Tascam DR-05 Fires back at Zoom H1

find-price-button Tascam DR-05 Portable Audio Recorder

Tascam has released a new DR-05 portable audio recorder that's firing back at the Zoom H1. Set up at the same pricing and target audience looking for a tiny portable recording device, this one might be the real game changer. Specs for the new Tascam DR-05 recording bitrate is similar to the Zoom H1, also includes stereo microphones, powered Mic 3.5 line input, headphones out, built in speaker, accepts MicroSD Card media, powered by (2) AA batteries or optional AC adapter.

find-price-button Tascam DR-05 Portable Audio Recorder

There's no doubt that Zoom had cornered the market for $99 dollar portable recorders, but there was comments about the Zoom H1 plastic body and battery drain issues. Previously Tascam failed in providing a cost effective portable recorder to follow, as even the DR-03 was pricier than the Zoom H1. The DR-03 was thinner, but lacked mounting options and could only support a limited sized MicroSD card. With the release of this DR-05, this one could take the $99 dollar portable recorder crown. Oh and yes, this new Tascam DR-05 also has a threaded 1/4 x 20 mount (finally).

The Zoom H1 was a sell out for many weeks on it's first release, and from everything i'm seeing, this new Tascam is clearly a Charlie Sheen Winner. Once it arrives, i'll make the decision to move to all Tascam's and sell all Zoom H1's. Check out all the specs through the link below.

find-price-button Tascam DR-05 Portable Audio Recorder

25 thoughts on “Tascam DR-05 Fires back at Zoom H1

  1. Emm

    Post author

    @Habez - Thanks. Start with the recorder and LAV and build up as needed. You'll still keep your recorder and LAV as you grow.

  2. Habez


    Thanks for the amazingly awesome quick reply, emm. So okay, i'll stick with the lav + recorder.

    Side Note: I've never trusted a site as much as i trust this one. 😀

  3. Emm

    Post author

    @Habez - I think the Portable recorder is a must if you're using DSLR's. These new portable recorders have decent audio from the mics and a LAV will help you clean it up even more. You'll eventually get different mics, but the recorder and LAV will go pretty far.

  4. Habez

    Sorry for spamming this but just fyi,

    im filming on a 600D with manual audio controls..

  5. Habez


    should i get a tascam dr 05 + audio technica lav or a 2nd hand rode videomic for around the same price? Tight budget yes.

    I do a variety of things from interviews (with more than one person), weddings and also live band performances and home studio recordings..

    So im really in a pinch as to what will go the distance on my super tight budget. Or at least, which to get first if im going to need them all anyway.

    Thanks for the advice, emm (:

  6. Emm

    Post author

    @Charles Mackenzie-Hall - You could use a guy on a boom following, you could use a wireless LAV, or a handheld Mic. It all depends on how you want it to look and sound. Sometimes LAV mics are too isolated and does not pick up the ambient noise.

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  8. MisterO

    You guys should feel very lucky to be able to get those great microphones at such good prices.
    I've seen the H1 in a store in Paris for a good 160$ !!!!!

    A friend of mine has the Zoom and likes it but I'll wait for your review to make up my mind Emm.

  9. Patrick

    So my Zoom H1 just came in, and was wondering if you guys thought it would be safe to exchange it via B&H just based on the specs. I just don't want to clipped from the 15 day return policy. I still have time though.

    Any insight is appreciated.

  10. pfluger

    Does the DR-05 has a metal tripod mount or the same plastic one as the Zoom H1? Couldn't find any product picture that would show this.

    I hope the DR-05 is better when it comes to handling noise. I hate how the H1 picks up everything. Even holding the camera nearly still will generate some bumps and noise.

  11. MrDinaguan

    I saw the DR-05 at Guitar Center. Its the around same size as the DR-07. I prefer the build quality of the Tascam units to the Zoom units. My roommate has the H4N. Within a few hours, he broke the battery door.

    @Emm I haven't used anything other than the 2GB microSD that's included with the unit, so I haven't tried any other cards.

    I got the DR-03 because of the tiny size and price. Yea, the built in mics suck, which pick up handling noise easily, but I plan on using wired lavs and shotguns with it anyways.

  12. AC

    order one yesterday. Just got an email saying it shipped this morning.
    So BnH has it and is shipping immediately.
    I like the H1, but the plastic frame just kills it for me.

  13. Nicholas

    I bought two Tascam DR-03 recently for $60 at B&H, I mainly bought the DR-03 for it's very compact size which makes it easy to hide in someone's pocket when connected to a lav mic. How does the DR-05 compare size wise?

  14. Mickey Jones

    The DR-1 still seems like a good deal at $150. Records at a lower bit rate but has rechargeable battery.

    Not sure I need 96 bit rate. Need a detailed review of this ASAP!

    Request: more shoe mount lights are showing up on ebay like the Cree 2 LED units. Would really like to hear about these and any other inexpensive camera mount lights.

  15. Steve

    Is this really that much better to sell the H1 off like that? What the body of the DR-05 made of. It looks like plastic. I do like how the botton layout is on the front instead of the side with tiny buttons like the H1. Some things I like right off the bat is the level control options (peak reduction) and the limiter to avoid distortion. I HATE DISTORTION!!!

  16. Before you sell your Zoom H1s, do some A/B testing on the Zooms vs. the new Tascam. Tascam's low-end audio recorders have an "iffy" reputation with a lot of audio engineers and field users. The specs look good for the DR-05 and the price is certainly right--just be sure that the sound quality is there as well.

  17. Emm

    Post author

    @MrDinaguan - That's a pretty sweet deal for the price. The few things I didn't like were the microphones, it couldn't see an 8GB MicroSD card (unlike Zoom H1), and no 1/4 x 20 thread mount. Other than that, it's very lightweight and reliable.

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