Tascam DR-05X vs Zoom H1n

Voice recording might not be the need for everyone. But you will always find some times in your life when you need to record certain information in order to use it for various purposes later.

A musician, journalist, and students, and lecturers, this activity might be a familiar one. The built-in sound recorder in your smartphone might be the easy option for the short time. But it is not the wise one for a quality audio recorder.

  • The sound quality

The sound quality offered by a good quality recorder is much more superior compared to what your smartphone could offer. Besides, it comes with external memory that is purposefully used for storing audio. Storing lots of audio files in your smartphone will not be a good thing as it could leave your phone slowing in response and having little space. 

  • The battery life

Your smartphone does come with long battery life. That’s great. But you are not using it only for recording. Instead, you use it for many things. For that reason, if you are in need of recording in a long period, having a recorder is your best option.

The problem

Buying a recorder can be a challenge as they come in various looks and quality. Therefore, reading some information related to the shorted list of recorder can always be a help. Read also: Rode PodMic vs Shure SM7B.

Your shortest list might come to Tascam DR-05X and Zoom H1n which were released a year apart. The Zoom H1n came first in the early 2018 followed by the Tascam DR-05X.

Both of them come in competitive low prices and are popular products of their brands. Here, we provide you with the comparison between these two to assist you in choosing which one to go with. 

 Tascam DR-05XZoom H1n
Shop now at Amazonclick hereclick here
Product Dimensions7 x 5 x 2 inches
5.4 x 1.9 x 1.2 inches
Shipping Weight12 ounces
2.4 ounces

About Tascam DR-05X

Tascam DR-05X Portable Handheld Digital is a Japan lightweight recorder that comes with a compact design. It is claimed as simple use recorder that is appropriate for everyone in needs. 

Boasting integrated microphones to capture stereo audio clearly, this recorder also allows the use of external microphone. The external microphone can be inserted by the help of a 3.5mm stereo mic/line jack.

As an addition, the jack also provides plug-in power for microphone which needs it. It records 24-bit/96 kHz WAV or MP3 files and saves them in microSD or MicroSDHC.

When you receive the box, you will get the Tascam DR-05X audio recorder, two AA batteries and a USB cable. The warranty lasts for a year.

Featuring a 2-in/2-out USB audio that offers a studio-like quality which is perfect for podcasting, digital audio workstations, etc, Tascam boasts it as a perfect recorder for anyone in any needs.

About Zoom H1n

Zoom H1n is an evolution of portable recorder that has been promoted by the company that is originated from China. The box comes with a quick start guide, two AAA batteries, and the Zoom H1n recorder itself.

The main features that are boasted in this recorder is its built-in 90-degree X/Y stereo mics to capture high quality stereo sound, distortion-free recording that is up to up to 120 dB SPL, and advanced one-touch button controls for easy operations.

It is claimed as a perfect recorder for creators of any professional projects and could perfectly fit in the pocket of the users. The product is designed with sleek and matte finish with a newly designed microphone protector.

It records up to 24-bit/96 kHz audio in WAV or a variety of MP3 formats that are stored in a microSD or microSDHC that is up to 32GB. 

Their Comparison

The Tascam DR-05X offers longer maximum recording time as it could record up to 17.5 hours while the Zoom H1n could record up to 10 hours. The number of recording modes, however, is won by the Zoom as it offers 4 modes while the Tascam only offers 2. The recording quality falls on the same quality of 24bit/96kHz.

The Tascam DR-05X already comes in a compact design. However, the Zoom H1n is lighter and smaller. The Tascam DR-05X comes with 5.55 inches height, 2.4 inches width, and 4.1 ounces weight. The Zoom H1n, on the other hand, comes in 5.4 inches height, 1.9 inches width, and 2.12 ounces weight, which is why it is considered to perfectly fit in your pocket.

Both of the screens of these recorders are bright. But the Zoom has blue backlit while the Tascam comes in orange backlit. When it comes to easier visibility, the Zoom appears to be better in contrast, even though the Tascam offers wider screen.

Since they come in competitive affordable prices which might only be around $10 of difference, their bodies are made from plastic. Even though it might leave a cheap impression, they are built sturdily.

As additional features, the Tascam DR-05X offers peak reduction function, self-timer recording, seamless gain control, three low cut filter levels, built-in tripod attachment screw-hole, and level align feature.

On the other hand, the Zoom H1n comes with low cut filter, test tone, slate-tone, voice emphasize filter, limiter, playback speed control, playback position skipping, self-timer, overdubbing, auto REC level, and A-B repeat.

The playback volume on both of the recorders is somehow not so adjustable and easy to be heard. It is almost so quiet that you might need a help from an external speaker or upload it to a computer. The review online also says the same thing.

Apart from the playback volume, both of these recorders offer reliable and high quality sound recordings. The Tascam DR-05X, however, sounds slightly better than the Zoom H1n.

Tascam DR-05X vs Zoom H1n

- The dual internal condenser microphones can handle anything from subtle to loud, with sensitivity to capture every detail
- A revamped layout means operations like recording, adjusting levels, deleting bad takes and adding Markers are quick and easy
- Uses only two AA batteries, but can record for an outstanding 17. 5 hours; It can also be powered by a USB mobile battery
- Connect to a PC using USB Audio Interface Mode for voiceover work, live streaming, podcasting and songwriting with studio-quality audio
- Streamlined Body with matte finish and newly designed protective mic enclosure
- Built-in stereo condenser microphones in 90-Degree x/Y format
- Localized and intuitive menus for easy operation.Input impedance: 2 kΩ
- Playback Speed Control, Voice Emphasize Filter, and Stereo overdubbing functions


After all, both of the Tascam DR-05X and the Zoom H1n recorders are great options for budget recorders. The decision then lies on you. Both of them offers great audio quality but the Tascam offers a slightly better one.

The Zoom H1n proves to be more compact and more portable as it fits perfectly in your pocket or hands. The additional features in the Zoom H1n also appear to be handier to carry out professional and important recordings.

As a verdict, if you want to have great budget-recorder with tons of features to utilize and easy portability, then you might better go with the Zoom H1n recorder. 



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