CNET First Look
Korg MR-1Given the Korg MR-1's high price and poor suitability for the rigors of mobile recording, we recommend it only to discriminating audio archivists willing to accept practical limitations for increased recording resolution.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, Senior editor for Digital Audio and MP3, and today we're taking a First Look at the Korg MR-1 mobile audio recorder. The MR-1 retails for around $899. It's expensive, but really cool mobile audio recorder and it does super high-definition audio recordings. That's really its only claim to fame. Compared to other mobile audio recorders that are much less expensive, the MR-1 doesn't have a lot of features going for it. You can think of the MR-1 as a camera that can take raw image files. The audio equivalent of that is called DSD or 1-bit digital audio recordings. You can have one master recording that you can later dam down to formats like wav or MP3. Of course the price you're paying in order to have that feature is incredibly high. If you just wanted to have a device that you can take out and make recordings of nature sounds, and make recordings of concerts, the MR-1 is not gonna be best option for you for a lot of different reasons. First and foremost is that its battery life is pretty poor. They caps at around 2 hours. So far the recharge time is about twice of what the recording time is, so it takes about 3 to 4 hours just to charge this thing up. Charging happens using a required power adaptor that is larger than the MR-1. The included microphone that uses two mono microphone inputs that aren't the easiest kind of things to adapt for we're used to seeing a stereo, mini-jack plug instead of this two mono-plugs and the microphone itself is this little clip-on condenser mike, that when we tested it the recording quality of this was decent if you didn't move it around at all, but it picked up a lot of noise. With the MR-1, you get the USB cable for transferring recordings from the MR-1 to your computer, you have a leather case and you get this weird little stand and you can mount it on to a camera or you can keep it on your desk. So, what we liked about the Korg MR-1 is that it has fantastic audio resolution. The downsides of course are that it's really expensive, has 20-Gigabyts of capacity that you can expand on, it's hard drive based, which means that it's fragile especially for a mobile device and the included microphone isn't of the best quality and a lot of these devices that we are seeing and we're comparing this against have included microphones that are a lot easier to take around with you. Overall if you're really into archiving audio at the highest possible resolution, the MR-1 is gonna be an okay buy for you, but for everyone else, it's too expensive and not a great value. I'm Donald Bell, and that was a First Look at the Korg MR-1 portable audio recorder. ^M00:02:34 [ Music ]