Zoom H1n Digital Handy Recorder (Black) – Zoom H4n Pro

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In order to start field recording, you need a field recorder. With so many entry-level options on the market, it can be difficult for the beginner to navigate the sea of choices and make a good selection. This is exactly what happened to me. In this article, I give my professional advice and opinion on the best field recorders on the market, and teach you about all the important details that make a great field recorder.

To learn about important field recorder features, click here. Links in this article are affiliate including Amazon Associates. This is not a sponsored post and all opinions are my own. After researching every field recorder on the market and having hands-on experience with 6 of them, these are the best portable field recorders available. The Zoom H1n is one of the best handheld field recorders for beginners thanks to its low-noise preamps and budget-friendly price. It is very small, has a knob for gain adjustments, and provides plug-in-power for a 3.

Its biggest downside is its plastic construction and lack of an internal memory. For the same price or cheaper depending where you shop , the LS-P1 is quieter than the H1n and features a solid, aluminum body and has a 4GB internal memory. However, the menu system is inefficient and accessing low-cut filters and limiter settings takes a few clicks. Additionally, it is less intuitive than the H1n and reading the manual is recommended for getting the most out of the LS-P1. In my opinion, this is the best, low-budget field recorder.

The rechargeable, internal battery cannot be removed, but the A10 can easily be powered via an external power supply thanks to its built-in USB port. Each input has its own gain adjustment knob for fast and easy adjustments. However, the XLR inputs are non-locking.

Additionally, the onboard mics are detachable and interchangeable with other pickup patterns. Currently, Zoom offers 6 mic capsule options including shotgun and mid-side options. The Zoom H6 is a great entry-level field recorder for location sound recordists who need multiple XLR inputs. This is my primary recorder and it is awesome for capturing quiet nature sounds. My favorite features of the D include the swiveling microphone capsules, the aluminum body, its great battery life, and of course, its low self-noise.

I also love the included case and wind protection. Click below to check availability. Field recorders are often described with lots of numbers and weird terminology, but what do they all mean? This section is a crash-course on the most important field recorder features and specifications. Jump to a specific section by clicking below. Self-noise is arguably the most important factor to consider when choosing a field recorder because it directly impacts the overall sound quality.

So what is it? Self-noise is the noise produced by electrons moving in a circuit. It sounds like a white-noise hissing sound. The best way to hear it is by recording a dead-quiet room at maximum gain. Depending on the components used in construction like tubes, transistors, resistors, and the layout of the PCB, the self-noise of a device can be minimized.

The problem with self-noise is that too much of it can ruin a recording. When using a field recorder with high self-noise, the hissing sound of the recorder can overpower your subject. At best, this can be distracting, and at worst, unbearable. EIN is the best method for comparing self-noise levels because it removes gain from the equation and makes for apples-to apples comparisons. So how much self-noise is too much? Self-noise usually becomes a problem when attempting to record very quiet sounds.

Use the chart below to determine what an acceptable EIN for your device is. This will really narrow-down your options since relatively few handheld recorders support XLR mics. Opting for a field recorder that supports XLR microphones can also be a good choice if you plan to upgrade to condenser mics down the road. You can continue to grow, learn, and experiment with the same recorder.

One note on phantom power. Phantom power is the voltage necessary to power a condenser microphone. Using a field recorder to provide phantom power to a microphone will greatly reduce battery life. Normally when it comes to build quality, metal components are always better than plastic. However, in the audio world, there are tradeoffs for both that are worth considering. A field recorder made with plastic is better for handheld recordings. Plastic helps to deaden the vibrations created by subtle movements of your hand while holding the recorder.

Trying to do the same with a metal bodied field recorder is almost impossible. Every slight movement of your hand, even the creaking of your joints, is transferred to the microphones.

Using a tripod or shockmount is a must with a metal field recorder. On the flip side, a plastic bodied field recorder is not as durable as an aluminum field recorder. As a nature recordist, I prefer the aluminum body for its extra durability in the field.

If you are between two field recorders with similar specifications, the included accessories could be the tie-breaker. Some field recorders comes with lots of extras and some come with none. Possible accessories include: wind protection, recorder case, AC adapter, remote control, and receiver. If you are planning on recording outdoors, you will need something to protect your microphones from the wind.

Field recorder microphones are incredibly sensitive to wind moving air. Even just a gentle breeze can distort your audio and ruin your recording. Wind protection for handheld recorders typically come in 2 styles: foam and furry.

