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Zoom H6 Six-Track Portable Recorder
- Direct recording to SD cards up to 128GB.Display 2.0-inch full color LCD (320 x 240 pixels)
- Gain knobs, pads, and phantom power for each input. Maximum Sound Pressure Input: 122 dB SPL
- Newly redesigned preamps with an ultra-low noise floor, up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in wav or MP3 format
- Mountable directly to dslr or camcorder with optional hs-01 hot shoe mount adapter. Multichannel and stereo usb audio interface for pc/mac/ipad
- Includes: owners manual, XYH-6 X/Y capsule, MSH-6 MS capsule, AA size LR6 battery x4, USB cable, sponge windscreen, cubase LE software, case
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From the manufacturer
In the Box
The H6 comes with everything you need to create amazing audio.
- XYH-6 X/Y mic capsule
- MSH-6 MS mic capsule
- SD card (2GB)
- AA size (LR6) battery x 4
- Cubase LE Software
- USB Cable
- Operation manual
The Zoom H6 Handy Recorder
Change the Way You Think About Recording… Forever
Zoom''s flagship H6 is the most advanced portable recorder ever. It utilizes a system of interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lenses of a camera and comes with both X/Y and Mid-Side stereo mics.
Great for live recording as well as studio-quality music production, the H6 offers six tracks of simultaneous recording and four mic/line inputs.
- Uses a system of interchangeable input capsules
- Includes detachable stereo X/Y and Mid-Side capsules
- Six tracks of simultaneous recording
- Records directly to SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards up to 128GB
- Up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
- Four mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors, each with dedicated volume control, selectable phantom power, and -20dB pad
- Requires just four standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries (over 20 hours of operation with alkaline batteries)
How Do You Want To Record Today?
The H6 is the most versatile portable recorder ever, which means it can handle virtually any kind of recording job, from live concert recording to location videography, from electronic newsgathering to music production.
The XYH-6 allows you to do stereo X/Y recording and provides dual large diaphragm mic elements with adjustable width—choose 90 degrees for a more focused sound or 120 degrees for a wider stereo image. It''s great for recording classical music and for capturing sound effects in the field.
Step up to a whole new level of precision sound-shaping with the MSH-6, which contains a forward-facing, unidirectional mic (the “Mid”) and a side-facing, bi-directional mic (the “Side”). In conjunction with the H6''s onboard MS decoder, it allows you to capture a fully mono-compatible stereo image that can actually be adjusted after recording—ideal for film, video, and television projects.
Available Capsules and Accessories (Not Included)
SGH-6 Shotgun mic capsule
Get all the pickup with half the length by connecting an SGH-6, which adds a professional-quality, highly directional shotgun microphone to your H6. Three elements, combined with digital signal processing, give you the highly directional pickup power of a conventional shotgun in a unit only half the size, making it optimum for recording dialogue and narration with no intrusive mic in the scene.
XYH-5 shockmounted X/Y mic capsule
The advanced XYH-5 provides dual matched unidirectional condenser microphones housed in an advanced shockmount to minimize vibration and handling noise—ideal for location videography and broadcasting/podcasting. In addition, the XYH-5 is designed to handle extremely loud sounds, making it the perfect choice for capturing the sound of live rock concerts and for electronic newsgathering (ENG) applications.
EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo capsule
The EXH-6 adds two more mic- or line-level inputs to your H6, allowing you to connect up to four discrete signals from external microphones, instruments, mixers, or portable music players and fully realize your creative vision.
APH-6 Accessory Pack
Professional hairy windscreen
Wired remote control
AC power adapter
Professional hairy windscreen
Wired remote control
AC power adapter
|Number of inputs||4 (expandable to 6)||2 (expandable to 4)||2|
|Uses interchangeable capsules||Y||Y||N|
|Provided microphone(s)||XYH-6, MSH-6||XYH-5||Built-in X/Y Stero|
|Maximum SD card size||128 GB||32 GB||32 GB|
|Separate line out||Y||Y||Y|
|USB audio interface in/out||6/2||4/2||2/2|
|Battery life (Alkaline)||20 Hrs||15 hrs||6-10 hrs|
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The Zoom H6 Handy Recorder Change the Way You Think About Recording… Forever Zoom's flagship H6 is the most advanced portable recorder ever. It utilizes a system of interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lenses of a camera and comes with both X/Y and Mid-Side stereo mics. Great for live recording as well as studio-quality music production, the H6 offers six tracks of simultaneous recording and four mic/line inputs.
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I use NiMH rechargeable batteries. I ran it flat out one time and it was able to record for about 15 hours on one charge. The funny thing is the battery segments drop to one after only a few hours, so that's not much use as an indicator of remaining time. It has a menu setting that lets you specify the type of battery, rechargeable vs. alkaline, because of the voltage difference. But that doesn't make this indication of remaining battery any more accurate! :-) No worries, I just recharge the batteries from time to time and it's not really an issue.
