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TASCAM DR-40 Reviews

4.5 stars based on 45 customer reviews
Questions about the TASCAM DR-40?

Questions about the TASCAM DR-40?

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  • from Leesburg, Florida April 27, 2017Music Background:
    Church Muscian

    I love it

    Recently, I decided to start recording our pastor's sermons to make them available to our congregation. I was familiar with Tascam gear, having used their mixers, tape decks, dat machines etc., and I liked the portability factor of the Tascam hand held recorders. I was originally looking to purchase the DR-5, but my sales rep, Ian Lemberg thought that the DR-40 would be a better fit for my needs. As usual he was right. I totally love all of the features of the DR-40. I am able to make a clean recording of the Sunday sermon, take the recording home, transfer it to my DAW via USB, edit it, and master it. I love using the features such as the built in limiter, and the low end roll off to help make my editing and mastering chores a lot easier (these are only a few of the MANY features of this unit).. It's also pretty cool that you can record hours and hours of audio in either mono, stereo, or 4-track in .wav or mp3 formats at up to 96Khz sampling rate.. I always wanted a portable recording setup to capture sound outside of my studio, and this does the trick!

  • from Youngstown,OH April 16, 2017Music Background:
    Singer Lead and harmony vocals, Sound Engineer, Worship Leader, Played in local bands, Opened for major country recording artists, Worked with several gospel singers and groups. Grew up around the music industry


    I took this out to record a gospel quartet that I really like and just with using the internal mics the sound was amazing. I also really like the dual recording mode. The main recording clipped a few times when the bass singer got way down there but the second recording at the reduced level was spot on. This was in a small church and even though there were people clapping and singing along I still got an excellent blend of the music and vocals coming from the speakers. If you decide to get this I don't think you will be disappointed.

  • from San Diego April 11, 2017Music Background:
    Full time singer/ songwriter/ entertainer

    Amazing tool.

    Everything that my sales expert said it would be. Blown away by the great sound quality and easy to use.

  • from NY February 27, 2017

    Fantastic portable recorder

    I bought this to use when interviewing on-location for a podcast. It has now replaced my cell phone as what I use to capture ideas and riffs on the go. It only takes about 5 seconds from being completely off to recording. Even if you need to change input settings it is quick, easy, and intuitive.

    The sound quality is fantastic, and the built in mics are more than capable if you don't want to fumble around with mic cables. The red ring LED around the record button ensures that you NEVER forget to hit record, and the display is easy to read and makes setup a breeze. These are small details, but they make a big difference. They keep me from worrying about the equipment which lets me focus on the task at hand.

    Besides being super intuitive, the good people at Tascam have loaded it with features including level management, dubbing, and even settings that let you designate Ni-NH batteries for proper charge monitoring. It feels like they have covered every feature I wanted, and every feature I didn't even know I needed.

  • from February 27, 2017

    Tascam DR-40

    Five Stars!!!

  • from morganton nc April 2, 2015Music Background:
    strum a guitar regularly

    tascam dr40

    Talk about blg. Things coming in small packages. This recorder does the trick. Our sound man at church
    Tried to get lt from me. I am a amateur at most of these electronics, but the good ole boys at sweetwater
    Are very eager to assist you.

  • from March 6, 2015

    DR 40

    Can do every thing i snared and then some

  • from Sheridan, AR USA July 20, 2013Music Background:
    65 Years as playing for church service


    My handheld recorder works get for what i needed it for. It work great for my music. Thank you for helping me find just what i needed.

  • from PHILADELPHIA PA. August 11, 2012Music Background:



  • from Chicago, IL February 22, 2012

    Excellent Recorder

    I read many reviews on this and other recorders, and was a little worried about reports of noise or helicopter noises when using the line inputs. The only time I experienced anything like that was recording a line in when it was set to mic and I was using USB power. If I changed the togle from mic to line, or switched to battery power, no noise. I have recorded every practice and a couple live shows, and this is perfect. 3 feet away from the drum set and the bass, guitar, and vocals are all there. Same thing being half way across a bar. Slowing down recordings is excellent for learning new challenging parts, or for figuring out parts. Being able to record 2 lines in at the same time as the built in mics is great for live shows. I am really impressed with this, and am glad I took a chance and bought it over the others on the market. 5 stars all the way!

