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Tascam DR-03 Solid State Recorder   

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The DR-03 Solid State Recorder packs 24-bit recording with built-in stereo mics into a package smaller than an energy bar. The DR-03 records to micro...Click To Read More About This Product

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A compact recorder ideal for traveling musicians and songwriters.

The DR-03 Solid State Recorder packs 24-bit recording with built-in stereo mics into a package smaller than an energy bar. The DR-03 records to microSD media and a 2GB card is included to start capturing audio right away. Like the rest of TASCAM's best-selling portable recorders, the DR-03 features playback functions like looping and Variable Speed Audition to slow down music without changing the pitch. It's designed for low handling noise when recording handheld during concerts or interviews.

  • Stereo condenser microphone design
  • Up to 48kHz/24-bit WAV recording or MP3 recording modes
  • Records to microSD media
  • Auto-recording function starts when input exceeds a reference level
  • Limiter, low-cut filter and auto gain control for input
  • Variable Speed Audition changes the playback speed without changing the pitch
  • Loop playback mode
  • USB 2.0 connection for file transfer
  • 1/8" stereo microphone/line input
  • 1/8" stereo headphone output
  • 96x96 backlit LCD display
  • Powered by two AAA batteries or USB bus power
  • Built-in speaker
  • Built-in desktop stand
  • Includes 2GB microSD card and AAA batteries

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews

(based on 21 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



  • 4 Stars



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  • 2 Stars



  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Best bang for your $ out there!

This is the best hand-held digital recorder for your money that's available, and I suspect it will remain so for quite some time. Its size makes it extremely easy to carry, and its...Read complete review

This is the best hand-held digital recorder for your money that's available, and I suspect it will remain so for quite some time. Its size makes it extremely easy to carry, and its straightforward functionality render this little puppy one of the best of the best. Of course, if you want XLR ports and are willing to pay twice as much, then go ahead, but I'd recommend that you stay within Tascam's line of hand-held recorders. And for slightly more, Tascam's DR-07 has a strategically placed standard size mount for screwing the DR-07 onto a mic stand, which the DR-03 lacks; however the DR-03 has a pretty cool flip-down stand that allows you to prop it up on a flat surface. With Tascam portable recorders, you get what you pay for, but with the DR-03, I believe you get a great deal more than what you pay for, especially if you buy it as "Stupid Deal of the Day" as I did. In fact, I also bought the DR-07 for my son and his band when a similar "Stupid Deal" offer came around on Musicians Friend. Personally, I prefer the DR-03 because of its size and ease of use. Don't let the plastic feel and extremely light weight of this recorder fool you as far as build quality goes. I've dropped mine several times and it continues to work as well as the day I received it from Musicians Friend. You just can't go wrong with this recorder, and it will fit the needs of numerous venues, such as lectures, public speaking, band practice sessions, interviews (which is what I primarily use it for), and other occasions that do not require professional audio recordings. For much more serious field recorders, I also own Tascam's HD-P2 portable stereo recorder, which is excellent for professional audio recording, especially when syncing it to a videorecorder at the same time, but it also costs about 15 times more. I bought the HD-P2 a few years ago, so I was already convinced of Tascam's build quality long before I bought this little DR-03.RBurns


Most Liked Negative Review


Breaks up

Bought to record live Band for personal review, not enough control over recording,,, would be a nice for personal notes ect,,, not good for live sound recording.

Bought to record live Band for personal review, not enough control over recording,,, would be a nice for personal notes ect,,, not good for live sound recording.

Reviewed by 21 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


My quick Idea Storage Tool

By The Pepperman

from Up State NY

Ask me a question

I have a complete home recording studio with Logic on an Apple Computer system. This sets the stage for the DR03. Ideas come from anyplace anytime. The DR-03 captures ideas fast and clear. No messing around with connections mics, wires or controls. Turn on and press record, hit stop when finished. Instantly record with automatic everything I need. However if you like to tinker there are manual adjustments. Connects to my computers by usb port. Moving or deleting takes are easy. The DR03 uses a numbering system to name recordings. Some people have experienced noise. I use both Apple laptop and Imac with no noise of any kind. I have not used a PC.Easly carried in a pocket and ready to record from battery power anytime. I use classical guitar while writing and arranging. Also handles my keyboard on the low volume setting. Finally can be used as a memory stick for transporting you music wav or mp3.
Most features are covered by manufactures web page. The unit is small like a tv remote. Aprox. 5" long 2" wide 1/2 "thick. Lay out is easy to see and use. Fits in my pocket. Would like a case with it. The date needs to be set before recording. Records stereo with 2 on screen bars showing the volume levels. The record button has a red led when recording. The screen is clean easy to read. The speaker has to be held next to my ear to hear the take. I use head phones. The sound at the head phones is ok. Playing throuh my studio system is very impressive. I am amazed how clearly it records while knocking down back ground noise. A clean raw real deal recording. A great device for quick on the spot audio recording. This is a tool for quickly saving ideas, stopping the loss of the great stuff
Feels like plastic and metal. The screen looks like soft plactic time will tell if it scraches.
If the speaker was better I would give it a 10

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Roger Wood

By Roger Wood

from Portsmouth, New Hampshire

The unit is easy to operate, handle, and transfer files to audio programs. So far, I have no complaints about any aspect of the device. I would certainly recommend the DR-05. They both have longer battery lives than the Zooms that I have owned.
The DR-03 is an incredible companion to the DR-05, which I also own. Recorded an interview in .wav, with the onboard microphone, and it was broadcast quality. If the battery life matches the DR-05, it will be a home run for Tascam and Musician's Friend.
For a small machine, this one seems to be solidly built. As a broadcast journalist, it could get a little rough handling out there. But I'm very careful with my equipment, and I think it will survive very well.
I bought the machine from Musician's Friend at a great discount from the original price, which is still a bargain in my opinion.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)


cheap price for a great little recorder

By Ron Barnes

from Broken Arrow, Ok

All the complaints so far is it should have been built with an ac/adapter plug...other than that you cant go wrong buying this recorder
I was amazed at the sound this little machine produces........acoustic guitar sounded very nice
Seems to be very well built
great deal

