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Zoom H2 Portable 2-Track SD Recorder

The Zoom H2 gives you the power to record anything and share it with anyone, anywhere. The portable Zoom H2 makes high-quality recording on-the-go a reality. (176) Read 38 reviews for this product | Rate and review this product
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Product Description

Does the inspiration for a new song always strike when you're riding the bus? Trying to record business meetings on your company's shoe-string budget? Ran into J. D. Salinger at a cafe and he's agreed, just this once, to be interviewed for your literary podcast? The solution to these problems, and so many more, is the Zoom H2 Handy Recorder! The Zoom H2 is a digital audio recorder that fits in your pocket, captures pristine surround-sound audio, and is a breeze to operate...all at a price point that won't force you or your production company's budget into the red.

Zoom H2: As a Songwriting Partner

The songwriting muse is a fickle one, here one instant and gone the next. You need a recorder that can capture your most ephemeral ideas at the instant they come to you. With its diminutive size and easy operation, the Zoom H2 is just as at home in a pocket as a cell phone or MP3 player, so it's always on hand to capture your fleeting lyric or melodic inspirations. If you're tracking with a guitar, the Zoom H2 sports a built-in tuner, so when you listen back to your ideas later you won't be scratching your head trying to figure out what key you were supposed to be in. The Zoom H2 is perfect for capturing full-band rehearsals as well. With its four--count 'em, four--built-in microphones, the Zoom H2 captures every element of your fledgling compositions with a detail that no mere two-mic field recorder can match. For added versatility, the Zoom H2 also supports multiple audio formats; record in high fidelity WAV when you want to put your music under a microscope, or in memory-saving MP3 for sharing demos with your bandmates or hardcore fans over the internet. The recorder's USB 2.0 makes for quick and painless transfer of audio files to your computer.

Zoom H2: As A Business Assistant

Wouldn't it be nice to live like the big-wig execs you see in movies and TV shows, always having their personal assistants "take a dictation" or "write this down" or "read back those minutes"? If you've got the fiscal means to hire a "P.A." then go for it, otherwise you'll be excellently served by the handiest of handy recorders, the Zoom H2! Not only is the Zoom H2 perfect for voice memos, but with its included tabletop stand it can adeptly capture round-table discussions as well. The four-mic, 360-degree recording mode accurately captures every side of the conversation, and with a battery life of up to four hours (on AA) and support for up to 4GB of storage (on SD card) even your longest meetings will be archived for future reference. With the Zoom H2's auto-start function you can set recording to begin when the microphones sense audio, so you can prepare for the meeting without having to worry about remembering to press the big red button.

Zoom H2: As A Professional Podcasting Wonder-Tool

Whether you're a hobbyist podcasting about birdwatching or a correspondent producing a field segment for NPR, the Zoom H2 is the obvious choice for all your recording needs. For the enthusiast, the Zoom H2's operation and setup couldn't be easier. Simply turn it on, press record and you're good to go. When the H2 is connected via USB, it can even be used to record audio files directly to you computer's hard drive; it's like having a field recorder and USB mic in one! For the demanding broadcast professional, the Zoom H2 has what it takes to hang with the big boys. With no external mic to hook up you'll be ready to record at a moment's notice. With removable SD media you'll never run out of memory, and with swappable AA batteries you'll never be waiting on your recorder to charge up. The Zoom H2 supports up to 24-bit 96kHz audio resolution for better-than-CD fidelity, and features a "Broadcast Wave Format" mode that adds Time Stamp and Track Marker information to your recordings, a must-have for any busy broadcast professional. No matter where or what your recording environment happens to be, the Zoom H2's low-cut wind filter and Auto-Gain-Control ensure a professional recording, every time. The Zoom H2 even ships with accessories like a screw-in microphone-style handle and slip-on pop-filter for on-the-street interviews.

Whether you're a serious musician, business manager or broadcast professional, you can't go wrong picking up a Zoom H2. Its features, included accessories, and amazing sound quality make it the perfect partner in all you audio endeavors, and at a price you can't afford to ignore.

zZounds is an authorized dealer of Zoom products.
Earbuds, stereo adapter cable, mic clip adapter, tripod stand, USB cable, AC adapter and a 512MB SD card are included. Two standard alkaline AA batteries provide 4 hours of continuous operation. With its pocket-sized profile, a weight of just over 4 ounces, and a backlit display, the H2 Handy Recorder gives everyone the power to brilliantly record anything and share it with anyone, anywhere.

