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Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

by Zoom
| 99 answered questions

Price: $199.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Portable Recorder
  • Built-in X/Y stereo mics record at either 90° or 120°
  • Four channel simultaneous recording using built-in and external mics
  • Digitally controlled, high-quality mic preamp for improved audio quality
  • Large 1.9-Inch LCD screen and improved user interface for easy operation
  • 24bit/96kHz Linear PCM recording for pristine recording
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Frequently Bought Together

Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder + Transcend 32 GB Class 10 SDHC Flash Memory Card (TS32GSDHC10E)
Price for both: $216.70

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Product Details

Style Name: Portable Recorder
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.8 x 1.4 inches ; 9.9 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • Shipping Advisory: This item must be shipped separately from other items in your order. Additional shipping charges will not apply.
  • ASIN: B001QWBM62
  • Item model number: ZH4N
  • Batteries 2 AA batteries required. (included)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: January 28, 2009

Product Description

Style: Portable Recorder

Product Description

Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

From the Manufacturer

World-class recording for everyone

Representing the next level of professional recording performance, the H4n delivers superior audio quality and dramatically improves the user experience. Zoom’s most sophisticated handheld recorder to date will amaze, no matter the application.

Unique X/Y mic design captures perfect stereo images

The H4n’s onboard X/Y stereo condenser mics are arranged with the right and left mics on the same axis. This design ensures that the mics are always equidistant from the sound source for perfect localization with no phase shifting. Frequency response remains uniform throughout your recording. The result is great stereo recording with natural depth and accurate imaging every time.

DIAGRAM OF IN PHASE AND OUT OF PHASE

The mics also adjust for variable recording patterns at either 90° or 120°. Our unique design lets you rotate each mic capsule from 90° (standard) to 120° (wide-angle) stereo for the ultimate versatility in any recording situation.

DIAGRAM OF MICS ROTATING

Why four channels are better than two

Everyone knows that proper miking is essential to making a great recording. The H4n is the only handheld recorder that allows you to record on four channels simultaneously by using its onboard mics with either external mics or direct inputs. You can then use its built-in mixer to blend the channels for perfectly balanced recordings. Now your recordings can be richer than ever before.

SCREENSHOT OF 4-CHANNEL MODE

Or, to get a great recording of a live performance, use the H4n’s onboard mics to get a room mix while simultaneously recording a stereo mix from the mixing board for a live recording that is easily one of the best you’ve ever heard.

And for media and filmmakers, the H4n makes it easy to record “high definition” audio at 24-bit/48kHz with booms, handhelds or lavaliers while gathering atmospheric audio with the onboard mics. The H4n also supports Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) so your recorded files carry time stamp information. You can even set markers (cue points) during recording or playback.

For even more versatility, the H4n also features a Mid-Side stereo decoder that allows you to utilize this classic microphone setup. The H4n converts the mid and side channels into a conventional stereo (L/R) signal for even more versatility. It’s only found on the H4n.

It’s all in the preamp

The H4n’s new mics and four channel recording ability, in combination with our new, digitally controlled, high-quality preamplifier renders audio so precise, you’ll sound like you recorded in a world-class studio. And this new preamp means you can make recording level adjustments on the fly. Of course, an automatic level setting function is also built-in to optimize your levels as quickly as the situation requires.

High resolution, 24-bit/96kHz linear PCM recording

Choose up to 24-bit/96-kHz linear PCM WAV files for audio resolution that surpasses DVD quality. Or, when maximum recording time with smaller file sizes is desired, select a variety of MP3 formats from 320 kbps down to 48 kpbs to produce smaller files suitable for web or e-mail distribution.

Secure your digital memories on SD and SDHC cards

The H4n uses compact SD or high-capacity SDHC memory cards of up to 32GB for over 15 hours of recording time at 24-bit/96kHz. Or, using MP3 format at 128 kpbs, get over 550 hours of recording time on one card.

