Roland’s R-07 is a pocket recorder for the Apple Watch

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Who doesn’t like to record while sitting on a cajón in the dessert?
Who doesn’t like to record while sitting on a cajón in the dessert?
Photo: Roland

Roland’s new R-07 pocket recorder is pretty rad. Not only is is a super-high quality audio recorder that is always ready to go, but it also has an iPhone app, and can even be controlled by the Apple Watch.

A pocket recorder that works with the iPhone

Who needs a standalone recorder when you have Voice Memos on your iPhone? Well, maybe you don’t. But a recorder like the R-07 has proper mics that are geared for audio capture, not for phone calls (although the iPhone’s mics are surprisingly good for field recordings). And it’s controlled by real buttons, which is faster than launching an app.

Speaking of apps, you can remote control the unit from your iPhone or Apple Watch via an app, thanks to the R-07’s Bluetooth connection. Recording can be triggered, and you can stream and copy audio to your iPhone, so this is a really great way of collecting field recordings if you don’t use a PC or Mac. I also like the idea of setting the recorder on a desk while you play guitar, or whatever instrument you prefer and being able to quickly start a recording from your Apple Watch.

Isn’t it cute?
Isn’t it cute?
Photo: Roland

It also has an neat feature, kind of like smart HDR for audio. The R-07 records two audio streams. One at what it deems to be the “correct” level, and one at a lower level. If the main recording gets too hot, and overdrives the input, then it swaps in the lower-level version instead.

R-07 Remote app

Price: Free

Download: R-07 Remote from the App Store (iOS)

I really like the look of this. I do quite a bit of field recording with my iPhone, but I’m never sure of the results I’m going to get, and if I take the time to plug a mic into the Lighting port, I can miss the moment. In fact, I might get one of these instead. $199.