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Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
|Price:||$159.99 & FREE Shipping. Details|
- Over 20 hours of operation using two standard AA batteries
- Key Control, A-B Repeat, File Dividing, Normalize, MP3 Post-Encode, Marker and Surround Mixer
- Additional functions include Lo-cut Filter, Compressor/Limiter, Auto Gain, Pre-Rec, Auto-Rec, Tuner, Metronome, Variable Speed Playback
- Records in WAV up to 24-bit/96kHz and MP3 up to 320kbps
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From the manufacturer
In the box
The H2n comes with everything you need to get started right away.
- 2GB SD card
- 2 x AA battery
- Steinberg WaveLab LE software
- Operation manual
The Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
Five microphones, four ways of recording
Zoom's H2n Handy Recorder is the only portable device to come with five built-in microphones and four different recording modes: X/Y, Mid-Side, 2-channel surround and 4-channel surround. The H2n can handle just about anything from live concert and rehearsal recording to location videography. It's also a great choice for generating lasting audio documents of important events like lectures, meetings, weddings, and parties.
- Five built-in microphones and four recording modes: Mid-Side (MS) stereo, X/Y stereo, and both 2-channel and 4-channel surround
- Records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32GB
- Supports up to 24-bit/96kHz WAV audio as well as a variety of MP3 formats
- Analog-type mic gain knob
- Onboard effects, including compression/limiting and low-cut filtering, plus chromatic tuner and metronome
- Auto Gain, Auto-record, and Pre-record features, plus Data Recovery function
- Requires just two AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable battery, with up to 20 hours of battery life
Spatial Audio for VR
The Zoom H2n is the only handheld recorder perfect for the creation of 360-degree “Spatial Audio” VR audio files native to the Google JUMP Virtual Reality Platform and fully compatible with YouTube.
Flexible inputs and outputs
The H2n offers a variety of inputs and outputs for flexibility in recording.
There's a Line In jack that can accept two channels of mic- and/or line-level signals (including microphones requiring plug-in power), as well as a stereo line out / headphone jack with a dedicated volume control. There's even a built-in speaker for fast monitoring without the need to make any connections.
In addition, the H2n's USB port allows recorded files to be imported into computer editing software such as the supplied WaveLab LE. You can even use the H2n as a 2-in/2-out audio interface or as a USB microphone.
H2n Microphone configurations
X/Y recording provides a great way to cover a wide area while still capturing sound sources in the center with clarity and definition. The H2n's built-in X/Y microphone provides two matched unidirectional mic elements set at a 90 degree angle relative to one another.
The 'Mid' microphone element in the H2n's MS mic picks up signal coming from directly in front, while the 'Side' mics capture the sounds coming from the left and right. You can then adjust the relative level of each, either during recording or during post-production, to alter the stereo width while still maintaining perfect mono compatibility.
The H2n allows you to combine the signals from both the X/Y and MS microphones in order to create two- or four-channel surround sound recordings that capture everything you hear, not just those sounds coming from in front of you, but from all directions.
|Recording modes||Stereo X/Y, Stereo MS, 2-channel surround, 4-channel surround||Stereo X/Y|
|Provided microphone(s)||X/Y, MS||X/Y|
|Number of external inputs||2||2|
|Plug-in power (2.5 V)||Y||Y|
|Recording media||SD/SDHC, up to 32 GB||microSD/microSDHC, up to 32 GB|
|Auto-Record, Pre-Record, tuner, metronome, compression/limiting, variable playback pitch/speed||Y||N|
|USB audio interface in/out||2/2||2/2|
|Battery life (Alkaline)||20 hours||10 hours|
|Weight||130 grams||60 grams|
Zoom H2n Handy Recorder
Top Customer Reviews
As a videographer/Indie filmmaker, I got the H2N because:
*It has 20hrs of battery life - longest of all Zoom recorders to date.
*The user interface is well designed and easy to adjust during shooting. I love the analog gain wheel.
*It has a REMOTE port (remote comes with accessory pack).
*Internal mics & preamp are super crisp, amazing quality up to 96kHz/24bit Wave. Great for room tone or foley.
*Doubles as USB microphone for Skype, iChat, Logic Pro, Garageband, etc. I'll use to record voice over for my videos.
**The H2N can record both external mic input AND onboard mics at the same time in multitrack mode. Similar to Zoom H4N.
If you already own an H4N, you might still want the H2N to add to your gear. It's a different type of tool. If you absolutely need XLR inputs for everything you do, then don't bother getting the H2N. BUT if there are times when you only need to capture ambient audio, or only use a 3.5mm wireless lav or 3.5mm stereo Rode mic, then I strongly recommend the H2N. It's a better tool for those types of situations.
As a musician, I got the H2N because:
*I wanted to record my band rehearsals and some of my gigs. Put this in the middle of the room, picks up the whole band.
*Has built in Tuner, Metronome, slow playback with pitch control -- so I can learn bass lines by slowing down music.
*I use it for Logic Pro 9 to record vocals. Also makes a great mic for quick demos.
*The Zoom can convert files in the recorder. Converts 4 track to stereo, Wave to MP3, etc.
