Roland is a renowned audio device manufacturer over the years and Roland R-05 is one of their more affordable offerings that function as a portable recorder. It is targeted mostly at semi-enthusiast and beginner musician who just want to record great sound on-the-go. We will take a look at this small beast if its worth your time or bucks to get it by Christmas XD
(this review is written with excessive care to avoid any errors, however, there might still be some appearing due to human error)
Roland sells R-05 in a professionally designed box that tells you that it is a premium product. The box cover art is simple but sleek, with the device model taking centre position and big fonts from the logo and the ‘WAVE/MP3 RECORDER’ statement.
At the back, it prints out the features of this powerful small recording device and several of its button and port’s explanation. It is the manual physically and it tells you what each does at a glance. This proves useful when you have the box nearby but thankfully they include a proper manual as well. Other thing that is included is a very cheap-looking and barely decent quality wind muffler.
They also include the needed USB cables and a free 4Gb SD card!
Build quality is just great, simple as that. The silver rim is a sleek brushed metal that screams quality materials. For the black rims by the side, it has a slight rubbery texture for easier holding. I love how the buttons are not flimsy, easy to click and produces a satisfying depth and just enough force to push. They are also fairly spaced out and the names are easy to read.
The microphones part are of equally good quality with Roland sparing no expense in making sure they are the main point of you buying this device. It is safe to say you will not be disappointed with this device when you hold it, as you are assured of its quality.
*for recording quality example, click here, where I used just the condenser mic for the whole duration of the video.
Roland R-05 is just filled with functions. First of all it can record to a maximum of 24bit 96 kHz linear PCM high-resolution, which is more than sufficient for the audience target that Roland intended. It is powered by a pair of AA battery which can last around 16 hours for continuous use. In my experience, this can last for weeks or even months if you don’t use it consistently. Roland R-05 can also be DC-powered through the provided adapter for longer recording. Finally it includes the usual dial/slider for mic gain, limiter and low cut. It does not really provide the 48v phantom power but it doesn’t need to as it lacks XLR inputs. Instead, Roland provides something called Plug-in power which is used for smaller microphones with 3.5mm jack. There is only 1 microphone and headphone input at the top. The name for each can be hard to read as they are black, the same colour around the black rubberised rim it is printed on, so do be careful.
The above professional-grade stereo condenser microphone works as intended and it records great quality sound indeed. I have used it with Rode Lav mic, Roland CS-10EM, Tascam 2X and its own condenser microphone itself. Suffice to say, the recorded sound is just what I expected and sometimes it exceeds my expectation, especially in favourable recording condition. Most of the time I just put it on a table or use a small tripod to mount it before I starts recording. Its condenser microphone is more than sufficient for daily usage that is semi-professional, and you can always plug it to a specialised microphone depending on your needs. You can then connect Roland R-05 to pc/mac through the provided cable to save you time from ejecting the SD card.
Roland R-05 also allows on-board sound editing, which seems convenient but I have never used it before and just prefers to do it with my Macbook, but it’s good to know of this useful feature.
Categories: Products Review