Tascam DR 100MKIII vs Zoom H5

The importance of a microphone is how good they will improve your audio quality and if you are making content for a wider audience, this is a necessary part to pay attention to. Tascam DR 100MKIII Vs Zoom H5 are two amazing recorders that you can use to capture audio in different quality settings, very easy to use, but also reasonably priced for a wider range of users. For those who are interested to get one of these models, go check which will suit you better here.

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

  • What to Consider in an Audio Recorder
  • What are Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5
  • What Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 Look Like
  • How are the Recording Ability of Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5
  • How are the Interface of Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5
  • How are the Storage and Feature of Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5
  • Tascam DR 100MKIII Vs Zoom H5

Audio Recorder

With the need of better audio quality, you will also want to try using different microphones and different accessories in the activities. They can be a standalone microphone that is connected to your computer such as the Rode PodMic Vs AT2020 or a portable recorder that we can take out there with our main gear for video recording and content making. The best option however, will always be the one that fits correctly and ideally in your application which can also be different depending on personal preference.

In the audio world, handheld recorders are a very useful piece of device or tools not without a reason. Thanks to their portability, they are versatile for different types of applications whether you want to record and transcribe what a source said about a certain matter, the material given by your lecturer, song demo, audio for a video, etc. the possibility is endless. But, we also understand that choosing one will not be an easy trip for the plethora of options.

Audio Recorder and track count are two inseparable factors to consider when buying the tool because it highly depends on what you need. In most cases a stereo recorder that captures from two built-in microphones will be adequate for general purposes but, in some cases such as recording demo with band, you may want to have another microphone for different instruments and for this similar applications, make sure to have additional microphone jack as well so we can connect another set into the recorder.

Some models can record 4 tracks simultaneously but some can also bump it up to 6 tracks but these usually are more common being used in music recording rather than in general content making. Next is the storage capacity of the recorder and this is actually one of our main reasons to use one. They can have internal storage which is fixed or have removable memory up to a certain amount to keep the audio data. The amount of time a storage can handle a recording is highly depending on the recording mode.

For example, the higher it is, the bigger the file and the shorter the recording time such as 24-bit at 192kHz will have bigger file size than 24-bit at 92kHz. We personally prefer removable memory as it allows for more recording time since you can swap it anytime to continue recording unlike with internal memory which requires a physical transfer from the recorder to computer using USB cable data like those we often use with smartphone or more traditional card reader.

 Tascam DR 100MKIIIZoom H5
Best Offerclick hereclick here
Product Dimensions1.4 x 3.1 x 6.1 inches
9.1 x 3.4 x 6.6 inches
Shipping Weight13.3 ounces
1.85 pounds

About Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5

If you already have an image on how the audio recorder should be or what they should offer to fit best in your application, now is the time to see the huge amount of options available in the market. There are tons of options from well-known manufacturers to those names we are not familiar with yet, to make sure the product is reliable, we do recommend to stick with popular brands. They are also easily accessible and the wider user makes it easy to find a solution for a problem.

For the audio recorder section, two names that come almost instantly to our mind are Tascam and Zoom which should be familiar for you as well as they are among the main players for this specific audio gear. They have lots of choices or models to choose from in which many are the favorite of beginners to those with more experiences. You can pick any of them and what we love the most from these brands is they seem to always have the option for any budget range.

Users who will be spending less than $300 for this recorder will be able to choose Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 as they are coming in the same price range. These compact recorders are the favorite of many as they are capable of capturing high quality audio but also easy to use and versatile for different applications. You can use them as a handheld recorder to capture an interviewing process, using them with your camera, or using them to record a simple demo song.

As the third successor of the original DR 100, the new MKIII is coming as a worthy upgrade and even being suggested as the option for field recorder with improvement on new preamps and A/D converters designed for high-resolution audio recording. The H5 itself can be seen as a level up for the H4n Pro and if you have been having a thought to upgrade the existing recorder, this one will be sufficient for various applications including for FOH recording.

Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 Design

One of the best things coming from a dedicated audio recorder is their size which Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 are very compact to begin with. They are bulky in your pocket but will be around as big as your smartphone and can be mounted on top of a camera without a problem. They are however, are made out of plastic for the external covers instead of some type of steel but worry not because the built quality itself is very robust and the plastic are neither flimsy or thin.

Both coming with two built-in microphones in X/Y setup and straight setup respectively. They have a decently sized backlit display which is bright enough to be seen outdoors and indoor with poor lighting but as you can see, the DR 100MKIII has a fairly large monitor to pack the information. They have standard flat buttons but you will have gain knobs protruding from the H5 face plate which are protected with a bar to prevent unintentional adjustment.

Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 Recording Specs 

Moving further, let’s check what Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 can offer and starting from the recording function first, both of them are recording in both WAV and MP3 format with a bit rate option between 16 and 24 bit for the stereo and from 44kHz to 192kHz or from 44kHz to 320kbps for the MP3 sampling. What’s different is for the WAV mode because while the former can only record two tracks simultaneously, the latter can record 4 tracks at once separately using the available inputs.

This will give you an advantage to capture more from the source especially for applications that require various different sounds present in the room such as FOH recording or demo song with a full band. We can record in both mono and stereo using the two built in microphone while also recording through the two XLR inputs available. For example in FOH recording, we can use a stereo feed from the desk while the built-in microphones are used to capture the audience and room sound.

Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 Interface

The next point we want to talk about is their ease of use and user experience because it matters to ease your application and in this part Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 are fairly the same, they have the same playback layout but since the latter is capable of recording in 4 different tracks, the input level will also accessible for each different channel for the XLR external microphones while the built-in modes have one at the top of the display.

As for the DR 100MKIII, this recorder has one input level knob located at the side of the unit and it is similarly convenient as well. What we think better here is the menu control because this model uses a rotating wheel to navigate the menu and the latter has a little switch at the side to offer the same function which in our opinion is less comfortable.

Tascam DR 100MKIII and Zoom H5 Storage and Feature

The last point we want to mention is their features and storage options because these may affect your buying decision too. Starting with the storage option, you can use up to 32Gb SDHC with H5 but the 100MKIII will accept SDXC up to 128GB as well. For the additional useful features, Zoom has an audio interface feature so you can connect them to computer or tablet for application such as adding narration to a music playback. Tascam on the other hand only uses the USB port for file transfer.

Tascam DR 100MKIII vs Zoom H5

These recorders are amazing options for the price point but they are also different because the H5 can record 4 tracks at once using all of its built-in microphones together with the external options while DR MK100III can only record two tracks at once. You can adjust the input level of each XLR mics separately with Zoom and this model also has an audio interface feature to add it convenience.

- Designed for the most demanding audio designers and engineers, combining robust reliability, an updated UI and studio-quality sonic performance
- Features dual AKM AK4558 converters with VELVET SOUND architecture, providing both high sound quality and low power consumption
- The XLR/TRS inputs, used to connect external mics, deliver some of the highest sound quality and lowest noise of any TASCAM Handheld Digital Recorder
- Onboard dual stereo microphones with integrated shockmounts deliver flexible recording options with professional quality audio performance
- Uses a system of interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera
- Includes detachable x/Y capsule (xyh-5) with extended signal capacity and shock mounted mics for reduced handling noise
- Four-track simultaneous recording; Built-in speaker: 400mw 8 Ω mono
- Two mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors each with selectable Phantom power and -20dB pad


You can always get any recorder which seems to fit the application better and there is no bad option between these two but, for those who are recording music or plan to capture more than two tracks at once, we highly recommend  Zoom H5.


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