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Portable Digital Recorders:

Other references and articles comparing.     |     iPod® solutions

This information is provided as a general reference. Prices in particular change without notice. Your experience may be different.
Please drop me a note if you find additional information or significant differences or bad links.
When reading reviews that offer comments, additional info may be found by reading all the comments.

Model $ List / Street Notes and comments from various sources.

$200 street Recording "dock" for iPods | XLR/1/4 combo input [48v phantom] | 16-bit 44.1kHz (high); 22.05kHz (low) | 1/8" headphone output | 4 AAA |
ProTrack records to iPod Classic 7th and 6th generation, 5th-generation iPod, 3rd and 2nd-generation iPod nano, 2nd-generation iPod Touch, and iPod nano-chromatic. Sleds are not included for nano-chromatic and nano 2G. iPod is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPod not included. iProRecorder™ is a trademark of BIAS, Inc. | Linder Review

American Pocket Recorder
$200 44 KHz wav and MP3 recording formats | Built-in 128Mb flash memory | expanded memory slot for an SD card (reads SD cards up to 4GB each / Does not accept SDHC cards) -USB port for computer connection and DC power in - two AA batteries or a DC 5V - (LxWxH): 6.” x 3.5” x 1” / 155 x 84 x 28mm - Weight: .5 lbs. / 200 grams

Belkin GoStudio for i-Pod
$100+ Record directly to your iPod in 16-bit, 22 or 44kHz digital | built-in speaker | Two combo microphone inputs (XLR and ¼")-NO Phantom | 3.5mm mini-jack microphone input | 2 built-in omnidirectional microphones | 2 AAA Batteries | Tripod mount
Crunch Gear Review | CNET Review


Edirol R-1
$550 / 429

Edirol R-4
$1,895 / 1595 Record up to four channels at 24-bit 96KHz - 80GB hard drive -

Edirol R-09

$450 / 399 battery and memory card compartment is incredibly badly designed and fragile.
One report - noise floor is really noticeable, omni mic
boot up 6 seconds
mini inputs, outboard mic gain is hi/lo switchable, and "plug-in power" is toggled w/ software |
nice studio cans seem to require more energy than the R-09 provides

O'Reilly Review | Transom Review

Edirol R-09HR
24 bits, 44.1/48/88.2/96 kHz |Stereo only |WAVE: 44.1/48/88.2/96 kHz, 16/24 bits MP3 (MPEG-1 Audio Layer 3): 44.1/48 kHz, 64/96/128/160/192/224/320 kbps | Isolated Adaptive Recording Circuit (I.A.R.C.) |Records to SD or SDHC memory card |file transfer USB 2.0| Cakewalk "pyro Audio Creator LE" | Mic input (Stereo miniature phone type, plug-in powered mic)| Full 48v Phantom on 1/4 TRS [read note 2] | LR6 (AA) type x 2, or Nickel Hydrogen battery (HR15/51) x 2

cnet review | O'Riley Review | Record Ready is only on LCD screen | Heard several reports of unit shutting down for no apparent reason.


Fostex FR-2
$1,499 / 1,299 32Khz to 192Khz. 16 or 24 bit
AA Batts, Good Mic Pres

Review | Review

Fostex FR-2LE
$749/ $600 BWF (stereo) or MP3 recording to Type II Compact Flash cards| FAT32 file system & BWF Stereo file format |16/24bit, 44.1/48/88.4/96kHz | XLR In | phantom | USB 2.0 for high speed file transfer to PC | Pre Rec buffer | Auto file closing maximizes available recording time |ALC (OFF/ALC/LIMITER) and HPF| XLR | (4) "AA" batteries or a 12V DC input


Fostex DV-40
Mono, stereo or 4-track recording modes | Up to 192kHz/24-bit performance. (44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4 kHz also available) | standard DVD-RAM media | Optional 2.5” internal 40GB HD (model 9055) for disk/file copy between disks | 20Hz - up to 80kHz frequency range | Rack Mount

