"An astonishing value"4.5 starson by punterjoe
Pros: High quality recording up to 24bit 96Kbps PCM, 4-track recording with 4 built-in mics, packed with accessories
Cons: Doesn't seem too rugged, a bit of a battery vampire.
Summary: I can't recall the last time I saw a value like the Zoom H-2. I ordered one as soon as I read Steve Guttenberg's post on news.com. I was not disappointed. In fact I'm surprised at how the unit held up to, and sometimes exceeded, my already high expectations. The box came jammed with accessories: windscreen, 2 stands for the tripod mount in base, ac adapter, sd card & a few more items I can't recall, but that I expected to have to get separately. The one thing not included was a pair of AA batteries. I planned all along to run the unit on NiMH batteries, and that's worked out well ...although the battery life is often about 3hrs. This is still quite adequate for 4-track 24bit/48Khz .WAV files (or 2-track 24bit/96Khz recording). The unit has a four mic array - in a roughly X shaped pattern - and in 2ch mode will switch between a mix of all four or either the front or back facing pair. It will record PCM .WAV and .MP3 files at a variety of sample rates & bit depths. I've heard some gripes about it's ext mic inputs & slow USB transfer, but since I always use the built-in mics and xfer from an SD card reader, these "shortcomings" are bypassed.
I'm using a 4GB SDHC card, and I've heard - but not tried - that higher capacity cards work fine too. The unit is mostly plastic & the switches seem fragile, but for the ridiculously low cost, gentle handling is not too much to ask. The Zoom H-2 has exceeded all my expectations, and is the best value of any gadget I can recall owning.