Can not be used as an audio interface.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 631-784-2200

Product Description

Simplicity is a beautiful thing.
It's a simple idea: provide brilliant stereo recording in an easy-to-use, ultra-portable device. Now everyone can record pristine audio in an infinite variety of applications. From seminars and conferences, to electronic news gathering (ENG) and podcasting, to musical performances, songwriting sessions and rehearsals, the Zoom H2 provides amazing recording quality. And no matter what kind of music you perform or the instrument you play, the Zoom H2 can effortlessly record it in high-quality stereo.

Why four mics are better than two.
The Zoom H2 is the only portable recorder with 4 mic capsules onboard for 360 degree recording. With 4 mic capsules in a W-X/Y configuration, the audio is decoded instantly, bringing these four signals together for unparalleled stereo imaging.

But the Zoom H2 doesn't stop there. For maximum flexibility, you can record from the front of the Zoom H2 and at 90 degrees or the rear of H2 at 120 degrees in up to 96 kHz/24-bit WAV format, as MP3 up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can record 360 degrees in 48kHz/24-bit format which will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 Surround.

Push a Button...
That's all it takes to start recording! The Zoom H2 is a remarkably robust device that is incredibly easy to use. One button recording, gain controls on the side and an intuitive user interface mean you can always capture the moment. Set your levels, push record and go. It's that simple. Or use the Auto Start and Auto Gain Control functions to ensure complete capture at the right level. And if you need to fine-tune your levels on the fly, we made it easy with gain control buttons on the front panel.

Play it Back!
Play your recordings on your home audio system with its 1/8" stereo output or listen to your masterpiece with headphones. Or, use the Zoom H2's USB port to move your recordings to your Mac or PC to listen, edit and share.

Secure Your Digital Memories
The Zoom H2 records on Secure Digital (SD) media and a 512MB SD card is included. With a 4GB SD memory card, the H2 provides up to 2 hours recording at 96kHz, 6 hours at 44.1kHz, or up to a staggering 138 hours in MP3. Store your recordings on a PC or Mac with its USB 2.0 port. And you can use its time stamping function for reference during production. Or use the Zoom H2 as a USB Mic for recording directly to a computer.

What's Life Without Accessories?
The Zoom H2 comes with earbuds, an 1/8 inch stereo to RCA cable, a mic clip adapter, tripod stand, USB cable, an AC adapter and a 512MB SD card.

Ultimate Convenience
The Zoom H2 weighs 4 ounces and fits in your pocket for the ultimate in portability and convenience. Two standard alkaline AA batteries will give you 4 hours of continuous operation and a backlit display means it's always easy to use in any situation.

Enjoy Your Brilliance
Brilliant stereo recording in a convenient, user-friendly package means there's never been an easier way to record high quality audio. The Zoom H2 gives everyone the power to record anything and share it with anyone, anywhere. You'll be amazed by your sound.

Zoom H2 Features:

- W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90 degrees cardioid, Rear 120 degrees cardioid and 360 degrees polar patterns
- Built-in USB 2.0 port for data storage.
- Records in WAV 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit, MP3 to 320kbps and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) data formats
- Time Stamp and Track Marker functions in Broadcast WAV Format (BWF)
- 512MB SD memory card included
- Accommodates up to 16GB SD memory cards
- Auto Gain Control (AGC) for pristine recordings
- Auto Start function means you're always ready to record
- Low-cut filter eliminates wind noise
- On-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner
zZounds Expert Review

I do a lot of field recording, so I had plenty of opportunities to test the H2 in real-world situations. It was my constant companion for several weeks, and I think I got a really good idea of the H2's capabilities during my tests. I used it to record a number of band rehearsals and solo acoustic instruments, plus sound effects and ambient audio whenever I came across something interesting. For the price, it performed really well.


The H2 comes loaded with some pro-quality features such as 24-bit/96 kHz resolution and four-channel recording, but the construction seems a little lightweight to truly be called a professional piece. The plastic shell isn't going to survive a serious fall, and I'm not sure it will hold up to rigorous road abuse. That said, I had no issues during my trial period, though I was probably babying it a bit more than I would if it was mine to keep.