RECORDING TIME CHART

It’s about the music.

For musicians and songwriters, the H4n is also a user-friendly, multi-track studio (MTR) that records at CD quality, 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution. Plug in your guitar or bass and use the H4n’s classic amp models to inspire your creativity and find tone perfection during your recording sessions.

The MTR mode allows simultaneous 2-track recording and 4-track playback. With this feature, you can sketch songs by overdubbing vocals and instruments with ease. Level and panning can be adjusted individually for each track on the built-in mixer, and you can even do a mixdown right on the H4n. Perfect for pre-production sessions with the band.

SCREENSHOT OF FOUR-TRACK MTR

The H4n offers a choice of 50 studio-quality DSP effects including compressor, chorus, delay, and reverb. These onboard studio effects, along with its tuner and metronome make the H4n very musician friendly.

The H4n’s phrase trainer capability makes learning new songs easy with an adjustable playback feature that changes the speed from 50 to 150 percent, while maintaining pitch. Or use its center cancel feature to suppress audio that is recorded with center imaging. And because the H4n lets you alter pitch without changing playback speed, you can choose source material, suppress the center audio and use it as a backing track while recording a vocal or guitar track.

50% to 150% OF SPEED CONTROL

It’s a USB audio interface

The H4n also functions as a USB audio interface, letting you record directly to either a Mac or PC. Use your favorite recording software or the bundled Cubase LE 4 from Steinberg, so you can start to produce and edit your recording right out of the box.

Everyone likes surprises, but not while you’re recording

You can set your H4n to automatically record whenever sound above a designated level is detected. This ensures that you capture everything of importance while minimizing blank sections such as when recording a conference or lecture. The H4n can also be set to continuously record the most recent two seconds of audio in memory. Now, you’ll never miss the beginning of anything you want to record, even if it begins suddenly.

DIAGRAM OF AUTO RECORD

Brains with a body too

The H4n has a new rubberized, shock resistant chassis that improves durability while reducing handling noise. A large, 1.9 inch LCD screen with backlit graphic display shows all the tracking information at a glance and makes it easy to navigate the functions of the unit. The H4n even has a built-in reference speaker to let you check recordings without earphones.

Faster file transfer

The H4n is now a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed device, meaning that files can be transferred to your computer at the highest rate available. Then use recording software for editing, create your own original CDs, post your recordings on your myspace page or send out your recordings by e-mail… the possibilities are endless.

Stamina mode extends battery life to 11 hours

For situations where you require maximized, continuous recording operation you can select stamina mode that effectively doubles battery life, letting you record continuously for approximately 11 hours in 16-bit/44.1kHz linear PCM format.

DIAGRAM OF BATTERY LIFE

Fully loaded

A 1 GB SD card, windscreen, mic clip adapter, AC adapter, USB cable, protective case and Cubase LE recording software are included with your H4n. The windscreen is especially helpful to reduce wind noise. The mic clip adapter works perfectly when attaching the unit to a standard mic stand, or you can use the built-in tripod mount with a standard camera tripod.

SHOT OF INCLUDED ACCESSORIES

Go remote with the RC4

An optional remote control (RC4) gives you access to a range of functions including recording start, play, stop, fast forward/reverse, recording level adjustment, and input source switching. It is also useful for preventing any handling noise.

SHOT OF REMOTE

The H4n is the epitome of sophistication made simple. For anyone who needs professional recording capability with extraordinary versatility, the H4n will give you the ability to capture everything with the clarity and resolution previously found only in the world’s finest recording studios. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make world-class recordings, wherever you are in the world.

