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Zoom H4N Digital Multitrack Recorder
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- Onboard X/Y Mics: High quality with easy to set selectable recording width (90 and 120 degrees)
- 2 XLR/TRS Inputs: Connect mics, instruments, and line level devices
- 24-bit/96 kHz recording
- Expanded Capabilities: Built-in effects, audio interface mode and on-board speaker
- Included accessories 2015: Plastic case, 2 AA batteries, Cubase LE and manual
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From the manufacturer
In the box
The H4NSP comes with everything you need to create high-quality audio for video.
- Protective case
- 2 AA batteries
- Operation manual
- Download license for Steinberg Cubase LE and WaveLab LE software
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
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).
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.
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.
|Number of simultaneous tracks||4||4||6|
|Number of inputs||2||2 (expandable to 4)||4 (expandable to 6)|
|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|
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Kellards||Amazon.com||Audio 360||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||FP Logistics|
|Item Dimensions||2.5 x 6 x 1 in||3 x 7.7 x 5.6 in||3.5 x 5.5 x 8 in||5.24 x 3.07 x 3.67 in||9.33 x 14.8 x 2.06 in||1 x 5.4 x 6.4 in|
Zoom H4nSP Handy Recorder
Top customer reviews
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I do an A/B test on the video, but you have to wear headphones if you really want to hear the difference between the noise floors on the two units. If you can't hear it here because of Amazon's draconian compression, search "Zoom H4nPRO vs H4nSP" on YT for a higher resolution version of this video.
PS - Writing reviews has become an accidental hobby for me, and it always makes my day to know that people find my reviews helpful (and if not, why.) Also, if you have any questions, clarifications, or comments please feel free to leave a comment below. I usually respond pretty quickly and almost always within 24 hours.
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.
"Zoom H4n Mix of XY + 414s"
Here we have the best of both worlds. We have a blend of the direct signal from the 414s AND some of the room sound from the XY microphone. I believe this is the best overall option in most scenarios.
Finally we return to the Zi8 internal microphone to hear the major difference when using external audio equipment. At under $200, I believe the Zi8 does a great job capturing the visual and at under $300, the Zoom H4n does a remarkable job with the audio.
However, there are a few flaws IMO:
1. Boot-up time is ridiculously long.
This device is completely unsuitable for spontaneous dictation or recording - forget about it. If you power this thing up to capture something impromptu, you'll either forget what you were going to say or the event will be over before the device is ready to use. I don't know if there's a tiny floppy disk it's reading during boot up but I cannot explain why it takes 30+ seconds for a device to become ready. It's ridiculously slow - it may not seem like it, but when you're on top of a ladder and getting ready to turn on an ambient recorder for a live show capture, you're hanging up there for awhile before the recorder will be ready.
2. Battery life is lousy
I put new batteries in this device and it didn't last more than 2 hours or so. I got this device to record ambient audio to be used to sync multiple video camera shots of live performances. I stick the recorder up on a light truss and turn it on.. it didn't last long and turned off. I discovered there is a "stamina mode" you can put the device in, and that helps but I'm not sure what difference there is between the two modes.
3. Date/Time is lost every time you change the batteries.
We have been in the era of non-volatile memory for decades. Why can't this device remember the date at least, when the batteries are being replaced? This ruins time-stamps on the files.
4. Inflexible file hierarchy
Speaking of files.. the system uses an impersonal file system that cannot be renamed or made more human-friendly. folder01, folder02, folder03, etc... really? I renamed the folders to something more descriptive and the device ignored them and re-created the same un-descriptive folder hierarchy for storing its files under. How difficult is it to at least be able to read the SD card and use the existing file folders? It would be really useful if I could create my own, more descriptive folder names on computer, stick the card in the device and read them. folder01, folder02 doesn't mean much.