Zoom H2
Zoom H2

H2, Pocket Recorder/Multitrack from Zoom in the H2 series.

MGR/ShackMan 06/09/2010

Zoom H2 : MGR/ShackMan's user review

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It's a complete kit, with the recorder, stand, microphone stand, A/C adapter, pop filter, carrying case, headphones, USB cable, and a 1 GB SD card to store your songs. Also, the headphones that come with it are decent.

I use it to record samples of myself, shows that I play or attend, or to record scratch demos.

I got it because I wanted to not have to lug my computer and DAI setup to wherever I was recording. I wanted an easy way to record whatever was going on around me, especially shows I was performing in to keep for potential CDs, demos, or just to send out as part of my resume for future gigs. I got it from Best Buy at $169.99, which isn't the cheapest for one of these, but I had $50 in gift cards. If you don't, I recommend going somewhere else.

<a href="http://www.bestbuy.com">http://www.bestbuy.com</a>

It's metal and heavy duty, not plastic, unlike some of ZOOM's other products. The kit literally contains everything that I could possibly need to do some solid recording, other than a PC. I also like that there is absolutely no software to move the files from recorder to PC. It just turns into a USB drive, and you move them to your own directory. No clutter, no mess. The microphone selection options are pretty sweet too, and being able to have a surround sound option really surprised me. Also, there's a port for an external microphone. Sound quality is solid.

The external microphone jack is only an 1/8' jack, not an XLR. Sure it'd be hard to put an XLR on something this small, but I hoped at least for a 1/4'. Now I need another attachment. Note that this doesn't hurt the quality of the sound or the unit, but it's something I would have liked to have spelled out for me, as this requires an attachment and would likely come as a surprise to many.

Like I said, it's heavy duty and solid. I'd like to see the stand that comes with it not made out of plastic, though. I think it's odd to make everything heavy duty and then make a dinky stand without felt pads or anything, especially when the goal is to minimize vibrations from outside sources, such as through the table it's sitting on. Bad call, ZOOM. That alone loses you one star. And I'm going to make myself a new stand for this. Out of metal and felt.

Fantastic unit. great sound quality. Surround sound is a really cool and unexpected option on it that makes the unit well worth the money. The learning time is less than 10 minutes; ZOOM is well known for easy to use products. The stand and the unexpected 1/8' microphone jack cut it back from a perfect score, though. I'd give it a 4.5 if I could, but I don't have that option, so it rounds down to a 4.

This review was originally published on http://www.musicgearreview.com