Customer Reviews: Edirol R-09HR High-Resolution WAVE/MP3 Recorder
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on May 26, 2008
The Edirol R-09HR is an amazing device. It looks a bit like an electric shaver and fits in the palm of your hand. A friend of mine has the Zoom H4 which is much larger, has cheap plastic finishing and a clumsy user interface. Although the H4 may have a few extra features the Edirol R-09HR is much better made and designed and I think it is a better buy.

I read reviews about its predecessor the Edirol R-09 WAVE/MP3 Recorder and the main gripe seemed to be about the flimsy battery cover at the base. Well Edirol obviously reads the reviews since they have changed to a sliding battery cover on the back of the device. The device itself is covered with a sort of rubberised material and it feels solid and sturdy (I think the old version was smooth hard plastic). The flap at the bottom where the batteries were kept on the R-09 is now just used for the SD card and USB port. It is made of the same flexible rubber and doesn't look in any danger of breaking off.

From what I can gather from comparing with R-09 reviews, the following are the other new features on the R-09HR
- Higher resolution recording (that's what the HR stands for) with sampling rates up to 96kHz
- Support for SD/SDHC cards up to 32GB (It comes with a 512MB card and I bought an 8GB card for mine).
- A built in monitor speaker to play back the sound without needing to use headphones (not that useful because the sound quality is not great)
- A wireless remote control for hands free operation (this is handy)
- A speed control which allows you to vary the playback speed (without varying the pitch). This is great for transcribing.

I was impressed at the intuitive interface. It comes with a detailed instruction book as well as an owner's guide though you can master the controls in no time. Basically you just press the record button once, set the levels and then press it again to start recording. The owner's guide is helpful because it suggests what settings to use and where to position the device in various different recording situations (recording band, vocals, meetings, outside, individual instruments, etc). Once you are done recording you can just connect it to your PC and pull down the files. It also comes with Cakewalk Pyro Audio Creator software to help you edit your recordings and help you create CDs.

I bought this device to record my music practice (I play trumpet and guitar) and to record the rehearsals and performances of my jazz band. I am not an expert, but the recording quality sounds great to me.

The only problem I have is not with the device itself but the accessories - they seem a bit overpriced and the descriptions are a bit confusing (maybe even misleading). If you want to mount the device on a microphone stand (which is handy if you are recording an ensemble) you would think you would just need to buy the Edirol Microphone Stand Adapter, however read the fine print and you will see that you also need the Edirol Cover and Stand for the R-09HR (at the time of this review not currently available at Amazon).

Whatever you do, don't do what I did and order the Edirol Cover and Stand for the R-09 since it doesn't fit the R-09HR! The R-09 must have been slightly smaller.

Nevertheless, I think the device itself is very good value so I am happy to excuse the hassles I have had with the accessories.
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on November 2, 2008
As everyone else has noted this is truly an amazing sound recording device. It is accurate, easy to use, and durable. The sound resolution can be adjusted across a wide range depending on how much memory you want to use for your recording (or how detailed a recording you want, your priorities are your own :0). I am particularly impressed by the fact that though the mikes are only two inches apart you clearly get a stereo recording. That is good engineering.

The sound editing software that comes with the unit is a bit complex to figure out, but very useful once you do. For instance, I made a recording at low gain that ended up too low to hear easily. I was able to go in and raise the gain of the whole recording. I was then able to take the original wave file and save as an MP3 to make it easier to share. Nifty.

My only misgivings are about the customer support from Edirol. The first unit I was shipped did not work (the computer didn't see it when it was connected). When I called customer service first he asked me all the obvious questions, things I would never have called without checking first, and then he said, "You need to go out and buy a new cable." I wasn't amused since I just bought the whole thing brand new. I was not rude but I asked why I would need to go out and spend more money to get my brand new product to work. He immediately got very defensive, said "I am just a tech rep", put me on hold, and handed me off to someone else whom he had clearly briefed that I was a "problem" customer. She was just shy of rude from the moment she came on the line. At that point I just said, "Screw this" and I sent the unit back to the seller who promptly sent me a new one that works fine.

Everything is fine right now, but I worry what will happen if I ever need tech/warranty support from Edirol.
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on July 7, 2008
After a year's use of the R-09, Roland released this updated version with simplified controls, more options, a nicer case (rubberized!) and the ability to choose between AGC and LIMITER. I had been very impressed with the original R-09, but find the "HR" to be a great improvement!

On the 4th of July I took it to a fireworks display to try out the difference between AGC and the LIMITER. I quickly found that the limiter worked much better than AGC for this application. There was no "AGC Pumping" while using the limiter, and no distortion. AGC would be better for recording meetings with people sitting at varying distances.
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on April 24, 2009
With an upcoming piano recital in my own home, which I liked to record, I checked out two machines I had heard about, the Zoom H4 and the Edirol R-09HR. In particular, I read all reviews on the web. Knowing the pros and cons I then selected the Edirol. It arrived 2 days before the concert. It turned out every bit as good as the reviews had taught me.
It is very easy to use, gives a great-quality recording even with its own built-in mikes, and has just enough options for my kind of use.
I thank all those contributors of product reviews and want to do my duty now, too.

