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  • Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder
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Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder

by Zoom
| 47 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90 cardioid, Rear 120 cardioid and 360 polar patterns
  • Finally record 360 sound as 2ch data or 4ch data simultaneously
  • Built-in USB 2.0 port for data storage
  • Records in WAV 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit, MP3 to 320kbps and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) data formats
  • Time Stamp and Track Marker functions in Broadcast WAV Format (BWF)
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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.3 x 2.5 inches ; 3.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B000VBH2IG
  • Item model number: ZOO H2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (686 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,958 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at October 2, 2001

Product Description

Product Description

The Zoom H2 stands alone in an increasingly crowded field of handheld portable digital recorders. Its 4 onboard microphones are an industry first! With easy to navigate controls and sound quality that rivals units costing much more, the Zoom H2 Handy Recorder is an extremely capable performer capturing music, spoken word, ambient sounds from the field and anything that makes a sound. This is the perfect portable digital recorder for capturing meetings, music, or any other sound recording where you need full 360 degree coverage.Operation is easy and intuitive. One button push and youre instantly recording! The Auto Start and Auto Gain functions help ensure that youre recording levels are optimized and sound is at its fullest resolution without distortion. The 360 degree coverage of the Zoom H2 four microphone configuration makes it easy to record your meeting (place it in the middle of a conference table) or your band or string quartet and pick up ever word and every note with crystal clarity and full range sound.The H2 records to a 1GB SD media card (included) and can accommodate up to a 32GB card allowing 24 hours of recording time @ 16-bit/44.1kHz CD quality in industry standard WAV format. You can also record at 128kbps MP3 affording 280 hours of stereo recording time.With a 360 W-X/Y microphone configuration as well as optional 90 (front of the unit) and 120 (rear) the flexibility for capturing sounds from multi-directions results in amazing stereo imaging. Record at a 96K/24 bit rate will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 surround, but straight ahead stereo recording is just as easy!You can monitor through the included earbuds or use the 1/8 stereo jack output for hookup to your studio monitors or home stereo. Connect the Zoom H1 to a computer via the built-in USB port (USB cable included) and easily transfer your files for further editing, sweetening and sharing. The USB port also makes it possible to use the H2 as a USB microphone for direct ...

It's a simple idea: provide brilliant stereo recording in an easy-to-use, ultra-portable device. Now everyone can record pristine audio in an infinite variety of applications. From seminars and conferences, to electronic news gathering (ENG) and podcasting, to musical performances, songwriting sessions and rehearsals, the H2 provides amazing recording quality. And no matter what kind of music you perform or the instrument you play, the H2 can effortlessly record it in high-quality stereo.

Why Four Mics are Better Than Two

90 degree Pattern
90° Pattern
Record from the front at 90°
120 degree Pattern
120° Pattern
Record from the front at 120°
The H2 is the only portable recorder with 4 mic capsules on-board for 360° recording. With 4 mic capsules in a W-X/Y configuration, the audio is decoded instantly, bringing these four signals together for unparalleled stereo imaging.

But the H2 doesn't stop there. For maximum flexibility, you can record from the front of the H2 in a 90° pickup pattern or the rear of the H2 in a 120° pickup pattern at up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution as a WAV file, or as an MP3 file at bitrates up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can record in a 360° pickup pattern at up to 48kHz/24-bit resolution which will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 Surround.

Push a Button...
That's all it takes to start recording! The H2 is a remarkably robust device that is incredibly easy to use. One button recording, gain controls on the side and an intuitive user interface mean you can always capture the moment. Set your levels, push record and go. It's that simple. Or use the Auto Start and Auto Gain Control functions to ensure complete capture at the right level. And if you need to fine-tune your levels on the fly, we made it easy with gain control buttons on the front panel.

Play it Back!
Play your recordings on your home audio system with its 1/8" stereo output or listen to your masterpiece with headphones. Or, use the H2's USB interface to move your recordings to your Mac or PC to listen, edit and share.

The H2 records on Secure Digital (SD) media and a 512MB SD card is included. The unit can accommodate up to a 16GB SD card, allowing up to 24 hours of total recording time using the 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV format. At 128kbps MP3, you get an amazing 280 hours of stereo recording. Store your recordings on a PC or Mac with its USB 2.0 interface. And you can use its time stamping function for reference during production. Or use the H2 as a USB Mic for recording directly to a computer.

