Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder

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Product Rating:

 
4.6

(15 reviews)

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Capture every sonic detail of a recording environment from the palm of your hand

The flagship Zoom H4N is a portable 4-track recording studio that fits in the palm of your hand.  The built-in X/Y stereo condenser microphones capture a wide frequency range yielding professional recordings, saved to compact SD or high capacity SDHC memory cards suitable for broadcast. You can position the mics to record in a 90˚ angle or rotate them outwards for a 120˚ pattern. You can also plug in 2 additional external mics or instruments of your choice for simultaneous 4-track recording, thus making it possible for some very creative options.

Some of the Zoom H4N’s other unique on-board features include a phrase trainer (you can change the speed of songs without affecting the pitch enabling you to learn songs and riffs with relative ease), a vocal eliminator (use this to create instant backing tracks of your favorite songs to sing or play guitar to), a rubber shock resistant chassis, double battery life using the Stamina Mode feature, a mid-side matrix decoder for additional miking possibilities, guitar and bass modeling effects, an onboard tuner and metronome, a built-in speaker for reference, mounting options for tripod, camera, HD video, and a mono mix function. Included is a 1GB SD card, a windscreen, mic clip adaptor, USB cable and protective case. Award winning Cubase LE multi-track recording software is also included, making the possibilities for complete production even greater! There’s also an optional wired remote control available making the Zoom H4N package the most well thought out, complete, portable recording solution on the market today!

Features:                                                                            
  • Built-in X/Y stereo mics record at either 90° or 120°
  • Four channel simultaneous recording using built-in and external mics
  • Digitally controlled, high-quality mic preamp for improved audio quality
  • Large 1.9-Inch LCD screen and improved user interface for easy operation
  • 24bit/96kHz Linear PCM recording for pristine recording
  • MP3 recording for increased recording time                                                                             
  • Built-in reference speaker to check recordings
  • Shock resistant rubberized body for improved chassis protection
  • Broadcast Wave Format (BWF) compatible time stamp and track marker
  • Records on SD/SDHC media of up to 32GB for maximum recording time
  • Auto-record and pre-record feature so you never miss a moment
  • Variable speed playback capability for “phrase training”
  • Stamina mode enables 10 hours of continuous battery life
  • Onboard mid-side matrix decoder for additional miking possibilities
  • Built-in mounting joint for tripod and mic stand mounting
  • USB 2.0 port for faster file transfer
  • XLR inputs with phantom power allow recording with any mic
  • Supports plug-in power type external mics
  • Hi-Z Inputs for recording guitar and bass
  • Studio effects onboard, including guitar and bass amp modeling
  • USB audio interface capability
  • Low-cut filter to reduce noise
  • Normalizing and file splitting functions
  • Mono mix function
  • Onboard tuner and metronome
  • Optional remote control (RC4) available   
                                                                          

Things You Will Get:

  • Digital Recorder
  • 1 GB SD Recorder
  • Windscreen
  • Mic Clip Adaptor
  • Power Supply
  • USB Cable
  • Case
  • Cubase LE Recording Software
Other Features USB Audio Interface; large, 1.9 inch LCD screen with backlit graphic display
Model H4n

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
ZoomH4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder
 
4.7

(based on 15 reviews)

93%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (10)
  • Versatile (8)
  • Compact (6)
  • Excellent sound (6)
  • Good audio (6)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Performances (9)
    • Outdoor events / games (8)
    • Home studio (7)
    • Amateur recording (6)
    • Professional recording (6)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (8), Professional musician (4)

    Reviewed by 15 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-10

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    5.0

    I would buy this product again and again

    By Change Of Life Outreach Ministries

    from Chicago, Illinois

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Compact
    • Easy To Use
    • Excellent Sound
    • Low Distortion
    • Powerful
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Amateur Recording
      • Events
      • Home Studio

      Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

      I like to say that the Handy Recorder H4n is Great!!!! Easy to use. I use Handy Recorder H4n to record our church services every Sunday. The sound is off the Great!!!! I am very happy with this product.If you looking for something to record your Pastor sermon, Choir singing and put on an cd I would say get the Handy Recorder H4n

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Versatile, rugged, sounds amazing

      By comoelgato

      from Bogotá, Colombia

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Handy
      • Low Distortion
      • Portable
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • Poor MP3 encoding

      Best Uses

      • Events
      • Home Studio
      • Interviewing
      • Performances
      • Professional Recording
      • Soundscape recording
      • Soundwalk recording
      • Wide track recording

      Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

      I've had my H4n for more than a year, and I've used it for diverse uses, such as interviews for research, soundscape and soundwalk recording and composing, and as a mobile audio interface, for using it as a guitar and mic input port for Apple MainStage. I've also recorded chamber music recitals with great quality. I'm in love with this little machine.

