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ZoomH6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System
 
4.8

(based on 200 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (158)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (38)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (16)
  • Versatile (11)
  • Portable (9)
  • Ease of use (7)
  • Good audio (7)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Interviews (16)
  • Field recording (13)
  • Video (6)
  • Live music (4)
  • Weddings (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (160)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

New Standard for quality and versatility

Zoom H6 review

This versatile flash card recorder has been available for a few months and sets a major standard for economy and performance in a handheld unit. In brief, it allows...Read complete review

Zoom H6 review

This versatile flash card recorder has been available for a few months and sets a major standard for economy and performance in a handheld unit. In brief, it allows three different microphone capsules to be used with the recorder as well as room for six inputs via XLR/TRS connectors and line-in. It can also be used as an audio interface via USB.

The three microphone capsules include an XY stereo unit, as well as a Mid-Side one that allows mono recording as well as varying the stereo spread, and a short shotgun (SGH-6) that must be purchased separately. They allow many choices for recording without an external microphone. The Mid-Side microphone is slightly noisier than the XY unit.

Many different use situations can be imagined. My interest is in field recording so configuring the H6 to cope with wind and handling shocks required some innovation described here. The recorder with an attached microphone can be mounted in a Rode Blimp suspension body by using elastic hair ties around the front of the unit as well as through the strap attachment slots all connected to the thumbscrews on the suspension hoops. I find a crochet hook about size F/5 or 3.75 mm helps place and remove the elastics easily. This way the recorder can be carried with a shock mount. The blimp and wombat cover acts as a substantial wind screen. When used this way, the accessory H6 remote control (part of APH-6 package) allows control of the recorder from outside of the blimp setup. It comes with an extension cord as well allowing use from an extended distance. An earphone cord can also be routed out of the blimp for close monitoring of the recording. If you use the short shotgun mic (SGH-6), you would best use a boom pole to position the shotgun mic as you would for good recording technique.

Using either of the XY or MS microphone modules allows recording at -12 dB as a back-up in case the levels are set too high. This option is not available for the six other XLR or TRS inputs. There is also a limiter/compressor option available with three separate settings. No automatic level control is available but the compressor can act as an ALC. There is an auto-record capability for which you can set the activation start threshold so the recorder could be left unattended to capture evanescent sounds. You can also set a stop level.

There are some limitations in this versatile unit. If you want to use an existing microphone with a 3.5mm (1/8 inch) plug and require plug-in power this is available only when the XY microphone is mounted. This jack also functions as a line-in input. If you want phantom 12 or 48 volt power, this is only available on the four built-in XLR/TRS jacks. The accessory EXH-6 external input, attached where the XY or MS mics would go does not provide phantom power.

Combined with a video camera, or DSLR, there are great extended sound recording capabilities. For musicians requiring more than six inputs use of an external mixer will be needed. It takes some time to navigate the controls but they become intuitive with use.

With a wide range of usage and a reasonable price the Zoom H6 system can't be beat.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Still have noise compared to Tascam DR-6

This is a well thought out device, it has a lot of usage, and iLife many reviews, it's good for general purposes.

For DSLR filmmakers, you may find it...Read complete review

This is a well thought out device, it has a lot of usage, and iLife many reviews, it's good for general purposes.

For DSLR filmmakers, you may find it very hard to view the screen or adjust the dials when it is mounted on top of the camera, you CAN use additional supporters like a cage or a hotshoe mount, but it will add more stuff around the camera making it less portable.

I have been using both extensively and tested both the Zoom H6 and the Tascam DR-60D and between all my filmmaker friends that had used both devices, the Zoom renders more noise even though it is better than the H4N.

Don't get me wrong, it IS a good device but it has its application. I do love the fact I can use 4 XLRs but I hate the menu and option buttons they make it hard to change the settings.

Also, the backup recording options ONLY applies to the front modules L/R input not the 4 XLRs.

Reviewed by 200 customers

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5.0

Love this recorder!

By berryblndgirl

from Purcellville, VA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Great sound quality and very easy to use! Would buy it again!

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5.0

Great buy....

By joeconnollybos

from Boston

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I am only a complete NOVICE but I make very careful buying decisions. I soul searched between this and the new H4 Pro. I think they may be going for a big upgrade soon, but for what I need this should take me more than the way. I used it as mic itself, field external mic and DSLR mic and all were great. Lavelier next!

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5.0

As good as I hoped

By Corporate Guy

from Owego, NY

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

For our uses, this unit is just what we needed; hand held but mountable, good on-board mics, solid construction, well laid out, and good audio quality. Some reviews pick at the lack of pristine sound, but a) it's a field recorder and b) look at the price point. You get a lot of quality, control, and expansion possibilities here. Nice touches include the volume knob barriers to minimize the chance for bumping the gain, adjustable field patterns on the X-Y capsule, and separate line out and headphone jacks.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

GREAT Battery life

By TimecodePR

from San Juan PR

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

We could not be happier with this upgrade from our H4 to H6. I recorded a 30 min interview and another 1hr and 24 minute and I still have a full battery. This allow us to record each channel separately with phamtom power inanely the channel that you need. Very easy to use menu.

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(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Great for the money, BUT...