What's Life Without Accessories?
The H2 comes with earbuds, 1/8 inch stereo to RCA cable, mic clip adapter, tripod stand, USB cable, AC adapter and a 512MB SD card.

Ultimate Convenience
The H2 weighs 4 ounces and fits in your pocket for the ultimate in portability and convenience. Two standard alkaline AA batteries will give you 4 hours of continuous operation and a backlit display means it's always easy to use in any situation.

Enjoy Your Brilliance
Brilliant stereo recording in a convenient, user-friendly package means there's never been an easier way to record high quality audio. The H2 gives everyone the power to record anything and share it with anyone, anywhere. You'll be amazed by your sound.


  • W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90° cardioid, Rear 120° cardioid and 360° polar patterns
  • Built-in USB 2.0 interface
  • Records in WAV 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit, MP3 to 320kbps and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) data formats
  • Time Stamp and Track Marker functions in Broadcast WAV Format (BWF)
  • 512MB SD memory card included
  • Accommodates up to 16GB SD memory cards
  • Auto Gain Control (AGC) for pristine recordings
  • Auto Start function means you're always ready to record
  • Low-cut filter eliminates wind noise
  • On-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner

H2 Handy Recorder Features at a Glance

H2 features anotated
The H2 Handy Recorder brings the ultimate in functionality and versatility to portable digital recording. A clear, backlit display features recording levels, time code, file name and remaining battery life. LEDs indicate Front, Rear, 2 Channel or 4 Channel modes and the recording angle: 90°, 120° or 360°. An Active Mic LED is on the front and back of the H2. Transport controls include one button recording, playback and pause, fast forward and rewind. Use the Menu key to enter the control menu and the cursor keys to navigate through the feature sets.

Within the menu, set recording parameters such as direction and polar pattern, activate the Auto Start function and set file format. And you'll find additional settings like Auto Gain Control to make sure your recordings are always pristine. And you can fine-tune your levels on the fly with the Record Level buttons on the front.

H2 side features anotated
On the left side of the H2 is a 1/8" Phone/Line Output for monitoring and playback. Playback Volume, Power On and the AC power are located here as well.

On the right side of the H2, you can plug in a powered 1/8" external stereo mic. Setting levels is easy with a Mic Gain slider for Low/Medium/High gain. You can also digitize analog recordings with the 1/8" Line In.

Use the USB 2.0 Interface to move your files to a PC or Mac for storage, editing and playback. The time stamp function is great for reference during production. And you can even use the H2 as a USB mic and record directly to your favorite digital audio software.

For brilliant stereo recording, and plenty of extras, there's never been a simpler or more functional solution than the H2 Handy Recorder from Zoom.

Please note: The Zoom H2 will not mount as a USB Drive on MAC OS X 10.5.0 Leopard unless you update to H2 Firmware version 1.2 or higher.

Choose the Right Polar Pattern for the Best Recording in any Situation

Choose the Right Polar Pattern for the Best Recording in any Situation
90 degree Pattern
90° Pattern
Record from the front at 90°
120 degree Pattern
120° Pattern
Record from the front at 120°

Record your band rehearsals in 360° brilliant stereo.
360 polar pattern
90° Pattern
Record from the front at 90°

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Can only record one thing at a time this way.
D. Mastri
I will take it to record jam sessions, music lessons, and practice to evaluate my playing, and instrument comparisons.
Clare Chu
Even though it took me awhile to learn how to use it - it is very easy once you get the hang of the menu system.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

232 of 234 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Limbach on October 12, 2007
Every once in a while, a product comes along that so exceeds expectations, it it almost hard to believe it is real.

I have been producing corporate marketing podcasts from a home office studio for about 2 years. A laptop computer (PC-Vista) is the "brains" of the studio. I use a couple different microphones, which produce decent results.

I also use a portable Olympus WS-320M to record interviews at trade shows and at client sites. It does a decent job. I have reviewed the Olympus on Amazon.

I like my gadgets to be small. Pocket sized is preferable. No excuse for not taking it on a trip. The H2 fits the bill, although I wouldn't carry it in my pocket. It would be OK in a suitcoat pocket, but usually it will be in a gadget bag along with a camera, videocam, batteries, memory cards, earbuds, and cables.

