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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
TascamDR-05 Portable Handheld Digital Audio Recorder (Bronze)
 
4.4

(based on 323 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (198)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (95)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (14)

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 (8)
    • 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 323 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Great Recorder

By Joan

from Sioux City IA

Verified Buyer

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

This recorder is perfect for our students to use. Easy to learn, easy to handle. Easy to move files to computer for editing.

 
5.0

I can't complain

By Tru Word

from Newark

Verified Buyer

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

I'm working on my independent feature movie and i use this recorder to do ADR. Along with my sound engineer skills I get very good results, so i'm very happy with this one.

 
5.0

Excellent recorder

By David

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

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

This really is a great little instrument. I use mine to record bird songs and calls in the field. Yes, the speaker is weak, but that doesn't matter to me. I bought it to record sounds and upload same. I can easily listen to my recordings using headphones (I bought a pair of OB) Tascam TH-02's. And when the sounds have been uploaded, they play loudly and clearly.
This recorder is very customizable. One great feature--you can divide recordings, delete what you don't want and save what you do want. In other words, you can edit recordings this way without having to download editing software.
Contrary to what some have said, one button recording is available, but recording standby, which I prefer, is also available (recording then is a 2 step process). You can pause recordings and resume, or end them.
The menus are easy to master.
I also purchased a small wind screen ("dead kitty") a handle that screws into the tripod socket, and a padded case. The wind screen mounts easily and really helps eliminate wind noise.
The recorder comes with a paper manual. The manual provided online by B&H is much better/clearer and provides additional info.

 
5.0

After 5 years, I still love it!

By Gilbert

from Undisclosed

See all my reviews

Site Member

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

I've used the DR-05 for five years now and I recently purchased a different brand digital recorder as a backup and now I appreciate the Tascam even more! It has never failed me once while filming in Istanbul, Rome, Paris, London, Quebec, and Greece. The only criticism is the sliding door to the batteries won't stay on. This obviously is a typical problem because B&H sells the door separately for all those people who have lost it. Other than that, it's a dependable little workhorse. I do use the dead cat windscreen with it and it works very well.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

The nays are right!

By John

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

The Nays are right! NOT user friendly. And the volume output is so laughably low. Be advised that all those three to five star ratings evidently must be using some kind of amp or just have super human hearing. A yuuuuuge disappointment!

 
5.0

this is an amazing recorder

By Emiko

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

i am a musician and whenever i am at a gig, i make recordings of the group. Oftentimes we are in an outdoor setting. this recorder is amazing - reduces background noise and the recording is crystal clear. I used to own sony ux200 and i was happy with all the features, but this digital recorder is superior.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

I would never recommend this product to the average user

By Neil

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

This is the most user unfriendly electronic device I have ever had the mis-pleasure to use. The instructions are poor, the screen is tiny and packed with unintelligible information, and the instructions refer to the PLAY button and, even though it is essential and other buttons are marked with names or initials, the PLAY button is not. When I hooked it up yo my computer it did not link up. The output from its speaker is so law as to be virtually inaudible. While it has a large number of settings, you have to scroll though endless screen notes and most are useless to the average user who, like me, just wants to record meetings. Do I have to worry about manually setting the recording level? Etc. Etc. In sum, I hate this device and am sorry i ever purchased it,. Take this as a word to the non-techno-geek like me.

 
5.0

Excelente producto para mis videos

By Jesus

from undisclosed

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

Muy buen producto tengo 3 y. Esta muy bien costuido el audio excelente lo recomiendo y muy fácil de usar

 
5.0

Solid performance

By Scott

from Undisclosed

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

This is my second DR-05. Can't say enough good about how reliable this unit is. It just works!

 
5.0

Good Device.....

By Konstantin

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

The order came quickly, 18 days to Moscow.
I ordered a recorder to record high-quality stereo audio for video.
The sound quality is excellent, different sensitivity. Records any sound nuances.
Just have to learn how to properly tune. Memory card 4 giga included.
IMHO.....this device provides more flexible recording capabilities than DSLR microphones.
So......All Ok!
Thanks.

 
5.0

Excellent audio recorder.

By edgargangel

from Charleston SC

Verified Buyer

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

I use it as a back up audio recorder. We do wedding video and prefer to use this device rather than wireless mic on bride.

 
5.0

Great product!

By Raul

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Tascam is just one of the best when it comes to recorders, very happy with my purchase!

 
5.0

Tascam's got it

By James

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Used primarily as a backup rig, I have found this and other Tascam handhelds to be nothing but a great reliable value. Long runtime and get the onboard mics in a good spot and they perform better than they have a right to. If you are using the miniplug input be careful, it can't take too hot of a line-level signal.

 
1.0

I'll never buy a Tascam again!

By Alessandro

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

Very hard to set up, forgets the date and time when I change the batteries. Used it 3 times in a year now it stops recording automatically after 3 to 5 seconds! (yes I tried re-booting and changing cards)

 
5.0

You need to buy this!

By Jared

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Love this little device. For the money, it is an outstanding purchase!

 
5.0

Very good recorder...

By Michael

from undisclosed

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

Okay! Well I am definitely giving my new recorder 5/5 stars. And would most certainly recommend it to anyone. Please read this all the way through.

The one and only issue I have with this recorder is that when I have an external ECM element plugged into it, the built-in stereo mic still pick up a light amount of sound. Strange indeed.

It is very picky about formatting which is not an issue for me, I simply do a quick format and it's ready to record.

Battery life is good.
Audio quality in 24 bit 96kHz sample rate is phenomenal. (Have yet to try a lower quality bit-rate)
Easily navigable menus.
Reasonable boot-up time. For quick records.
Built-in mics sound good. Though I like my Sony Electret Condensor Mic slightly better. Sony ECM-CS3 is available here at B&H last I checked.

I really cannot say anything negative about it.

Use:
My Drone did not come with on-board audio. So, I use this as a recorder to add audio to my videos. Adjustable mic gain is a very good thing. I record a lot of trains with my drone. And let me tell you those K5LA airchime horns are very intense. Having mic gain adjustment allows me to set the levels so it won't clip the audio as the train goes by honking 140dB.

 
4.0

Great little device

By Edgar Avenue Poet

from Findlay, Ohio

Verified Buyer

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

I needed a recording device for interviews for a book. I'm not sure how I picked this one so, I guess it was just blind luck because it has worked out great. My first outing with it was to a public presentation in an auditorium that seats about 150 people. I got there early so that I could find a seat up front. I got the settings established as best I could while waiting for the program to start. The results were exactly what I wanted to hear.

The only fault, and it's more a fault of mine, is that there are settings I don't understand. It would be nice if the manual had a terms glossary with a bit of primer on how to set them. I will get some help to understand them and I'll be fine. It's a great device, small enough that I can tuck it away and yet good enough to get the job done. I got the red one so that it would be more difficult to lose.

 
4.0

I feel like a pro

By James

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

It is way more sophisticated than I am, but I will catch up. Used it today to record a presentation that my wife could not attend. Sound is good without the annoying room sounds drowning out the speakers. Less likely to misplace it with its bright red color.

 
5.0

Excellent, except the speaker. Need headphones.

By Alfonso

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

These is a very sophisticated field recorder , ideal for video and audio production. And at a great price.
Excellent sound with headphones. External speaker too small to have any use except to check if you recorded any sound at all.

 
5.0

I recommend it

By Benoit

from undisclosed

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

Really great

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