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ZoomH1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder
 
4.4

(based on 430 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (221)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (167)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (27)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (10)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (269)
  • Excellent sound (218)
  • Versatile (166)
  • Compact (118)
  • 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 (134)
  • 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 (98)

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 430 customers

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3.0

hide-able recorder

By nyack studio

from Nyack NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

small and can be hidden. It can't be monitor easily

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5.0

Excellent recorder for beginners

By Ravi

from Lincolnshire, IL

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Small yet powerful

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

      Excellent for recording interviews and simple videos.

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      3.0

      Recording Quality Excellent - Terrible Build Quality

      By GT

      from Hong Kong

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Recording quality

      Cons

      • Poor build quality

      Best Uses

        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

        Just as the title - I love the quality of the recording but if you drop it, expect it to get damaged so easily.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        Best option on a budget

        By Zeb

        from Los Angeles, CA

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

              The form factor is great it's really small and portable, doesn't feel super sturdy as it's a plastic body but overall this is matching the price range.
              I think the quality is pretty good and the range of options will give you enough flexibility for your money

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Great Little Recorder

              By Amber

              from Minnesota

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                    Great little recorder, I love the size and weight. I have been doing some tests and am hoping to use with a lapel mic to capture audio of the vows for wedding video.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Best bang for your buck

                    By Andrew K

                    from Pittsburgh, PA

                    Verified Reviewer

                    Pros

                    • Compact
                    • Great Value
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                    • Poor construction

                    Best Uses

                    • Live Events
                    • Music

                    Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                    It's obviously not an h4n or an h6, so if you're looking for something with XLR inputs and more tracks expect to spend a lot more. For the price, this does everything I want and more.
                    Everything you need to adjust can be done so via switches and buttons - no need to navigate through a complicated menu for basic operation.
                    Great sound quality - auto levels don't work great, and manual adjustment is via up and down buttons, so "riding the levels" isn't really feasible. I usually use this at events to hook up to the line out of a sound board, so that doesn't matter for me.
                    Battery life is amazing! It takes one AA battery, and I was able to record a seven hour long gig and still have over 1/3 of my battery power left!
                    This recorder is a great value.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

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                    5.0

                    Great Portable Recorder

                    By Chase

                    from IL

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                          This records great audio for the price. I purchased this for wedding videography. I am able to mic the groom and get clear audio without any static. Great product!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          3.0

                          It's good for money... but not perfect

                          By burnerman

                          from Colorado Springs, CO

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                          • Cheap and effective
                          • Easy to use
                          • Simple

                          Cons

                          • Auto Gain Needs Work
                          • Cheap construction

                          Best Uses

                          • Speech

                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                          I use the mic for weddings. I mic the groom and the officiant with two of these. It's great as a "backup" recorder when used with a lav. My only complaint? The first syllable uttered is too hot. The auto gain dials it back... but not fast enough for the first syllable to be decent. Once it auto corrects the gain the recording is totally workable... but that first syllable is way too hot.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          1.0

                          Not the best choice for portable mic

                          By John Ricard

                          from New York City

                          Verified Buyer

                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                          The unit is nice because it is very simple to operate and has a few stitches on the unit itself that allow you to change settings with having to use the menu. However, the Tascam DR-22WL is a much better choice. Not only does it have more recording options -including an "EZ" mode where you just push the REC button and you are ready to go, but the Tascam unit has much better sound quality. I did a side by side test between the 2 units and the Tascam unit which has a similar price and similar size, has a noticeably better sound quality.

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                          4.0

                          Immersive Sound

                          By Tim

                          from Brattleboro, VT

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Clarity
                          • Compact
                          • Easy to use

                          Cons

                          • Picks Up Background Sound

                          Best Uses

                          • Nature Sounds

                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                          The multi-directional mics are great for when you want to get all of the ambiance in a scene because it picks up a lot of really clear sound, which can also be a downside. Using this by itself can make it difficult to hear someone speaking, but that's pretty easily fixed by just getting a lav mic.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          5.0

                          So Versatile and Super Price!

                          By ChrisV

                          from Dallas, TX

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Light
                          • Small

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Weddings

                            Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                            I used these everywhere. I've got 4 of them now. Great for a "wireless mic" recording device. Attached mics are actually decent as well!