      The only thing I would complaint about is the quality of the MP3 encoder, but that doesn't quite affect my work, because I always use PCM files.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Great for Classical Piano

      By Browardhoward

      from Hollywood, FL

      About Me Professional Musician

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Ease of use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Good for classical piano
      • Low Distortion
      • Powerful
      • Versatile

      Cons

      • None for us

      Best Uses

      • Live Concerts

      Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

      I maintain a Youtube channel "miamipianofestival" for the Miami International Piano Festival. We professionally record many of our concerts but I sometimes use the Zoom for Youtube. I put the audio track on the videos. The acoustic piano is very difficult to record with the wide range and all the transients but the Zoom does a really good job Here is an example:[@] The performers who hear the recordings are really amazed.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      H4N-RED HOT!...YOUR MTR AINT DIDLY SQUAT

      By Emmet Ray

      from Morristown, NJ

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Excellent Sound
      • Low Distortion

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Amateur Recording
        • Events
        • Home Studio
        • Performances
        • Professional Recording

        Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

        Great sound, short learning curve, easy to transport, got it home, quickly read the instructions and took it to band practice. No fumbling with chords, no dealing with confusing displays, just put it on a mic stand and wow!!!! On a scale of 1-10, 1 being: another wasted investment of time and money, 10 being: sledgehamer to cranium best of breed...this one scores a 25...the H4N is all about results, not excuses...an excellent easy to use tool in a small easy to transport package...if I ever get married again this baby's going to be listed in my prenupt...she can have my car, my home, my dogs...but not my H4N, period!!!!!

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Very Happy with this device

        By NJBob

        from Beverly, NJ

        About Me Experienced

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Excellent Sound
        • No mechanical noise

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Performances
          • Professional Recording

          Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

          I wasn't looking for a 4 track; just a good solid 2 track with clean phantom powered XLR inputs. I couldn't find a 2 track that met my requirements. I needed the ability to record from a studio mic without any other gear humming nearby, like a PC or Mac. So the ability to run stand-alone off batteries makes this perfect for voice over work or for use with a boom mic on a video shoot.

           
          4.0

          Handheld studio quality.

          By LiveJ

          from Philly, PA

          About Me Experienced

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Excellent Sound
          • Low Distortion
          • Powerful
          • Versatile

          Cons

          • Unnecessary Functions

          Best Uses

          • Amateur Recording
          • Home Studio

          Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

          Bought this product so I would be able to take recording capabilities on the road. Have PC based studio at home, but not in the ideal spot to have people come by and work with me. The H4N allows me to take my work on the road and get the vocal tracks I need from the artist I wanna work with.

          Its as simple as going into Card reader mode and uploading my music tracks onto the H4N. From there it's just a matter of getting an artist to do his/her lyrics over the track in multitrack mode.

          The built in condensers are decent, but with the xlr inputs and phantom power I can plug my Rode NT1 right into this thing. The quality is good. Go back to card reader mode, dump it all back into the pc and edit to perfection.

          Answered my needs perfectly. I've found that the background noise I have encountered so far was due to sensitivity of the mics and not being in the ideal environment. My guess is that if you were in a soundproof booth or a very quiet room, the background noise would be minimal. Doubt if its anything you can't get rid of with simple filters. Nice piece of equipment for the price.

          Not a fan of the audio interface mode of the product. Plugged it up and the latency was awful, probably due the generic drivers that installed with it. Not a problem for me, but if you plan on using this as an interface, you might wanna reconsider.

           
          5.0

          Great Unit !!

