comes with a 4GB micro SD card memory. Plenty of hours to record/play. Recording levels are also easy to monitor and set-up too. The only drawback is the sound on the built in speaker is low. There I use my headphones at all times. I give the Tascam DR-05 my 5 stars. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy!

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Disappointing

    By Melburnian

    from Melbourne, Australia

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Fiddly Menu
      • Poor Microphone Design
      • Poor Recording Quality

      Best Uses

        Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

        Tascam has a long history in recording but unfortunately this product is not on par. There's a line between selling something cheap and something that devalues the brand. It may be cheap but it doesn't deliver basic expectations. I am assuming that mine was not faulty but in any case, I wouldn't buy another. The physical build is OK. Battery cover is not the best design and may come loose over time. The real issues are with the technology. Microphones are not great (type & placement). I found it was a fine line between gain and distortion. Furthermore, recording on the street or in an office (where ambient noise exists) resulted in ambient noise dominating and the voice being lost in the mix, even though the device was a foot from the speaker and aimed directly at the mouth. Inserting a mono lavalier (TR) into the device I was unable to record in mono - it would just record stereo but onto one channel only. The built-in speaker is inaudible. Headphones struggled with gain and plugging headphones in had some strange affect on the input (also tried with external powered speaker and the input gain was severely affected). Recording with distortion in the headphones one has to wonder if the distortion is playback or record. It's just poor design. I lost all confidence in this device capturing anything of importance. It simply failed to deliver the basics. The menu is fiddle and not intuitive. Overall I'd give it a wide berth - one star is generous. I returned the product to B&H straight away. Try the Zoom range if you need something that works. Zoom H5 is the better choice. Don't be fooled by the price of the Tascam.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Conference room recording

        By NPCA.news

        from Rife. Center ohio

        Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

        We use this recorder in a conference room meeting found that extensions of the microphone would be helpful, it will be used in a large symposium in March voice pick up could have been better

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        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Great performer

        By TROUBBLE in Paradise

        from Cape Coral, FL

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Professional Recording

            Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

            Needed to create a testimonial video for a client's website. The DR-05 worked flawlessly.

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great product

            By H_stray

            from Pennsylvania

            Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

            Lightweight and pretty compact. Fits nicely in a pocket or bag. Easy to use and understand. Great recording and playback sound quality.

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            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Very nice sound quality

            By Ding Dion

            from Rochester, NY

            About Me Novice

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Recording Voice

              Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

              I'm using this recorder for voice audio and I sync it up to my video afterward. I make Youtube videos. It's great. It's a huge upgrade from the camera's mic, of course, and it has some nice level inputs so I'm sure to get a good strong audio track. I'm impressed. The price was right and it is very easy to use in terms of the basic controls as well as the more technical options. Also, if you're using a powered mic, make sure to select that option. Mine didn't sound quite right until I selected the powered mic option. I thought I had a bad mic at first but it sounds great.

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Easy to use in a small size

              By kmfoto

              from Greater NYC area

              Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

              I purchased this to do voice overs. It was easy to set up and to judge the levels.

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Solid!

              By manwinkler

              from Long Island, NY

              Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

              I bought this unit exclusively for interviews, and it is solid.
              The sound is good, whether for publishing or using it for transcriptional purposes.
              The only drawback I see is the old fashioned charge unit ... It is not a micro USB, which forces me to carry one additional cable w/ me.

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Needed for film in a pinch

              By nickynarc

              from new york, ny

              About Me Novice

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording

                Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                worked out great

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                (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                This is NOT your Olympus Digital Audio Recorder

                By VanGogh53

                from Singapore

                About Me Novice

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact
                • Excellent Sound
                • Powerful

                Cons

                • Difficult To Use
                • Incomprehensive Terms
                • Manual Not Comprehensive

                Best Uses

                • Events
                • Home Studio
                • Performances

                Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                When I first received it, I was excited, as I had the Olympus mindset (wrongly or rightly), in that if I record something, I expect to play and the sound will be loud and clear. It isn't, in fact the tiny speaker at the back can hardly be audible. I didn't know that, and for a good 2 hours, I was thinking this is a DOA (Dead on Arrival) product, and wrote a couple of emails to B&H to have it returned.

                After going through a few YouTube on it, I realize that to play what is recorded, you have to have a headset plugged in!

                The menu is easy to move around, rather intuitive, but the mumbo jumbo of -db and "head and tail" and many more are like Greek, if you are not savvy in audio technology.

                If you just want a recorder for lecture, buy one more simple. This one is filled with features for audio recording (like music), and hence one needs to devote more time to understand audio mumbo jumbo to optimize its power.

                It is a nice machine and nicely designed and built. Value for money, if you want these features. If not, do get a simpler one; otherwise you can be frustrated by it.

                The flip side is that I am learning new stuff, so I am keeping it now; instead of wanting to return, thinking it was DOA.

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                (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great for weddings

                By Nick

                from Naperville,illinois

                About Me Experienced

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Compact
                • Easy To Use
                • Excellent Sound

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Events
                  • Professional Recording

                  Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                  I use it with a lav microphone( polsen ) make sure the mic is not trrs or will not work with DR-05. I found out about this the hard way...

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                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Wow... just what I needed

                  By jrost

                  from Alexandria, MN

                  About Me Novice

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Compact
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Versatile

                  Cons

                  • Unnecessary Functions

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Studio

                  Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                  I was looking to record streaming audio off the internet to an .mp3 file and this unit is the ticket. And the price was affordable. Highly recommend.

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                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Loving it

                  By MPN

                  from Bangkok, Thailand

                  About Me Experienced

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Compact
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Excellent Sound

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home Studio
                    • Professional Recording

                    Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                    I hadn't updated to a digital recorder, and I'm loving my Tascam. Simple interface; works with my Sennheiser/ Adobe Audition software in real time. I'm a tv/multimedia journalist and I recommend it.

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great product !

                    By JM

                    from Brooklyn, NY

                    About Me Experienced

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Amateur Recording

                      Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                      Its clarity and other features are great.

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                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      A nice affordable Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder

                      By Anton

                      from NYC

                      About Me Experienced

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

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

                        Comments about DR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Black):

                        I got this recorder to record guitar improvisation melodies that would pop-up in my head during practice.

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