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Tascam DR-05

Handheld digital stereo recorder

1 Review

Item # 850DR05

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Our take on the Tascam DR-05

If you want to record a musical performance, rehearsal, or jam session, you don't need to haul around expensive equipment. The Tascam DR-05 is a compact, handheld digital audio recorder designed for fast, easy recording on the go. Two built-in condenser microphones pick up sound in all directions for flexible placement options. Capture recordings on microSD cards, either as space-saving MP3s or as high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz WAV files. Transfer files to your computer via USB for playback and editing, or listen to your performance in the studio, garage, or basement using the DR-05's built-in speaker.

Simple recording for any setting

If you want to record a musical performance, rehearsal, or jam session, you don't need to haul around expensive equipment. The Tascam DR-05 is a compact, handheld digital audio recorder designed for fast, easy recording on the go. Two built-in condenser microphones pick up sound in all directions for flexible placement options. Capture recordings on microSD cards, either as space-saving MP3s or as high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz WAV files. Transfer files to your computer via USB for playback and editing, or listen to your performance in the studio, garage, or basement using the DR-05's built-in speaker.

Record more of what you want, less of what you don't

The DR-05 has some cool features to help ensure your recordings are clean and clear. Auto Level automatically sets the input levels for the mics based on the loudness of the incoming signal. Peak Reduction can quickly lower mic input levels during loud dynamic changes in the performance you're recording, such as when that horn section suddenly comes on a little too strong. A limiter keeps sudden loud bursts of sound from distorting your recordings. The built in low-cut filter is perfect for reducing low-frequency noise like wind if you're recording outdoors. Enable any combination of these features using the DR-05's simple push-button controls and LCD screen.

Playback and editing options

Once you've made your recording, you can play it back using the DR-05's built-in speaker. Or connect a pair of headphones or powered speakers to the minijack output. During playback, you can add up to 99 markers to a recording, so you can easily highlight key moments from a speech or a particularly cool part of a rehearsal. You can use the markers for some simple on-board editing, like separating a track into multiple parts or deleting extraneous material. That way, you can record an entire band performance but easily save a particular highlight as a short snippet for easy access. Or simply loop that section right in the rehearsal studio so you can re-learn that brilliant improvised riff just minutes after it left your fingers and escaped your memory.

Super-portable and tripod mountable

The DR-05 is small enough to stick in a gig bag or backpack and keep with you all the time. Hold it in your hand, set it down on a table, or even connect a tripod to the threaded insert for added stability and placement options.

Product Highlights:

    Special Features:
    • built-in stereo omnidirectional condenser microphones (sensitivity up to 125dB SPL)
    • Peak Reduction automatically reduces input level for excessively loud signals to prevent clipping
    • Auto Level automatically sets the recording level using built-in mics to measure input
    • Level Alignment smooths out dynamic peaks during playback to maintain a consistent volume level
    • built-in limiter and low-pass filter prevent distortion and reduce unwanted low-frequency noise such as wind
    • editing features include mark, divide, and delete
    • playback options include loop, repeat, and variable speed to slow down or speed up playback without altering pitch
    • built-in speaker
    • built-in chromatic tuner
    • records linear PCM WAV files (BWF) up to 24-bit/96kHz
    • records stereo MP3 files with selectable bit rate up to 320kbps
    • 2 "AA" batteries (included) offer up to 17-1/2 hours recording time (16-bit/44kHz)
    • frequency response: 20-40,000 Hz (+1/-3 dB at 24-bit/96kHz)
    • signal-to-noise ratio: greater than 92dB
    • total harmonic distortion: less than 0.05%
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • 1/8" (3.5mm) mic/line input for optional microphone (with plug-in power)
    • 1/8" (3.5mm) headphone/line out jack
    • USB 2.0 port (Mini Type B) for connection to a computer for file transfer
    • microSD card slot for microSD (up to 2GB) and microSDHC (up to 32GB) cards
    • threaded insert for use with a tripod (not included)
    • 2-3/8"W x 5-9/16"H x 1"D
    • weight: 4.1 oz.
    Supplied Accessories

    What's in the Box:

    • Portable digital recorder
    • 2 GB microSD memory card (installed)
    • 2 "AA" alkaline batteries
    • 32" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and Mini-B 2.0 USB on other end)
    • Owner's Manual
    • Warranty registration sheet

    Tascam DR-05 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (1 Review)

    Review tascam DR-O5

    Doug from Batavia, NY on 3/14/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Live recording made of 22 man brass orchestra. A very difficult thing to record due to the extreme dynamics of sifts to loud's. I was somewhat apprehensive regarding what to expect ... Set the record level and engaged the peak protection. Recorded using a wav file ... It was a breeze to load the file on my sony laptop for playback. When played back on my NAD/Definitive Audio system I was blown away. I have been recording this type if music since the 70's and it has always been a challenge. Something always seems to be missing ... Not any longer ... I am extremely pleased with this high quality product and it's abilities. The price I paid was well worth what I received. Thank You TASCAM & CRUTCHFIELD.




