TASCAM DR-05 vs DR-07MKII Review

Whether you’re learning in a classroom or playing in a band, it’s handy to be able to record what you’re hearing. These two digital recorders from TASCAM are smaller than some smartphones and they can record hours of high-resolution sound better than a phone can. Let’s look at them both and see which one is best for you want to do.

TASCAM DR-05 Portable Digital Recorder

TASCAM DR-05

TASCAM DR-05

The DR-05 has been number one on Amazon’s bestseller list because it packs in a lot of good features for a reasonable price. There are two omnidirectional condenser microphones on top. They can handle up to 125dB, which is more than people should be listening to without ear protection! But it means the user can record a rock band without distortion and clipping.

Since the mics are in an AB configuration, they are well-suited for recording ambient sounds. There’s a line-in jack for an external mic. Recording can be done in mp3 or WAV format. The mp3 quality is selectable from 32 to 320kbps. The WAV format is either 16 or 24-bit, and up to 96kHz PCM. The WAV files are BWF, or Broadcast Wave Format, so they are time-stamped for later reference or editing. It’s possible to place up to 99 markers or cue points on WAV recordings.

If the user is manually recording, the DR-05 remembers the last two seconds before the button is pushed, just in case the user missed their cue. A self-timer gives the user 5 or 10 seconds to push record and then start recording.

There’s a built-in mono speaker and a stereo headphone jack so the user can listen in real-time, or review what they recorded. The playback equalizer helps smooth out levels so the volume doesn’t jump. Playback speed (without pitch change) ranges from 50 to 150%, and there are options for repeat and loop. These are great if the user is practicing an instrument or transcribing words or music. The DR-05 has a chromatic tuner for guitars, too.

The recorder comes with other features, like a low-cut filter to limit low-frequency noise, like wind. TASCAM provides a 4GB micro SD card in the box, so the DR-05 is ready to hold hours of sound.

More features of the TASCAM DR-05 digital recorder

  • 90-day warranty on labor, disk drives, and heads, and limited 1-year warranty on the rest
  • Average battery life is 17.5 hours when recording at CD quality with alkaline batteries
  • Also works with rechargeable NiMH batteries
  • ¼” Tripod mount
  • Comes with USB cable and SD card
  • Weighs 4 ounces and measures 2-3/8 by 5-9/16 inches

TASCAM DR-07MKII Portable Digital Recorder

TASCAM DR-07MKII

TASCAM DR-07MKII

The DR-07MKII is a step up from the DR-05. It has two condenser mics, but they can be configured for either ambient sound (AB) or more stereo depth (XY). Like the DR-05, it has a line-in for an external mic, like a lavalier. It can even provide power for the external mic.Combine both of these with the new non-destructive overdub feature, and the user can record the sound of ocean waves with spoken guided meditation, or sports commentary over the sound of game action. Non-destructive means that the recorder maintains the original file along with the new overdub.

The DR-07MKII can also add reverb to a recording, so the sound imitates surroundings like halls and studios. It has an auto-level feature based on ambient sounds and a low-cut filter to reduce rumbles and wind noise. The auto-record starts the DR-07MKII when there’s a certain preset level of sound, and there’s also auto-mark, making this digital recorder really hands-free.

Besides the new features mentioned above, the DR-07MKII shares a lot with the DR-05. The DR-07MKII records in one or two channels, in mp3 or WAV formats, including PCM for high-resolution. The Broadcast Wave Format allows for time stamps on the recordings. To keep the user from missing their cue, the DR-05 remembers the last two seconds before the button is pushed. A self-timer gives the user 5 or 10 seconds, just like a timer on a camera.The built-in mono speaker and a stereo headphone jack make it so the user can review what they recorded. It’s also possible to listen in real-time while recording when using headphones. The playback equalizer helps smooth out levels and avoid clipping. Playback speed (without pitch change) ranges from 50 to 150%, and there are options for repeat and loop. And there’s also a chromatic tuner, which helps tune guitars.

More features of the DR-07MKII digital recorder

  • Comes with a 2GB SD card and USB cable
  • 90-day warranty on labor, disk drives, and heads, and limited 1-year warranty on the rest
  • Comes with 2 AA batteries, and runs on either alkaline or rechargeable, up to 17.5 hours
  • ¼” tripod mount and 1/8” input and output jacks
  • Weighs a tiny bit more than the DR-05 (4.4oz) and measures 2.2 by 5.5 inches
  • Note that this model has been discontinued by TASCAM but is still available for sale

Recommendation

If you’re planning to record lectures, interviews, and some music events, and you don’t want to spend a lot of money, the DR-05 may be just what you need. It doesn’t have the overdub or reverb features, but these can be added later in post-processing with software.

If you prefer an all-in-one solution with a more flexible mic arrangement, the DR-07MKII is the recorder for you. It has configurable mics and more effects built-in and ready to go. It’s especially nice for people recording music sessions and concerts.

Click here to purchase TASCAM DR-05 on Amazon!

Click here to purchase TASCAM DR-07MKII on Amazon!

 

 

 

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