Zoom H2n Stereo/Surround-Sound Portable Recorder, 5 Built-In Microphones, X/Y, Mid-Side, Surround Sound, Ambisonics Mode, Records to SD Card, For Recording Music, Audio for Video, and Interviews
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|Hardware Interface||Secure Digital Card|
|Microphone Form Factor||Built-In|
|Media Format||MP3 Audio, WAV|
|Headphones Jack||2.5 millimeters|
About this item
- 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
- File types supported: MAV,MP3
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From the manufacturer
The H2n comes with everything you need to get started right away.
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.
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|
|Weight||130 grams||60 grams|
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Zoom H2n Handheld Portable Digital Recorder
Top reviews from the United States
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I sold this for an H4n. The got an H1n. Both were great, but this one was perfect for my needs. I should never have sold it. The best part - I’d you self-record demos you can see the screen. You don’t need a stand - just sit it in front of you.
Ugh... need to just be happy with what you’ve got.
I've used it as an audio interface and get about 12ms rount-trip (5ms in) latency through Reaper. If you direct monitor when laying down tracks AND you configure Reaper to automatically offset based on reported latency then it actually works well if you're scribbling down some ideas.
I've also plugged cheap $20 lavs into it, stuck it in a back pocket, and used it for video.
I record rehearsals with it. I plug it into the mixer to record shows. I record my son singing. It just does everything extremely well.
Here's a cool idea... set up your video camera one place, but then put the H2n close to the source. I recorded Xmas morning this way - camera in the corner and then just moved the H2n around to get sound. Sync in post and you've got a super boring Xmas video with decent sound.
...UNLESS YOU'RE AN IDIOT.
And I get can't get it through my stupid little head that the red light on the top is NOT the record light. I see a red light and I think, "Hey, it's recording! Awesome." The biggest, brightest, reddest light is NOT the record light. I really really wish it were green. Or blue. Or I weren't as dumb. But after a year I'm still making the same mistake over and over... I think I'm recording but I'm not because I'm thinking about 1000 other things. I usually only make this mistake when playing a show or at rehearsal and I'm concentrating on singing/playing.
The SD card slot door stinks. I'd just use a cable for transfers and never open it. With a 16gb card you get an obscene amount of recording time. In fact, I'm using the H2n as my music archive... I'm keeping everything on it now so I know it's in one place.
I've tried taping over the light but it's at a weird angle so that didn't work well. I should paint over it. Yeah... that's what I'll do.
This thing is like a little Swiss army knife for general purpose recording. You can record high quality tracks directly on the unit itself, you can import these tracks to your favorite DAW (digital audio workstation) for further processing, you can use it as a great little USB mic, and it even doubles as an audio interface with a stereo input. There are some great options for mic configurations. You can configure it for X/Y, mid-side, 2 channel, and 4 channel, easily adjusted with the turn of a little dial. A pair of handy LED lights tell you which side (or sides) of the mics are active. These same lights will flicker when the signal is clipping, which is a very nice visual indicator. Furthermore, it can be mounted on a tripod or you can buy the super cheap mic stand adapter for around $10 which allows you to mount this unit on a mic stand (plus it doubles as a useful handle). It has an onboard speaker so you can listen back to recordings, or you can plug in a pair of headphones to the line out. The on board speaker is terrible, but what do you expect? It’s a recording device, not a mini boom box. You can also plug in a remote which is useful for creating WAV markers. I like this because with a DAW that supports it allows you to easily navigate through your recordings.
There are some useful options, such as auto-gain (to help prevent clipping and such), a compressor/limiter, a low cut filter, and a few other options.
This unit operates on a pair of AA batteries and it’s amazing how long the batteries last given the quality of recordings. Zoom claims about 20 hours of battery life which I find to be a bit optimistic, but even still at around ~15 hours the battery life is great.
The interface on the device is quite nice. It has a backlit LED screen and navigation is simple with a selector switch that allows you to move up/down or press it in to make a selection. It only took me a few minutes to get used to it.
This recorder uses a single SD card for storage, up to 32GB which is plenty adequate for my needs. I record at 44.1 kHz / 24 bit (any higher is overkill for something like this IMO) and with a 32GB SD card I can get about 33.5 hours of recording. If you record at CD quality, which is 44.1 kHz / 16 bit, then you get a little over 50 hours of recording time. The max setting of 96 kHz / 24 bit will give you over 15 hours of time, and if you don’t mind recording in mp3 then 128 kbps (said to be CD quality, but debatable) gives you over 550 hours! 256 kbps will give you half that.