(3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Tascam DR-03

Overall, it's a sweet little unit as is, but upgrade the memory card to an 8GB or higher and get some rechargable batteries and the DR-03 is pretty awesome at easily recording a variety of venues.
For a hand-held device, it has all the features required for good recordings.
It seems sort of fragile at first glance, but it is actually very well built and fairly durable.
As compared to other recording options available, the DR-03 is a great value.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Tascam DR-03 Best in Price Band

By Mike Ward

from Arkansas

I love this little unit. Tascam seems to always put out top quality products and they haven't failed on this one.
I would have given this unit a 10 if it had been rechargable instead of battery powered. For its size, the quality is amazing. It is very easy to use. You can start another track by simply pressing the record button again. It is very functional and has excellent recording quality. Remember, we're looking at a unit that at a lower price. I don't bother with the playback speaker that is supplied, but it's there if you need it. It's suprisingly quiet when handheld but works best in flat surface. If you're using it for meetings, try to isolate it from the conference table because table noise may impact your recordings. That's not the fault of the DR-03. I sat it on a chair at the front of an auditorium and recorded a speaker who was twenty feet away and it picked him up clearly.
Built solidly. It's light because it's very small. I carry it in my shirt pocket when I have one. Have had it for not quite a year and it's not showing any signs of failure or erosion in sound quality.
It's perfect for my needs. I use it for music, meetings and YouTube sound tracks.

(8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)


Digital whine on bus power

By David J Murphy

from Undisclosed

If you have read my review 2 notes below saying "Good recorder but noisy" I mentioned a digital whine that I hadn't located. Now I have found it. The digital noise occurs when you are recording while using USB bus power to power the Tascam unit, at least on mine. If you unplug the USB power and record using only batteries the glitch/whine goes away. Other than that there is just a mild self-noise hiss like a tape which is more or less tolerable. Also some settings will not save if you set them and just click "Home." instead you have to click "Back" until you're at the home screen, then the settings will stick.

(7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)


Cool device

By Cadillac Jack

from Sacramento, Ca.

It does everything I expected it to do. I just wish it had an AC adaptor hook up to save on Battery's.
Cheap Batterys dont last long and sometimes it shuts off before were done with a song. But overall,
it works great and records well to MP3 format. Easy to use, just read the manual, it's all there for regular musician thats used to tinkering with all kings of gadgets.
This thing is easy to use for recording your band at rehearsal to prove to your singer that pitchy is an understatement...
Owned it now for several months and it works great. Dropped it on the carpet a couple times and didn't hurt it a bit. Pretty solid lil' guy.
Worth every penny. Beats other more expensive units with simular sound quality.

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)


Good recorder but noisy

By David J Murphy

from Undisclosed

Good price on a sweet little product with cool features. A stereo line in gives you two tracks to add to whatever setup you already have and USB to transfer it (bus power is useful too so you're not burning through AAA's as fast). Trouble is there is a hiss on all the recordings about the level of a consumer grade analog tape. Hiss is identical whether line in is plugged in or not so it's not my source. Sometimes there is a digital whine in there too though I can't seem to identify the cause of this yet. Overall I would NOT use it for archival recording, I would find something better--or just buy another 8 channel interface to add to my current one and be done with it--but it is good to have on hand to grab the unexpected recording/rehearsal since it is so freaking small and easy to carry around. Quick grabs is what I bought it for. I was hoping it would make clean recordings but sadly they are noisy.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


Excellent and simple

By rickster1

from Great Lakes State

I bought it, put in a battery, looked at the manual, just how to turn it on. Hit record without any adjustments and recorded my first song, a solo acoustic guitar and voice. Placement of the recorder was level with the guitar about 2-3 feet away. I listened to the playback on the built in speaker, a nice feature, just so you know you put it to your ear like a cell phone because it's not made to put out allot of volume. I then plugged in the supplied usb cable to my laptop and burned the song onto a cd. In a total of less than 10 minutes I made a cd with amazing quality and was listening to it on my home stereo. Clear clean sound was well balanced. I hate screwing with equipment, it seems I never really learn or remember how to use most electronics because they are too damn complicated. I want to make music not become an engineer. This recorder requires next to no skill to operate and exceded my expectations by a long shot.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Great little (tiny?) recorder

By Ted Wagner

from Chicagoland

I really like this recorder, with a few caveats. First, and most important, the recordings are very clear and clean sounding. That is, once you get the volume tweaked just right, as it is easy to oversaturate, and then a solo acoustic guitar sounds like it's playing thru a cheap fuzz tone. Also, this recorder really likes to devour batteries. If you plan on recording a booking, plan on bringing along about 2 AAA batteries per hour of recording time.

I've recorded solo acoustic, as well as live bands with my DR-03. Using it as a sketch pad of sorts as a songwriting tool, this is really a nice piece," since it is so small and easy to use. I keep it in the ""junk bin"" of the hard shell case", so it's very convenient. With a live band, it is a bit touchy on the input volume level, but it makes nice stereo recordings that give you a pretty good idea how that rehearsal or gig sounded, once you get the level correct.

This is not a professional-type recorder, but then, for the money, I think it's very hard to beat. Not perfect, but a very nice tool for a reasonable price.

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