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REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
ZoomH1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Black)
 
4.4

(based on 597 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (346)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (199)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (32)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (13)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (279)
  • Excellent sound (218)
  • Versatile (167)
  • Compact (121)
  • Low distortion (116)

Cons

  • Poor quality construction (60)
  • Weak (20)
  • Not durable (9)
  • Difficult to use (6)
  • Handling noise (6)

Best Uses

  • Amateur recording (172)
  • Outdoor events / games (135)
  • Professional recording (95)
  • Home studio (91)
  • Performances (88)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (145)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (193), Novice (54), Professional musician (22), Tech savvy (16), Movie enthusiast (9)

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 597 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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5.0

Handy

By Randy

from Foley, AL

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

Purchased this to record the audio of church services. This just works, small, light, nice recording quality. No more tooting a laptop around just plug into the sound board, check the levels and hit record. Live recordings are nice and clean as well. The only negative so far is the old style mini usb connector, which means 1 more cable to carry.

 
5.0

Cheap but very good quality

By coldhen

from Hong Kong

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

Love it when using standalone or as a USB sound card, both work great!

 
4.0

Basic features, but does the job

By Videografix

from Silicon Valley

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

We typically use these recorders as a backup, with a lav mic hidden in clothing. The built-in mics do a good job, and for the price, the sound quality is actually quite good.
Personally, I don't like the micro SD cards - they're too small and I've had bad luck with static damage. I think the recorder chassis is large enough to take a full-sized SD card.
One very frustrating thing about the recorder is that the display doesn't tell you how much record time is left on the card, when it's recording. You have to stop the recording to get that information.
Other than that, the recorder works well and does it's job.

 
5.0

Good product

By Brian

from Detroit

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

I use it at weddings. Works Great!

 
5.0

Clear crisp sound.

By AJMJ

from Pittsburgh

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

Very nice, poportable audio recorder.

 
5.0

Should have purchased long time ago.

By Donald

from Undisclosed

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

I use this for field recordings and as a hand held microphone input for my video camera. Great quality and so easy to use. Added a foam wind shield. It works great!

 
5.0

Nice product

By Pro

from Greece

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

I had the opportunity to use my friend's Zoom H1 for a school movie and find it very useful. I'm not a video expert but I can say that the sound recording is much better with H1 than the camera's microphone so I took advantage of the Deal Zone and purchased it at a better price.

 
5.0

This mic is awesome, don't let the size or price fool you.

By drogers44

from Atlanta

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

What a great value, easy to use. easy to transfer.

 
5.0

Handy and great value

By Dave

from Undisclosed

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

Does a really great job. I use it to take ambient recordings of our sanctuary to compare against recordings made with console. Lets our muscians understand how it may sometimes sound odd on the console recording but the room sound is much more blended and balanced.

 
5.0

Great recorder

By MasterAsianKhor

from Raleigh, NC

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

I used this to record the audio for my vlogging. It is easy to use, small and light. I do not use the built in mic but use a Rode Video Micro instead.
The only downside is the product is plastic so have to be carefull when I attach it to the tripod. There is a potential that the piece can break if I over tighten it.

 
5.0

Love it!

By Beth

from Garner, NC

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

Easy to use and works great. A great product at a great price!

 
5.0

It's a great recorder for the price.

By AJ

from Undisclosed

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

I like the fact that I can connect a microphone to it or connect it to my camera directly to record sound. The quality of sound is great. The size makes it very portable. It's also very easy to use. I am pleased with what I got for the cost.

 
5.0

As expected and a pretty blue

By AmyV

from Undisclosed

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

I read the reviews from several different sources and knew this was the one I needed for wedding videography. Works well and I love the blue color. Just a little personality to go with the business. The audio is nice and crisp; the controls super easy and all for a great price.

 
5.0

Beautiful, perfectly designed hand-held audio recorder

By Neil

from Naples Florida

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

I needed a good, reasonably priced audio recorder to record and store my French language lessons from online Frenchpod101. I called B&H and asked for a recommendation. They recommended the Zoom H1 hand held audio recorder. It is the most perfect little audio recorder I could have wished for.
Built in microphone and speakers, stereo line in, stereo line out, voume out control, one press button record, one press stop record, input level control, auto input level switch, record in wave or MP3,Low cut switch for noise rejection, usual play/pause, two step delete, on/off switch needs 3 second to operate to avoid accidental on or off, USB connection to PC, single AA non rechargeable battery appear to provide adequate capacity for my needs,
Micro card included is only 2GB. i bought an additional 32GB card,

 
5.0

Affordable and versatile

By blue

from Chicago, IL

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

Much simpler to use than H5 and because it is so small and portable, I am able to buy several for multiple recordings, particularly at weddings.

 
4.0

Decent recorder at a decent price point.

By JC

from Tn

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

The recording quality is decent and the price is decent. Nothing fancy here, but you won;t be disappointed at the pricepoint.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent Primary or Backup Audio on a Budget

By Clay

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Gray):

I picked up the H1 as a backup audio for my small wedding videography business. I've increasingly used this as one of my primary audio acquisition tools as well. The sound is extremely high quality in my opinion. It is also very versatile as you can pick up a Rode smartlav for it (with an adapter) and you can create a very budget friendly "wireless" microphone. I can hide this little device near the front when I film a wedding and get really good audio. (A wind screen is an absolute MUST if you are filming outdoors, especially on a very windy day. You will still likely have to add on some high pass filtering to remove wind noise.) I can't say enough positive remarks about this recorder! I have this and a Zoom H6 that I use regularly.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

A good practical portable recorder

By Peter

from undisclosed

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

A quality product; records clearly, very portable, clear playback through earphones. For my purposes -- recording meetings to write up news reports - it's nearly ideal. And the price was right in my ballpark.

My only gripe would be that fast-forward and reverse are a bit clunky to use -- sometimes it'll jump back to the beginning of a recording, requiring me to rewind to the point I was listening to.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Works great

By mpython

from Seattle, WA

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

Been using it now for a week or two and have had no issues. Sound quality is amazingly good. I've recorded instruments and ambient sounds. All turned out very nice. For this price you'll get a great recorder thats easy to use....

 
5.0

Must have.. So happy.

By Michael

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about H1 Ultra-Portable Digital Audio Recorder (Blue):

I use it all the time and love it.... So many uses.

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