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
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.
Product DescriptionSimplicity 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.
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.
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.