          By Nicholas Dentato, Matt Dunn

          from Madstudio, NYC

          About Me Professional Musician

          Pros

          • Clear Sound
          • Compact
          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Amateur Recording
            • Events
            • Home Studio
            • Mobile DJ
            • Performances
            • Professional Recording

            Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

            We use this unit at all our live Jazz gigs, we go direct into 2 channels and pick up all the room ambiance as well. . Drop it into your fav. DAW and your good to go !

             
            4.0

            "Scary Good"

            By Mike - The Documentorian

            from Orlando, FL

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Clear Sound
            • Compact
            • Easy To Use
            • Incredible audio quality
            • Lightweight
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • B'cast Qual Field Intervi
              • Performances
              • Professional Recording

              Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

              I've had the Ediroll E-09 (or whatever it's model number is - I forget), still have a Zoom H-2. Ediroll is OK, not the greatest. Zoom H2 is actually GREAT! But the H4-N - - - holy cow! Over all, I'm amazed at what this thing can do - both with its on board X/Y mics & dispersion pickup etc... But also the fact you can use 1/4", XLR's and XLR Phantom with choices of voltage pawer no less. I could go on and on. But bottom line here is you could practically record a "live album" with this if you're like a grunge solo or want that TRUE live sound. I've tried it - record, load in, put it through some DAW or whatever. Just blows me away compared to what you could NOT do 10-15 years ago. If I had one suggestion to make, it would be that when you're recording with the external inputs that you had more functionality with how and where you want the tracks to behave. Meaning if you wanted to mix the two externals AND use the X/Y mics, that you could mix them all into one track. I may be the odd ball on this one because even though I am a musician, I'm thinking more along the lines of an interviewer (another "thing" I do). I'd love to be able to record using ALL teh available inputs but mix everything to one track AS you record it. This is the only reason for the 4 star rating instead of 5 star. If there was a 4 3/4 star rating, I'd have rated it as that! Would I buy this again (or a back up like I just did), SURE WOULD! It's still great and life's full of shortcomings anyway. I'll deal. And I HAVE recommended this to friends who've bought one no less. NICE JOB Zoom / Samson!

               
              5.0

              WAYYY Underpriced.

              By Cody G.

              from Henderson, NC

              About Me Experienced

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Clear Sound
              • Compact
              • Easy To Use
              • Lightweight
              • Versatile

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Amateur Recording
                • Events
                • Field recording
                • Home Studio
                • Performances
                • Professional Recording
                • Pro HD Audio for Video

                Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

                I bought this recorder mainly for a video project, but it has so many more uses. This is more than just a recorder folks, it's also an fx processor. This has so many uses, that I can't even think of them all right now. There are built in fx that you can use for all kinds of instruments. I use the compression for my bass guitar when I lead worship at my youth group on Wednesday nights. You can use the built in fx for vocals (recommended), acoustic guitars, electric guitars, bass guitars, electric pianos, etc. It also has a bunch of pre-amps for electric guitars, and adjustable eq settings. There are 50 presets, and a bunch of empty slots for you to create your own presets.
                But aside from that feature, It records AMAZING CLEAR audio from the built in mics. And of course you can plug in your own mics on the bottom of the unit. I've used this to record audio for countless HD video projects, and it never fails to produce bright clear audio. And the stereo on this thing is realer than real.
                The battery life is amazing, and the record time is amazing and High Quality on MP3 mode. You can record in MP3 or WAV, at high resolutions or low.
                This company could have easily asked for a higher price, but didn't. Just another reason to buy it.
                You will not regret it.

                 
                5.0

                AWESOME SOUND

                By cj live

                from GEORGIA

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Clear Sound
                • Compact
                • Easy To Use
                • Lightweight
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Events
                  • Home Studio
                  • Live gigs
                  • Performances

                  Comments about Zoom H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder:

                  More features than any other handheld device and actually half the price of other units in its class.This unit sounds great at anything it does. Every time I use it I'm amazed at the quality of sound!!!! I use it mainly as a live recorder as it is to small and tedious to use as a studio device. Better than expected!!!!!!!

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                  H4n Handy Portable Digital Recorder

                  The manufacturer's warranty covers parts for one year and labor for one year from date of purchase. The warranty excludes damage from misuse, abuse, and contains other exclusions.