  • from Irvine, CA December 5, 2011Music Background:
    Pro musician

    Easy to use....professional quality!

    Very convenient and easy to use ... When put with external mics, sounds like studio recording.

  • from Dallas October 22, 2011Music Background:

    Excellent recorder

    Purchased this as an upgrade to my M Audio Microtrak II. I've been recording jazz, rock and solo piano live for many years. Bottom line is the sound is outstanding with the internal mics which move from both AB to XY patterns. The noise floor is very low, the soundstage is wide and deep and the audio has excellent detail with an apparent very flat and wide frequency response. I plan to test the mics inputs with my trusty Shure SM81s. Even without this test, this recorder does a great job. The battery life is rated at 15 hours and the recorder uses 3 standard AA batteries. This means that you are not limited by the life of an internal non changeable rechargeable battery. The sound and ergonomics have advanced from the excellent design of the MicroTrak II. Highly recommended.

  • from montana February 6, 2017Music Background:


    After 2 1/2 years severe duty use, indoors and out, I maintain the high opinion of my original review after a few weeks use. The jumpback feature is especially useful for those of us with some degree of hearing impairment. Also, the multiple settings of fast play and equalizer are important features. Accidental momentary depression of the ff button resulting in stepping to the next program and slow ff to return to the lost place in the previous show is a minor annoyance. Anyone listening to a lot of talk radio needs the dr-40.

  • from December 5, 2016

    Great piece of gear!

    This recorder exceeded my expectations. It does everything I want plus more. The first time I used it I was shocked at how good the onboard mics sounded. It has so many other functions that are really useful. I love how it has a mount for a camera tripod as well.

    The only drawback is that it is almost completely plastic on the outside. I don't think the shell would survive a drop so I hold on to it for dear life! For what it costs though, it is hard to complain. Given the sound quality and functionality, you can't beat the price.

    You probably could give this a five star, but since it is plastic...

  • from Eugene, Oregon October 28, 2015Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Producer, and Singer/Songwriter

    DR-40 A Great Tool When and Where You Need One

    This recorder is a great tool for me as a Singer/Songwriter. I use it to record song ideas and can then go and add a couple more tracks to see if the tune is going anywhere.....just to have it availiable when an idea come up is invaluable. I as well use it to master a song I have recorded on my multitrack and test drive the tune to see if any further changes need made. Always a flawless recording and the ease of use makes this a big contender....and a useful tool for everyone needing great quality recording and portability.
    Sweetwaters sales people were great, the shipment came very fast and I am quite satisfied overall.
    Thanks Sweetwater.

  • from Michigan October 27, 2015

    TASCAM DR-40

    Love it. Works great and has crystal clear recording through both the built-in mics and line inputs.

  • from Spokane WA August 11, 2015Music Background:
    Audio Engineer

    Great Handheld Recorder

    Records great! Love that it records in MP3 & Wav. They're big enough to handle easily but small enough to not be bulky & in the way. Thank you for making such a good product available at a good price!

  • from Ohio July 31, 2015Music Background:
    45 yrs of playing in bands


    Easy to use and does everything that it says it will do a handy little recorder.

  • from Peoria, IL October 9, 2014Music Background:
    Audio and Recording Engineer

    Tascom DR-40

    A powerful device in a small format. Built-in microphones pick up great even at distances. Dual recording mode gives you a second chance at a quality result.

  • from Hutchinson, KS USA August 12, 2014Music Background:
    Professional Musician/Songwriter

    Love this tool! It is the PERFECT 4 track portable studio recorder!

