I'm looking to buy a semi-pro field recorder. I've done some research and the LE arguably seems to be one of the best in this price range, good pre-amps for the money. The headphone output seems to be pretty noisy though. I however could not find any good reviews on the FR-2 and remain with some questions.

I was wondering how the LE compares to his big brother, the FR-2. Does the FR-2 have better amps and headphone out than the LE or does it just pack more features? I'm torn between going with a brand new LE or stretching the budget a bit and go with a second hand FR-2.

Thank you, Martin

  • 1
    A major difference is the FR-2 records up to 192 where as the LE tops out at 96, and the way the LCD panel is mounted is different (on the LE it's poorly oriented in my opinion, sort of useless to anyone carrying the unit in a bag) Apr 30, 2012 at 20:41
  • 1
    Also, the FR2 has the timecode option. Apr 30, 2012 at 21:03
  • @Stavrosound: I'm aware of the difference in sample frequencies, but thank you. I totally agree about the LCD. @Mark: Ok thanks, but I'll be using it mainly for SFX recording so I won't be needing it, but it's good to have the option if I ever need it. I was mainly looking for differences in quality of the pre's. I managed to buy a mint FR-2 for the price of the LE so I pulled the trigger on that. Thank you all for the comments. Martin
    – Martin
    May 7, 2012 at 15:46

2 Answers 2


I've used both and own the LE... There is actually quite a big difference in the quality of the pre-amps between the LE and FR2, not sure why but the FR-2 pre's are much cleaner. Not so great if you want to record quiet ambience. The LE is still a good buy, I tend to line level out from my sound devices 302 so bypassing the hiss. Battery life could be better but well worth investing in a decent battery as discussed above. Simple to use and reliable....

  • Good to hear I made the right decision by going with the FR-2.
    – Martin
    May 8, 2012 at 10:50

you can fit a 7.5v RC battery in the battery compartment of the LE which extends battery life by a few hours over 4xAA. You can attach the same battery to the FR2, and if I am not mistaken it has to be strapped to the side of the machine. As mentioned the LE has no time code and the headphone amp is quite noisy, and the build quality isn't as good as the FR2, but the recording quality is really good and that is where it counts. As a side note - at work we have a DR680 (also a very fine machine), but IMO the LE out preforms it in terms of quality and ease of use.

  • I'm not sure the 7.5V battery will be enough for the FR-2 as it runs on 12V (8xAA). But thanks for the heads up on this, did not know you could also hook up external battery packs to it. Will definitely purchase one as the FR-2 runs only for 2-2,5 hours with 8 AA's. Thanks
    – Martin
    May 7, 2012 at 15:51
  • according to this site it should work solidstatesound.co.uk/fostex_fr2.htm "Fostex FR2 with Fostex FX-8570 cable adaptor" and needs "requires your FR2 to be running firmware version 2.20 or above" scroll down to the extras at the bottom the the page and look for BATPAK - However I can't confirm if it actually works though, but here is a forum post which seems to suggest it does forums.dv247.com/pro-audio/522-fostex-fr2-external-power.html
    – RedSonic01
    May 7, 2012 at 18:06
  • Ah thanks for the insight. I was thinking of getting something like this cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=261007536927 which would connect to the DC input. Any ideas if this would work?
    – Martin
    May 7, 2012 at 18:33

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