Unfortunately, it is rare for a field recorder to include either form of wind protection and this accessory will have to be purchased separately. Having a case for your recorder is a really nice extra, especially if you do a lot of traveling with your equipment.

In my opinion, the best cases are soft, padded, and have little pockets for stowing extra memory cards, short audio cables, or even business cards. Lower quality cases tend to be hard plastic shells that simply snap open and closed. No extra features to speak of, but will protect your recorder from bumps and scratches while in your sound bag. An AC Adapter plugs into a wall outlet and powers your field recorder without the need for batteries.

They are useful when recording indoors for extended periods of time. Instead of using up a bunch of batteries, simply power your device with the AC adapter. Some field recorders come with a remote control and a receiver. The receiver plugs into the field recorder and receives signals sent from the remote. If your field recorder does not have an internal memory, and you forget your SD card, you will not be able to record!

This has happened to me before and it is the most frustrating thing you can do to yourself. While forgetting a memory card at home falls on the human, a field recorder with an internal memory can be a lifesaver.

At this level, it is capable of recording relatively quiet sounds down to 40dB the loudness of singing birds. When recording sounds louder than this, the noise of the H1n will be imperceptible. The menu system is great. Commonly accessed settings like recording format, low-cut filter, and limiter can all be accessed with one click; no menu-diving necessary. In my review of the H1n, I found it less sensitive to lower frequencies than other field recorders, but still found the low-cut filter useful when outdoors.

The H1n takes 2 AAA batteries with okay results. Overall, the H1n is extremely easy to use and offers decent noise performance, making it one of the most popular handheld field recorders for beginners. The aluminum body of the LS-P1 is very durable and will hold up better after extended field use.

The low-cut filter only has two positions: Hz and Hz. These options are somewhat limiting. I wish there was a knob for adjusting gain. The built in USB port can easily attach to a portable power supply to increase the battery life even more. It is slightly quieter than the LS-P1 and considerably quieter than the H1n.

Released in , the A10 has all the standard field recorder features limiter, low-cut filter, peak indicator lights plus a few upgrades. When controlling the A10 wirelessly with the REC Remote app from Sony, you can monitor your recording levels, adjust the gain, add track marks, and change your recording settings. Unfortunately, you cannot monitor the sound of your recording live via Bluetooth. The PCM-A10 is made of plastic and comes with a soft pouch and a foam windscreen.

Like the LS-P1, it also has a retractable USB port that can easily attach to a power bank for even longer battery life.

At dBu self-noise, the Zoom H5 is a big improvement over any of the previously mentioned field recorders in terms of self-noise. The low-cut filter has 10 different settings between Hz! The limiter and compressor also have extended settings with 3 options for each. Although made of plastic, the H5 has a rubberized finish that gives it a premium feel. The housings for the onboard mics are made of metal.



– Best cheap voice recorder of – SoundGuys

Most of us will suffer from some degree of noise-induced hearing loss. This opens zoom h1n vs zoom h5 – none: a world of possibilities and uses for the Handy Recorder. Cookies collect information about your preferences and your device and are used to make the site work as you expect it to, to understand how you interact with the site, and to show advertisements that are targeted to your interests. His work has appeared in Suspend Адрес, Architecture Digest, and others. The 1.


One channel is not recording properly. Can I fix it? – Zoom H1 Handy Recorder – iFixit – Zoom H4n Pro vs H5: A Subtle Improvement


The Samson Go Mic is perfect for, well, anyone on the go. Its USB interface makes voice recording silly simple. The package includes the proper USB cable, so you can start recording as soon as you get the microphone. This also makes it a great option for podcast recording.

Anything greater is overkill. Related: The best USB microphones. Sony is well acquainted with the consumer audio market, but some may not realize the conglomerate also creates digital voice recorders. The Sony ICD-UX is a sleek and pocketable recorder, perfect for situations when you need to be discreet but want audio quality to be better than what your smartphone has to offer. Its OLED display is crisp and the best looking of the bunch. This recorder is particularly neat because even if you forget a memory card, you can use its 4GB of internal storage for quick recordings.

When recording, you may choose between Auto Voice Recording mode and Auto Music Recording mode, so you never end up with distorted or overly quiet files.

