Portable Room Recorders – How do they compare?

By Pat Brown

Pat Brown compares four portable room recorders that are suitable for Room Impulse Response collection.  The data is posted in this article.

Since the article on personal media players last issue, I have had a number of requests to repeat it for portable recorders that are suitable for Room Impulse Response (RIR) collection. This is a much shorter list, and the criteria is much simpler – it either works or it doesn’t.

Following are the units that I have found to be suitable for this purpose, along with a few pros and cons on each.

Remember that some of the “cons” can also be “pros.” While internal mics are convenient, external mics are more versatile. “Expensive” means relative to the other offerings. The large element of the Flashmic is not a problem for general acoustical site survey work.

All of these devices are small enough to reside in your computer bag, so they will likely be with you when you need them. Combined with an Ipod and Gratisvolver they provide and effective way to get the RIR when a full-blown measurement platform is impractical. pb

Chart showing the Portable Room Recorders and the data from the tests