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ZoomH1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder
 
4.3

(based on 382 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (189)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (157)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (23)

  • 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)
  • Compact (116)
  • Low distortion (116)

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 (66)

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 382 customers

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4.0

Good recorder in cheap-o package

By The producer guy

from Owego, NY

Pros

  • Easy to use controls
  • Good audio quality

Cons

  • Cut Corners On The Shell

Best Uses

  • Demo Songs
  • Record band practice

Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

The audio quality is really quite good, especially at this price, and it's easy to switch formats. I like the manual controls so much better than pages of menus. Quick start Rec and easy to see when it is recording. Stereo imaging is good. Handling noise is an issue, so be careful. The accessory package is nice, though the tripod is a bit lightweight, even for the price. My biggest grumble is the plastic-molded screw hole instead of a steel insert. The tripod and mic-style mount don't go in all the way and it'd be so easy to strip the threads. I wish Zoom had put another 15 cents into it and charged me another buck.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

Great digital recorder

By Jay

from Jersey Cit, NJ

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

        as a wedding videographer, these zooms are very helpful in capturing audio throughout the event and very simple to use.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Great Simple Audio Recorder

        By Miss Nelson

        from Shawnee, KS

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Great audio
        • Simple to use

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

            I bought three of these for my Video Productions class so that I could teach my students some Audio basics. This is perfect because it is easy to use but it still picks up great quality sounds.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            3.0

            H1... Handy little recorder

            By Nancy

            from Cypress, CA

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Compact Size
            • Easy to read display
            • Great price
            • Great sound
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Horrible Handling Noise

            Best Uses

            • Field recording
            • Idea Capturing

            Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

            I use the Zoom H1 as a backup audio source when shooting video interviews. The sound quality is GREAT even at 16/44.1. The battery life is good, but I'd suggest having extra batteries on hand just in case. The biggest problem is the handling noise... HORRID!!! As long as the device is on a tripod you'll be completely satisfied with the H1's performance... DO NOT TRY TO HOLD IT WHILE RECORDING. Since I have only had the H1 for a month, I don't know how durable it will be, but the construction is pretty cheesy... very light weight plastic... which could be fine if you'll be traveling with it. All in all I love Zoom products. The sound quality is great, and isn't that what we really want.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Good!

            By Kristian

            from Dallas, Tx

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                  For the price you can't beat this. The built in onboard mic will definitely need a windscreen of some sort because it is extremely sensitive to wind. I use this primarily as a recorder for weddings but have also toyed around with the built in mic with vocals and guitar.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  5.0

                  Excellent piece of Kit - well priced

                  By Zed

                  from New Zealand

                  Verified Buyer

                  Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                  Excellent piece of Kit - well priced
                  Small in size, Simple to use..

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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

                                                Share this review

                                                 
                                                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

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                                                  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.

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                                                        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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                                                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                                         
                                                        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!!

                                                        Share this review

                                                         
                                                        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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