Sugg. Retail: $199.99, H2n Accessory Pack: $35.99
Manufacturer; ZOOM Corporation www.zoom.co.jp
I’ve admired and owned ZOOM products for a few years now, both H4 and H2 passing through my studio and out into the field. Those reviews have already been published, and this Japanese company has now taken over its own worldwide distribution of its newest products. The H2n(ext) is quite a step forward from its predecessor, this best shown by offering its description from the company’s web site:
-Five built-in mic capsules provide Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90° X/Y stereo, 2-channel and 4-channel recording modes
-Records in WAV up to 24-bit/96kHz and MP3 up to 320kbps
-Newly designed user interface
-Additional functions include Lo-cut Filter, Compressor/Limiter, Auto Gain, Pre-Rec, Auto-Rec, Tuner, Metronome, Variable Speed Playback, Key Control, A-B Repeat, File Dividing, Normalize, MP3 Post-Encode, Marker and Surround Mixer
-Data recovery function protects against unexpected recording errors
-Over 20 hours of operation using two standard AA batteries
-Operates on battery, AC or USB bus power
-1.8-inch backlit LCD display with 128 x 64 resolution
-Analog-type Mic Gain wheel
-Built-in reference speaker
-High-Speed USB 2.0 card reader function
-1/8-inch Mic/Line Input and Phones/Line Output stereo phone jacks
-Accommodates up to 32GB SDHC memory cards
-Includes Steinberg WaveLab LE 7 editing software, 2GB SD memory card and two AA batteries”
Because the H2n turns on in record-ready mode, the remote allows instant record start (with a possible programmable pre-roll setting to catch the few seconds you just missed), a very useful feature. I use it mostly at home (with the remote) for quick-start recording of musical selections off FM or internet radio, as well as transferring music from other media such as LP or CD. Also included is a 9.5-foot extender cable for the remote, so you can set up the recorder up outside and control its record start/stop functions remotely from inside, something I will use for thunder storms (with a hairy rain-shedding windsock on the H2n, for sure).
The ability to handle up to 32 GB HDSC cards allows prodigious recording time, even at 96/24 digital resolution. Having just erased a 2 GB card, I find it offers roughly an hour-and-a-half of recording time at 96/16, and an hour at 96/24. That implies that a 4 GB card will do 2 hours at this highest resolution (only available in stereo). At CD resolution (to avoid producing a set of record-time tables, and allow you to do so yourself), the 2 GB SD card will record just over 3 hours of audio in stereo. At 48/24 resolution (a good quality level for analog sources and good broadcasts), a re-formatted or new 2 GB card will store roughly 2 hours. So, just to be contrary, I recommend 4 GB cards as a manageable size with good recording time at all resolution levels. Do the math, (including card cost), and you may feel the same way.
Speaking of time (Happy 70th, Stephen Hawking!), the 2 AA batteries required for the H2n (alkaline) are rated to provide 20 continuous hours of operation, a quite astronomical number, unprecedented in my long experience with portable recorders, digital or analog. Talk about easy on batteries! And AAs are the cheapest you can buy! The wired power supply has its practical felicities, too, offering both USB and wall wart powering, along with USB connectivity for storing and editing files with either the supplied Wavelab LE 7 or another computer editing program.
But after all this fiddling about with the H2n, the dominant remaining impression was its vastly improved sound quality over the original H2, innovative and “handy” as it was. There’s simply no comparison, the quality of both the microphones and the analog circuitry at a distinctly higher level. I owned a pair of the previous generation, one killed by a line level input when set for external microphone, and the other recently sold into Christian slavery to record church services in Somerset (I kid you not!). God rewards those who play…and record!
The ZOOM H2n is more than just a makeover, it’s a completely new recorder, and intended to be as easy and natural to use as possible.
Related Reviews:Samson ZOOM H4 Handy Recorder
Samson ZOOM H2 Handy Digital Recorder
Samsung Tantus SP403JA LCD Rear Projection TV
SIM2 Seleco Grand Cinema HT300 DLP Video Projector
Fujitsu PDS4211 42 inch Plasma TV and Faroudja DVP-2200 Digital Video Processor
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