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ZoomH1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder
 
4.4

(based on 387 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (193)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (158)

  • 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 (68)

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 387 customers

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5.0

Great for low-budget film making

By Jordo

from Missouri

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Adjustable
  • A Lot Of Settings Options
  • Light
  • Setting
  • Settings
  • Small

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Low Budget Film Making
    • Music Recordings

    Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

    Crystal clear audio for a very reasonable price.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    Works great! Easy to use, hard to adjust

    By wafermaker

    from houston, TX

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

          Quality recording, easy to use, but you should plan to download the user manual and spend some study time if you want to adjust the detailed settings. I really like the physical switches on the back for format, AGC, and low cut. great value in a compact size. backlight is nice.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          5.0

          Great quality

          By AlexQu6

          from Fort Myers, FL

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

          Great for recording audio; the audio quality is terrific, and i also rely on the zoom H1 for video audio.

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          4.0

          Slightly better thanks 6d MIC

          By BDOG`

          from ATL

          Verified Buyer

          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

          Mounted on top using separate audio it's only slightly better than the cam mic......but works amazing with my rode Lavalier

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          5.0

          Excelente!!

          By Francesco

          from California

          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

          Si estas buscando una grabadora super portatil, con las opciones, necesarias, para grabar en alta calidad, te lo recomiendo.

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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

                                Share this review

                                 
                                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

                                                          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

                                                                Share this review

                                                                 
                                                                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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