    I was searching for a device to capture all of my original lyric and song ideas and be able to over-dub on top of them. In my opinion, this is the best on the market for getting the job well done. It is also perfect for recording band practices and live performances. Thanks to the creator of the Tascam DR-40 for improving my life and helping me capture my thoughts on record with superb sound quality!

  • from Huntington, WV USA October 30, 2012Music Background:
    Sound Production


    This little guy really catches the vibes! Tried it first with some acoustic music, friends playing in a small living room, and was impressed. Took it to a Drive-By-Truckers show and taped from the table where the soundman was set up and when I listened later I was completely amazed. I could hear every instrument just as when it was live. Thanks for a great product.

  • from Johannesburg, SouthAfrica September 11, 2012Music Background:
    Post Production Engineer

    TASCAM DR-40

    Brilliant!! Easy to use, quick to transfer recorded files via USB, convenient input level control. Decent on board mics for ambient recordings. Still haven't encountered any negatives with this product.

  • from Paducah KY August 24, 2012Music Background:

    Great production asset.

    Less expensive than the Zoom H4 and very flexible. Line-in, xlr, trs, phantom power; from mono to four track. Just used this on a 48HR film project and very impressed. I used it with a borrowed Rode NTG2 and that will definitely be my next snag.

  • from Paducah, KY August 13, 2012Music Background:
    Music, Audio and Video production

    Great recorder for indie filmmaking.

    The DR-40 is a great value. I just finished using it on a shoot with a Rode NTG2 shotgun and the results were great. For 200 bucks it's a lot of recorder. Recommended.

  • from Washington DC USA August 13, 2012Music Background:
    Writer, engineer, producer, pro musician

    Positive review of DR - 40. Did a great job for me.

    I have used a couple portable recorders in the past. The biggest problems I've run into was difficulty just recording and playing back without going through the manual. I just finished some songwriting sessions in Nashville, where you need something small and dependable and easy to use. The DR-40 did the job. It was dependable and easy to use and when I downloaded the songs to my computer the sound was excellent!

  • from Pittsburgh, PA February 2, 2012Music Background:
    Narration, Recording Studio Manager

    Huge Value for the Money

    The only feature I'd like to see on this recorder that's not there is a higher sample rate. Other than that, it's all here. TASCAM's menu system is easy to understand so setting it up is easy. The AB and XY positions for the internal mikes allow you to get the degree of ambient sound you want or the focused sound you need. The safety track recoding option can be a real lifesaver! I prefer to add special effects after the recording is done, but you have options for that too. A real plus for are the combination inputs for external mics: the same jack will accept either an XLR input or a balanced inch input. No more 3.5 mm mini-jack inputs!

  • from Los Angeles area October 27, 2011Music Background:
    Production and Post audio for TV and Film, Recording Engineer

    Best recorder for the money!

    I'm really glad these little portable recorders have become popular, they are so useful! I've used a lot of these things in doing production and post sound for TV and film, and so far this is my favorite. $200 is a great price when you look at the features it comes with. The 4 track recording is awesome, but my favorite is the dual recording mode that gives you a second stereo recording at a lower level. Nobody is perfect and peaks will happen, but that saves the day! The on-board mics are amazing, but like all of these recorders they are EXTREMELY sensitive to wind. I mean even the tiniest air movement. Which is too bad since windscreens for these are way overpriced. But you can work around it easily enough. Would give it 5 stars if it had a wheel for level adjustment instead of buttons, but that's not a major thing for me.

  • from Columbus, Ohio January 21, 2017Music Background:


    Use it to supplement my camcorder. Very good sound. Pretty easy to figure out, set up and run. I have the Pocket Studio DP-004 and this is so much better to use in recording & playback.

    The built in speak, while weak, is nice. Battery life is decent even with the phantom power on...which too is a great feature.

  • from Idaho January 9, 2017Music Background:
    Sound engineering, live sound, and percussion.

    Great handheld recorder

    Bought this for my daughter, for Christmas. Seems easy to use and makes nice, clean recordings. She is just using the built in mics, recording voice and acoustic guitar. The built in mics are real sensitive and do a great job so far. Haven't experimented too much yet. Just have used basic functions.

