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ZoomH1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder
 
4.3

(based on 376 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (185)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (156)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (8)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (261)
  • Excellent sound (218)
  • Versatile (166)
  • Low distortion (116)
  • Compact (115)

Cons

  • Poor quality construction (60)
  • Weak (20)
  • Not durable (8)
  • Difficult to use (6)
  • Battery life (5)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (172)
  • Outdoor events / games (133)
  • Professional recording (95)
  • Home studio (91)
  • Performances (88)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (193), Novice (54), Professional musician (22), Tech savvy (16), Movie enthusiast (9)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (61)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

A pretty great little recorder

So you are probably like me, sorting products by price - low to high and you found the H1 right there at the top. Your next question will probably be if going cheap will...Read complete review

So you are probably like me, sorting products by price - low to high and you found the H1 right there at the top. Your next question will probably be if going cheap will take you all the way to heavenly field recordings. Then you start imagining what the size will allow you to do. It fits nicely in your pocket and is light enough that you can actually keep it in your shirt pocket. At least these were some of the things I wondered about before getting mine.

First of all, anyone who ever thought of getting one of those voice recorders - you should all get this one, because it gives you superior sound quality and is just as small. Having said that, depending on what you plan to record, you might want to compare the sound quality with other products. I use mine mostly for voice recordings, field recordings for music and to record rehearsals and concerts. As I just mentioned, voice recordings come out perfect and a conversation with several people in a big room, such as a conference room or even a lecture hall is no problem. For my field recordings, the H1 does indeed lack some detail, especially in the higher frequencies, slightly altering the sense of room space, transparency, depth and distance, both indoors and outdoors. But the noise level is very low, which allows you to do more detailed work on the recordings on the computer. Rehearsals at very high volume do sound a bit compressed and distorted and obviously you are going to lose dynamics and clarity, but it still does a pretty good job of separating highs, mids and lows, leaving you with a fairly accurate description of what was actually going on during the recording.

What I really don't like is the clicking sound that seems to be impossible to avoid at the beginning and the end of each recording. This forces you to edit every single file by hand, regardless of how the actual recording came out.

What I do like is the size versus sound quality and the price. It really leaves you no excuse to not bring it with you to record any sound that you might encounter during a day. This kind of flexibility, at least for me, almost always leads to more creativity. Although be careful with recording sounds close to a police officer, it does look a lot like a taser.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Decent compact unit. Forget superlatives

declaration: B+H lured this review with a competition incentive.
2nd declaration: this review will not sound like the generic zoom press release as many others ive read do!
Read complete review

declaration: B+H lured this review with a competition incentive.
2nd declaration: this review will not sound like the generic zoom press release as many others ive read do!

I'd had my eye on smaller solid state recorder for a little while when this came on the horizon, the other main contenders were Sony IC internal memory units. H1 won over on paper with the better mics and recording to card instead of internal memory.

As many others have mentioned, the wind noise is very very sensitive. I wouldn't ever have the small windsock off unless it was really safe indoors. The mics already bulge out of the top of the unit so a windsock and certainly a windjammer add significant size to the unit. All this leads to more 'poking out of your pocket; rather than pocket sized recorder. This makes me think how the H2 is in many ways more suited to the 'pocket sized' tag as its pop filter mesh handles light breeze well and the whole unit is a rectangle.

Also the "cheap plastic" feel which has been well covered is pretty accurate. But it feels like an AV remote, not a phone or something solid. The main impact of this apart from peoples 'quality perception' is that it makes handling noise really sensitive as the plastic case creaks into the mics.

In the first few weeks of use ive had the flimsy card door dislodge and get lost, lost one recording which didn't save, juggled a few outdoor interviews trying to block the wind with my or the interviewees bodies and only drop it a couple of times (should attach a strap soon)

The sony IC recorders still win out for the minimalists as they are significantly slimmer + small, have their own slide out USB plug and charge a single battery thru that plug. Poor metering though. Important considerations for a cycle touring sound ethnographer / field recordist - but this unit is very decent. Just don't believe the ipod style "this is the new very best thing, in the smallest package for the cheapest price" spiels! enjoy.