    Features:
  • Built-in X/Y stereo mics record at either 90° or 120°
  • Four channel simultaneous recording using built-in and external mics
  • Digitally controlled, high-quality mic preamp for improved audio quality
  • Large 1.9-Inch LCD screen and improved user interface for easy operation
  • 24bit/96kHz Linear PCM recording for pristine recording
  • MP3 recording for increased recording time
  • Built-in reference speaker to check recordings
  • Shock resistant rubberized body for improved chassis protection
  • Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) compatible time stamp and track marker
  • Records on SD/SDHC media of up to 32GB for maximum recording time
  • Auto-record and pre-record feature so you never miss a moment
  • Variable speed playback capability for “phrase training”
  • Stamina mode enables 10 hours of continuous battery life
  • Onboard mid-side matrix decoder for additional miking possibilities
  • Built-in mounting joint for tripod and mic stand mounting
  • USB 2.0 port for faster file transfer
  • XLR inputs with phantom power allow recording with any mic
  • Supports plug-in power type external mics
  • Hi-Z Inputs for recording guitar and bass
  • Studio effects onboard, including guitar and bass amp modeling
  • USB audio interface capability
  • Low-cut filter to reduce noise
  • Normalizing and file splitting functions
  • Mono mix function
  • Onboard tuner and metronome
  • Includes 1 GB SD card, wind screen, mic clip adapter, AC adapter, USB cable, protective case and Cubase LE recording software
  • Optional remote control (RC4) available
90 POLAR PATTERN120 POLAR PATTERN

                            90° (standard)                                               120° (wide-angle) stereo


Built-in Microphone Frequency Response

RESPONSE GRAPHIC

H4n Handy Recorder Features at a Glance

The H4n Handy Recorder is the ultimate in professional, portable recording. A large 1.9-inch, backlit display features recording levels, file format, time elapsed, file name, remaining battery life and recording time. Optional features such as low cut filter, compressor/limiter and phantom power are also shown when utilized. LEDs indicate Stereo, 4-Channel or MTR mode.

Transport controls include one button recording, playback and pause, forward and rewind buttons. You also have greater control over functions such as Folder, File, Speed or Format selection with the Short Cut/Track Select keys. These keys double as track selectors with the Multi-Track Recorder mode.

FRONT SHOT WITH CALLOUTS SHOWING THE RIGHT SIDE

On right side of the H4n, the Jog Dial and Menu Key are positioned together for easy navigation. Push the Menu Key to enter the menu and the Jog Dial to navigate through the plentiful features. Use the record level buttons to toggle your levels up or down, and replace your SDHC card by folding down the rubberized door.

BACK SHOT WITH CALLOUTS SHOWING THE LEFT SIDE

The left side of the H4n contains a jack for the RC4 remote control, Phone/Line Output for monitoring and playback. Playback Volume, USB 2.0 interface, Power On and Hold.

Use the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Interface to move your files to a PC or Mac for storage, editing or playback. And you can even use the H4n as a USB interface and record directly to your favorite digital audio software or the supplied Cubase LE software.

On the back, you’ll find a reference speaker, external mic input for plug-in power type mics and a tripod mount. Remove the battery cover to turn on Stamina Mode. There is also mount for a carry strap. On the bottom of the H4n, you’ll find the combination XLR/Phone inputs and the AC power input is located here as well.

Our most sophisticated recorder, the H4n is also incredibly easy to navigate and setup for the most diverse recording situations you could ever encounter. Now you can capture every sonic detail with the kind of quality and precision usually found in the world’s finest recording studios.


From the Manufacturer


In the box

The H4N comes with everything you need to create high-quality audio for video.

  • SD card (2GB)
  • Windscreen
  • MA2 mic clip adapter
  • AD-14 AC adapter
  • USB cable
  • Cubase LE software
  • Protective case
  • Operation manual

The Zoom H4N Handy Recorder

The gold standard in portable recording

The rugged and reliable H4n has long been a favorite of videographers working on location, but is equally well-suited for live concert recording and music production.

It offers four tracks of simultaneous audio recording, a built-in X/Y stereo microphone, dual external inputs, and comprehensive multi-effects, making it the field recorder of choice for anyone looking for high-quality audio in a portable package.