At first I was terribly disappointed and frustrated by the R-09HR. Its factory-set display was dim and turned dark in 5 seconds. I have low vision and always need the brightest setting. I thought: How can the manufacturer claim that this machine can be used outdoors?! The get-started instructions didn't help me out, so I had to read through the manual until I found that the brightness was adjustable. Once adjusted to the brightest level, and with the power-saving darkening delayed to 20 seconds, learning to use the machine was a breeze, similar to using a cell phone.

So to anyone who is thinking of buying this unit: this is what you should do first after receiving it.

1) Insert 2 AA batteries (p.21) or plug the AC adaptor (p. 20) into the AC adapter jack (p. 12) and the other end into an AC outlet .

2) Hold down the power button (p. 12) to switch the power on (p.20).

3) Push "Menu" once or twice to get the Menu Screen (NOT the Main Screen with playback/reording/time info).

4) Follow the instructions "Adjusting the display brightness" on p. 94
to increase the brightness to the level you need. Use the
up and down buttons to navigate the menu, and the left and right
buttons to adjust the brightness level.

5) Go back to the Menu Screen.

6) Now follow the steps for "Setting the time until screen is darkened"
on p.96 to set this time to the maximum, 20 seconds.

Doing the above steps first will greatly ease the learning of all the other options of your R-09HR.

I made a fine recording of the recital and love to play it back with the reverb type set to "Room".

Two final observations:
(A) I can confirm, as I expected from one review, that the unit indeed is amazingly stable when laid flat on
a table. It almost appears glued to it. Very fine choice of material!
(B) The remote is really useful for starting and stopping recording without touching the unit, hence without creating unwanted sounds. I
was too concentrated on the playing to use the "split" button between selections, so as to create separate file segments for the pieces played - next time I'll instruct someone else to do this.

Warmly recommended!
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on July 19, 2008
I have been waiting for 2 years to finally purchase this great machine.
I have done a lot of research on all available competing recorders.The previous generation R-09 had some problems reported by other users,causing me to wait until new R-09HR came onto the scene.
Mike preamp noise ,and failure of mike and line input jacks,and cheap plastic construction and other minor issues with R-09 caused me to wait to purchase this fantastic new R-09HR.
I am so glad I waited,and did not buy other recorders on the market,that all had their own issues and problems.
The R-09HR is a beautifully engineered product....When you take it out of the box,and hold it and look at the beautiful design,it brings a smile to your face!
I have now used it in many recording situations that really test the capability of this unit...Net result being that the recording quality is FANTASTIC!...The improved mikes,preamps,larger oled screen,improved battery compartment.32GIG capacity,remote control that works real nice, now mean that this is best unit on the market! I have shown my musician friends what this device can do,and everyone is GREATLY IMPRESSED by all the great features,design,and tremendous value this superb machine has!
I predict Edirol will sell BOATLOADS of this killer device..If you want the best on the market, right now is the time to buy it!...Also purchase the well designed silicone case that slips on the unit ,giving great protection to this superb machine,easily a 5 star product!
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on January 25, 2009 I set the R-09HR at my band practice. I fiddled with it, trying to figure out how to get it to work, as it was fresh out of the box. After about 5 minutes, I got a sound Level Check, gave the band a 4 count....and off we went.

After the song, I started to play it back via the built in speaker...and then guys snickered (for good reason...because that speaker is barely audible). Frustrated...I used the line out into the vocal mixer, set a fader level....and BAMMM. Nobody could believe the balance, the sound, the clairty (and the mistakes we made here and there). This thing is beautiful. I use it for my mix down from my Korg DR 16 so I can have the sound on MP3, 24 bit, 96khz bliss! Just follow the directions for placement options and it rocks!

