Review: Tascam DR-05 Linear PCM Recorder

Tascam DR-05

One of the best things you can do to gauge your current playing level is to record yourself when practicing and rehearsing.  I regularly record myself on the computer when practicing but was looking for an affordable, easy to use recorder for use during band rehearsals.  I found what I was looking for in the Tascam DR-05 Linear PCM Recorder. 

The Tascam DR-05 has built-in high quality stereo omnidirectional microphones, peak reduction, variable speed playback and level align, plus a chromatic tuner.  It runs on 2 AA batteries, which in use, last from 10-15 hours of recording/playback time.  The unit comes with a 2 GB micro SD card, however larger capacity micro SDHC cards can be used if desired.  It can record in 44.1/48/96 l\kHz, 16/24-bit linear PCM WAV format or 32-320 kbps MP3 format.  It also features a built-in .3 W monaural speaker, which is actually pretty crappy but does the job if you find yourself without headphones.  Other cool features include auto level control, limiter, low-cut filter, and a peak reduction setting.  The DR-05 connects to your computer via USB for easy drag and drop transfer and can be powered via USB if desired.

In use I have found that the Tascam DR-05 provides a high quality recording, in a simple, easy to use package.  I’ve mainly been recording to MP3 format as that the files are smaller and I have no need for super high quality.  Typically I set the recorder on a shelf in our practice space and hit record.  Sometimes I’ll let it run for the entire session, usually 2 hours, which gives me one long track.  When I want to break things up more I’ll hit stop between each song we do, which allows me to create a new track for every song as we record.  All in all the Tascam DR-05 is a cool little recorder that sound great.



  • Handheld Portable Recorder
  • Built-in Stereo Condenser Omnidirectional Microphones with sensitivity up to 125dB SPL
  • Up to 96kHz/24-bit WAV (BWF) linear PCM recording
  • Stereo MP3 recording from 32-320 kbps bit rate
  • Peak Reduction function, optimized for music recording, automatically sets the gain of while recording
  • Limiter and low-cut filter to help prevent distortion
  • Automatic or manual level setting
  • Self timer recording starts recording 5 or 10 sec. after pressing the record button for waiting until you are ready
  • Auto and manual track increment
  • Variable speed playback (50%-150%) without changing the pitch
  • Loop and repeat playback
  • Level Align feature prevents uneven volume levels during playback
  • Playback EQ setting
  • Editing function (Divide and delete)
  • Up to 99 mark points on each file
  • Chromatic tuner
  • 1/8” stereo mic/line input
  • USB 2.0 port for transfer to PC and external power
  • Up to 2-second pre recording buffer
  • Jump back function returns to previous point with one action (1-10, 20, 30 sec.)
  • 1/8” headphone/line output
  • Built-in speaker
  • microSD (64MB – 2GB)/microSDHC (4GB – 32GB) card slot (2GB card included)
  • Powered by 2 AA batteries, AC adapter (optional: PS-P515U), or USB bus power
  • Tripod socket hole
  • Dimensions: 2 3/8” W x 5 9/16” H x 1” D
  • Weight: 4 1/16 oz
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