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Zoom ZH1 H1 Handy Portable Digital Recorder (Black)
- Stereo X/Y mic configuration captures perfect stereo images
- Same frequency and SPL handling as popular Zoom H2
- Records Broadcast WAV (BWF) at 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit
- Records MP3 from 48 to 320kbps for maximum recording time
- Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port
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From the manufacturer
In the box
The H1 comes with everything you need to capture audio wherever you go.
- 2GB microSD card
- 1 x AA battery
- Steinberg WaveLab LE software
- Operation manual
The Zoom H1 Handy Recorder
Good things come in small packages
The ultra-compact H1 is tiny enough to be slipped into your pocket, yet it delivers big sound. It's perfect for capturing song ideas and documenting lectures and meetings—a whole lot faster and easier than taking notes!
With its built-in stereo X/Y microphone, Auto Level control, and low cut filter, the H1 is also ideal for recording interviews, live concerts, and band rehearsals.
- Lightweight and ultra-compact
- Built-in 90˚ X/Y stereo microphone
- Records directly to microSD and microSDHC cards up to 32GB
- Supports up to 24-bit/96kHz WAV audio, as well as a variety of MP3 formats
- Stereo Mic/Line Input jack with Plug-in power
- Monitoring speaker and stereo Phones/Line Output jack with dedicated volume control
- Requires just a single AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable battery, with up to 10 hours of battery life
Take it everywhere
Smaller than most cell phones and weighing in at just two ounces, you can take the ultra-portable H1 wherever you go—live concerts and band rehearsals, location video shoots, lectures and meetings.
Recording made simple
The H1's built-in X/Y microphone provides two matched unidirectional microphones set at a 90 degree angle relative to one another. The X/Y technique provides a great way to cover a wide area while still capturing sound sources in the center with clarity and definition, making it perfect for all types of live stereo recording.
Alternatively, you can connect a pair of external microphones or line level signal to the H1's Mic/Line Input mini phone jack for other types of stereo recording.
In addition, there's a Line/Headphones Output with a dedicated volume control so you can plug in headphones or interconnect the H1 with other equipment such as a DSLR. There's even a built-in speaker for fast monophonic monitoring of the recorded signal without the need to make any connections.
Also a USB microphone
When you're ready to take your recordings to the next level, simply connect the H1 to your computer via USB and launch your favorite editing software, such as the supplied WaveLab LE. The H1 can even be used as a 2-in/2-out audio interface or USB microphone.
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|Sold By||Amazon.com||E ZEE ELECTRONICS||Quantum Networks||Movo Photo||Movo Photo||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||3.82 x 6.69 x 1.77 in||5 x 6 x 2 in||2.36 x 7.48 x 1.18 in||—||—||1.68 x 2.66 x 4.5 in|
Brilliant stereo recording in your pocket.
Top customer reviews
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Go to zoom.co.jp and click the "downloads" link at the top. Find the link for the H1 under "Recorders." There's an updated manual for version 2.0 as well in Acrobat format. Enjoy! On to the (updated) review...
Straight to the point: If you're considering getting a digital recorder and your needs are simple, seriously consider this one.
The sound is quite phenomenal for a recorder this size and asking price. (Zoom claims the H1 has the same frequency and SPL handing as their popular H2.)
Button/switch placement is intuitive and couldn't be simpler. Need the lo-cut filter? Slide the switch in the back (and the LCD will tell you it's on). When you're ready to record, simply press the big red button on the front. When done recording, press it again. If you want to hear what you've just recorded (via the built-in speaker or the line out jack), simply push the play button on the side of the unit.
There are several functions that will prove useful including adjusting the input level manually (from 1 to 100; *really* useful for loud situations like a rock concert) and being able to actually monitor audio during recording via the line out jack.
The unit records in MP3 and Broadcast WAV formats, in many bit-depths and sample rates. (Max for WAV is 24-bit/96 kHz and 320 kbps for MP3.) Broadcast WAV functions just like any other WAV with the addition of having metadata (like time and date) stamped into the file, which is great for identifying WAVs in audio editors that support the format. The H1 allows you to place markers into WAVs during recording for easy transport/identification during playback in audio editors as well. (The H1 will also jump to these markers while in playback mode should you push the "<<" or ">>" buttons during playback.)
I have not tried the newly-added function of being able to use the H1 as a USB audio interface, mostly because I did not get the H1 for that purpose, though it's very nice to know that such a feature is available to me should I need it. ASIO drivers are available at Zoom's website.
File transfer to your computer is quite fast. (For comparison's sake, the H1 uses Hi-speed USB 2.0 versus the H2's Full-speed USB 2.0. In layman's terms, the H1 is quicker than the H2 file-transfer wise.) The unit is firmware-upgradable and version 2.00 is available at Zoom's website. (Mine came with version 1.02 initially and now runs 2.00.) When you connect to the computer using a (Mini-B to Standard-A) USB cable using version 2.00 of the firmware, the H1 will ask if you want to use the H1 as a card reader or an audio interface. It will eventually default as a card reader if you do not do anything. Otherwise, you simply choose what you want the H1 to do with the record button.
I knew that the H1 was small but I wasn't exactly prepared for how small. If you were to lay your hand flat, the H1 would fit inside it with room to spare. (I have average-sized hands.)
The H1 is so light even with one AA battery that it feels delicate. I wouldn't suggest banging it around. There's a connector for a wrist strap at the bottom of the unit (near the speaker) so if you're concerned about dropping the H1, it might be worth your while to connect a strap.
The cover to the microSD card slot can come open with just a nudge which might annoy you while handing the H1. (I should also note the cover is made of a hard plastic but looks like it might come off and break with enough force; just be careful as you open it.) The tripod mounting joint is also made of plastic so you might not want to overtighten when mounting the H1. Like most recorders, the H1's sensitive mics are prone to handling noise.