Another thing I've noticed is the timebase is a little off for some reason. I have had multiple Sony handheld stereo recorders over the years, as well as a KORG D3200 multi-track recorder, all of which I have been able to sync together over long periods of time (I do video work) with absolutely no drift between them. I just thought this was something they had handled in the digital world, with crystal-controllable clocks of extreme precision.
But when I take a two hour recording from this device and put it up against my other recording devices, there will be a very small drift between them (10 - 20 millseconds) by the end of two hours. This is a VERY subtle and tiny difference that most people wouldn't even care about or notice, but it IS noticeable if you are doing sync work with video. It shows up as sounds being in different places when you load the waveforms into a computer and blow them up. This is the amount of time that short reverberations off of nearby hard surfaces take. So if you are recording things in a reverberant space, like a church, this drift can interfere with the natural sound of your recording. It means you have to cut it into a few pieces and make micro-adjustments to the timing every 30 minutes or so to keep it under control. Or you have to set it going for a few hours at the same time as your other recorder, figure out the percentage difference, and apply that amount of timing correction in your audio software every single time. It's not the end of the world, but it IS an added pain when I have gotten used to NOT having to do that for the past 20 years working with digital recordings.
Also, it seems to me when doing critical listening that this recorder may not produce as crystal-clear, clean recordings at volume extremes as other devices I own or have used, especially when recording loud, impulse-y things like church choirs with sopranos. I'm not talking about clipping either. Even well below clipping level, I swear I can hear something happen that is hard to characterize when a loud peak is reached by female singers. It's one of those things that drives you nuts as you listen to side-by-side recordings from different recorders and you try to figure out if you are really hearing something or not. It doesn't really sound like brick-walling either. We should be well within the capabilities of the mics and pres at the levels and distances from the subjects that I am recording.
So, all-in-all it's a great recorder for most things, especially if you aren't using it to sync to something else or for super-loud, impulsive subjects, but I give it 4 stars for these admittedly highly subjective observations. I haven't checked this sound issue with my own mics yet (R0de NT-5's) which I know can handle jet engines and things like that.
Your mileage may vary.
A couple more quick positive notes to finish... it can act as a 6-channel audio interface to your computer as well as a stand-alone recorder. That's VERY convenient if you want to record things directly to hard drive using your DAW software! And the memory capacity is great, too. I put a 16 GB memory card in it and that gives me over 15 stereo hours, almost 8 at four channels, and over 5 at six channels. And you can put MUCH bigger memory cards in it! I had to install ASIO4ALL (a free ASIO driver) to make this device work with my computer, but it works flawlessly.
The included microphones are pretty good as well. I used the M/S in a pinch to record vocals for a song and the artist said the final product sounded better that any studio session she's ever done.
This paired with a few lavalieres and a shotgun condenser microphone you can make a movie.
The H6 is the "Papa Bear" of Zoom's line of field recorders. Leader of the pack. For its pricepoint of around $350, it isn't exactly an impulse buy, but for the value and features it delivers, I believe it is a great buy. It is truly a studio in the palm of your hand.
It is a very intuitive device to figure out whether you're a hobbyist like me, or an advanced audio pro. I was able to get everything strung up and produce some high-quality recordings very quickly. Re ergonomics, the shape and build of the H6 make it easy to use when it is lying flat on a work surface. However, I decided to mount it to a Manfrotto MTPIXI-B PIXI Mini Tripod, Black. Part of my enjoyment of having nice gear is to see it in action. The H6 + PIXI combo is a very cool sight in the middle of any recording setup! (Note: there is a knockoff tripod for about 1/3 the price but I decided to get the Manfrotto after seeing it in use with my wife's MEVO camera).
One of the few knocks against the H6 is the exposed and unlockable gain knobs for each input. I can see how this could be an issue in a situation where a sound tech had this in a gear bag out in the field. Random bumps could move the knobs and that would not be good. For my needs in a more controlled and stable setting, this has never been an issue. In fact it is a good thing because I can easily "ride" the gain knobs if necessary during a recording. I would not be surprised if someone has come up with a hack or aftermarket device to cover the knobs in some way.
Another knock is the angle and location of the screen. This is an issue for people recording themselves via the capsules on top of the device. In that application, the capsules would be facing the audio source and the screen would not be viewable to monitor levels, etc. Again, for this hobbyist podcaster, this has not been a problem.
One accessory I would love to see is a protector to prevent scratches on the display screen. I have heard of some workarounds that people have used but Zoom would do well to offer a custom-fit item for this.
Re energy consumption, I installed the 4 alkaline batteries that it shipped with, but I mostly power it via USB cable and a small white Apple charging block. I also have a small Anker Astro 6700mAh Ultra-Compact Premium Portable Charger (2nd Generation External Battery Power Bank) with Fast Charging PowerIQ Techonology and Panasonic Battery Cells that I keep in my gear bag that will power the H6.
The Zoom H6 is a piece of gear that you will be proud to own and use. It is the core of my recording setup and I love pulling it out of its case each time I use it. You will not have any buyers' remorse if you spring for the Zoom H6!
Most recent customer reviews
Would be nice if there was a line level input without having to use one of the...Read more