For my home studio, I have been looking to upgrade some of my equipment, especially my microphone (a Sony stereo electret mic), which was servicable, but not great.

On the sophisticated end, I was considering things like a mixer-board, mic pre-amp, and a capacitor mic (like a formal studio would use). A USB interface to my computer was essential.

I also wanted a better voice recorder. The Olympus did its job fairly well, but it was almost too small, and fairly limited in what it could do. It will remain a backup device which I will not hesitate to use if the need arises.

I looked at the Edirol R-09 and the MicroTrack 2496. Each had their positives and their limitations, which are well documented. I was just about to pull the trigger on the Zoom H4, but I am glad I waited for the H2 to come out. The H4 is great for serious musicians who need 4 channels, but the H2 is the better choice for podcasting and any voice recording.
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517 of 530 people found the following review helpful By JerryWithaJ on November 12, 2007
A year ago, I wrote a lengthy comparison of the Edirol R-09 WAVE/MP3 Recorder, Black and the Zoom H4 Handy Recorder + 2GB Accessory Kit (pre-accessory kit). I wanted a high quality, easy to use recorder, so even though the H4 had all of the features of the Edirol and sold for considerably less, I kept the Edirol because it was so much easier to use.

Zoom has responded with the H2, a scaled down version of the H4 with all of the features of the R-09 and all of the controls right where you need them. The H2 even has additional features over the R-09, but they don't get in the way. For example, there's a choice of a 90 degree recording pattern, a 120 degree recording pattern, and even a surround sound option. Samsontech has some nice video demonstrations on its website.

One big complaint I've had with the Edirol is the cost of its add-on stand. Unlike the Edirol, the H2 comes with a simple stand. In addition, the H2 has a threaded hole so that it can be mounted on a standard digital camera tripod! On a separate note, it's much easier to replace batteries with the H2 than the Edirol.

Recently, I got together with friends and recorded the same live acoustic music on both the Edirol R-09 and the Zoom H2. I used Adobe Audition only to normalize both tracks (that is, equalize their loudness). The first time we played them back, I thought I detected a VERY slight preference for the Edirol, with the overall opinion of the group split between the two units.
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205 of 215 people found the following review helpful By A. Bish on August 28, 2007
I borrowed a Zoom H4 from a friend and found it extremely frustrating to use. The owners manual was just gibberish to me. I could not make heads or tails of the instructions. It was a totally frustrating experience and I was ready to give up on making a CD, and ready to go back to making old fashioned cassette tape recordings.

I took a chance on the Zoom H2 and am not sorry. All the head aches of the H4 have been addressed with the H2. This machine is much easier to use. I'm using it to record live string music and it does a wonderful job. Sounds great! I'm not an egg head geek or a computer expert nor am I a professional sound recording engineer, and I am very comfortable using this machine.

Zoom must have listened to everything people were complaining about the H4 when they designed the H2.
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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Barry S. Schmetter on September 14, 2007
Like another reviewer, I found the earlier H4 buggy and difficult to use because of the poor interface. I also went through three of them and they all had defects. The H2 has a much improved interface and it's a great little recorder at its price point. The built-in mics are surprisingly good and the bottom line is--the H2 recordings sound very good. At the low and mid-gain levels, the noise floor is acceptable for voice and music recordings. At high gain, background noise starts to become intrusive. I used several external self-powered mics with no problem and got a good signal with a simple XLR>1/8" stereo cable.

The built-in functions like the limiter, compressor, MP3 converter, normalizer, etc-- are fairly primitive and you're much better off doing any post work in your audio software. The ability to choose from two different configurations of stereo mics and a surround configuration of all 4 mics is more useful than I would have thought and gives some nice options for tailoring the sound of your recordings. There are already some audio plugins that people have written to allow the conversion of 4 channels into the files required for making 5.1 surround recordings.

The build quality is fine, and although the construction is mostly plastic, the unit wasn't creaky or flimsy. There is a metal inset tripod socket for mounting the H2 to a stand instead of the crappy add-on mount for the H4. Also unlike the H4, the H2 uses BWF (broadcast wave format) for it's WAV files and the recordings are stamped with the date and time--which is a major improvement for file management.
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