  • from New Hampshire December 13, 2016

    Makes Nice Live Recordings

    Let me start by saying that this makes excellent live recordings. I do an acoustic single, but often have backup. I take a stereo feed from the mixer into tracks 3/4, and record the room ambiance on tracks 1/2. The settings stay in memory, so I don't have to fiddle with it. I just plug it into the board, hit record, and I'm recording. Later on I do a simple mix of the board with the room and end up with a very nice recording!

    There are some caveats, though. A set of alkaline batteries is good for maybe 5 hours of 16 bit wave recording to 4 tracks, not even close to the 9 hours claimed in the manual. Haven't run a full test with rechargeables, but after 2 hours on a freshly charged set the battery indicator was showing one bar.

    That said, 5 hours is enough to cover what I need. But always start with fresh batteries! Tascam also sells a USB power adapter, but I'll bet it will work with a USB cell phone charger. The DR 40 comes with a mini USB cable, not a micro USB like most phones use, so you will have to use that cable.

    The other issue is with the little rubber isolater foot that you're supposed to fit into the tripod mount to lift the mics if you set the DR40 on a table to record. A good idea, but it is a loose fit at best, easily forgotten when you pick it up, and falls out very easily. Mine disappeared the third time I used it. At this price point I think Tascam could have and should have provided an isolater that securely screwed into the tripod mount.

    Like so many devices, the DR 40 has a ton of different functions controlled by just a few buttons. But, once you set it up it holds your settings in memory. Since I use it with the same settings every time, it's plug and play at my gigs, with a 30 second set up time.

    I tried recording with the limiter, but found that it caused noticeable volume changes. I got the best results by running with lower recording levels. It's digital, so noise isn't an issue, and you can boost the levels in the mixdown.

    So, bottom line? It makes great sounding live recordings! It's a keeper!

  • from Michigan October 20, 2016

    perfect for Live Band

    I'v had this about 4 years now.. and I'm still incredibly satisfied.. 3 AA Batteries recording 16bit wave files you get about 12+ hours of life.. I record every practice.. every gig.. Mounts on a tripod (basic camera size screw) I found the right size thread bolt, and mount my recorder to a Clamp.. Clip it to the Ceiling about 20 feet away from the stage.. And it turns out perfect every time. When I first started using it I would open the mic's to Stereo. this was great until I kept them closed one time to test the diffrence.. It made a lot of difference when mixing down the recording,, XY is way better and easier, closer to the same levels, time, and quality....
    This is also pretty dependable.. I have dropped it several times.. had it clamped to a garage door and someone opened the door and wedged it in the door pretty bad, and did not hurt anything (got lucky) It has seriously been used 3 or 400 hours, and I still like it and depend on it every week at practice or a show..
    The speaker sucks, The playback features kinda suck.. but this stuff is never used anyways.. I turn up the record level to half way up, push record, clamp it to the ceiling, and let it go until the end of the show. It auto adjusts the level from the first few loud noises and peaks, then it stays at that level the rest of the night.. it records an hour and 41 minutes, then starts a new seamless track. you have to put them together later in your mastering software if you don't want to start and stop each set or track..
    Im sure there is newer, better, higher quality.. But this one works.. Lasts... and reliable battery life if your using the on-board mic's ...

  • from Alabama July 25, 2016

    TASCAM DR-40


  • from Foley, Alabama January 20, 2016Music Background:
    Southern Gospel Song Leader

    Worth Every Dime

    This is the second Tascam DR-40 Handheld Recorder I have purchased from Sweetwater. I gave one to a friend. We both enjoy the sound quality and all of the extras it provides. You need to get one for yourself and get another one for a friend.

