Tascam DR 05 vs DR 40

Everyone may have a smartphone with a capability to record sound but for a professional use, they are not adequate for delivering the better quality for your content. If you are going to record voice for more serious purposes, Tascam DR 05 Vs DR 40 can be a great tool to have. They are designed to be easy to use, versatile, but also not compromising when it comes to sound quality. Go check what they can offer and which seems to fit you better here.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • What to Look for in an Audio Recorder
  • What are Tascam DR 05 and DR 40
  • What Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 Look Like
  • How are the Specification of Tascam DR 05 and DR 40
  • How are the Performance of Tascam DR 05 and DR 40
  • What else Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 can offer
  • Tascam DR 05 Vs DR 40

Audio Recorder

Just like a camera that will decide your image quality, an audio recorder or microphone and processing tool will decide your audio quality. For a casual users who are posting on social media or for a non-professional purposes, a smartphone should be able to serve a good function as your audio and video recorder but, it will be different if this content is meant for a more serious job such as recording your demo songs to be sent out or recording sound for the video content you plan to upload on streaming platforms.

To get the best audio for a more important content we need an audio recorder which function is going to not only elevate the audio capturing quality but also offer some features you may need during the take.

  1. Audio recorders and the price are inseparable topics whenever we want to shop for one. Getting the cheaper one mostly will do more harm than good as price usually decides quality but, it is safe to set a budget to see how much we can spend.
  2. Audio formats are necessary as not all of us are going to use this recorder for the same purpose and depending on the application, there are usually MP3 only and MP3/WAV options available.
  3. Audio quality is the first and main goal of why we are getting a new audio recorder. Related to the previous format. MP3 is generally ideal for any applications with recording range at least 128 kbps as the buying guide while WAV is usually used for a more detailed recording such as music and it also has several settings to offer. The higher the settings in both formats, the bigger the file size and the lesser the recording time as well.
  4. Size can be anything you find comfortable to use with because not all of us have the same preference but make sure it is small enough to fit nicely in your backpack or pocket and material wise, check if they are robust enough to be in your activity.
  5. Storage is also an important point to consider as not all recorders will have the same storage. Some come with a built-in storage while some use removable SD cards which we prefer better as it is easier to swap when they run low.
  6. Last but not least is additional features and this can vary widely across brands and models. There are some recorders that can allow you to do various editing functions but in our opinion, if you will be using a computer for this part then it is better to not spend on something we will not use.
 Tascam DR 05Tascam DR 40
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Product Dimensions5.5 x 2.4 x 1 inches
5.5 x 3.5 x 8 inches
Shipping Weight15.2 ounces
1.25 pounds

About Tascam DR 05 and DR 40

Shopping for a recorder can be as simple and as complicated depending on what this tool is going to be used in or for. For voice recording such as interviews or if you will need to transcribe something then any decent affordable models will mostly be sufficient but, for audio sharing, video content, or music recording, we may need something with better quality and capabilities. Finding the one that fits in your application is always better rather than going with the cheapest or most expensive options.

If you want to save time, it is also great to shop based on the brand that you trust the most and talking about audio recorder manufacturers; Tascam is one of the best choices to shop from. They always seem to have the perfect choice for every budget with good quality products and a range of recorders to choose from, whether you are going to use the tool just to record a lecture or creating video and audio content.

For those who will be recording for more serious purposes, Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 are going to be very ideal models to consider. They are not coming from the same price range, as you can guess the latter will be more powerful in general yet, it is also twice as expensive and it may not be something you want to spend. Being close brothers, these models are pretty much the same in terms of capabilities and in most cases you can do the same operation in both models.

These are popular models for live recordings and the original model from the line because Tascam have been discontinuing them, replacing with 2019 models called DR 05X and DR 40X. The most prominent difference between Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 will be their recording mode because as the name suggest, some of you may already guess what the latter is capable of and yes, this one is recording with 4-channel instead of 2 like most common recorder including the H1n that you can check on our Zoom H1n Vs Tascam DR 05.

Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 Design

Checking them out from the outside, these models are similar yet different and as you can see, in general the DR 40 will be the bigger option as it is larger in size and if you notice, the DR 05 is an AB recorder with the microphones spaced a few inches apart from each other and are panned to left/right respectively. The latter is coming with An XY configuration but there is a swivel point here to change the set-up into AB when needed.

When similarly in AB set-up, the dimensions of these recorders are 2.4-inch wide by 5.5-inch tall by 1-inch deep compared to 3.5-inch wide, 6.1-inch tall, and 1.4-inch deep. As for the material or build quality, they seem to be made from the same thick plastic and quite robust in our opinion. We also want to mention that they are using SD cards to store the file which is located on the right side but if you don’t have nails, the slot cover can be a little bit difficult to open.

Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 Specification

Coming to the specification part, these recorders are very much the same to each other when it comes for the general capabilities. They are equally using the FAT16/32 system and will record the audio in WAV, BWF, as well as standard MP3. You can choose to record in 44.1k/48k/96k Hz with a bit rate of 16 or 24-bit. The channel of DR 05 is two or stereo and the DR 40 is 4-channel means it will record two stereos while the directionality of the microphone are omnidirectional/stereo and unidirectional/stereo respectively.

Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 Performance 

Moving forward, let’s see what Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 are going to offer to you and starting with the audio quality, both of them are very good for voice recording such as lectures, meetings, interviews, or when you need to take notes and capture ideas directly. Comparing the two, DR 04 will be the more capable option if your application is capturing music or recording demo, thanks to the 4-channel recording function. With this model, you can add two more microphones if needed.

This model puts two XLR jack or the standard quarter jack in the unit so we can add two microphones including condenser without any problem. The DR 05 itself has a standard 1/8-inch jack to put external microphone but the audio captured using this setting is not as good since it tends to produce high noise level compared to the latter which is much quieter including when you are recording using line in.

Tascam DR 05 and DR 40 Feature

The last point we want to talk about is their feature and here Tascam DR 40 also carries an interesting feature or capability called dual recording mode that you can access from the menu and record setting. This feature may not be useful for everyone but if you are recording in an environment. When activated, this mode will record another track beneath the master track from -12 dB to -6 dB so we have a recorded track at a lower level.

In addition, since you can adjust the microphones positions from XY to AB or vice versa, this makes the recorder versatile enough to record in an environment where there is one or two sound sources or capturing a wider sound and ambience such as when the sound source is from every direction.

Tascam DR 05 vs DR 40

Being twice as expensive makes DR 40 easily compared to the little brother DR 05 but capability side, the latter is a much better option for a wide application. Both have a good stereo sound and will be as ideal for capturing interview or lecture but DR 40 allows you to add two condenser microphone, offering a more all-rounder sound especially for music recording for you will have many parts to captured and in addition, it also have some interesting feature on board, just to ease your job.

- Built-in omni-directional microphones
- Stereo mini headphone jack for external stereo microphones (provides plug-in power) / External line input
- Tempo change (VSA) function for adjusting the speed from 0.5 to 1.5 times (in 0.1 increments)
- Chromatic tuner, Powered by 2 AA batteries, USB power or optional AC adapter (Tascam PS-P515U), MicroSD 4GB card
- Discontinued Model Replaced by New & Improved DR-40X
- Switchable microphone position from X-Y to a-b. Os - Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
- 4-Track recording - Record the built-in microphones and mic inputs at the same time
- Dual recording captures a safety track to prevent distorted takes


All in all, there is no bad option since they can be a great choice depending on your activity. If this recorder will be used for interview or lecture and regular voice recording, DR 05 is cheap and reliable but for music and higher versatility, Tascam DR 40 is one of the best options in the market.


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