  • Four-tracks of simultaneous recording
  • Records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32GB
  • Built-in X/Y stereo mic, adjustable between 90˚ and 120˚
  • Dual mic/line/instrument inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors
  • Up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in time-stamped BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
  • Requires just 2 AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries, with up to 11 hours of battery life
  • Tripod mount, mic clip, and AC adapter included

Great audio for your video

The H4n can be connected to any standard tripod or mic stand, or you can use Zoom's optional Hot Shoe adapter to mount it directly to your camera, making it an invaluable addition to any videographer's field kit.

Two paths to perfect stereo

The H4n provides two different ways of recording great-sounding stereo: X/Y and MS (Mid-Side).

X/Y recording:

The built-in X/Y microphone provides two matched unidirectional microphones. The angle of the two can easily be changed from 90 degrees for a tightly focused stereo image to 120 degrees for a wider image. X/Y is an excellent way to cover a wide area while still capturing sound sources in the center with clarity and definition, making the H4n ideal for all types of live stereo recording, such as location video shoots and live concerts.

Mid-Side recording:

The H4n also provides an onboard MS decoder so you can do MS recording using external microphones. This powerful technique allows you to adjust the width of the stereo image in postproduction while maintaining perfect mono compatibility, making it especially useful for film, video and television projects.

Ideal for music-making, too

The H4n transforms any environment into a home studio. Its ability to record up to four tracks simultaneously, along with powerful overdubbing and punch-in features, allows you to do high-quality recording—up to 24-bit/96kHz—wherever you go.

Onboard effects such as compression, limiting, reverb, and guitar and bass amp modeling enable you to turn your musical creations into studio-quality recordings. Onscreen controls allow easy mixdown to stereo or mono, and the H4n can even convert your finished song to an MP3 file for emailing and posting to your favorite social networking site.

H4n H5 H6
Number of simultaneous tracks 4 4 6
Number of inputs 2 2 (expandable to 4) 4 (expandable to 6)
Phantom power +24/+48V +12/+24/+48V +12/+24/+48V
Uses interchangeable capsules N Y Y
Provided microphone(s) Built-in X/Y XYH-5 XYH-6, MSH-6
Maximum SD card size 32 GB 32 GB 128 GB
Separate line out N Y Y
USB audio interface in/out 2/2 4/2 6/2
Battery life (Alkaline) 6-11 hrs 15 hrs 20 hrs


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 11 customer reviews
Easy to use and great sound quality.
Ryan J Williams
The built in condensers get some really nice sound, and the external jacks allow me to use any mic I want to use, or record any stereo sound with the 1/4" inputs.
B. Florence
The one thing I can say about the sound is that it is accurate.
Aaron Morris

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Bahls on August 10, 2011
Style Name: Portable Recorder Verified Purchase
Length: 1:32 Mins
The video is from my recent vacation in Cape Cod, MA. We took a boat out to the outer beach, and there were seals everywhere! I managed to get my camera out of my bag with my other hand while recording the seals. The audio is straight from the H4n, I only did a little of compression to smooth out some transients.

I'm a Sound Design student at Savannah College of Art and Design, most of my Sound Professors have said that carrying around a portable recorder is a great way to getting in the habit of recording, and getting great sounds.

I've had the H4n for about 5-6 months now an I'm loving it. I would suggest anyone looking to buy one to get the wired remote. The buttons on the H4n are a little clicky, and they can be heard on the recording if your adjusting levels on the fly. The remote has soft silent buttons, and the LED will flash if you are clipping.