The few negatives:
-The mics are too sensitive to wind. I don't understand why they couldn't build a windscreen INTO the mic frame.
-The tripod mount is plastic and will wear out over time.
-It's a little too thick to actually put in your pocket. Definitely less portable than the older H2.
If you are a musician, indie filmmaker, or event videographer and you want better audio for your projects, GET THE ZOOM H2N. You also definitely need the purchase the Accessory Pack.
Out of the box, the H2n took me about ten minutes after powering it up for the first time to figure out how to configure and use it. I needed to crack the manual for only a few features and idiosyncrasies of the unit. (N.B. This is my first ZOOM product.) With the 32GB SanDisk "Class 10" SD card I have installed, the unit takes almost exactly 10 seconds to "cold start." (Hardly bad, but I do wish it were a bit faster to power on.) It is then ready to record with a single button push. A single knob adjusts gain. While the navigation lever on the side of the unit is a little twiddly, the display and user interface is straightforward and uncluttered. Very nicely done! I use the M/S mode almost exclusively, recording "RAW" so I can play with the stereo image or strip down to mono at a later time. (ZOOM even offers a very usable free M/S VST decoder on their website to complement this functionality. Another nice touch!) The unit tethers to your computer with a standard USB2 Mini-B connector, and will run off bus power so long as you power the unit off beforehand. And despite what I've read elsewhere, the date/time setting in the unit is retained at least sufficiently long to change in fresh batteries. There are a host of other features available in this unit which I don't use so much, so I won't cover them here. In any case, I think the results are impressively good! While no match for top-grade recording kit, I feel that most people in their right mind would agree that the clarity and noise floor of this unit are stellar for the price!
So why four stars instead of five?
For starters, ZOOM's choice in using easy-to-strip plastic threading for the tripod mount is crazy. You cannot access the SD card on the bottom of the unit when mounted to a tripod, so this thread is liable to be used quite a bit, too. If nothing else, tripods and grips are a great way to minimize handling noise with any handheld recorder, so I hope ZOOM will re-evaluate this matter and put the same metal threading in the H2n as they seem to use in their other units. So as it stands, I can't bring myself to entirely trust this mount, figuring that the threading will simply strip or "twig" out of the unit unexpectedly at some point.
I've heard complaints about the "cheap" battery door. My impression is that this is probably much more durable than other reviewers have let on. However, the glossy/slippery plastic of this door is almost completely unfriendly to being opened with sweaty/oily hands. It's often harder (i.e., takes longer) to open this door than it should be. A rubbery exterior--like that on many GPS units--would largely alleviate this problem.
I also find it exceedingly tricky to hand-hold this unit without a lot of handling noise. Mounted to an inexpensive tabletop tripod (e.g., Oben TT-50), this becomes a mostly moot issue, but be aware that as a truly "handheld" recorder, this can be a sometimes a difficult beast to get serviceable recordings from.
The ergonomics of the microphone capsule are a little strange, too. With the unit upright and the display oriented toward the user, the M/S mics face out of the rear unit, while the X-Y mics face out the front. It's a minor niggle, really, but I just have to remember to re-orient the unit differently than I usually do when I switch to X-Y mode.
I also do not understand why the H2n cannot record in 24-bit when used as an audio interface. Windows 7 and 8 support 24-bit natively, yet the H2n can only record at either 44.1 or 48 kHz at 16-bit when tethered directly to a computer. As a standalone recorder, there are no problems in this regard.
I really dislike the "overload"/clipping indicator LEDs on the top of the unit. For starters, they won't be visible at all if you throw a "Dead Kitten" or Redhead windscreen over your H2n. They seem to be a bit slow on the uptake (i.e., blinking ~30 ms *after* "clipping" actually takes place). I also feel they are hard to see under bright light, and are often not conspicuous unless you're you're looking right at the unit in many situations. I feel ZOOM should take design cues from the way the clipping indicators were implemented on the Olympus LS series.
Apart from a display backlight timer, there is also nothing akin to a power-saving mode. This means that even when the recorder is in "Hold" mode, the recorder will remain on rather than going into "Standby" when sitting idle (i.e., not playing or recording). Again, a relatively minor niggle, as the battery life on this recorder really isn't all that bad when run off lithium batteries. Speaking of the display backlight, control over the backlight brightness would be nice plus, as the screen is much too bright at night. I ended up taping on a small sheet of Rubylith over the display to give my eyes a break.
So with that all out of the way, I feel this is a remarkably refined and versatile piece of equipment offered at a nearly disposable price. ZOOM "did good" with this one!
the mic configuration
built in speaker for audio playback isnt too loud but works just fine
to be able to record both ms and from external audio was a major plus for me
the sound quality is good enough for podcasts or youtube videos
the price wasn't too steep
ability to power via usb from outlet or powerbank
4 channel function is amazing
placement of line in,home button,play wheel,etc
doesn't come with a windscreen :(
the dial can be annoying to navigate
plastic tripod screw hole
although i did list quite a bit of dislikes about it i would still totally recommend the device if you have any questions about the item please feel free to leave a comment although im sure i left something out ill try to get some more reviews out asap thank you for reading my review