There doesn't seem to be any way of recording in mono; it would have to be done post-production.
Get the H1 Accessory Pack as well but also get a RedHead windscreen (or similar) to boot; the included windscreen in the Accessory Pack is great for voice/plosives and all but horrible for wind noise (which is not surprising since it's a foam windscreen). One needs more to baffle the wind only a "dead cat" type windscreen can provide.
I know I forgot things but I wanted to make this as concise as possible, pros and cons. It's simply a great recorder and I was not disappointed.
UPDATED EDIT 2010: Since my initial review, two months have passed by, so I thought I'd give my updated thoughts. There are some reports that the H1 is draining batteries faster than normal even while the H1 is off. This is obviously not in every unit as I do not have this issue. (I had mine since official release, which was August 20, 2010.) A quick way to find if you have a defective H1 is to simply check the battery within a day. If it's quite low or no battery power, contact Samson (in the U.S.) and let them know.
There are users who claim that the H1 is shoddily built. My challenge to that is, What were you expecting for $99 USD? Gold? As I said in my review, the H1 is so darned light with a battery in it it's hard to not think of it as delicate. Is it so shoddy that users who are careful with their electronics shouldn't pick it up? Oh, heck no. It's not like the H1's casing is made of plastic that's so pliable it's pathetic. It feels solid enough at least in my hand.
Obviously, if your needs put you in a situation where durability is a concern, the H1 might not be for you. I would think this was common sense all things considered.
Of course, a note on the sound: It is quite superb. I've done (far) more than a bunch of recordings already and there are times where I have to check to see if what I'm hearing is coming from my monitors or in the real world. (I thought someone was presently mowing their lawn off in the distance when, in fact, they were not.) It's that good.
However, I own three of these, and when turned off, they all drain a fresh battery in about 24 hours. Apparently Zoom/Samson acknowledges that this is a problem with many of the units they've manufactured, and will fix the problem when found, but I'd prefer to have a recorder that doesn't have basic problems, and not have to go through all the rigmarole required and the time spent to send it back to the manufacturer for a fix.
If you buy this recorder, and you get a bad one, you can either send it back or put the battery in only when you use it.
Zoom H1 - Good sound, exceptional 1 button operation. I have the special edition white H1. It is much easier to see the labels and controls than on the black model in a dark studio or on a stage.
You can hear the H1: www.thewooks.net. I have live recordings up. OPL Sets 1 and 2 are through the H1 mics. The studio recordings include SweetLiz, Wook Walk and anything at the bottom of that page that is not obviously live (everything live is from the OPL concert, FWIW).
Tascam DR-05 - Great sound, 3 click operation to start, stop, pause. Can be a little confusing, even just setting the levels on the fly. However, the sound quality is a notch above the H1. Its now my go to for recording our band through the headphone mix.
I did find my HI BTW, had fallen between my seat and rear door after a gig. Now i swap off, I'm using them both, and they are both excellent. The H1 is just wayyyy easier to use.
(SEE VIDEO FOR SOUND EXAMPLES)
NOTE :: 1st half is a Nikon D5300 BUILT-IN Mic, 2nd half is the ZOOM. You can hear the irritating Auto-focus noise w/Built-In :(
RESULTS :: Captures Audio very well, if you use even earbuds as a monitor, it shocks you how much detail the Stereo Mics on the unit actually pick up. During a Car Show I was able to pickup "Everything" including idle chatter, birds in the distance, loud resonating bass from big block muscle cars...even to the point of being more sensitive then my own ears.
CONCERNS :: My MAIN complaint is a specific minor issue. When you use it as a line-in 'ripper' the highs are washed out and the lows lack 50% or more of the frequencies below 250Hz. In other words using this as an mp3 ripper is less then ideal. I am sure I could get good results, but not without disabling every sound feature on my SoundBlaster ZX Card AND setting all EQ's to flat or disabled. NOTE:: When ripping the aforementioned steps are standard, you just need to put in extra time to rip with an H1 due to clarity, high end noise & the low end -db cut.
FINAL OPINION :: Fantastic device, super easy to use & very suitable for post-production audio syncing. I don't use the line-in as a ripper, but that's completely overshadowed by the units functionality. If you need a great easy to use recording device for car shows, beach events or other busy convention-like activity the Zoom H1 Handy is the BEST vs. COST. It functions perfectly as a personal recorder and for interviews. The buttons function perfectly for me, with my only real complaint being the plastic case feels cheap & the SD Card slot & battery covers are too delicate. (Although after 6 months, I have not damaged mine...yet.)
UPDATES :: Make sure you download the firmware update = fixes the battery drain issue. My batteries last for MONTHS sitting in my H1 and I use Rechargeable Duracell NiMH cells. Get a FUZZY windscreen, handle (for personal recordings) & vibration isolation cage. I bought this set Movo AEK-Z1 Accessory Kit for the Zoom H1 Handy Recorder (Includes Shockmount, Camera Shoe, Furry Windsceeen & Hand Grip) it's much better then the Zoom versions (sadly). If you're not sure about this device let me say "It's a critical upgrade when compared to any built-in DSLR Mic hands down!" Just wish they sold an aluminum version with weatherproof rubberized sd card doors & battery cover, I would buy it even at $200. The larger Zoom mics are much better, but for me SIZE, WEIGHT & EASE of USE are more critical to me when used for events/shows/conventions/etc. Multi-track recorders have the edge, but the H1 gets the job done for me at a fraction of the cost & clutter.
Most recent customer reviews
Recording performance is professional.
I bought it for $ 59.99
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