Reviewed by 376 customers

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5.0

Great With Lavaliers

By Dare

from NYC

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

        Easy for talent to use use in packet

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        Compact backup recorder

        By Allan the Videographer

        from Nashville, TN

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

              I used this as a backup recorder for a multi-camera setup, taking the headphones out of my mail camera, which was receiving a board feed, and monitoring out the H1's headphone jack. Putting the input level down to 15/100 resulted in a clear, distortion free recording. i've also been using it to capture ambient sound for use in editing. Only issue is it's very sensitive to handling noise, so I put it on a tiny tripod mount and get my hands away from it while recording.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              A good chose

              By Cap Fozz

              from Montréal, Ca

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                    Work pretty well and easy to transporte

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Good product, especially with lavalier

                    By Eve

                    from California

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                          I use this in conjuntion with lavaliers for interviews, although it also has its own mics on board. As an interview recording device, it give me good, clean sound and is extremely portable. Like it, like it, like it.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          Simple and effective

                          By Ollie

                          from Brooklyn, NY

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                Records great audio, ability to adjust levels while recording, mic input

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                5.0

                                Great Recorder

                                By Bira Brasil

                                from São Paulo, Brasil

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy to work with
                                • Lightweight
                                • Small

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Recording On The Go

                                  Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                  Great recorder, fulfills all of my needs!

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

                                  Share this review

                                   
                                  4.0

                                  USB recognition problem

                                  By Cliff Hanger

                                  from Bend, OR

                                  Pros

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        Great little recorder for it's size. Great clarity. We wanted to transfer the audio files to PC. Purchased the extra kit with USB cord but PC will not recognize the recorder. Since there were no 'drivers software' we assumed it was 'plug & play'. Running Win7 pro/64 bit processor.

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

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                                        5.0

                                        Very good product for my audio needs

                                        By Tony

                                        from South Jersey

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        Have used this Zoom H1 several times and I'm satisfied with its performance of capturing clean audio. Low cost and light weight.

                                        Share this review

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Great quality sound

                                        By Nate

                                        from Wilson nc

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        I tested this item a few times before using this in a event. Sound quality is pretty good for two small condenser mics. Also line input is great with the option to adjust the volume on that input. Another great thing is that you could monitor sound with the headphone output. Its cheap but its something you must have if your into low budget filming/production

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                                        4.0

                                        Handy gear for great price

                                        By chsvid

                                        from Charleston, SC

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Easy to use
                                        • Good audio

                                        Cons

                                        • Needs Minor Post Edit

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Close-up Audio Recording

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        The Zoom H1 is great for easy use and portability. It works much better than I had expected. I originally wanted to buy the Zoom H4N or Tascam DR-40 but we all know that filmmaking only works on a budget. So I decided to do some research and the Zoom H1 was definitely a great choice. The only reason I don't give it 5 stars is because it's not as great as the H4N. Of course, that's to be expected though. You get what you pay for.

                                        I also recommend that you don't bother connecting it to your DSLR. It'll only diminish the quality.

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

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                                        4.0

                                        Greatest portable audio recorder!

                                        By Gunnar Curry

                                        from Chicago

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Easy to use
                                        • Great portability
                                        • Simple design

                                        Cons

                                        • Doesnt Come With Lav

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Hidden Lav Recording
                                        • Small Portable Audio Reco

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        - great for portable lav
                                        - quick and easy access and recording
                                        - fast set up
                                        - simple structure

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                                        5.0

                                        Great sound great price

                                        By Acbproductions

                                        from Grand Blanc,MI

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        Love this pocket recorder!!

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                                        4.0

                                        High Quality Audio at Reasonable Price

                                        By Ben

                                        from Philadelphia, PA

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • Ease of Use
                                        • Lightweight
                                        • price
                                        • Sound quality
                                        • Transportable

                                        Cons

                                        • Audio Separate From Video

                                        Best Uses

                                        • Interviews
                                        • Voiceovers

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        I was split between this and the Rode Videomic (not the Videomic Go or Pro) - I understand some would argue that's comparing apples to oranges. Ultimately, the quality of the sound seemed much higher, according to various indoor and outdoor tests I found on Youtube. Even with buying a windscreen, a shockmount for the camera, batteries, and a 16 gb microSDHC memory card, it was still roughly $ cheaper than the Rode (which is priced at $, I believe). The only real downside? Because the Zoom H1 does not plug directly into your camera like the Rode models do, you have to sync up the audio and video in post. I do this simply by turning both devices on and clapping in front of the camera, to generate an easy visual/aural cue.

