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Core Sound PDAudio® System
Complete Recommended Systems

(Last updated 09/10/2007)

We've had many requests for recommendations of complete portable recording systems. These recommendations are based on what we're using here at Core Sound and what we've heard from our customers. We expect them to change as we test new products and as older ones are refined.

(Note: We have not tested all of the memory cards listed in this section. If you need information about what we have tested and recommend, please call us.)

Very Compact 24/96 Recording

For a very compact recorder capable of recording essentially forever at 24/96 (with media changes) we recommend:

  • Core Sound's PDAudio-CF S/PDIF interface card: $199 (Core Sound)
  • PDA (one of the following):
    • Socket Mobile SoMo 650-M (around $709 from Dell)
    • HP iPAQ 210 (or 211, $450 from HP)
    • HP hx2795 (or hx2790, around $500 from HP)
    • Dell Axim X51v or X50v (discontinued, around $150 to $250 on eBay)
    • HP iPAQ hx2750 (discontinued, around $300 on eBay)
    • HP hx4700 (discontinued, around $350 on eBay)
  • Core Sound's Mic2496 dual microphone pre-amplifier and A-to-D converter: $549 (Core Sound)
  • Transcend 8 GB SDHC memory card (around $90, for use with HP 210 only), 4 GB Transcend SD memory cards (around $40, for all other PDAs)
  • Optical cable to connect Mic2496 and PDAudio-CF: $15 (Core Sound)
  • Gidluck Mastering's Live2496 audio recording software: around $50


All the PDAs mentioned above allow for 24/96 recording and media change on-the-fly, without losing a single bit.

The new HP 210/211, hasn't been tested with PDAudio-CF yet, but we're not expecting any rude surprises. It runs Windows Mobile 6 and has one wonderful feature: it uses the new high capacity SDHC memory cards, so you can have 8 GB or more of storage. That translates to 4 hours of stereo 24/96 recordings, 8 hours of 24/48 recording or 12 hours of 16/44.1 recording. The rest of the PDAs are limited to standard SD cards having 4 GB maximum capacity.

If you don't need the media change ("hot swap") feature and want to save some money, the old HP h2215 (or h2210, around $125 on eBay) is the smallest, high resolution, 24/96, portable digital recorder in the world! The 2210/2215 records more than 3-1/2 hours on one charge of its internal removable battery; with an extended internal battery pack or external packs your recording time is essentially unlimited. The h2200-series iPAQs are now very reasonably priced (typically under $150).

Microphones and Mic Pre-amps/A-to-D Converters

For microphones, if you want to stay very compact and still make fine sounding recordings, we highly recommend our High End Binaural (HEB) microphone set. They use a matched pair of DPA 4060 capsules and can be configured to be powered either directly from the Mic2496 ($915, in which case they don't need a battery box for power) or from their own battery box ($1020). In our opinion, they are the best sounding miniature microphones in the world.

For a mic pre-amp/A-to-D converter you can't do better than our Mic2496 ($549).

External Battery Packs

If you need an external battery pack to let you record for longer than the PDA's internal battery, consider Socket's Mobile Power Pack. It has roughly four times the capacity of a PDA's standard internal battery.

Tekkeon's myPower ALL MP3000 can power either your PDA or Mic2496 for more than 8 hours. (This is manufactured by Acon in Taiwan as the Power Runner MP3300.)

Innergy Powerplant Force 5 or 10 can also power your PDA for an extended recording session.

A very low cost, high capacity external battery pack for Mic2496 is the BatterySpace.com P-2000.


The System
The Components

For pre-sales consulting or to place an order, call Core Sound at 1.888.538.6744 or 1.201.801.0812.

"Core Sound Microphones" is a trademark of Core Sound, LLC
"Core Sound" is a trademark of Core Sound, LLC
"PDAudio", "TetraMic", "HeadLine", "2Phant" and 4Mic are trademarks of Core Sound, LLC
Thanks to HK Audio for use of their open-air concert photo. Mossman photo ©2004 OceanBridge Communcations.
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