TASCAM DR-40 Handheld 4-Track Recorder (Discontinued in North America)


88 out of 100. Incorporating 1600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

TASCAM DR-40 Handheld 4-Track Recorder
TASCAM DR-40 Handheld 4-Track Recorder

The TASCAM DR-40 is a solid handheld recorder that offers 4-track recording and adjustable microphones, its internal mics are adjustable from XY to AB position.

While the two XY built in microphones are positioned close together at a 90 degree angle, the built-in AB position is when the microphone's configuration pans in left or right to capture the stereo image of audio recordings.

The microphone preamps have phantom power so you can use it with external condenser mics.

The recorder itself has extra features such as EQ, reverb, optional level align and a chromatic tuner.


  • Inputs: 2 XLR/TRS (stereo) combo jack
  • Outputs: 1 Line out 1/8" stereo jack
  • Built-in Mic: Unidirectional, stereo (Possible to switch between A-B/X-Y positions)
  • Recording/Playback Format: WAV, BWF, MP3
  • Simultaneous Recording/Playback 4-channel (2 Stereo)
  • Storage capacity: Comes with 2GB microSD; Expandable to 128GB
  • Power Requirements: 3 AA batteries (Alkaline or Ni-MH batteries), USB (Optional AC adapter)
  • Battery Life: 17 - 20.5 hours
  • Weight: 7.51oz.
  • Dimensions: 2.76" (W) x 6.10"(H)x 1.38"(D)


As many users have pointed out, it is one of the few good quality recorders with XLR inputs at an affordable price. Many of them found its phantom power to be very helpful when recording better audio quality with external mics. The menu is easy to navigate and many people say its dual track recording is one of the best features it has. Its microphones have comparable quality to more expensive counterparts and many say it does the job when it comes to recording high quality audio. Its 4-track recording feature is well regarded, in his Sound on Sound review Tom Flint said, "Although the D40 is, first and foremost, a stand-alone stereo recording device, when it's fitted with external mics it performs four-track recording effortlessly."


Some reviewers mention its built-speakers are a bit mediocre and unable to replicate the audio recordings faithfully unless transferred to a computer. Some thought the plastic casing felt flimsy saying the recorder picks up handling noises. A few people report that it has noisy preamps meaning that when you turn the gain right up you get noise issues.


The DR-40 has been disconintued so we suggest you look at the alternatives we recommend in our guide to The Highest Rated Handheld Recorders.


Quick comments:

Quick comments:

- Great unit! I use it to copy analog recordings from various sources into the digital domain.

- There is only ONE teeny-tiny (size of a dime) speaker located on the rear of the unit. It only value is to perform a quick sanity check on what you recorded. You can always plug in a stereo headphone and listen to the playback.

- Plastic case feels solid, not flimsy.

- Yes, hand-held recordings will pick up handling noise, just as with any hand-held mic.

- The DR-40 has a standard 1/4" thread camera tripod mount. Use this configuration when recording live.

I am a long-time TEAC and TASCAM user.