The Tascam DR-10L Pro is an unclippable 32-bit float personal audio recorder
Tascam has announced an update to its popular DR-10L (buy here) personal field recorder. The new DR-10L Pro (buy here) is largely identical in features to its non-Pro counterpart but with the addition of 32-Bit float support.
That’s not the only new feature, though. It also has timecode support through an optional Bluetooth adapter, increased microSD card capacity and longer battery life. Its button interface layout has also seen something of a refresh.
The original Tascam DR-10L was released way back in 2016. One could say that it’s long overdue for an update, but it also stands as a testament to how good the unit already was and how popular it’s been. The new Pro model update brings some welcome changes, though.
Hands on with the Tascam DR-10L at IBC 2023
Tascam DR-10L Pro – 32-bit Float Audio
The headline feature wit the Tascam DR-10L Pro is clearly 32-bit float audio. This increase in dynamic range essentially makes your recordings unclippable. It captures everything from the quietest pin drops to the loudest rocket launch explosions.
It means you can throw it onto any subject without having to worry about the volume of their voice. And if you’re recording a quietly spoken person with a very loud laugh or the occasional cough, sneeze or other bodily outburst, you don’t have to worry about the signal clipping out.
It should be made clear at this point that the Tascam DR-10L Pro is only a recorder. It does not offer any wireless transmission capabilities like the Rode Wireless GO II (buy here) or the recently released Hollyland Lark Max (buy here).
So, if you need wireless transmission, remote monitoring and audio recorded directly into your video footage, you should look at one of those. Of course, those devices don’t offer any 32-bit recording capabilities. And with 32-bit recording, monitoring isn’t always as essential.
There is a headphone output if you need it, though. This lets you check the position of the microphone to ensure it’s best placed. It also lets you listen to your recordings directly from the device without having to copy them to a computer.
The Tascam DR-10L Pro comes with timecode support. It’s not in there by default, though. It comes as part of an optional Bluetooth add-on module. The module adds $39 to the unit’s price, but lets you control it from your smartphone and allows you to sync up to five units together for recording multiple subjects.
The app lets you name each of your devices for easier identification during configuration. So, if you’re covering something like a wedding, you can have them named “Bride”, “Groom”, etc. for each of the participants.
For filmmakers, the AK-BT1 module allows the DR-10L Pro to communicate with Atomos devices, allowing you to easily sync up your audio with the video footage being recorded with those devices. Timecode lets you sync them up even if there’s no audio recorded in the video footage itself.
One thing that the Bluetooth adapter does not provide, sadly, is the ability to monitor your recording remotely from your smartphone. It only sends and receives data, not audio.
Longer life and more storage
Extended battery life does come at the cost of an extra battery. The original DR-10L runs on a single AAA battery for up to 10 hours. The DR-10L Pro takes a pair of AAA batteries but offers up to 24.5 hours of use.
Sure, it takes an extra battery, but two AAA batteries with the original would give you 20 total hours. This makes the new DR-10L Pro a little over 20% more efficient on batteries than its non-Pro predecessor.
To help you make the most of the increased battery life, the maximum microSD card capacity has also been increased. The Tascam DR-10L accepts 32GB microSD cards. This still provides a lot of storage capacity, but 32GB cards are becoming more and more difficult to find these days as capacities increase.
The new Tascam DR-10L Pro accepts microSD cards all the way up to 512GB. This provides you with around 740 hours of total mono recording time with 48kHz 32-bit float files. or over 1,400 hours with more traditional 48kHz 16-bit PCM WAV files.
It also supports recording to MP3 format, which potentially provides several weeks of recording time.
Price and Availability
The Tascam DR-10L Pro is available to pre-order now for $219 and comes with a Tascam TM-10L lavalier microphone, USB-C cable, belt clip, microphone clip and windshield. It’s also available to pre-order now for $258 in a kit that includes the Tascam AK-BT1 Bluetooth adapter. The AK-BT1 is available to buy now for $39 on its own. The Tascam DR-10L Pro is expected to begin shipping in September 2023.
John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.