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            Great for Students + Schools

                            By Teacher Weiss

                            from Dallas, TX

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Great For Screencasting
                            • High Audio Quality
                            • Light
                            • Portable

                            Cons

                            • Plastic construction

                            Best Uses

                            • Screencasting
                            • Voice over

                            Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                            Great for the price. More than sufficient for school uses. Used to make some app tutorials with a student media team. Buy a mini tripod to go with it. I bought the full accessory kit too, but it wasn't completely necessary. I think the mini tripod would have been enough imho.[@]The screencast audio is all the zoom H1

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            4.0

                            Good recorder for the money

                            By Em

                            from Minneapolis, MN

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                  I use the Zoom H1 for radio interviews. It works great with an external mic and cord. I use a Shure SM58 mic. The built in mics work fine but you do need a wind sock if you are outdoors. I also found a little bit of noise using built in mics when going back and forth from interviewer to person being interviewed. But ease of use and performance and sound quality are good

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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                                  5.0

                                  Great product

                                  By kevlar

                                  from east hartford, ct

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        excellent recorder for weddings

                                        • Was this a gift?:
                                        • No

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                                        4.0

                                        Cheap, Great Quality

                                        By Bryce

                                        from Houston, TX

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                        Very high quality sound and easy to operate. ideal starter audio recorder

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                                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        H1, Not one bad thing to say

                                        By Constante Photo

                                        from San Antonio, TX

                                        Verified Buyer

                                        Pros

                                        • easy to use
                                        • Great for weddings
                                        • High Quality
                                        • Portable

                                        Cons

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Events
                                          • Weddings

                                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                          Great Handy recorder. Bought for wedding videography use and recently used it to record drag races at our local raceway. Small enough to fit in the groom's coat or back pocket with lavalier and portable for any event such as races. Set your levels. test, test, test! And you're good to go.

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

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                                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                           
                                          5.0

                                          The most useful mini mic

                                          By mcx

                                          from San Antonio, TX

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Comes with battery
                                          • Comes with memory card
                                          • easy to use
                                          • Headphone Out
                                          • Line in
                                          • Wav And Mp3 Formats

                                          Cons

                                          • seems a little fragile

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Audio for DSLR video
                                          • Recording interviews
                                          • Recording Presentations

                                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                          This was a great product to use. This package had everything you need to get started recording audio. The quality was excellent and the options to use .wav or .mp3 was great. The line in and headphone out came in real handy to quickly test the microphone volume. Glad it came with its own memory card and battery. Overall a great product.

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

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                                          4.0

                                          Worth the value

                                          By Brendan the Camera Guy

                                          from Walnut, CA

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                          • Great Sound quality
                                          • Lightweight
                                          • Portable
                                          • Simple to use

                                          Cons

                                          • Cheap build quality

                                          Best Uses

                                          • Interviews
                                          • Short films
                                          • Youtube videos

                                          Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                          The Zoom H1 is a great budget audio recorder for the price. The sound quality is fantastic, and it is simple to use. The two mics on top are very sensitive to wind, so if you plan on getting this device, also get the accessory pack which contains a wind screen and other useful items. THe build quality is a bit cheap (especially the micro SD slot, it feels very flimsy), but the excellent sound quality balances it out. Also, the mount on the bottom is made of plastic not metal, so it can wear out over time. (A side note, it's worth it to invest in some sound-cancelling headphones so you can listen to the audio that you are recording). Also, the product truly lives up to the name "ultra-portable." It's lightweight and small enough to fit in your pocket, which makes it very portable. The Zoom H1 has its flaws, but overall is a product of great value, and I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a recorder that can pick up great sound for cheap.

                                          • Was this a gift?:
                                          • No

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                                          1.0

                                          Not a Fan of H1

                                          By Image Video

                                          from Florida

                                          Verified Buyer

                                          Pros

                                            Cons

                                            • Poor build quality

                                            Best Uses

                                              Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                              I was disappointed in the build quality of this product. Lots of plastic that seemed quite flimsy.

                                              This product ONLY uses Micro SD and I'm not a fan of those at all. Additionally, the cover for the Micro SD card slot was so flimsy it was laughable.

                                              The sound quality was okay. After testing, the WAV file was on par with my nearly 8-year old recorder.

                                              All-in-all, I expected SO MUCH more.

                                              • Was this a gift?:
                                              • No

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                                              5.0

                                              Great starter recorder.

                                              By artboy

                                              from Illinois

                                              Verified Buyer

                                              Pros

                                                Cons

                                                  Best Uses

                                                    Comments about Zoom H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder:

                                                    Great sound, simple to use. No excuse to not record audio separate. Can't beat the price.

                                                    • Was this a gift?:
                                                    • No

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