Tascam DR-05X Review

This model has you covered if you’re looking for solid and dependable recording power but it has its fair share of areas for improvement.

TASCAM DR-05X is the ultimate choice of an audio recorder for many professionals as a cost-effective recorder option.

It is widely used for its portability and performance in many areas that help users reach a high-standard in their recordings.

It is also used by personal recorders who aim for industry standards in their song production, documentary works, field works, etc.

DR-05x is a handheld digital recorder with an omnidirectional stereo mic. This stereo mic ensures complete coverage during conversations and interviews.

DR-05x has onboard mics attached to it, as a substitute for an XLR input or 48V phantom power.

It also has a mini-jacket socket for connection to lavalier and other external microphones.

TASCAM DR-05x Features

  • DR-05x automatically records whenever it detects fluctuations in sound level from a source.
  • Recording Speed regulation.
  • Dictation EQ and other functions in the dictation mode.
  • A simple and organized user interface.
  • An AA Alkaline battery life that allows for continuous usage for days.
  • A stereo condenser microphone that is omnidirectional.
  • Users can switch to a preferred language from the major world languages.
  • Overwrite function with undo.
  • Users can switch to dictation mode for recording human voice and making transcription.
  • The recorder can detect changes in the input signal and begin to record automatically.
  • Records sound at a very high frequency of 125dB SPL.
  • Loud sound spike reduction function for keeping volumes leveled.
  • It uses a timer for recording.
  • A delete function.
  • A divide function.
  • A loop playback function.
  • Users can adjust playback sound quality with the equalizer setting.
  • The recorder has a menu that links to different functions.
  • Supports different memory options with varying storage capacity (ranging from 63MB to 128GB).
  • Monaural speaker with 0.3W output.
  • Users can use pre-record functions.
  • Create a new file to prevent the recording from stopping when the limit of preset file size is reached.

Features, Functionalities, and Pros

Users that are into ambient and field recordings, and those in the sound industry would appreciate DR-05x a lot more than ordinary users.

This is because of their better exposure to the complications that this recorder provides solutions to.

For instance, recording multiple times is possible with the Quick Button when each round starts. DR-05x delivers an audio quality that gives binaural effect when used with a headphone.

It also provides users with stereo imaging of satisfying quality.


The design of TASCAM DR-05X aims to achieve a whole new level of user experience with unique functionalities.

It has a bright backlit that is suitable for outdoor use and a direct level adjustment.

It offers the jump back feature, addition of markers, speed adjustment, preset equalizer for the human voice, large storage capacity.

DR-05x also regulates sound spikes and detects sound inputs.

Recording modes

The recording mode provides users with the needed flexibility, such as choosing which drop-in time to replace on the recording.

It also allows users to undo or update existing files without losing the previous ones.

Multi-language Function

TASCAM covers many major languages of the world for users that prefer to operate the recorder in those languages.

Users can switch between English, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese e.t.c.

Audio Capture

With stereo mics that can go in all directions and dual integrated condenser mic, TASCAM DR-05X has all that it requires to capture sounds effectively.

This function is most effective in confined areas that are free from noise and interference.

Personal Studio

Users that look to have a studio-level quality for podcasts, workstations, live streaming e.t.c, can set up a personalized studio.

They can connect the recorder to a computer by using a USB audio interface in simple steps that are easy to understand.


TASCAM DR-05x is a pocket-friendly recorder despite its outstanding performance.

Memory Card

DR-05x supports memory cards of varying capacities– microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC cards.

It is ideal for memory demanding files like 96 kHz/24 bit wav files, and it accepts different storage capacities of memory cards. Storage ranging from;

  • microSD card with a capacity between 64MB to 3GB.
  • microSDHC card between 4GB memory to 32GB.
  • microSDXC card reaching 128GB capacity.

DR-05x can go on recording with a microSDXC at high quality for a maximum of 192 Hours for the stereo file type (recording at 44.1kHZ/16bit).

The recorder can do much more for a lesser file type, recording for 896 hours for files in MP3/320kbps mode.

Mono Recording Function

One of the most outstanding features of TASCAM DR-05x is its mono recording.

With this feature, users can significantly reduce file size on recordings when using an external microphone.

Mono recording file reduction comes in handy when recording for youtube and other platforms that require small file size.

Battery Life

DR-05x provides a better battery when compared to the previous TASCAM recorder models.

With DR-05X powerful AA battery life, recording can proceed for about 17 hours. For users that require even more time on the recorder, a USB mobile battery can be useful.

Peak Reduction Function

Users of DR-05x can control unwanted spikes in the recordings. All they have to do is set the recorder in its record mode or rehearsal mode, then make the adjustments.

Other useful functions for reducing spikes in recordings are Limiter and Auto level.

Overwrite mode

This is one of the most exciting functions of the TASCAM DR-05x recorder. Users can make corrections or edit whatever they recorded with new inputs by overwriting old inputs.

