Side by Side: Portable Recorders

September 1, 2012


Portable recorders abound, and their features range from bare basics to multitrack editing giants. We narrowed our choices to mono/stereo recorders with XLR mic inputs. Then you can use your favorite field mic, because a recording is only as good as the mic.

One choice is based on a mic design with several mic capsules. All the models operate on batteries or another power source. As always, we included suggested price, although street prices are typically much lower.


Model
Marantz PMD661
Roland R-26
Tascam DR-40
Yellowtec iXm
Zoom H4n
Inputs
2x xLR mic/line, 3.5mm TRS line, RCS S/PDIF
2x xLR/TRS mic, 1x 3.5mm stereo mic
2x xLR/TRS mic/line
3.5mm balanced TRS line
2x VLR/TRS mic/line, 3.5mm stereo mic
On-board mics
2
1 omni, 1 stereo XY pair
2 (XY or AB)
Multiple mic capsules available
2 (XY or AB)
Phantom Power
yes
yes
yes
bult-in
yes
Outputs
2x RCA, 1/4" TRS headphone
3.5mm TRS headphone
3.5mm stereo line/headphone
3.5mm stereo line/headphone
3.5mm stereo line/headphone
USB
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
Speakers
2
1
1
none
1
Card Storage
SD, SDHC
SD, SDHC
SD, SDHC
SD, SDHC
SD, SDHC
On-board Editing
yes
yes
yes
-
yes
Markers
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
ALC
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
Varispeed
yes
yes
yes
-
yes
Prerecord Buffer
2 sec.
2 sec.
2 sec.
30 sec.
-
Recording Modes
mono, stereo
mono, stereo, 4-channel, 6-channel
mono, stereo, 4-channel
mono, stereo
stereo, 4-channel, MTR
Recording Formats
MP3 (64, 128, 192, 256, 320kb/s), linear PCM
MP3 (128, 160, 320kb/s), WAV, BWF
MP3 (32, 64, 96, 128, 192, 256, 320kb/s), WAV, BWF
MP2 (128, 160, 192kb/s), WAV, BWF
MP3 (48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 160, 192, 224, 256, 320, VBR), WAV
Sampling Rates
44.1, 48, 96kHz
44.1, 48, 88.2, 96kHz
44.1, 48, 96kHz
32, 44.1, 48kHz
44.1, 48, 96kHz
Bit-rates
16/24-bit
16-bit
16/24-bit
16-bit
16/24-bit
Remote
yes
-
yes
-
yes
Tripod Mount
yes
yes
yes
mic clip
yes
Included Accessories
audio cable, USB cable, ac adapter, carry strap
SD card, Cakewalk Sonar, ac adapter, carry strap, windscreen
SD card, USB cable, tilt foot
SD card, USB cable, charger. Six mic capsules are available.
SD card, USB cable, windscreen, Cubase LE, ac adapter, case, mic stand adapter
Power
5Vdc
9-16Vdc
USB
built-in Li-ion, USB, speed charger
5Vdc
Batteries
4x AA
4x AA
3x AA
3x AA
2x AA
Size (in.)
1.4 x 3.7 x 6.5
1.625 x 3.25 x 7.125
1.378 x 2.756 x 6.1
10 x 1.96
1.4 x 2.87 x 6.15
Weight (oz.)
14
14
7.51
13.23
9.8
MSRP
$700
$600
$270
$1,450
$550
URL
usa.d-mpro.com
rolandus.com
tascam.com
yellowtec.com
samsontech.com



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