Edirol R-09 review: Edirol R-09

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.7
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Edirol R-09 is a pocket-size portable audio recorder that offers built-in stereo microphones, 24-bit audio resolution, direct-to-MP3 encoding, expandable SD flash memory, and automatic gain control.

The Bad The Edirol R-09 lacks advanced features such as audio editing, file bookmarking, and 96KHz recording. The screen is small and hard to see in direct sunlight.

The Bottom Line The Edirol R-09 isn't perfect, but what it lacks in features, it makes up in its small size and rich recording detail.

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The Edirol R-09 handheld audio recorder ($399) is designed primarily for the needs of musicians and songwriters who want a simple, all-in-one gadget for capturing recordings of their performances and song ideas. Its compact size, outstanding sound quality, and affordable price make the Edirol R-09 equally well-suited for less glamorous applications such as recording interviews, mobile reporting, and field recording.

Measuring 4 inches tall by 2.5 inches wide by 1 inch deep, the Edirol R-09 is one of the smallest high-end portable audio recorders available. The top edges of the Edirol R-09 include a pair of stereo condenser microphones covered behind a rugged perforated metal grate. Also found on the top of the R-09 are two 3.5mm jacks for an external microphone input and line-input, as well as a loophole for a lanyard or wrist strap (not included).

The face of the Edirol R-09 is designed with a small 1.2-inch backlit monochrome screen on the top half, and navigation and playback controls on the bottom. The navigation and playback section of the Edirol R-09 is comprised of a four-way direction pad with an illuminated center record button, and three smaller buttons above the pad which that are used for accessing the menu, activating reverb effects, and creating repeating audio loops.

On the right side of the Edirol R-09 you'll find a hold switch, a headphone volume control, and a 3.5mm headphone jack that doubles as an optical audio output. The R-09's left side includes buttons for power and recording level adjustment, as well as a power adapter input jack. The back of the R-09 features four small switches for features we're happy aren't buried in menus, including automatic gain control, mono/stereo microphone type, low-frequency filter, and low/high microphone sensitivity.

A door on the bottom of the Edirol R-09 slides back to reveal the SD memory slot and mini USB connection. Pulling the door forward uncovers a compartment for two AA batteries.

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Where to Buy

Edirol R-09 MP3 Player and Recorder (SD Memory, white)

Part Number: R-09W Released: Jun 1, 2006
Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications

  • Release date Jun 1, 2006