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Comparing recorders

The following table was compiled by Kurt Brunner and Nick Thieberger (prices in US dollars as at March 2008).

There are also video clips reviewing some of these recorders on YouTube (e.g. here)




Frequency Response

Signal-to-noise Ratio, IEC-A Weighted


Total Harmonic Distortion at 0 VU




Nominal Input Level

Power Consumption

Inbuilt microphones

Included Accessories


A/D conversion


Zoom H2 (~$180) (deal at Amazon has rechargeable batteries, disk, and other stuff for $200)




[LINE IN] 1/8" stereo phone jack(Input impedance:10kΩ, Input level:-10dBm), [EXT MIC IN] 1/8" stereo phone jack(Plug-in powered:2.5V, Input impedance:20kΩ, Input level:-20/-30/-40dBm), [Built-in stereo mic] W-XY stereo microphone(MIC GAIN:+1.5/+17/+27dB)


AA size(LR6) battery x2, or Supplied AC adaptor AD-0006(DC9V/300mA/center minus type) ● Battery Life(with alkaline batteries):4 hours recording, 4.5 hours playback

W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90° cardioid, Rear 120° cardioid and 360° polar patterns

A desktop stand as well as a mic clip adapter for attaching the unit to a mic stand is included with the H2. It also comes with a 512MB SD card, earbuds, a windscreen, AC adapter, a USB cable, and a 1/8-inch to RCA stereo cable, so you can begin recording from the moment you open the package.

A/D Conversion:24bit, 128 times over-sampling


Autostart function allows recording of previous 2 seconds


Marantz PMD620 Digital Recorder (~$360)

20 Hz to 20 kHz (±1 dB)

MIC: 68 dB

LINE: 80 dB


* MIC: 0.06%

LINE: 0.02%


* External MIC

Type: 1/8" stereo jack

Input Sensitivity: 6 mVrms/30 kohms



Recording/Playback: 1.5 W (DC)

Battery Life (Alkaline): 5 hours (Typical)

Phantom Power: 5V, 1mA (Max.)



Audio Cable

USB Cable

AC Adapter

User Guide


Handy Strap

Customer Registration Document (U.S. Only)

Tripod/Belt Clip Adapter

SD Card




M-Audio Microtrack II (~$300)




Professional balanced 1 4" TRS inputs capable of mic or line-level signals

1/8" TRS input with 5V power for use with stereo electret microphone (microphone included)





MicroTrack II mobile digital recorder

Printed Quick Start Guide

CD-ROM with documentation and editing software

1m USB cable (USB A to Mini B)

1m 1/8" headphone extension cable with lapel clip

T-shaped electret microphone


Protective carrying case with mic pouch

Power supply unit with USB connector



Edirol R-09 24-Bit Wave/MP3 Recorder (~$350)

20 Hz to 22 kHz




Audio Inputs Internal Stereo Microphone, Mic input (Stereo miniature phone type, plug-in powered mic), Line input (Stereo miniature phone type)


 (Variable): Mic Input: -36 dBu (Default input level), Line Input: 0 dBu (Default input level)

Input Impedance: Mic input: 20 k ohms, Line input: 17 k ohms


Power Supply: AC Adaptor, Alkaline dry battery LR6 (AA) type x 2, or Nickel Hydrogen battery (HR15/51)

Current Draw : 360 mA. (4 hour recording with AA alkaline type x 2)



Owner's Manual, AC Adaptor (PSB-6U), SD Memory Card (64 M bytes), USB Cable (Mini-B type)




TASCAM DR-1 Portable Studio Audio Recorder (~$248 - 300)

20 Hz–20 kHz, +1/-3 dB 

90 dB or more 

Distortion (LINE IN > /LINE OUT)  0.03% or less 

1/8" line and mic inputs as well as a single 1/4" input (for instruments).



* Internal Lithium Ion Battery (rechargeable)

* Four hour recording time on built-in Lithium Ion battery.



two stereo microphones in an A/B pattern, with adjustable pickup angle.

The DR-1 comes with a 1GB SD card standard, which is easily upgradeable to give longer recording life.

• SD card  

USB cable

• BP-L2 manual  

Soft case 


For purchase: AC adapter (PS-P520), BP-L2 lithium ion battery,

accessory kit (tripod, tripod adapter, microphone

stand adapter)

SONY PCM-D50 (~$450)

For Fs = 44.1 kHz: Frequency Response = 20 Hz to 20 kHz


93 dB or greater (1 kHz IHF-A) when set to 24-bit


0.01% or below (1 kHz, 22 kHz LPF)




48 kHz 16-bit Recording Mode: 5 hours and 55 minutes


Electret Condenser microphones. High sensitivity -35.0 dB/Pa 1kHz (typical); Maximum input level 120 dB SPL; Self-noise level 20.0 dB SPL (A)





Olympus LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder (~$400)






Long battery life with up to 12 hours of recording capability-2 GB built-in memory and Smart Disk removable card slot for expanded capacity


# LS-10 Linear PCM Recorder

# Strap

# Carrying case

# USB 2.0 cable (KP-10)

# Wind screen

# 2 AA batteries

# Warranty card

# Software DVD-ROM: Steinberg Cubase LE4

# Instruction manual