Fostex PD-6
6 track DVD Ram and hard disk.


iKey- HDR7
$170 street MP3 or AAC from 64kbps to 320kbps as well as a WAV or AIFF up to 96khz/24-bit. AC adaptor, USB cable, 1GB SD memory card, cloth carrying case, and 4 AA batteries are included with this unit. mini phone plug input, line out, headphone out

$179 / $60 and up .Wav or MP3 files to 256kbs, 4AA Batteries Line Inputs only

iKEY Plus
$289.95/ $138 .Wav or MP3 files to 320kbs, 4AA Batteries, 1/8" mic input. Phono preamp, 6-bar VU meter


Korg PXR4
$500 / 299 Uses Smart Memory 16 bit MPEG 1 Layer 2 @ 32bits

Korg MR-1
$899 20 GB Hard drive 1 bit audio DSD, DSF, DSDIFF, WSD + converts to 16 and 24 bit BWF up to 192 kHz
mini trs, AC power of installed lithium polymer battery.

Korg MR-1000
$1499 40 GB Hard Drive 1 bit audio DSD, DSF, DSDIFF, WSD + converts to 16 and 24 bit BWF up to 192 kHz
XLR/TRS AC or AA batteries


Marantz PMD 620
$400 SD card, MP3 (32 - 192 KBPS) and wav (44.1 + 48K @ 16 or 24 bit) 2 AA Batts for about 5 hrs of record. Fast boot. Will record a mono file. Mini plug input, built in mics ok. Headphone jack located between the two internal mics. Output is confidence monitor which means a short delay. [ Reports say the delay is fixed with updated software.]
Review at Transom | Brad Linder Review
Possible File Format Problems reported here if converting to .BWF.

Marantz PMD 660
$649 / 499 to 16 bit 44.1 & 48 kHz .wav + MP3 formats. Mic pres may be noisy for low-level dynamic mics. XLR mic input.
Transom Review

Marantz 661
$600 Upgraded version of the 660 but 30% smaller.| 32Gb SD | 4 AA Batteries | 44.1/48/96kHz 16 / 24 bit | USB 2 |48v Phantom | Transcription playback functions, including pitch control and user-definable skip back |
YouTube Marantz Intro | Podcast Academy Review and sample audio files.| Brad Linder First Look |Transom review Be Certain that you have the latest upgrade software on your 661

Marantz 670
$899 / 699 16 bit 44.1 & 48 kHz .wav + MP3 formats. XLR mic inputs, OK mic pres.

Marantz 671
$1,199 / 999 16 or 24 bit 44.1 to 96 kHz + MP3 formats. XLR mic inputs, OK mic pres.

M-Audio Microtrack II
$499.95 / $279 - 299. MP3 recording: 96 to 320kbps at 44.1 or 48kHz | PCM recording: 16 or 24-bit at 44.1, 48, 88.2 or 96kHz | new features and enhancements including: * extended input gain range * analog input limiter with bypass * 48V phantom power * USB 2.0 * easily add markers to BWF files * monitor S/PDIF input via headphones while recording * seamless recording of files greater than 2GB * backlight dimmer * hibernation mode | CF or microdrive | built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery or included power supply | separate left and right input level controls professional balanced ¼” TRS inputs capable of mic or line-level signals | dual microphone preamps with 48V phantom power for studio microphones | 1/8” TRS input with 5V power for use with stereo electret microphone (microphone included) S/PDIF coaxial input | monitoring via RCA line outputs or 1/8” stereo headphone output | output level control | dedicated buttons for navigation, record, hold, pause, delete, menu, and power
Read the comment sections on all reviews Linder review | Inside Home Recording review | Wing Field Audio review | Core - Sound

M-Audio Microtrack 24-96
$499 / 399 Mini TRS input. Non replaceable recharge battery. External power by USB plug.
The USB port and one of the 1/4" jacks are so close together that it was impossible to use both at the same time
The battery begins discharge when disconnected from AC even if not turned on.

