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Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder

by Zoom
| 66 answered questions

List Price: $337.49
Price: $269.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $67.50 (20%)
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  • 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
14 new from $269.00 2 used from $249.99 1 refurbished from $239.99

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Frequently Bought Together

Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder + Zoom RC4 Wired Remote Control For Zoom H4n + Case Logic DCB-304 Compact System/Hybrid Camera Case (Black)
Price for all three: $309.96

Buy the selected items together

Product Details

  • 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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129 in Musical Instruments (See Top 100 in Musical Instruments)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: January 28, 2009

Product Description

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.

Product Description

Zoom H4N Handy Portable Digital Recorder


Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Easy to use and great sound quality.
Ryan J Williams
You will not regret buying this recorder, so go out there & get one & make some great music!
K. Mellinger
The unit is easy to use and is very intuitive.
StarGazer12

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

653 of 663 people found the following review helpful By Oresti Tsonopoulos on March 6, 2010
Verified Purchase
Length: 1:42 Mins
After having done a quick video test for the Kodak Zi8, I decided to do something which would focus more on its audio recording capabilities. I also wanted to test the Zoom H4n, a portable flash recorded I recently purchased... so, here I am, killing two birds with one stone.

I setup the Kodak Zi8 about 5 feet from the sound source, which is an upright piano... that's me noodling on it. The Zi8 is mounted on a tripod.

About 15 feet away from the piano, I've setup the Zoom H4n recorder. This unit has an XY stereo microphone built into it. It also has the ability to record two inputs, in the form of XLR or 1/4-inch. So, we'll be hearing the built in XY microphone on the unit as well as a pair of AKG 414s which I positioned above the piano, pointing into the open lid.

"Kodak Zi8 Internal Microphone"
Here we hear the internal microphone on the Zi8. Mono, a bit noisy and perhaps a little too close to the piano to capture a clean sound. In any case, this does the trick for capturing an idea, but definitely doesn't cut it if you're looking for high-quality audio.

"Zoom H4n XY Microphone"
Here the stereo image opens up suddenly. This XY microphone which is built into the unit is capturing a very natural, coincident stereo sound. It's a very reflective room, so you hear that, as the microphone is about 15 feet from the sound source.

"Zoom H4n Pair AKG 414s"
Here we're hearing the pair of AKG 414 microphones pointing into the piano. Because the microphones are very close to the sound source, there is significantly less "room" sound. This would be more suitable for a studio recording, while the XY sound would be more appropriate in perhaps a classical or field recording.
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302 of 311 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Morris on March 28, 2009
Just like the customer above me, I have a fairly early model (serial 2211). I don't imagine them having any revisions or anything, because this unit is really solid. Let me start by saying that this device should not be considered a Mic in its own right. Sure, it has two condenser microphones stuck on top to record in stereo, but I wouldn't use these mics in any studio unless I had nothing better. This unit is for those people who want to record in the field, and be able to capture 4 tracks of audio in a handheld device.

First, the build quality. Obviously Zoom took a lot of criticism to heart from their first H2 and H4 models. The H4n sports a "rubberized" hardshell design that's easy to grip, and seems to stand up well to surface scratches. (Mind you, the rubber texture can attract greasy fingerprints which can get annoying if you're a gadget freak like me). The top of the unit where the mics are is metal. There is some plastic on the unit, but definitely better designed than the previous two recorders from zoom. The buttons are easy to press, and the screen is large, allowing you to see everything you need to very easily.

The poster above me wondered why there was no metal cage protecting the microphones (like the previous H4 had). The answer to this is the switchable pattern on the microphones. Each mic can be twisted and swiveled to change the directionality that the mic pics up. In its native position the mics pic up at a 90 degree angle, giving a pretty good stereo image. But when you twist them, the mics are then a 120 degree angle. This is good for picking up sources that are farther away, or even ambient sounds for a wider stereo image. If there was a metal cage over the mics, you couldn't reach your fingers in to twist them.
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184 of 188 people found the following review helpful By JPod on April 11, 2009
In looking for a portable handheld recorder for scratch tracks and samples, I weighed the benefits of a few of the handhelds available today and settled on the H4n. The other recorders on my short list were the Edirol R-09 and Sony PCM-D50, and also the H4. So far the H4n hasn't disappointed.

I settled on the Zoom H4n for a couple of reasons:

1) 1/4" and XLR inputs with phantom power - Very handy for throwing a mic on a kick and snare, and the H4n will record those plus the internal condensor simultaneously, which is perfect to get the rest of the drum kit for some quick loop scratch tracks.

2) More geeked out features than the others - They are not needed but still fun to have. The H4n is like the Leatherman of handheld pocket recorders with plenty of built in effects (which sound really good btw), built in 4 track recorder mode, tuners and metronome, playback speed control, MP3 encoder, acts as USB audio interface (both input and output), built in monitor speaker, and more. I also like the little things I'm still discovering, like when I put Ni-MH batteries in and then plugin in the adapter it recharges the batteries.

3) Build - I like the build quality compared to the H4 - Not as nice as the Sony but the thing does feel solid and substantial in your hand. The built in mics are a little exposed without a wire cage on the top like others have, it would probably not be a good thing to drop this unit and have the mics hit first.

4) Cost - This recorder was midrange even with it being brand new. It's less than the Sony and more than the H4 or R-09. I suspect the price will come down a bit when it's been out for a couple months down to where the R-09 is now. For what it has built in it's amazing to be it's as inexpensive as it is.
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