  • from mt January 6, 2016Music Background:


    very satisfied after learning use the unit. it was not intended for my application -talk radio listening - but is very capable and rugged. i have dropped it several times without damage and couldn't live without the tone corrected fast play. complaints are 1)won't play 16 and 32 bit internet downloads 2) momentary use of ff or on buttons causes loss of place and/or program 3) frequent rechargeable battery changes. the speaker is adequate and i would recommend this unit.

  • from United States August 30, 2013

    Tascam DR-40

    Fine like April wine. The only thing I wish it had that it doesn't is
    a built-in click track. If it had that it would have everything I need.
    But that's OK would still recommend it.

  • from Brunswick, ME November 5, 2012Music Background:
    Consultant in Acoustics, Pro Musician, Engineer.

    High quality

    I use the DR-40 for instrumentation recordings of environmental noise from industrial equipment. The internal microphones are not suitable for this work. However the external line inputs are clean and quiet and well matched to the outputs from my instrumentation. The controls are well designed. The battery life is excellent, and the AA batteries are easy to replace. DR-40 settings are retained during bettery replacement.

    The internal microphones sound very good, but are sensitive to handling and wind noise. So they could be used for interior or no-wind conditions, if supported on a tripod or placed on a small mat or cloth.

    The optional remote is essential to eliminate handling noise when using the internal microphones.

  • from Maryland July 10, 2012Music Background:
    Singer and voice artist

    DR 40

    Still learning how to work it. Could use a little help. Maybe 5 star after I'm more familiar with it.

  • from Mexico March 6, 2012Music Background:
    Professional Video


    Very easy to operate
    Lock XLR connections are perfect

  • from Milford, CT January 27, 2012Music Background:

    Nice, portable piece of equipment

    Fairly user friendly, does everything it say it will do. compact and portable. It is also nice it uses common batteries and not some crazy hard to find you.

  • from Wash DC December 29, 2011Music Background:
    Musician / Song Writer

    Great Functionality

    Received my DR40 this am - and within a few minutes had it up and recording. Controls nicely laid out - overall a very intuitive interface. Only had to look at the manual to figure out how to turn it on. ;')

    Have not used it with external mics yet - and have only played it back through my Jawbone Jambox - but over sound is very good.

    Mostly I plan to use it for recording song ideas, melodies, riffs, lyrics, etc. So for that purpose I am very pleased with its functionality & performance. Not having to fire up the studio to capture some ideas is a very convenient.

    Over all a nice portable recorder for the money.

  • from Upstate New York December 6, 2011Music Background:
    independent radio producer

    outstanding field recorder for the price

    Bought this as a back-up to bigger field recording gear but it's fast becoming my main machine. Sounds great with condenser mics, but not so with dynamics. Easy to use. Downside: no easy way to hold it: got to have it in the left hand, fishpole or hand-held mic in the right. A bit awkward. Wish they'd thought to have a way to have a shoulder strap.

  • from Ossining, NY November 21, 2011

    great portable recorder

    Easy to use, adequate controls & the built-in mics are surprisingly good. This will primarily be used for recording guitar in remote locations, getting samples of ambient sounds & also for an oral history project

  • from Louisiana March 15, 2017

    TASCAM DR-40

    I'm sure the recorder is capable of doing what it says it will, but the manual only tells you what everything is and does. There are different setting but nothing tells you witch one to use when your recording different ways...just thru top mics, mics off with line from sound board only, record on one channel and dub over on the other. There needs to be diagrams for each different way you wish to record and the settings that apply for each one.

  • from Wisconsin December 6, 2016Music Background:

    good stuff

    Just getting acquainted with this recorder. So far just used it to record live gigs and sounds pretty good

  • from July 7, 2015

    should have spent more money elsewhere

    Does an adequate job of recording; beware with recordings over 15 minutes, my recorder does not shut down/turn off...need to take out the batteries to do that...alas! the entire recording is on the sd card. my own fault, I should have used external mikes...even in a small room get a certain amount of a cavern sound...I will spare the story, but had a 25 dollar cassette tape recorder with a 15 dollar external floor condenser mike that made better recordings...the bright spot is it is very portable..

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