Related: Best microphones for recording. The rechargeable li-ion battery supports quick charging, so you get one hour of recording from three minutes of charging, or 27 hours fully charged. The omnidirectional stereo microphones effectively record ambient sound, and if you want a more acute recording angle, you can always connect an external mic or lavalier. The new model requires two AA batteries which further increases its weight, though it is lighter than its predecessor.

The recorder may be mounted to a camera, and effectively functions as a basic editing station with its auto-tone feature. The Tascam DRX still offers great features like auto and pre-recording. The former automatically begins recording when sounds of a specific loudness are detected, while the latter saves the two seconds before you begin a recording.

There are also auto-level and limiter functions to protect you from any excessively loud sounds. New to this model is a non-destructive overdubbing feature, which allows for layering multiple tracks over one another without losing any audio quality on either track.

If you predominantly need a recorder for class notes or casual documenting, a free application gets the job done. Score 9. Thank you! It worked!! How did you solve the problem? Posted: Apr 30, Options Permalink History.

My R channel is not working. How do i solve it. Suggest me. Score 0. Add your answer sheila will be eternally grateful. I could have used loudness as the measurement to bring them in line but decided against it. The considerable presence of noise energy would have equalized the overall loudness, while I was interested in making “useful” water droplets signal the same levels. So instead, I used the readings of true peak values.

Even then, I had to apply the high pass filter at Hz before touching up recorded gains. That was due to the Zooms having enough low-end noise to affect the true peak measurements by almost 2dB.

All four samples were treated the same way, and the gain of each recording ended up being exactly dB. I also added fade-ins and fade-outs to the first and last seconds. The spectrograms below supports the findings. Side note… You can clearly hear a short electronic beep with base frequency of Hz occurring roughly every four seconds on the MixPre’s sample. It turned out to be my uninterruptible power supply “chiming in” from about 10 feet away.

Honestly, I did not even hear the beeps while recording and discovered them only while auditioning the samples. My first reaction was to turn it off and re-run the experiment clean. But then I realized that this beep is not audible on the Zooms’ samples. It effectively got drowned in the Zooms’ noise. When using the H1n as an audio interface, USB bus powering is possible.

The compact, durable, ergonomic body lends itself naturally to being handheld or stashed in a pocket. Should you need to mount it on a mic stand or tripod, a threaded hole on the back of the H1n obviates the need for stand adapters. The limiter can prevent distortion by controlling input signals that have excessively high levels, while a low-cut filter helps eliminate wind noise, blowing, and other kinds of low-frequency rumble.

Also, you can adjust playback speed and choose from multiple tone-enhancing sound effects. The H1n offers selectable recording functions designed to prevent you from accidentally missing the start of a performance. Auto-record can automatically start recording when a user-set sound level is detected, making it great for voice-activated recording. You can even set a timer to make the H1n automatically start recording after up to 10 seconds. An internal tone generator makes it easy to calibrate your H1n and camera audio levels.

When the H1n is connected to a DSLR camera or other external device, a test tone can be played to match their output levels. UPC: This design lends to effective, hands-free recording of speeches, interviews, dictations and more. The package comes with a mic clip with cable management, a foam pop shield and a small carry pouch.

A full list of compatible devices can be found here. The SC3 features color-coded connectors that are gold-plated to preserve audio quality. The Zoom H1n Handy Recorder has a large 1. The user interface on the device is simple, clear, and easy to navigate for first-time users, and the screen has great contrast for optimal visibility. The Zoom H1n Handy Recorder is a great device.

Its ability to record high-quality audio is phenomenal, especially at bit. Depending on the way this little machine is used, its microphones will outperform the majority of microphones on a cellphone, point-and-shoot camera, computer, or DSLR. Using the Zoom H1n with condenser mics, lapel mics, or shotgun mics changes the dynamic of the audio file it captures. This opens up a world of possibilities and uses for the Handy Recorder. This Handy Recorder can be useful for people making independent films, producing YouTube shows, recording interviews, and even capturing sound effects.

We also took the device outside when there was a moderate amount of wind, and our recordings were dominated by wind noise. The Audio Limiter prevents distortion when recording musical instruments, voices, and outdoors. The Zoom H1n Handy Recorder can be directly connected to a laptop or desktop computer and used as an external microphone for vlogging and podcasts. Zoom claims that the H1n can run for about 10 hours on fresh batteries which is great for creators that are on the go or it can be powered by your own external battery pack connected to its USB port.