With a new line of interchangeable capsules, Zoom’s Capsule System 2.0 turns your H8 Handy Recorder into a powerful and still portable audio multitool, capable of variable-position stereo miking, Ambisonic immersive audio capture, and expanded multichannel recording. As with the capsules for Zoom H5 and H6 recorders, these “2.0” models are quick to swap, no tools or time-consuming fiddling needed. Let it be known, however, that these new fancy add-ons work specifically with the H8 only.
XAH-8 Mic Capsule
At first glance, the XAH-8 appears quite similar to the stock XYH-6 capsule. Both models have two rotatable condenser microphones and a gain dial. Whereas the stock capsule is restricted to an X/Y configuration with 90- or 120-degree width options, the XAH-8 allows you to move the capsules from a tight X/Y pattern to a wide AB pattern. This yields greater control over the stereo width, which is especially beneficial when recording instruments such as acoustic guitar, piano, or drums.
VRH-8 Mic Capsule
Inspired by the mic array on Zoom’s H3-VR recorder, the VRH-8 features four condenser capsules and a built-in accelerometer for automatic capsule alignment. The result is a hassle-free mic setup that lets you capture immersive 360-degree audio for virtual reality, augmented reality, game audio, and film sound applications. The integrated Ambisonic decoder takes care of format conversion so you don't have to address it after recording.
EXH-8 Input Capsule
With four locking XLR 3-pin inputs, the EXH-8 adds four mic preamps to your H8, pushing the total to 10 mic inputs. Each input offers a large gain dial and a -20 dB pad for easy optimization of signal levels. If you connect a power source to the EXH-8 capsule, you’ll be able to send phantom power for your favorite condenser microphones. An H8 topped with the EXH-8 makes for an impressively powerful and surprisingly small multitrack recording system for capturing bands in the studio, on small stages, or at exclusive house shows.
Round ’Em Up
Knowing that the H8 has three app-driven modes that instantly configure its color touchscreen for podcasting, music production, or location recording, it makes sense that Zoom would produce capsules that integrate with the recorder’s design philosophy and further expand its already remarkable versatility.
Which capsule would you use the most? Let us know in the Comments section, below.