I primarily use this for recording band rehearsals and even demos. Recording rehearsals in the past was annoying, either I would use a smartphone which would provide terrible recordings, or I would use a laptop, dedicated recording interface, and microphones, which did give me better recordings but it became really cumbersome dragging that stuff around to every practice/demo session. Plus it’s annoying dealing with all the extra wires/cables and such. Also, I believe it’s a law that when you introduce a computer into the mix then you’re going to have glitches and other issues. The H2n solves all my problems, all I have to do is plop it down and hit record and I feel confident that my recordings are going to sound good every time.
The negatives are pretty minor. The biggest issue being that it only has a single universal gain knob, it would really be nice to have separate gains for each side of the mic. A minor issue is that it doesn’t come with a USB cable in the box (my H6 did), I have plenty of USB cables lying around but including one in the box would have been useful for a lot of people. It does feel a little cheap-ish being all plastic, but I haven’t had any issues with durability yet, though thankfully I haven’t dropped it. Also for the best results you really need to mount it on something, whether that be a tripod or mic stand (using the adapter, not included), recording while handling the device introduces a lot of noise, though this is probably just the nature of the device.
Despite the minor issues noted above, this is an easy 5-star product. 5 stars doesn’t mean “perfect in every single way” it means “I love it!” and I certainly do love this thing. It’s super useful and feature-rich, all in a device that can fit in my pocket.
Top reviews from other countries
Questo dispositivo è adatto sia per i creativi che amano avere la possibilità di registrare in alta qualità qualsiasi suono ovunque si trovino per poi elaborarlo, sia ai giornalisti che devono registrare rapidamente decine di interviste ogni giorno.
Andiamo nel dettaglio:
La possibilità di passare da una normale figura a cardioide fino ad una quadrifonica lo rende estremamente versatile. Potete registrare a 44 o 48 o 96 Khz (88.2 non è stato implementato per il momento) a 24 bit (molto importante questo dettaglio) in Wav.
Per i giornalisti è possibile registrare in mp3 fino a 320kbps e risparmiare così il 90% della memoria.
A Gain medio il rumore è pienamente gestibile in post-produzioe.
la risposta all'inviluppo è ottima. Sia la parte hardware e software sono intuitive anche per chi non ha voglia di leggere il manuale (cosa che comunque sconsiglio caldamente, ci sono sempre delle chicche particolari che si scoprono solo leggendolo).
Come qualità siamo a quella di un microfono a condensatore da 100 euro, con un 20% di rumore in più (capite che il Pre e l' ADC sono grandi quanto un'unghia quindi shalla).
Il software integrato è parecchio flessibile, ci sono tutta una serie di operazioni di editing semplice che potete già fare direttamente lì, molto utile per i giornalisti o per chi non fa editing complesso a posteriori.
C'è l'accordatore e il metronomo, c'è la possibilità di settare una soglia oltre la quale il registratore si accende e comincia a registrare automaticamente, c'è la funzione pre-rec che permette di non perdere l'inizio di un evento quando fate partire la registrazione dopo che codesto evento è iniziato improvvisamente (avete fino a due secondi di tempo per premere rec).
C'è l'uscita cuffie per il monitor in diretta e un line in nel caso usiate un mic esterno (cosa poco sensata comunque).
C'è un DSP posizionato dopo l'ADC ma prima della scrittura del file, che comprende filtro passa alto a 80 hz (se avete un paravendo meglio quello e levare il filtro), con compressore, limiter, autogain.
Batterie stilo incluse, di estrema durata se registrare a 44.1 khz o in mp3 a bitrate bassi.
Parecchio solido, non scricchiola.
Critica: Minc*ia ragazzi nel DSP hanno messo 9 preset fissi e basta! Potevano mettere la possiblità di decidere i parametri del compressore, limiter e autogain. Così è poco chiaro quello che succede, a tal proposito ho fatto dei test di reamping e analizzato le forme d'onda per cogliere le differenze, i seguenti sono i settaggi da usare per non perdere molta qualità:
_Se state registrando qualcosa che potete ripetere un numero arbitrario di volte, non usate nessun effetto, trovate semplicemente il Gain adatto.
_Se registrate un evento che non potete ripetere e quindi avete bisogno di più sicurezza per picchi improvvisi usate il Limiter "general" che ha la soglia più alta ed ha un rilascio lento e trasparente, o a limite il secondo che è più veloce ma applica un leggero makeup gain, quindi vi fa perdere un pò di dinamica a prescindere dai picchi.
_Al terzo posto potete usare l'autogain su "solo" ma in questo caso l'intera tracciua avrà i picchi un pò smussati per via della correzione continua del gain, e un rumore di fondo un pò più alto.
Per ottenere la qualità più alta possibile quindi è bene non usare nessun effetto integrato.
