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

(based on 309 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (187)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (95)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (11)

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 309 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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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

Verified Buyer

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

Verified Buyer

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

Really great

 
5.0

Say hello to my little friend!

By Thomas

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Great mics, and easy to figure out. This is my 7th hand held unit and my all around fav. My smaller Tascam is easier to carry, but eats triple As for breakfast. This one uses double As...better. Throw in a great tuner and this model is hard to beat!

 
4.0

Great product

By Richard

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Very nice recorder. Simple operation. High quality results.

 
5.0

Excellent Digital Recorder

By Owen

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Very good recorder.
I use the line in jack all the time to come from a mixer.

 
5.0

i would like to buy more

By Tecnologiaein

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

good product

 
4.0

I would buy it again

By Robert

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

I really like the recorder, feels solid and easy to use. The external speakers are weak, I turned the volume up as high as it would go and can barely hear the speakers. No sure, maybe my recorder is defective, didn't buy it for the speakers so I really don't care even if they worked better hey would sill suck compared to headphones or running sound through a receiver. I think it's a good value for the money.

 
5.0

Works as promised!

By Debra

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Using this as a "poorman's Lavalier" for Video interviews. Working great, so far. Very simple to use and figure out. Already thinking of other uses for it. Great Purchase!

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Wasn't worth it

By Ciera

from Undisclosed

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

I purchased this a few months ago, I just opened it about a week ago and have been unable to use it... I feel like it as a waste of my money... It will not work with the lav at all

 
5.0

Great product

By Vajira

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

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

Wish it had some kind of guard for the microphones.

 
4.0

I liked this very much.

By Meggy

from New Jersey

Verified Buyer

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

I have already used this brand and liked very much.

 
5.0

love

By T

from Fredericksburg, Va

Verified Buyer

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

Used daily as a reporter in the D.C. Suburbs. As advertised. Easy to use. Dependable

(0 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

"Musicians" be careful : Very Bad Quality Of sound

By Yassine

from Undisclosed

Site Member

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

I bought it in order to do some musical record , the quality of sound is really poor . be aware "Brothers" that the videos on youtube about this Item aren't sincere ... these people are like traders they aren't honest . i bought one and i regret it truely .

 
5.0

Terrific quality and a bargain price!

By hlpdobro

from Frederick, MD

Verified Buyer

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

Using recorder for rehearsals. Using standard tripod mount. Works flawlessly.

 
5.0

line In records LPs

By Paul

from Undisclosed

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

I bought the unit primarily to use the line input to digitize my record collection... works great ! Also very pleased with the built-in microphones for recording ambient sound and music

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

It was a steal + works great!!

By C.F. Martin

from New England

Verified Buyer

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

When I play a guitar in my living room, I'm always making up songs (or melody) for a long time. But I completely forget those songs next morning. This is a great device to solve that problem. Easy operation and relatively it has a great sound quality. I can just put the file in iTune and start listening in my car (or audio system). Great tool for creativity!

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