Onboard microphones are a huge part of any handheld recorder's success, and the mics on the H2 are as good or better than the other inexpensive devices I've used. Obviously, they don't really compare to a good set of studio condenser mics and preamps, but they really sound great for the price and the compact design is super convenient.


Out In The Field

The sound effects and ambient audio I captured always sounded fantastic. I really liked the depth that the H2's stereo mics added. The ability to switch the stereo field from 90 degrees to 120 degrees to 180 degrees was a big plus, and the four-channel mode was useful for getting surround-ready audio. In some situations, I had sources located directly in front of me but also wanted to get supplementary sounds well out to the sides. The two-channel recording modes did a fine job of preserving the stereo field, and the four-channel recordings were especially balanced and detailed.


I can see how the lightweight chassis would lend itself to handling noise issues, but I didn't really have any problems when I stood really still while recording. Still, I'd recommend a stationary mount for critical situations. The H2 includes a mic stand mount for easy positioning, and the mounting base (also supplied) works fine when you have a flat surface handy. I've also seen shoe mounts that will allow you to affix the H2 to a video camera.


Band Aid

I was able to get good results recording band rehearsals, but it took some fiddling. For louder bands especially, you'll want to make sure you've turned the limiter on and set the input levels to prevent clipping. Otherwise, you'll end up with a bunch of distortion on the track. I had to experiment with placement and stereo width to find the right combination for our setup, but once I did, the recorded tracks were a really useful reference for working out parts at home.


Results were mixed when recording solo acoustic instruments in the studio. Fingerstyle acoustic guitar and marimba sounded very nice, with a healthy stereo image and good detail. Hard-hitting brass and drum kit recordings were a bit underwhelming. The H2 wasn't great at capturing the transients, lessening the impact you would expect with a pro quality studio microphone and a preamp. It's not that the tracks were horrible. I'd have no problem using them as scratch tracks, but would want better quality for a final take in these situations. If you were on location and had access to a quality mic preamp and studio condenser microphone, you could always record to the H2's direct input and take the tracks back to your own studio for further processing.


I tried a number of the selectable resolution settings, and got the expected results; lower quality but more recording time with the MP3 variants, and the opposite with the WAV options. Zoom's user guide suggests there may be dropouts when recording at the full 24-bit/96 kHz setting, but I experienced no problems. I didn't use that one too much, though. If they're coming right out and saying it, it's probably worth noting.


The H2 has an onboard USB port for offloading audio to computer. It says USB 2.0, but seemed much slower than I was expecting. I ended up removing the SD card and plugging that into an external reader. Transfer went much faster and probably saved some wear on the recorder anyway.


(H)2 Will Get You 4

I've mentioned the H2's four-channel recording capability a few times already, but it's worth mentioning again, especially if your studio is set up for surround sound. Some DAW software is capable of sending the four tracks to the proper speakers automatically, but you may need to to some manual tweaking. Also, there are some conversion utilities such as the Vortex Zoom Encoder and the (free) Zoom2Five plug-in that can get you going with a minimum of hassle. I was very impressed that such an inexpensive device had this type of functionality.


Bottom line, Zoom's H2 handheld audio recorder is a tremendous value for the price. Its compact format and better-than-average audio quality is perfect for a variety of common recording tasks. From basic voiceovers and podcasting to sound effects and ambience-gathering to full-on surround recordings with spacious sonic imaging, the H2 is equal to the task. If you need serious professional quality, expect to pay a whole lot more and plan to sacrifice some of the compact portability. For what you get with the H2 compared to what you'll pay, you should be very happy.