Avrei desiderato che il line out si trovasse prima della coversione AD in modo da poter prelevare il segnale e pre-amplificarlo, comprimerlo e convertirlo con un gear da studio, e come seconda cosa avrei voluto trovare la frequenza di campionamento 88.2, ma quest'ultima è una cosa che potrebbero aggiungere in futuro, dato che è questione di software.
Se volete spendere di meno ve lo sconsiglio perchè questo è il prodotto con miglior rapporto qualità prezzo, è insuperabile.
Se volete spendere di più andate di registratori multicanale a rack, non con microfoni integrati, perchè tanto non li userete mai e sono pesanti, e anche perchè se avete bisogno di spendere di più evidentemente siete dei professionisti del foley, a maggior ragione userete dei microfoni esterni e più che alto avete bisogno di qualcosa che vi dia la phantom power in giro.
Update Dicembre 2016:
Difetti trovati dopo un utilizzo massivo:
_la registrazione non è annullabile una volta partita, quindi vi tocca fermarla, e solo successivamente andare a ripescare il file per cancellarlo.
_Gli effetti si trovano post ADC (ovviamente, vorrei ben vedere un limiter hardware nel palmo di una mano), significa che il limiter ad esempio non protegge realmente dalla distorsione analogica ma ne riduce solo la percezione. Il mio consiglio è di regolare bene il gain, senza mettere nessun effetto, al massimo usate il Limiter 2 che è poco invasivo.
_Se usate la figura cardioide e dovete registrare voi stessi non potete trovare il gain giusto senza guardarvi allo specchio perchè il display si trova dall'altro lato rispetto alla figura polare. Quindi non potete osservare il livello nel display, almeno che abbiate la possibilità di avere uno specchio davanti a voi, fortuna che c'è il led lampeggiante che aiuta a capire se il gain è troppo alto.
Aggiornate il software! con la nuova versione hanno aggiunto la registrazione in matrice 3d (omni + L + R) per i video sferici (ad esempio per youtube 3d).
Dal sito potete scaricare anche un plug in matrice per il mid side.
Of note: I use an iPad and iPhone as my primary computing devices - which I think is only going to get more popular as an option. You can not use this device directly with those devices. While the h2n offers an ability to act as a USB microphone and a card reader, it draws too much power for those iOS devices and they are not compatible because of this. Even with the unit switched on using batteries, iOS still rejects the connection with a warning that it draws too much power. A minor but important niggle. That won’t stop you being able to take the memory card out and using a camera connection kit to get the files across, but that’s less convenient as well as not quite the same functionality.
If I am being critical I guess that I find the multi-function main switch a little 'vague' but actually I was aware of that from reading other reviews — but I certainly don't think it's all that bad and I am sure that with regular use the traits of the switch will be forgotten. It does the job very well and so if you read other reviews which mention the 'soft, vague' switch then I wouldn't let that worry you (it's fine with me... and I am a fussy old geezer!).
The overall build is nice quality and I can see me using the microphone for most of my projects. I do have more expensive and sophisticated mics but they are certainly not as portable or quick to setup as the H2n. I have since invested in the accessory kit as I feel the H2n needs a nice padded case and windshield... and the other items in the accessory kit will come in handy too I reckon. I paid just over £20 for the accessory kit on Amazon and I believe that's extremely good value. Admittedly the mini-tripod is a bit naff, but it'll do the job. The value is mainly in the lovely case, decent windshield, cute remote control (with extension lead too!), and even a main adaptor. I must say that the 'dummy mic handle' in the accessory kit is a great idea, either for slotting the H2n into a standard microphone holder... or as a 'hand-grip' for the odd occasion.
I must find something to have a gripe about though! I was rather miffed to discover that in my H2n box there was a very impressive printed manual(s) which actually consisted of three manuals measuring about 1/2inch thick. Almost every language under the sun in it but no English!!! I was rather amazed. I have since obtained a PDF English Manual online but can't believe that all the documentation that came with the H2n did not include English. A lot of gadgets these days you can fathom out without a manual, but the H2n is quite a complicated device with many options and settings. I pity anyone buying this who hasn't got internet access etc.
Anyway, there's the good (and the bad) about the H2n. As I mentioned, this is a very early review so I can't say I have tested the H2n much yet. Time will tell whether it continues to impress me — if I discover anything worthy of note I may add to this review at a later date.
So far though, the H2n seems to be a little belter!!!!
I bought it to make general stand-alone music recordings and to improve the sound quality with my DSLR video sound. I've recently bought a lav-mic. to accompany it.
I have used the Zoom to record speech, the Zoom mic as a USB mic. into my Mac and more recently with the lav-mic. to record whilst mobile. The SD card works well, I simply drop the card into the Mac process the file in Audition and then sync the sound to the DSLR.
For the price I think it's great.