The Tascam DR-05 showed up on Monday and I was planning to start doing tests earlier this week, but my schedule just didn’t work out. I did get a chance to thumb through the manual and there are a number of features crammed into this unit that aren’t available on it’s competitor (the Zoom H1) including an instrument tuner (a little flaky), track splitting, and microphone power for the line input. Tascam also ships the unit with a 2gb micro sd card, Zoom only gives 1gb.

The Tascam DR-05 is about about 3/4 of an inch wider then the Zoom H1, but the height and thickness are about the same. The build on the DR-05 feels better then the Zoom H1, the battery compartment doesn’t rattle and buttons have a nice satisfying “click” when pressed. The Tascam DR-05 also turns on about 3 times faster then the Zoom H1.

I haven’t been able to do a lot of back to back tests yet, but i’m guessing the Zoom H1’s X/Y mic pattern will give better coverage. If you want an adjustable mic pattern from Tascam you’ll have to spend another $50 on the Tascam DR-07 Mark II.

The 1/4 20 thread on the back of the Tascam DR-05 is made out of plastic, just like the Zoom H1. The two AA batteries also make the DR-05 noticeably heavier then the Zoom H1.  It seems like the Tascam DR-05’s size and weight might keep a lot of people away from it as a hot shoe mount field recorder. Even though the Tascam is a better value for the price, It would be hard to convince a Zoom H1 owner to switch over.

I haven’t had a chance to test out the battery life on the Tascam DR-05, but it’s on my list of things to do. I should have a full video review and audio tests up by the end of the week. At which point I’ll have to decide which one is going on ebay. I wonder if they make a wind screen for the DR-05.

Update: Full video review posted with audio test.

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