Edirol R-09HR review: Edirol R-09HR

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good The Edirol R-09HR audio recorder is built with a top-notch stereo microphone, a wide range of recording resolutions, SDHC memory support, a remote control, and an intuitive user interface.

The Bad The Edirol R-09HR is slightly larger than its predecessor, difficult to use in the dark, and lacks a tripod mount.

The Bottom Line If you want a high-quality audio recorder that fits in your pocket, the Edirol R-09HR can't be beat.

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When Edirol introduced the original R-09 in 2006, it was one of the smallest, lightest, high-quality stereo audio recorders made with swappable SD flash memory. In the wake of the R-09 came many handheld audio recorders boasting slimmer designs, enhanced features, and lower prices. To keep pace, Edirol has come back swinging with the impressive R-09HR ($450), which boasts an improved design, higher-resolution recording modes, and a larger memory capacity.

The R-09HR isn't the slimmest or lightest high-end recorder on the market these days. In fact, it's slightly longer and thicker than the original R-09. The R-09HR is still small enough to fit in your pocket, however, which is a major advantage over its closest competitor in sound quality: the Sony PCM-D50.

At first glance it's hard to see the differences between the R-09HR and its predecessor, but plenty of little improvements have been made. For instance, an upgraded rubberized exterior now allows the R-09HR improved sound isolation when placed down on its front or back. Also, the once indistinguishable black buttons lining the sides of the R-09 have now been labeled in white lettering, and a few buttons, switches, and ports have been rearranged for better ergonomics. Two of the most notable changes since the original R-09 are a larger screen and a more easily accessible battery compartment.

One thing that hasn't changed on the Edirol R-09HR, is its straightforward interface and large, illuminated record button. If a bright red record button attracts more attention than you'd like, however, you can set the button's backlight to automatically switch off during recording. The Edirol R-09HR's onscreen interface is intuitive and uncluttered, with a responsive meter and a legible indications of playback time, remaining recording time, and battery life. We still feel that the small black buttons used for volume and microphone levels make the R-09HR difficult to operate in a dark club or at night, but the new larger screen helps considerably.

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Where to Buy

Edirol R-09HR

Part Number: R-09HR

Pricing is currently unavailable.

Quick Specifications See All

  • Built-in Display LED
  • Color Black
  • Sound Output Mode Stereo
  • Type Digital voice recorder with radio
About The Author

Donald Bell has spent more than five years as a CNET senior editor, reviewing everything from MP3 players to the first three generations of the Apple iPad. He currently devotes his time to producing How To content for CNET, as well as weekly episodes of CNET's Top 5 video series.