Overall I'm really enjoying my H4n an I'm looking forward to all the great sounds I'll record in the future with it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cicada on November 24, 2010
Style Name: Portable Recorder
I was looking for a field recorder to start recording higher-quality audio for use with my 7D when doing interviews and short clips for a website and some other clients. I'd done a lot of research on the zoom series (H1/H2/H4n).

hen i visited my local Sam Ash, i was sold on the H4n the moment i held it. The build quality is solid, but lightweight enough to not be cumbersome. The MAIN ting that sold me on the H4n over the cheaper but equally awesome zoom products is the XLR inputs that are phantom powered if you need it for condenser or other high-end microphones. The jacks are combo jacks so it can take a 1/4" or an XLR in, which is great.

The H4n comes with a plastic protective case which fits like a glove and sufficiently protects it from getting banged up in a bag with other equipment. The wind screen isn't that great, but there are aftermarket windscreens like the "redhead" which are awesome. The built-in condenser mics are great, and the built in effects are equally useful, especially for adjusting audio for doing voiceover work or spoken word, like podcasts.

It can record in MP3 format at varying bitrates so you can get the most out of your SD card if you have a lot of audio to record or if you just don't like having to convert formats. You can adjust mic levels on the fly, even during recording which is awesome. Additionally you can suspend and resume recording (to the same file), which i've heard some other recorders can't do, but i'm not sure about that.

I haven't yet tested it as a USB device as I don't podcast or do anything that would really need it [i often have my mixer piped into my line in on my computer] but the feature is nice to have. I suppose you could also transfer your files off the SD card if you don't have a card reader.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gerald E. Takach on November 11, 2010
Style Name: Portable Recorder Verified Purchase
I have a Canon T2i and although it takes wonderful video I needed to have good quality sound. The Zoom H4N is the perfect solution for my budgetary needs. It has other features that are also great but I bought it for field recording. I compared it to other onboard mics and this was much better. I wasn't crazy about it as an extention mic. I use it as a stand alone microphone and I'm very happy with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jon on May 4, 2013
Style Name: Portable Recorder
There are enough reviews about this product's capabilities and sound quality.

Capabilities and sound quality are great. Period.

The first week I got the H4N a miniscule piece of plastic broke off of the battery cover. (See photos) Now, my 5 day old recorder is held closed with a piece of tape. Others have this issue too. Support seems to be lacking. I sent my first email today and will start with the phone calls on Monday.

The flap that covers the SD card slot is also very frail and is already showing signs of wear. (Opened 15 times at the maximum). I imagine the chance of the cover failing is probably 100%.

I keep a roll of electrical tape with the H4N in order to keep the battery cover closed. Kind of lame.

I would not trade it for the world. But I'm very disappointed that in the first week with very careful handling, it's already breaking up.
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Style Name: Portable Recorder
For use with a DSLR, can actually make video bordering on professional quality. Having tried several different "cam corders", and realizing that professional results costs much more than the 3-4 K units I was using, I gave up. First off, my little overlooked dslr has superior optics to any camcorder--(unless you get something different than the stock lens). SO I got out my DSLR but realized the sound quality that comes with it is NONE. There is no sound. Enter this. I got a special project (ghost hunting if you can believe) and had a epiphany that I could use this with the DSLR.

I had to buy all kinds of brackets and harnesses but now can get exceptional videos by using this and the camera. I like the software built in, it has 1G on board memory and allows you to create folders to store music, and then files in each of the folders. You can manipulate the sound in several ways--more in a second. The H4n uses compact SD or high-capacity SDHC memory cards of up to 32GB. SD cards produce no mechanical noise--like tapes or other-, are not disturbed by vibrations and are readily available for your convenience.

The onboard microphones are very adjustable.-- and are arranged with the right and left mics on the same axis==next to each other and crossing in an X. This design ensures that the mics are always an equal distance from the sound source for perfect localization without phase shifting. Frequency response remains uniform throughout, resulting in great sound. The two mics, X/Y stereo condenser mics allow variable recording patterns at either 90° or 120°. by rotating the actual microphone from 90° (standard) to 120° (wide-angle) stereo for versatility.. Now your recordings can be made to be very rich and full.
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