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Portable Recording Equipment for Your Audio Podcast October 11, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Podcast Audio Equipment, Podcasting.

You’ll find that I get the point on my little writings here, so in keeping with that… I’ve narrowed the field of almost 30 portable audio recorders that I could find and play with to three. I could give you the run down on the other 27, but if you’re like me, you just want to advice. I went to the Podcast and Portable Media Expo and could get my hands on a fair number of them for a short while, but I also took a trip today to my favorite local pro-audio store and found two of my top three there that I could really spend some time with.

This recommendation, as are most of these that I write, is just a documentation of what I’m telling my clients on a day to day basis. Most have successful results. If you have a differing opinion or have an issue with one of these devices, I’d like to know about it so please comment. If I hear of an issue from a client that contradicts what I said, I will also let you know. Okay… onto the top three.


The Marantz Professional PMD660 Portable Solid State Recorder

You can read the specs on the website as just as well as I can type them in here, so what I’ll give you is some real world experience. This records 30+ hours of audio and allows for 4 hours of recording time in one shot due to battery life. So, you’ll have to carry around AA batteries to keep this one happy. A carry bag, some mic cables, and a remote control for $600.


The Sony PCM-D1 Portable Linear PCM Recorder

Quality, features, sound, etc… great with this one. My pet peeve with it? About 2 to 3 hours of battery life / recording time. AA batteries again. Can’t find too many other issues with this one… except… maybe the cost… $1850.

The M-Audio MicroTrack 24/96 Professional 2-Channel Mobile Digital Recorder

Records WAV and mp3, has digital and balanced inputs, three hours of recording life here on one shot, but it can recharge via usb… no AA batteries… a Lithium-ion. This is it… this is the one. $400.

In conclusion, I think it comes down to functionality and price (as everything does). The sound quality differences between the M-Audio and Marantz devices are truly negligible. The Sony has great built in microphones… but did I mention the cost?

As far as I’m concerned, these are the top three out there today… with the M-Audio device being the best for the average podcaster.

11/9/2006 Update: I just got my hands on a Roland Edirol R-09, I think it tops the MicroTrack… check out my review.

1/19/2007 Update: See this post about the Zoom H4.



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4. Audio Equipment Speakers - February 12, 2009

Hey thanks for the info…been looking for a new recording device but just haven’t narrowed it down yet. I’m starting to lean to the M-Audio Micro Track and just have to find it around here.

5. Jeff - February 12, 2009

I have had good experience with the MicroTrack… and it has been updated nicely since I wrote this post. I like the Zoom for the XLR inputs and use it as my “go to” recorder now, but the inputs are only a reason to buy the Zoom over the MicroTrack if you actually NEED them and don’t want to use another interface.

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These ones still rule the market!

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8. anna - May 24, 2010

I had a PMD660. Great tool. Now I’ll by a sony next time I think

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Please advise!
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