    Hands-on research

    Product Research

    General Features
    Recording Features
    Edit and Playback Functions

    General Features

    Overview: The TASCAM DR-05 is a hand-held portable stereo digital recorder that is designed for musicians. You can make high quality recordings using the WAV format, or a large number of recordings in MP3. The recorder includes a slot for a microSD/SDHC card, and includes a 2 GB card for hours of recording time. It has two built-in microphones, a Mic/Ext input, a mono speaker, and a line/headphone output. The DR-05 operates on two AA batteries (included).

    LCD Display: The DR-05 features a 1.75" (diagonal), backlit, monochrome LCD (124 x 64 pixels) which indicates recording and playback information. The recorder will display the elapsed or remaining recording time in hours, minutes, and seconds.

    Date and Time: The recorder features a built-in clock. If you have set the time and date, information as to when a sound file was recorded is stored automatically with that file.

    Microphones: The unit features two high quality condenser microphones mounted on the top of the recorder. The mics are angled in an open position (A-B position) to give you a wide stereo sound. The angle of the microphones cannot be adjusted.

    Mic/Ext Input: Located between the built-in microphones is a stereo 3.5mm input for connecting an external mic or an external device. The built-in microphone, and the settings of left/right channels is disabled if an external microphone is connected. If the external microphone requires plug-in power, the DR-05 can be set to do so.

    Low Cut Filter: The device features a low-cut filter that can be engaged to reduce noise, such as wind noise, during recording. The cut-off frequency can be set to 40 Hz, 80 Hz, or 120 Hz.

    microSD Card Slot: The DR-05 Digital Recorder features a slot for inserting a microSD card. The recorder is compatible with microSD cards from 64 MB to 2 GB, or microSDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB in size. A 2 GB memory card is included. The maximum recording time is as follows:

    File Format Recording Setting Capacity
    2 GB 4 GB 8 GB
    16-bit 44.1kHz
    24-bit 44.1kHz
    44.1 kHz/48kHz 32 kbps
    64 kbps
    96 kbps
    128 kbps
    192 kbps
    256 kbps
    320 kbps

    Formatting Memory Cards: Memory cards can be formatted in the unit to prepare them for use. You can choose a quick format, which erases all music files on the card and automatically creates new Music and Utility folders, as well as the DR-1.sys file that is necessary to use the card with the unit. Full formatting checks the memory for errors while formatting, and takes longer to complete than quick formatting.

    USB: The DR-05 has a Mini-B 2.0 (High speed) USB port on the side for connecting the recorder to your computer for transferring files or for providing USB bus power. A short USB cable is provided with the unit. With the optional TASCAM PS-P515U AC adapter (which plugs into the USB port), you can operate the unit on ordinary household current. The DR-05 is compatible with the following Operating Systems: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS X 10.2 or later.

    Headphone/Line Out Jack: The DR-05 has a 3.5mm stereo jack for plugging in a pair of headphones, or for connecting to an external device. You can listen to files played back or monitor the recording as it is made.

    Power Requirements: The recorder is powered by two "AA" batteries. You can use either alkaline (included) or Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeable batteries. Battery life for continuous operation is as follows:

    Recording WAV Alkaline: 10.5-17.5 hours
    Ni-MH: 10-15.5 hours
    MP3 Alkaline: 11-16 hours
    Ni-MH: 11-13 hours
    Playback WAV Alkaline: 17-19.5 hours
    Ni-MH: 14-16.5 hours
    MP3 Alkaline: 18.5-19.5 hours
    Ni-MH: 15-16 hours

    Tripod Socket: The DR-05 is equipped with a standard 1/4" tripod socket on the back so you can mount the recorder onto a tripod, if desired.