I have it set up 24/7 at home (cuz you never know when an idea will strike). With the remote control, I press Record and go for it. BTW, I bought the Edirol mic adapter, but you're supposed to buy the Edirol Case, which didn't get very good reviews, and it's spendy. I did a little research, and found, (by pure accident), that Leica (the camera company), had a "Lazer Holder" with an adjsutable rubber strap, that was made to fit a tri-pod, and was the perfect dimension for the 09HR. I took a chance, ordered it, and it worked great. It holds the 09R Firm. With the Edirol mic stand adapter attached to the Lazer Holder, it fits perfect on my Hercules mic stand, and I can get beautiful quality music anywhere, and not have to worry about the 09HR Falling. Well worth the price, and easy to use!
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on September 3, 2008
As a fiddle player who often learns new tunes by ear, a decent, small recorder that works seamlessly with a Macintosh computer has long been on my wish list. After a lot of research, I chose the Edirol R-09HR. Right out of the box I was immediately impressed with the look and "feel" of it. All but the screen, controls and microphones are encased in a "rubberized," no-slip, no-scratch, covering which gives it a secure feeling in the hand. Both the "Practical Guide" and "Owner's Manual" were easy to follow and we had the optional 8 GB SD card (it comes with a 512 MB card) formatted and were up and running with test recordings within a half hour. The Edirol is equipped with tiny built-in speakers which are helpful for checking a recording, if needed, without plugging in earphones or external speakers. Both MP3 and WAV files are easily downloaded to our Mac (OS X Leopard) with the supplied USB 2 cable. No fuss, it just works! Plug it in and the recorder's disk pops up on the screen. (The manual advises using the A/C power cord for PC downloading to prolong the life of the recorder's two AA batteries.) Doubleclicking the disk icon shows the list of recorded tunes, any of which can be played/downloaded to iTunes by doubleclicking the file. If a tune needs editing, the file can be easily opened with Garage Band, (or Amadeus Pro, sound-editor/recorder software I've owned for years). A CD including editing software for Windows PCs comes packaged with the Edirol R-09HR. For registration purposes, it would have been nice if the registration number had been easier to locate. But a quick email to support folks and I had an answer in about an hour (it's in the battery compartment!). Is that good support or what? It goes without saying I am totally happy with my purchase.
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on September 30, 2008
I've just returned from a 10-day study tour in Israel, where the Edirol R-09HR (with a foam wind gag designed for a Shure SM-58 microphone over the mics) performed admirably. I brought back 30+ hours of iPod-ready tour commentary by our guide, Yoni, recorded in MP3 format. The R-09 ran 6-7 hours a day on a set of NiMH Eveready rechargables, and it never missed a beat. It was often in the dust, never in the way, and the Shure wind gag tamed the noise from the top of Masada to the Golan Heights. I was impressed by its predecessor on both live music recording (with the onboard mics and with my RODE NT-4 stereo mic), and with its seamless 24-bit capture of "board mixes." The interface improvements (better battery door design, rubberized finish, and the plastic stand) are all well done. I do audio for a living, and this is a sweet little piece of gear.
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on October 9, 2008
If you're in the market for a high-end portable field recorder, look no further. The R-09HR is all you'll ever need or want. The recordings it makes are crystal clear. Actually, I've never heard a recording so crisp and lifelike. I use mine to record my band's rehearsals and it is a dream to use. I used to run MiniDisc all rehearsal. I would then have to convert the MD recordings to .wav or MP3, then import them into my computer's music library, then burn to CD for my band mates. Now, all I do is hook the R-09HR up to a USB and drag the already made .wav files into iTunes or whatever. Burning a band rehearsal CD is as easy as it gets. I love this thing and I am impressed with it more and more each day. The size is crazy small. It's like the size of a pack of 100's sized cigarettes. It's microphones are small and unobtrusive, but at the same time, lively and dynamic. I really love this little unit. Every person I show it to is just in awe. Roland has outdone themselves with this addition to the Edirol line. Save yourself the time and effort of trying out other products from other brands. Lots of them are good, but there are none like the Edirol R-09HR.
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on November 19, 2008
As an avid concert-goer and live music listener, I am always looking for new devices to record the shows with. In the distant past it was the old cassette recorder, then technology caught up and introduced us to the line of MD recorders, which worked well but was tough having to fiddle with the tiny controls and hard to upload MD disks. I stumbled upon the newest wave of audio recorders that record directly on SD disks in both wav and mp3 formats.

After a month of looking over reviews, I decided upon the Edirol R-09HR. Once I cradled it in my hand, I knew this was a gem. The rubberized sides are perfect for the grip, and the lit display is just what you need for when the lights go out and the performance is about to begin, no more having to struggle finding the optimum recording volume control, or even if the recording has begun in the first place.

I tested it out with simple voice recordings, it's sharp and crisp. I then took it to a rock concert, and was a little hesitant at first because in the past with the MD recorder I needed to lug along the battery packed bass condenser and extra cartoid microphones. No need for that here, as the recording came out much better than I had expected. No staticky bass noises, and the immediate crowd surrounding me was drowned out as the Edirol seemed to know I was there to record the music, not the talkative chatty concertgoers to my right.

I recently took this to another concert, again loud and boisterous, this time in wav format for better quality, and again this item delivered. I stood further from the main stage and speakers, and this time I should have known to "up" the volume but didn't. My mistake, as the end result was like you were standing outside the building. I should have been more generous with the recording volume.

And uploading the recordings onto your computer is a snap, simply connect the USB cord provided in the box, and similar to uploading pictures from your digital camera, turn on the Edirol and the uploads begin.

Remember to fully charge the batteries (2 AA's) before using, and the 4 GB SD card I use is able to record up to 3 hours using a very high quality wav format.

Can't tell you too many of the mhz and mps technicalities, I'll leave that to the experts, but I can say that if you're looking to splurge or upgrade from your MD recorder, this is a great choice.
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