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Korg MR-1 review

A handheld recorder to pick up tunes when you're on the go

  • £528
  • $899
The recorder has 20GB of internal hard drive memory

Our Verdict

A classy unit where memory is no issue - as useful in the studio as in the field.


  • Bags of memory.


  • Mic sounds a little boxy.

Korg have produced a slick looking handheld recorder with a pleasing weightiness to it. It boots up quickly to a display reminiscent of Macs from ten years ago.

The menus are easy to navigate, though they´re deceptively full of options. This is a well appointed machine with a massive 20GB internal hard drive that means there´s no need for memory cards.

The range of file formats (Broadcast WAV, and DSDIFF, DSF and WSD 1-bit formats) and resolutions is impressive, and the bundled AutoGate software allows the 1-bit files to be converted to WAV and AIFF multi-bit formats.

The internal battery seems to have many hours of life, although the charge time is long (at least four hours to fully charge).

The recordings can be arranged into projects so you´re not just faced with a list of files to sift through, which with a 20GB hard drive could be a total disaster.

This unit comes with AGC capabilities, which usually leave a lot to be desired, but not here.

The auto record level settings include threshold, hold time and slope so you can tailor the response of the AGC to your program material without getting the blanket ‘evildistortion´ setting usually associated with this function.

Finally the MR-1 comes with a clip-on stereo mic, which is fine for basic voice recordings but is very susceptible to physical contact noise and sounds a little boxy.