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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder

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 H2 provides amazing recording quality. And no matter what kind of music you perform or the instrument you play, the H2 can effortlessly record it in high-quality stereo.
The H2 is the only portable recorder with 4 mic capsules on-board for 360° 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 H2 doesn't stop there. For maximum flexibility, you can record from the front of the H2 in a 90° pickup pattern or the rear of the H2 in a 120° pickup pattern at up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution as a WAV file, or as an MP3 file at bitrates up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can record in a 360° pickup pattern at up to 48kHz/24-bit resolution which will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 Surround.

Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder


W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90° cardioid, Rear 120° cardioid and 360° polar patterns
Built-in USB 2.0 interface
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

Customer feedback:

1. Zoom has responded with the H2, a scaled down version of the H4 with all of the features of the R-09 and all of the controls right where you need them. The H2 even has additional features over the R-09, but they don't get in the way. For example, there's a choice of a 90 degree recording pattern, a 120 degree recording pattern, and even a surround sound option. Samsontech has some nice video demonstrations on its website.
Recently, I got together with friends and recorded the same live acoustic music on both the Edirol R-09 and the Zoom H2. I used Adobe Audition only to normalize both tracks (that is, equalize their loudness). The first time we played them back, I thought I detected a VERY slight preference for the Edirol, with the overall opinion of the group split between the two units. The second time we played them back, my preference was for the H2, with overall opinion continuing to be split. We all agreed that the differences were so small as to be negligible if there were any at all. We were sitting in a circle with the recorders located next to each other on a mantle above and outside the group.

2. I borrowed a Zoom H4 from a friend and found it extremely frustrating to use. The owners manual was just gibberish to me. I could not make heads or tails of the instructions. It was a totally frustrating experience and I was ready to give up on making a CD, and ready to go back to making old fashioned cassette tape recordings.
I took a chance on the Zoom H2 and am not sorry. All the head aches of the H4 have been addressed with the H2. This machine is much easier to use. I'm using it to record live string music and it does a wonderful job. Sounds great! I'm not an egg head geek or a computer expert nor am I a professional sound recording engineer, and I am very comfortable using this machine. Zoom must have listened to everything people were complaining about the H4 when they designed the H2.

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