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Customer Reviews
4.5 out of 5 (176 ratings) Rate and Review This Product
"The sound quality of the ZOOM H2 is truly amazing and exceeds the recording quality of many, if not all, of my other recording e"
Sound: The recordings from the Zoom H2 are excellent. The sound is clean with no background noise or hum. Acoustic instrument recordings are amazing with true reproduction of the sound of the instrument. Feature: The unit comes with a small tabletop stand, an adapter that allows it to be mounted on a mic stand, a windscreen, a 512mb SD card,usb and stereo Y cable,a set of earbuds and an external power supply. The H2 runs on 2 AA batteries. The H2 has the versatility of recording in MP3 or wave formats and several recording qualities. The unit even has a built in tuner and metronome. Ease of Use: Very easy to set up and begin basic recording right out of the box. You may want to read the manual(well written) to get deeper into the features of the H2. I did find the screen small and somewhat hard to view if your eyesight is not the best. Otherwise, the layout of the control buttons is good and easy to use. Quality: The H2 is made of a rather lightweight plastic and I'm not sure how it will fare over the long run but as long as you take reasonable care of it and don't drop it, it should be ok. The fit and finish are good and it has the appearance of a 1940's style microphone. The mics are well protected. Value: Based on the great sound quality of the H2 I feel that the unit was worth the price paid for it. If you are looking for great sound quality at a reasonable price, check out the H2. Manufacturer Support: N/A Overall: I would have given the H2 a 10 except for the plastic construction and small screen but it appears a lot of design effort went into its sound reproduction quality which is the main reason I bought it. So far I am more than satisfied with it and am still amazed by the sound quality.
Style of Music: Old time
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zZounds has verified that this customer bought this product from us. This review has been selected by our experts as particularly helpful. "Zoom H2: the hottest mini-gadget in my toolbox!"
Sound: The sound of this product is exactly what I was looking for in recording concert style ambiance. The sound is very responsive capturing good detail from the crowd at a live event. I use it mainly as an "ambiance" recorder in addition to recording my full mix live via another device. I am able to put the two together at home and come up with some very snazzy sounding demo CD's, mixtapes, etc. No other product out there could help me achieve this at this price point. Feature: Features galore. You can tweak every imaginable setting. Just download the catalog from the manufacturers website and see what I am talking about. I am extremely pleased in this department. Not only can I record the live ambiance of a show with the H2 but I can also decide to INSTEAD record the output from my console via 1/8" to RCA cable. The sound was extremely crisp! Not only that but with a 4GB card I am able to record a 4+ hour show. With an 8GB card 8.5 hours! Just for kicks I tried to hyped "Lithium" batteries for this unit and after 9 hours of recording the power meter is still at full! This is extremely convenient for me as it lets me turn it on and GO without additional power cables, etc... SWEET! Ease of Use: I thought I would have to fumble around with settings and crazy menus, etc. NO! Everything that needs to be accessed the most is available from the front buttons! If you need to get in the menu to tweak other settings such as limiter/compressor settings or file type, etc, the menu is not only straight forward but the front buttons make it super easy to browse. 2 thumbs up on interface design!!! Quality: The unit is made of standard plastic. The Mic grill is metallic. Only time will tell if the button will hold up to extended use. The build is very light in weight which I love, but being that it is plastic some users may decide for a heavier product that may seem more durable. In my case I felt that it was just right. I bought a small camera bag where I put all of its accessories and keep it free from scratches and the bumps of the road. Its perfect! The light build may contribute to the sensitivity of the mics picking up sounds from your hand rubbing against the body of the unit, etc. But that is expected from any sensitive mic. Thankfully the unit comes with not one but TWO stands/adapters. One "tripod" style stand and a hand-held microphone for hooking up to your favorite mic clip on a stand, etc. Value: Unbeatable value for feature set, size and ease of use. Manufacturer Support: No support necessary!!! The manual is extremely well written with plenty of graphic samples that get you going quickly and answer any questions just as fast as they come up. Take a look at it on the manufacturer's website to see what I mean. The unit works just as expected so unless I find any problems later on I will be looking for firmware updates and so on. Did I mention that the unit I received is compatible with 8GB SD cards? the SDHC format is set to reach 32GB so I am pretty sure the H2 will be able to handle it. The Wow Factor: Well, not necessarily a "sexy" piece of equipment, however its sexyness is based on sheer practicality! Overall: This piece of equipment should fit my needs for over five years for sure, and that is understated. There is no part of it that will be outdated any time soon, as long as it lasts and its reliable. It is fast, expandable in storage capacity and feature filled. On an 8GB card it records up to 3 shows of 4+ hours each in uncompressed WAV 44.1Khz 16bit format (which should be around for quite some time). I don't see what could get better about it in the next 10 years.
Style of Music: Dance, Urban, Latin
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