Zoom have become renowned for their handy recorder range, probably most due to the H4N, which has been a stalwart of portable recording for many years. Alas, being at the top could never last. Especially when Zoom themselves have brought out a device like the H6. This unit kicks any competition out of the park. If you want a handheld recorder that does it all, you just about have to own the H6.
LET’S TALK MICROPHONES
You have more microphone options with the H6 than any handheld recorder I have ever come across. It comes in a carry case with two interchangeable capsules to get you started. Included is the classic XY capsule that Zoom are so well known for, as well as a ball styled Mid Side microphone for a range of stereo applications. I also got to test out the shotgun microphone capsule that delivers very accurate audio capture with excellent side rejection. These capsules easily clip in and out from the top of the unit and feed to the “L” and “R” channels when recording. You also have four extra channels to work with, as the name H6 suggests. You can find two pairs of combination XLR/TRS inputs on either side of the unit. This allows you to run instruments or microphones directly in for a total of 6 inputs. You could easily record a whole drum kit with this unit and the right choice of additional microphones.
Once you get into the operation of the device, it’s all pretty intuitive. Anyone who has used a previous Zoom recorder will fly through the teething stages and figure their way around it pretty quickly. All the controls are designed for simple operation, but remain free from damage or interruption. Gain controls are slightly recessed with guards around the outer edge to prevent them being adjusted accidentally. All the switches and buttons are recessed too, making it a very stable system to work with. The optional accessory pack that is available for the unit introduces a wind sock for outdoor use, although the shotgun microphone comes with its own specially sized wind sock. You also get a power supply unit running on USB and a remote control for use when the HH6is set up on a camera tripod and out of range. All in all, this is a really serious tool with an excellent selection of included and optional accessories to tackle just about any audio project on the go.
Hits and Misses
A great range of sonic possibilities with interchangeable capsules.
Really solid build quality.
Tripod mounting options for fixed placement.
Easy to read screen showing all relevant information.
Comes bundled with a memory card and Cubase Le software.
You’ll wish you waited now if you just bought a H4N.
LCD COLOUR DISPLAY
RECORDING FORMATS BOTH MP3 AND WAV