Tascam DR-08 vs. Zoom H1 – Portable Audio Showdown

Tascam DR-08 on Sale

The Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Recorder is designed to target the same audience as the Zoom H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder. In fact many of the audio specs and recording features are dead on to the function of the Zoom H1 recorder. Even though the Tascam DR-08 was announced and released earlier than the Zoom H1, I doubt it ever really 'took off' as quickly with DSLR video shooters for a few reasons. Zoom already had a huge foot in the door from the H4n multi track recorder. DSLR users spread word of this inexpensive quality recorder and it quickly became the standard. Besides the lack of marketing into DSLR video the Higher pricing possibly played a rold in holding Tascam back from exploding as quickly as Samson's Zoom.


The recent announcement of the Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Recorder
was almost invisible to the DSLR market. The estimated street price of $200 or higher for something so tiny and less functional than the Zoom H4n didn't make much sense to DSLR shooters. The reason this article is being posted now is the recent drop in pricing over at Amazon. This Tascam DR-08 Portable Digital Recorder is now available for $135.00 getting the pricing closer to it's Zoom H1 competitor.


Besides the slim profile which would make this a more suitable 'in pocket' audio recorder to replace wireless setups, there's also more flexibility to the microphone positions than that of the Zoom H1 giving it the ability to lay flat on the table and still target your subject. The Tascam does require more batteries than the Zoom H1, but i'm more interested in the build quality and relative size comparison against the Zoom H1. For $200+ dollars the pricing on this portable audio recorder would be a huge deal breaker. Now that pricing is coming in at the new $135.00, just slightly over the Zoom H1's $99.00 dollars, i'm curious if the extra $35 dollars is worth the upgrade. If you're interested too, I'll have the Tascam DR-08 vs Zoom H1 Portable Audio Recorder side by side comparison later this week.

Here's the link to purchase: Buy Tascam DR-08 Portable Audio Recorder on Sale

17 thoughts on “Tascam DR-08 vs. Zoom H1 – Portable Audio Showdown

  1. Colin

    I decided on the Tascam DR-03 and also purchased the WS-DR08 windscreen set. As I had suspected the main foam screen does fit. It goes over the size of the body perfectly, and has to be stretched just a little bit to go over the protruding microphones in the upper corners.

    The small foam balls were made for the DR-08's microphones when spread apart. They sit on the DR-03's microphones, but don't really slide into place and stay there on their own. I suppose they could be rubber banded or something. I think I will come up with another use for them though, such as covering the DSLR body microphone. Or if you have another suggestion, post it up!

  2. Colin

    I am in the market for a portable recorder for my D3100. I am considering the Tascam DR-03, DR-08, and the Zoom H-1. I've read some reviews and the DR-08 has the shortest battery life of the three, so that is likely out. I will likely choose the DR-03 for it's price.

    Has anyone tried to use the larger windscreen from the WS-DR08 on the DR-03? It seems like it would fit.

  3. audiophile

    I just got the Tascam DR-03 for 80 dollars/shipping included. It can record 24-bit 44.1 kHz WAV and some other formats of WAV or MP3. The recording quality is good and the other recording/playback features are great... too many to list. It comes with a 2GB card. People are silly to overlook this contender.

  4. I have an H1, and audio quality is decent. It doesn't take well to handling, though, so running a mic through the line in works well. Rode VideoMic and the H1 make a nice combination.

    Putting the H1 in/on some kind of shock mount and adding a wind muff would be high on my list of priorities if I planned to handhold the H1 w/o an external mic.

    Oh, and no battery draining issues here. Now I just gotta get me some bigger memory cards - er, smaller, higher capacity cards... wish the H1 used standard SD/SDHC cards, I'd even be okay with a slightly larger form factor.

  5. Hi. I've recently bought the zoom h1 and while I like it there is a serious fault on mine and others with the battery draining overnight. Please check this on your model and see if it happens. I don't know why the battery does drain down when not used but it seems a fault with the product.

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  10. Jeremy

    Tascam makes a fine product. I have the DR-07 and am more than happy with it. My only minor gripe is that it only does 48kHz, but really, for what I need that's plenty.

    Tascam just needs to market themselves better.

  11. Sovey

    I actually used this on a shoot when I didn't bring my audio gear. I was taking pictures with my 550D at a Media College of their graduates. The images are to be used in a motion graphics animation video to introduce the graduates at the ceremony. They sprung on me some filming opportunities of the grads and I have done video for them before so they thought it was no problem. But I only brought photo equipment. So they loaned me Tascam DR-08 from there audio program's gear. [They offer a recording degree] It worked in a pinch, although I wasn't as comfortable not having the H4N.

  12. I will give it a try,
    sorry to say but I'm not very happy with the zoom h1,
    i put it side by side with an Olympus ws-400s,
    and shocking enough i end up using the track of the Olympus,
    returning it tomorrow...

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