PC Mag | O'Reilly Review | Transom Review


Nagra Aries M
$850 and up -Only 1GB of fixed internal memory - 32, 44.1 and 48kHz @ 16 bit | Mini plug in and out
no P48 on external mic-in -internal mic is mono
runs 10 hours from 2 AA-cells (but records only 1hour26minutes at 48k linear PCM 16bit) | S/N 85dB, A-Weighted see low noise comparison

$2495 5 “AA” (LR6) batteries, CF Media,
16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48 kHz- 64, 128, 192, 256, 384 kb/s
Mic. Inputs 12 poles DIN connector | 48v Phantom


Olympus LS-10
$ 249 / • 24 bit/96 kHz Linear PCM Recording | WAV, MP3 or WMA | built in 2 mics | mini plug mic in | 2 GB internal, 32 GB SD/SDHC | 2 mini speakers | 2 AA - 12 hours recording time
Reviews: Wingfield Audio | O'Reilly | Transom

Olympus LS-11
$300 / ~ $235 24bit / 96kHz Linear PCM Recording | 8GB Built-in Memory and SD Card Slot up to 32 gb | WAV, MP3 and WMA Recording (Stereo and Monaural)| mini plug in and out | 2 AA |
Reviews: Wingfield Audio | Brad Linder | Frequency Cast (includes podcast) | DC Views

Sony PCM D50
96 kHz/24-bit | two-position (X-Y or Wide) stereo microphones | 4 GB of internal and a Memory Stick Pro-HG Duo™ slot | 4 AA provides 14 hours at 16/44.1kHz | records .wav only, plays .wav and .mp3 | mini plug in and out + optical | 22.05kHz, 44.1kHz, 48kHz and 96kHz at 16 and 24 bit | Accepts Memory Stick Pro (High Speed ) Duo and Memory Stick Pro HG Duo |
Reviews: Wingfield Audio | O'Reilly | Transom | Brand Linder compared to others.

Sony PCD D1
$2K / ~ 1,600. 96 kHz-24 bit .wav | 4GB internal Flash Memory | removable Memory Stick | Mini plug in and out | 4 AA | Nickel Metal Hydride 4 hrs/Alkaline 2 hrs @ 96KHz/24-bit | Memory Stick Slot - Memory Stick Pro (High Speed) and Memory Stick Pro HG Duo (with adapter) |
Reviews: Wingfield Audio | O'Reilly | Oade

Sony PCM-M10
$400/ 225-250 2 AA (claims upto 24 hrs at 16/44.1 | up to 96kHz 24-bit Recording | 4GB Built-in Flash Memory | 5 sec prerecord | microSD/Memory Stick™ (M2™) | REC: WAV and MP3 Play: .WAV, .MP3 .WMA (Non DRM) .M4A (AAC-LC Non-DRM) |mini mic and line in, mini headphone/line out | Digital Pitch Control | Remote Control
Reviews: Transom | Brad Linder | Wingfield Audio | digital Recorders | Broadcast Engineering

Tascam DR-05
$100 street MP3 or WAV format to 96/24 | mp3: 32 to 320 kbps | microSD or microSDHC (comes with 2 GB) | mini trs in | over 92dB signal to noise ratio, under 0.05% total harmonic distortion and 20Hz to 40kHz response (-1/+3dB) at 96kHz/24-bit resolution | peak reduction feature | vari speed audition with pitch correction | level align | built in speakers | 2 AA batteries for 17.5 hrs at 16:44.1 | Manual

Tascam DR-07
$200 2 GB SD | USB 2.0 | 3.5mm Stereo Mic and Line Inputs and Output | 44.1 and 48kHz / 16 or 24 bit | MP3 File Recording from 32kbps to 320 kbps Variable Speed audition with Pitch Shift | 22 AA |
Sound on Sound Review | Brand Linder Review | Wingfield Audio Review | Station Stop Review

Tascam DR100
$450 4 Built in mics (2 uni for stereo 2 omni for meetings) | 2-XLR mic in + phantom | 3.5 mini line in and out | Li-Ion or AA Batts
| Brand Linder Review |
Transom Tools Jeff Towne compares the Tascam DR 1, 07 and 100.