The process destroys the previous inputs by replacing it.

For instance, a user that realizes he can use a better word or rephrase a part of his record for better impact can do so without a struggle.

Users can go to the overwrite mode and make the desired edits.


This is another crucial function because of the flexibility it gives to users with their files. It means adding a new input to an existing file without destroying the initial file.

Users can add a specific sound effect to improve audio files that are without effects or add points missed instead of starting all over again.

Auto functions

DR-05x can automatically start to record by detecting sound signals and the fluctuation in the input level.

The recorder can pre-record for two seconds to allow for a lax or mistake at the beginning of the record.

Transcription Process is Simplified

DR-05x is perfect for transcription tasks that require various functions. It has the preset human voice equalizer, record speed control, and jump back feature.

Users can have more control of the audio files with these functions, and make fewer mistakes in their transcription works.

Manuals Available in Different Languages

Not only is this model easy to use,  should you find yourself in a tight spot or if you’d like to fully explore all its functions, TASCAM DR-05x ships with a detailed 62-page PDF reference manual in English and multiple language manuals.

DR-05x has 14 pages dedicated to each language on the company website and highlights only main functions.

The manual in the English language alone provides a detailed explanation of the functions on the recorder.

Other important DR-05x features include a chromatic tuner, recording timer, monitor mix, and overwrite function for dubbing, which allow users to input new records on an existing file.


Noise and Interference

DR-05x captures surrounding noise around recording sites because of its omnidirectional microphones.

It also has radio interference when operated close to radiofrequency sources or devices that emit microwave frequencies.

Such devices include a router, mobile phones, laptops, and related accessories. When recording, it is crucial to note for possible means of interference and avoid it.

Middle-range Frequency Issues.

DR-05x is only efficient for voice recording when an external mic works with it. There are options of recorders in the market that have microphones built in them and are specific for frequencies in the middle range.

DR-05x is most efficient for frequencies in the low and high with a loudness that can reach 125bB SPL.

This is probably the reason why the company portrays it as the best choice for music recordings and not for voice.

No Standard Card or Internal Memory

One of the biggest criticisms for the DR-05x model is that the company did not place an internal memory or at least a small memory card as a standard.

Users won’t be able to test or use the recorder after purchase without a memory card.

Users must insert one of microSD, microSDHC, or microSDXC in the slot on the right side of the recorder.

No accessories

Not only did the company not add a memory from the factory, they did not also put essential accessories with the recorder apart from AA batteries.

Other companies offer these essential accessories–carrying bags, memory cards, windshield, and more.

Although, DR-05x outperforms many recorders in its price range, users feel putting some accessories would be a good idea.

There is, however, a bright side to the accessories that the company did not provide. It may be a way to keep the price from going outside users’ interests and budgets.

Things to Consider Before Choosing Tascam DR-05x

Tasks for the Recorder

The task that you want to accomplish with your recorder can help you decide on whether to go for Tascam DR-05 or a lesser recorder option.

Tascam is typically for professionals aiming for industry-standard audio captions for entertainment and research purposes.

If you want to perform tasks that are less demanding and do not require an exceptional audio quality can consider cheaper options.

Voice or Music Recordings

It is crucial to consider the types of recording your tasks require. Tascam DR-05x is ideal for music recordings, and the company markets the product in that regard.

There are other alternatives in the market that are more appropriate for voice recordings if that is what you need a recorder for.

Tascam DR-05x has an omnidirectional mic system that exposes voice recordings to noise and interference.

To use DR-05x for voice and sounds in the mid-range frequency, users would need an external mic, which means more cables and less convenience.


The pricing for recorders is crucial for the value a user can expect. TASCAM recorders are not on the high side but provide the best value for any recorder in the market.

The costliest recorder of TASCAM is the DR 10-SG, which is about 200 euros. TASCAM DR-05x is only around 100 euros, which is a bargain for the value it provides.

Stereo or Mono

A recorder is Mono when a mic captures voice or sounds from a source and directs it to the recorder from one track, making the sound output the same.

Stereo, on the other hand, is when two mics capture a voice or sound from a source and direct the signal from either mic to different tracks.

This makes the sound output different on each track. The difference in stereo sound output is because of the sonic characteristics of each mic.

TASCAM provides recorders in both Mono and stereo, with the Mono models usually selling at a lesser price.

Finally, TASCAM DR-05x is an overall improvement in the quality of TASCAM DR-05 and many previous models.

It outperforms many recorders in the market, in the build of its software and hardware. The deficiencies in the recorder can be easily made-up for.

For instance, users can find accessories in gadget stores worldwide at affordable prices.

Also, users can remove noise and interference by taking away the sources of interference and coordinating the environments.

TASCAM is a top producer in the industry that owns several models of audio recorders distinguished by the features they offer to users.

From the budget-friendly DR-40 that offers Mono, to the more feature-packed DR-10SG with advanced features.

These features range from XLR mic preamp to multi-track recording functions.

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