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

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                                        5.0

                                        H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder

                                        By Nico

                                        from trinidad and Tobago

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                          Cons

                                            Best Uses

                                              Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                              Using this for getting clean audio from audio mixers

                                              • Was this a gift?:
                                              • No

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                                              4.0

                                              Top-notch

                                              By Pine Stone Pictures L.T.D

                                              from New Zealand, Wellington

                                              Verified Buyer

                                              Pros

                                                Cons

                                                  Best Uses

                                                    Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                                    I use this product in my short films, interviews, documentary films,
                                                    and as a dictaphone.

                                                    Be careful choosing external (lapel) Microphone for this device.

                                                    USE -

                                                    Audio Technica ATR3350 Lavalier Microphone

                                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                                    • No

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                                                    4.0

                                                    Great value

                                                    By rapsak

                                                    from Brno, Czech republic

                                                    Verified Buyer

                                                    Pros

                                                    • Good Value
                                                    • Lightweight
                                                    • Quality sound

                                                    Cons

                                                    • Plastic made

                                                    Best Uses

                                                      Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                                      Good value for the money - I use it for recording sound when shooting with Canon 60D. Good wi-fi transmitter and receiver was too expensive so I bought this device which I concect with Azden EX-503 Lavalier Microphone and then I sync the sound in the editing software.

                                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                                      • No

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                                                      5.0

                                                      Small and powerful

                                                      By Kaden

                                                      from Western Wisconsin

                                                      Verified Buyer

                                                      Pros

                                                      • Battery Life
                                                      • Fits in Pocket
                                                      • Small

                                                      Cons

                                                      • Plastic

                                                      Best Uses

                                                      • Vocal Recorder

                                                      Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                                      I have used this in interviews as a wireless lav, and syncing in post. Also great for some small, quick room tone.

                                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                                      • No

                                                      Share this review

                                                       
                                                      5.0

                                                      Great audio for the value

                                                      By CraigD

                                                      from Ladson, SC

                                                      Verified Buyer

                                                      Pros

                                                      • Good Audio For The Price
                                                      • Small and compact

                                                      Cons

                                                        Best Uses

                                                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                                          I'm really impressed with the audio quality of this portable recorder considering the price point. It is also small and compact, which means it is very convenient to carry or conceal, if needed.

                                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                                          • No

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                                                          4.0

                                                          Nice Recorder

                                                          By mcameron

                                                          from Omaha, NE

                                                          Verified Buyer

                                                          Pros

                                                            Cons

                                                              Best Uses

                                                                Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                                                This unit is not as solid as its bigger brother, but the size and functionality are what I bought it for.

                                                                • Was this a gift?:
                                                                • No

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                                                                5.0

                                                                Tiny powerhouse

                                                                By Christa

                                                                from Sacramento, CA

                                                                Verified Buyer

                                                                Pros

                                                                  Cons

                                                                    Best Uses

                                                                      Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                                                      This is the second Zoom H1 I've purchased, I also have it in white. The H1 is my audio swiss army knife for shooting weddings and promos. I use my H1's with:-Audio-Technica ATR-3350 lavs-A cheap hot shoe shock mount that's H1 compatible-With a 1/4" to 1/8" cable to plug into the DJs or MCs mixer for capturing perfect audio of their microphone-On a boom -With a Røde dead kitten-With 8" Hosa Mini Angled Male to Stereo Mini Angled Male Cable to plug into my Canon 6D's audio-in, it's the perfect size! (You can record the audio into the Zoom AND it provides the in-camera audio to the Canon. Great backup system.)-Skype on Macbook Pro (I plug in the Audio Technica lav [though not required] and hook up the Zoom to the Mac via USB mode, Skype will recognize it as an audio device)-Jam sessions with the band!This bad boy can record allllll day long. The battery lasts, the card lasts. I turn these on when I arrive to a venue and turn them off when I leave 10 hours later. They rock!If I had to come up with a con, I'd want increased performance in capturing audio from farther away... but hey, it's $[*]! It's super versatile, tiny, light, gives me great audio for my videos, it's a tiny powerhouse!

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                                                                      • No

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