Tascam HDP2
$1,249 / 999 to 24 bit 192 kHz Time Code 8 AA batteries, good mic pres, XLR input
DV Review | EQ Review | Transom Review see low noise comparison


Yamaha Pocketrak
$499 2 GB (type not specified) | USB 2 | Rechargeable Battery (USB) or 1 AAA| DRM10 |Variable playback speed | Manual rec adj or ALC | 44.1 kHz, 16 bits .wav or mp3 | mic/line input stereo

Zaxcom ZFR100
Audio Recorder
miniSD media, single mic level unbalanced input, recorded 48kHz 24 bit convertible to:
.WAV or .ZTF - 16 or 24 bits selectable - 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 48.048 kHz -Time Code Type: SMPTE


Zoom H1
$99 16/24 bit 44.1 48 96| MP# 48 to 320 | Mini Plug mic/line | BWF format| Media: microSD card (16MB - 2GB), microSDHC card (4GB - 32GB) | 10 hrs - one AA battery |Built in speaker | Plastic case | B & H Review

Zoom PS04
$259 / 199 format? will convert to .wav or .aiff on transfer
128 Mb media

Zoom H4N
24bit/96kHz on SD/SDHC media of up to 32GB and is USB 2.0. .BFW - onboard reference speaker | vari speed playback | remote control (RC4) | (BWF) compatible time stamp and track marker | XLR inputs with phantom power | 1/8 inch plug in power mic input | normalizing and file splitting |

Brad Linder Review    cnet Review

Zoom H4
/$299.05 AA Batteries,: SD memory card (16MB - 2GB), SDHC memory card (4GB - 32GB) | It has been reported that with some media cards as battery voltage drops you can hear a clicking type noise as the data is written to the SD card.
Onboard studio effects such as compression, limiting and mic modeling
TRS/XLR Input connectors-phantom
44.1, 48, 96, and MP3 - omni mic

O'Reilly Review | Transom Review

Zoom H2
$349 / $199.97 up to 4GB in SD Card storage, up to 24-bit/96kHz, up to 320kbps VBR MP3
1/8" inputs for both mic and line inputs | W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90° cardioid, Rear 120° cardioid and 360° polar patterns | 2 AA bats = 4hrs |
For a wind screen, the "dead kitten" from Rode fits the H2.

Review at Transom | EM Review | O'Reilly review | Podcasting News

Zoom R-16
$400 While not really a candidate for this list, the R-16 will operate on batteries, it has two built in mics (left and right bottom of front panel). Aimed at the musician or small band market, the R-16 has 8 mic inputs (only 2 with 48v phantom). The gain of the mic pres is very stingy so that you would not want to use dynamic mics for an interview situation. The R-16 can be used as a nice 8 track recorder to an SD card. When fed a line level from a mixer or external mic pre it has possibilities. Other features are included for producing music.

Other Readings

Transom Portable Digital Recorder Comparison
Fall 2009 : Tascam DR-07 | Olympus LS10 | Sony PCM-D50 | Marantz PMD 661 | Zoom H2 | Sound Devices 702/722

EQ - Portable Recorder Showdown

Multiple Reviews at O"Reily

O"Reilly Compare chart

Comparing the Sony PCM-D50, Fostex FR2-LE, Zoom H4 and Sound Devices 702 - Linder

Electronic Musician compares

Audio Samples from SD702, Sony D50, Fostex FR2-LE

Recorder Noise Floor compare Raimund Specht, Avisoft Bioacoustics, (PDF)

Microphone Input Noise Comparision Avisoft Bioacoustics

B&H Intro to portable recorders.

Comparison Chart by BSW (PDF)

Beware of Fake Sandisk CF Cards

New York Times Review Requires registration

Rycote -mini windjammers


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