    Recording Features

    Recording Format: The DR-05 records audio files in WAV and MP3 formats. The unit is compatible with the BWF (Broadcast Wave Format) for WAV files. You can choose from the following recording options:

    • WAV: 44.1/48/96 kHz, 16/24-bit
    • MP3: 44.1/48 kHz, 32/64/96/128/192/256/320 kbps

    Maximum File Sizes: You can set the maximum file size in the Menu. The choices include: 64 MB, 128 MB, 256 MB, 512 MB, 1 GB, or 2 GB. If the maximum set file size is exceeded during recording, the unit will automatically continue recording in a new file. It cannot exceed a recording time of 24 hours.

    Recording Levels: After selecting the input (built-in or external), you can adjust the input levels to prevent recorded sounds from being distorted due to excessively high input signals, or from being inaudible due to excessively low input signals, compared to noise. There are three level adjustment functions:

    • Peak Reduction: The input volume is reduced automatically to an appropriate level when excessive high signals come in.
    • Automatic Level Control: The recording level is controlled automatically to increase or decrease the input level when the input signals are too small or too large. This mode is useful for recording at meetings. Manual adjustments to the recording level cannot be made.
    • Limiter: Engaging the limiter prevents distortion of sounds when excessive high input signals come in suddenly. This mode is suitable for live performances with large volume changes. You can adjust the level manually during recording.

    File Names: Each time a file is recorded, a file name is assigned to the recording. The file name can be either a 6-character word or a 6-digit date (yymmdd format). You can set the word file name, while the date file name is automatically set using the unit's internal clock.

    Marks: The DR-05 lets you place an electric mark in a recording to identify specific points in the recording. Mark information is stored in the file with numbers between 01 and 99. Marks stored in a WAV file are BWF-compliant, and can be added automatically or manually. During playback, you can immediately move to marks in the currently selected file when paused.

    Pre-Recording: Pre-recording enables you to start recording up to 2 seconds before you press the Record button. This enables you to avoid missing the exact moment a recordable event begins.

    Self Timer: Like a camera, the recorder's self timer lets you start a recording after a set period of time. Self timers can be set to 5 seconds or 10 seconds.

    Edit and Playback Functions

    Browse Screen: The DR-05's Browse screen lets you view the contents of the Music Folder containing the audio files on the microSD card. You can play or erase selected audio files, organize them into folders, and add tracks to the playlist.

    Divide: A recorded WAV file can be divided into two at a specified position. This allows you to edit out unwanted portions of a track by placing them in a separate track and deleting them.

    Playback Control: The Playback Control screen allows you to access some special playback control functions. You can playback a selected section of a track repeatedly (Loop Playback), or change the tempo of music without changing the pitch in a range from 50% to 150% normal speed (Variable Speed Audition, or VSA).

    Playback Equalizer: You can choose from different sound types to enhance the sound quality of a track by using the Playback Equalizer (Play EQ). The Play EQ lets you make adjustments (+ or -) in the High (treble), Middle, and Low (bass) frequency ranges.

    Level Alignment: If the playback sound is very small, the perceived overall level can be increased to enhance listenability.

    Jump-Back Playback: During playback, you can press the play button to move back a few seconds to hear a section of the track again. The Jump-back Playback function is adjustable in the menu, allowing you to set the jump-back time to 1-10 seconds (in increments of 1 second), as well as 20 seconds and 30 seconds.

    Tuner Function: You can use the DR-05 to precisely tune an instrument. You can calibrate the tuner by adjusting the reference tone (A) between 435 Hz and 445 Hz (in 1 Hz increments). The Tuner displays the mismatch between the tone of the musical instrument you are tuning and the reference tone. You can adjust the input level, if needed.



    • Mic/Ext In:
      • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini
      • Input Impedance: 25 kΩ
      • Nominal Input Level: -20 dBV
      • Maximum Input Level: -4 dBV
    • Headphone/Line Out:
      • Connector: 3.5mm stereo mini
      • Output Impedance: 12 Ω
      • Nominal Output Level: -14 dBV (10 kΩ load)
      • Maximum Output Level: +2 dBV (10 kΩ load)
      • Maximum Output: 20 mW + 20 mW (32Ω load)

    Audio Performance:

    • Frequency Response:
      • 20 - 20 kHz +1/-3 dB (44.1 kHz, EXT IN to LINE OUT)
      • 20 - 22 kHz +1/-3 dB (48 kHz, EXT IN to LINE OUT)
      • 20 - 40 kHz +1/-3 dB (96 kHz, EXT IN to LINE OUT)
    • Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.05% or lower (EXT IN to LINE OUT, Fs 44.1/48/96kHz)
    • Signal-to-Noise Ratio: 92dB or higher (EXT IN to LINE OUT, Fs 44.1/48/96kHz)

    Our Product Research Team

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