Roland Edirol R-09 Digital Recorder Review

A sound recorder may be a strange product to feature...

by Phil Hinton
Home AV Review


Roland Edirol R-09 Digital Recorder Review
MSRP: £299.00

With MP3 the new audio format of choice it was only a matter of time before the old tape based dicta-phones of the past would be replaced with the latest technology. The R-09 is pitched as the best hand-held recorder on the market and is no bigger than a packet of cigarettes at 62mm x 102mm x 29mm (W x D x H) and weighs in at just 6oz including the SD card and Batteries! The unit uses SD card to record material in a variety of formats and sample rates, with card sizes up to 2GB. Using the largest of each file size, such as WAV at 24bit 44.1khz you will get a return of 110 minutes recording time. With MP3 at 320kbps you get 797 minutes of record time which for such a small handheld unit is excellent.

The unit runs on two AA size batteries and boasts 12 hours of constant use, plus it can also be powered by USB from a laptop or PC, or using the included AC power socket, although these options cut down on the portability of the unit.

The R-09 has a number of input jacks as you would expect on a professional device, it has a built in stereo microphone as well as easy to use front panel controls. External inputs include a stereo microphone jack and a line in jack. Outputs also include stereo headphones, optical jack and a stereo jack as well as a USB port.

Overall impressions of the layout and flexibility are positive, however the actual unit is made from plastic and it certainly feels as such. I don’t know how such a portable device will stand up to falling from your pocket onto the ground, but without the optional leather carry case, I would surmise that the tarmac would win. Saying all that, switching the unit on brings up an excellent, easily visible display which gives the user all the important information they need. The menu system is intuitive and easy to use for anyone used to an everyday mobile phone or gadget these days and basic set up takes a matter of minutes. The input jacks are rugged and I would imagine are strong enough to take the kind of punishment they would be subjected to when using external components.


Roland Edirol R-09 Digital Recorder Review

It is hard to get too in-depth with a product like the R-09; you see it does what it does with efficient ease. It sounds good, looks good and fits in the pocket like no other professional recorder I have used. As a production tool for broadcast it probably falls just short in terms of sound quality, but as an office tool or something to use to capture a live event it works brilliantly with no resonance issues with handling and a fine sound quality that will suit the vast majority of end users.

If you are looking for a mobile recorder with everything you could possibly need to achieve your end goals, the R-09 is a fine, small and technically sound unit that will do your projects the justice they deserve – recommended.



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