Pros It's well built. Much better than the H2 I had. The sound quality is as good as my RODE K2...but easier to setup. I can use it as a Mic for audio conferencing on my computer through USB or access the files for editing.
Cons You can't put it in your pocket...it's a bit hefty...but that reflects great build quality too. Cubase LE...are you kidding me.
Summary If you want great, flexible audio acqusition for music or podcasting...spend your money on this and never look back. I recommend that you use your own preferred DAW for Mac or Windows . Cakewalk Sonar is an excellent for the Windows. Apple Logic is great for the Mac. If you like to cross the streams like me, Ableton Live 8 is an excellent choice. In most cases, a simple audio editing program is all you need like Sony Sound Forge or Bias Peak Pro.
Pros has a bigger display..longer battery time ..easier to adjust the record levels..nice remote control...does SEEM solidly built..better jog dial than h4
Cons there is no attenuator for either the on-board mics or the mic inputs..used this machine for first time and turned the levels all the way down to 1 and the mic leds were in the red..could not record without distorting the pre-amp...terrible
Summary when you use the remote control it eliminates the ability to use the hold function..I dont like that.... without attenuators you will not be able to record any loud events without horrible distortion..I solved this problem by adding a 20db attenuatior circuit inside of a xlr jack that plugs into the inputs..but there is no way to attenuate the on-board mics...also ..when I used the ac power supply and plugged in a external mic..there was a hum that makes it unuseable ..do these engineers test these units out before they release them? or is because they are made in china??? whoever designed this recorder without microphone attenuators is an idiot and should be fired...the h4 and the h2 both had attenuators ..why did they eliminate them?? absolute stupidity!!!there is a software update that will allow you to decrease the volume below 1 (0.1 etc) but if you are recording loud events I still would want a attenuator in front of the preamp..when this machine clips it sounds terrible. when I say loud I mean gimmie earplugs!!.and the hum produced when using the external power supply is not good(the external supply is the cheapest looking thing I have seen and I have owned all of the zoom recorders and many others) my portable aiwa minidisc never let me down.. nor my denon dat either..I wish I could say that about these sd card recorders...all 3 of the zoom recorders distorted when I used external condenser mics and placed them in front of a loud sound source.....h4 and h4n were the worst..h2 was a little better
Updated on Oct 24, 2009
Updated on Nov 28, 2009ok..here is the info: ..You can buy a in-line attenuator for between 30-50.00$$ or more ...shure makes a switchable one ..but they are ridulously bulky....or you can build a 20db attenuator inside of a right-angle switchcraft xlr jack that plugs into the machine...all you need are three resistors wired in series-parallel...inside the xlr you put a 150 ohn 2% 1/4 watt resistor across pins 2 and 3...then connect a 680 ohm resistor on pins 2 and 3 ..on the other end of those resistors connect the red and white mic cable wires(red is hot..pin #2.white is -pin #3)..then connect the shield to pin # 1..shrink wrap everything...on the other end connect a xlr as usual...this will work with or without the phantom power...make sure nothing is crossed.. do a continuity check before you plug it in.....you can go to uneeda audio-build your own attenuator for more detailed schematics..as for the software update you get that from zoom(www.zoom.co.jp.english) click on h4n then updates .ver.1.60
Updated on Nov 28, 2009here is some more..when you adjust the levels on this machine you have to watch the mic input led's.(one for the built-in mics/and 2 for the external inputs....if these led's are flashing or flickering then you are taking a chance ...if they flicker a lot or stay on for very long then you ARE red-lining the inputs..and that WILL sound like hell...adjust the levels so the led's flicker barely or not at all.. dont just look at the levels..then if it still sounds distorted it will be the fault of the mics...(I use a audio-technica at-4041 condenser mic that has a max spl of 145 db. 20-20k flat...with the attenuator you have 165 db which is considered beyond the measureable limit...the at mic is the best sounding I have used.....if you want something more consealable then I use a audio technica at853a mic..found these on ebay for 50 $$.135db max spl w/phantom power 30-20k...sound great also..just not as much spl (especially on the low-end) hope this helps..I had to learn the hard way....
Updated on Nov 28, 2009if anyone is interested I can set you up with a attenuated mic cord..e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org..thanks C .Kingpinninski
Updated on Dec 17, 2009here is some more nice features of this h4n device...I bought a new computer with a 64-bit os and windows 7...the computer wont recognize it now...and you cant install the downloadable driver....and the cubase le4 is a complete nightmare to install and use...all things considered this machine has been a huge headache!!!
Pros works over 80% of the time with my phones.
sometimes it doesn't alarm when I'm already on the street. the good thing is, I can tether more than one phone to it.
Cons Short batter life. If you forget it, then it's dead, so it's useless.
Doesn't work ALL the time -- I was so proud of having it, I showed it to everyone at work. Then I left the office with my phone, and it never went off!!! Embarrrrraassssing....
Summary Yet another gadget to carry. It may work on the day that I am in a real need, then I'll be thankful. So far, it's yet another thing to charge at night... I'm running out of charge space/time...
Pros I had the H4 and liked that. A lot. Recorded several productions with it.
This beats the H4 hands-down.
It can use up to a 32G card (that is a LOT of recording).
It uses normal AA batteries or NIMH. AND it can record for up to 11 HOURS on those. I mean,
Cons the windscreen is ugly. Actually, my cats ate it so now I use a sock if I need to. Ugly too, but you can get designer socks today....
Summary ABSOLUTELY FINE.
I used NAGRAS 25 years ago and this is something I never thought possible.
No disks, no mechanics, just straight to digital chip.
Too many options to mention, visit their page.
It has 16 low-cut filters, Comp-Limiters, simultaneous 4 ch recording (plug in 2 more mikes and do sensurround...
The Multi-Track part has simulation of Guitar and Bass cabinets, all kind of effects, easy to use...
And a virtual mixer.
AND it has a little buit-in speaker you can listen to and see if all is OK.
PLUS you can adjust recording levels on-the-fly. Also output levels.
You can change the polar patterns on the mikes....
ALSO, it is an audio interface, and does not even need special drivers.
I strongly suggest you get one of these and get serious.
Good stuff, Zoom !
Pros Portable. Fits in one hand. Backlit display is easy to read in different ambient light settings. Solid feel, has weight to it, buttons feel like they can take some PSIs. High SPL recordings Convenient mixer/dynamic effect settings. Interace too!
Cons Noise noise noise. While the Zoom H4n does a great job recording music and moderate level sound like ENG or interview work, it is NOT for critical recording, mostly due to its hissy nature Could a firmware improve this? Nudge nudge Zoom.
Summary This is a solid recorder that appears to be quite reliable for many different types of situations. I've used it in musical applications (drums, live sound, etc.) and it worked great. I've also used it in corporate settings as voice and meeting recorder and once again, did the trick.
As mentioned before, its biggest setback is the noise noisefloor. His is a problem for the built in mics and the preamps.. Zoom! Can you fix this with some firmware upgrades?
For the money, its a good deal and nothing else really comes close in this price range from what I've looked at.