Top positive review
372 people found this helpful
Great performer...great value!
on April 4, 2011
I purchased this to record my daughter's piano recitals. I researched the options and found this to give me the best feature set for the money. What was important to me was easy transfer of files to my PC, good battery life, cheap and expandable media, ease of use, choice of manual and auto record levels, and the ability to change recording levels once recording has started. And of course it should make good sounding recordings!
This device met all of these criteria both on paper an in actual use. To play around with it, I have been recording my daughter's practice sessions. I was shocked at the sound quality even from the built in microphones. The resulting recording had no hiss, had good punch in the low end, didn't audibly distort even when the peak light would light, and had great stereo imaging. Wow! Transferring files to my PC is literally drag-n-drop since the device appears as an external drive when connected to the PC. I've recorded about 5 hours along with about 3 hours of playback and the battery charge indicator still hasn't dropped. This is using the provided alkaline batteries.
I upgraded to a 16GB memory card that cost me <$30. That's what I call a cheap storage upgrade from the 2GB card provided!
To really put it through it's paces, I brought it along to record my daughter's school play. The resulting recroding sounded awesome and was very faithful to how it sounded live. I was afraid that the audience clapping would really overload the microphones since I set the levels manually for the performers. Though there is clipping during the applause sections, it is not bad at all. I didn't even feel the need to round out the clipping during post processing. My daughter was very excited to hear the recording afterwards and agreed that it sounded great. As a point of reference, I've been making all of my recordings as stereo 16 bit 44kHz WAV files (aka CD quality/spec).
There is a little bit of handling noise, but that is to be expected with a device with built in microphones. But if you are careful, you can minimize this. I tweaked the levels at the start and you can barely tell I was pushing buttons on it. During the entire performance, I just laid the DR-05 on the empty chair next to me.
The only downside I can find with this device is that the input is really hot for line-in. If you do not have control of the output you connect to the line-in, you may have a problem. This is stated in the manual. From my reading, the more expensive models have a true line-in where this isn't a problem. If you plan to use this device to record from the outputs of a soundboard or other device, you may want to move up to a model that supports a true line-in. I don't plan on using this device this way, so it isn't an issue for me.
Coming from using a Sony HiMD Minidisc recorder for similar tasks in the past, I can't tell you how much of a pleasure the DR-05 is to use. It is so easy to use and produces great results straight out of the box. I highly recommend this device.