By RicM

from Providence, RI

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

This is a great little recorder that does a lot of things well, but is missing a few features I would really like. The sound quality is excellent. It's compact size and light weight make an ideal machine for off camera sound gathering. As noted elsewhere however, the form factor makes it impossible to see the level meters when it's on a belt or shoulder strap, not a deal breaker, but an inconvenience for sure. The thing that I really miss is the ability to send 1 input to different tracks. On my Sony video cameras internal sound we always send 1 mic to 2 tracks, one recorded "hot", the other "not so hot". This means if the sound level varies excessively, and the hot track clips, the other track is just right. The H6 has a similar feature called "Backup Track" that is recorded -12db, but it is only available on the 1/2 stereo track used by the click on Zoom mics. But you can add an accessory click on module to add 2 XLR inputs, and gain the use of the Backup Track feature, but the 2 add on XLRs do not supply phantom power, effectively eliminating most popular, pro level microphones which seldom have provision for internal battery power instead of device fed phantom. So...either the addition of phantom power to the 1/2 stereo inputs, or a way to assign 1 input to 2 tracks would make this a much more useful recorder.

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent Field recorder

By Jono

from Los Angeles

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

If you are a video guy that needs more than what the Zoom H4n can offer, this is the logical next step. I tried both Tascam 60D MK II and the 70D and they do not come close when it comes to pure functionality and reliability. Absolutely fantastic recorder.

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Good Machine

By Clem

from Quebec

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

J'ai eu ce produit il y a deux semaines et je suis tr�s content des performances que l'appareil est capable de d�livrer. Le son est excellent et les r�glages assez accessible et facile � comprendre. L�ger et polyvalent, c'est un appareil que je recommande � tout bon amateur de son de qualit� !

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Little beast

By Nahh

from California

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Better than my H4N in every way. Sounds great, easy to use, excellent value.

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great Stuff!!

By EDL7

from Middletown CT.

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

A definite upgrade from the H4N!
Luv it!!

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

After just a few uses, already love it, not sure I'm...

By Ryan

from Elk Grove, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

I have yet to fully review the saved files, but based on what I heard in the headphones I had plugged in, this will work well for me.

What I have used it on so far was to record a children's theater production. I used the XY mic which captured what was coming out of the speakers they had setup, and a shotgun mic for what was on stage. It sounded like I got the balance between them set OK, although I'm sure I could adjust in post somewhat.

The menus and features were very easy to understand and use, and I'm new to all of this. I doubt I'll ever use the playback or edit features that are on the device. I'll pretty much always just move the files to my PC for editing there.

I ran the unit for over 6 or 7 hours and the battery indicator only went down by 1 bar (out of 3), on alkaline batteries (Costco's brand, I think).

All in all, a good tool.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Old Film Guy buy new Sound Recorder

By Spotdirector

from NYC

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use And Learn
  • Great Quality Sound

Cons

  • I Have Not Found Any Cons

Best Uses

  • Documentary Work
  • Run And Gun

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

Coming from the days a Nagra seems ancient. This little gem is an amazing piece of equipment. The quality is amazing, easy to use, the sound recording is impressive. More sound inputs then I'll ever need shooting documentaries and some national content work. Really nice stuff

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Game changer

By Jim the Runner

from San Jose, CA

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Great Sound
  • Long Battery Life
  • Super Portable

Cons

  • None

Best Uses

  • Field Recording
  • Sound For Microbudgets

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

This has totally changed how sound is recorded. Dynamite for field recording and microbudget productions. The batteries last a long time and the layout is great. Two thumbs up!

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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4.0

Love it

By Chris

from Wyoming, MN

Verified Buyer

Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

The zoom h6 is really handy for interview settings. I love finally being able to take the audio off my camera and position it how I want without messing up my framing.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great capability for the price

By Active Shooter

from Midwest

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • Necessary Accessories Not

    Best Uses

    • Audio For Videos

    Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

    Rather than go all in with the new Zoom F8, I picked this up to determine if I really need all the capacity of that unit. I like the smaller form factor of this H6 and am impressed with the low pre amp noise and decent quality of the supplied mics. I was surprised it did not come supplied with the USB 110vc adaptor included, but i have loads of those around to no big deal. Nor did it come with a strap. again, i have loads around, but would have been nice.
    Build quality good. Wish the menu and go to toggle switch were larger and more substantial.
    A/B mic modules sound fine and after you figure out the side pattern settings its a nice set up.
    I still have time to spend exploring the unit before I run and gun with it, but the recording so far a fantastic. Its a keeper and well worth the money.

    I own the H-1, H-2 (original) and H-4 ( original). Those units may be passed on to my kids or as deep backups.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best handy recorder I have ever seen

    By Charlie

    from Budapest, Hungary

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Clear Preamps
    • Low Noise Level

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Field Recordings
      • Interviews
      • Multi-channel Recordings
      • Podcasts

      Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

      I use this as a field recorder to get interviews and record audio channel with Rode Filmmaker kit. It has excellent noise levels and clear preamps. I highly recommend this recorder. The Zoom H6 is a cost effective alternative to using a recording studio. We have been successful with the learning curve to operate it, and use the manual constantly as we need to use various features. We are getting great quality recordings and have successfully done multitrack with up to 4 tracks- so far. I re-name and I bring all tracks into Adobe Audition, or Final Cut Pro. I choose the H6 for a few reasons but key ones were the large color VU meters, and the microphones. I love the feel of the H6, the buttons, dials, readout and controls. It will be a very valuable tool in my field production toolbox.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Easier to use than expected

      By Musician-turned-Filmmaker

      from New York City

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use Interface
      • Great For Indie Film Work
      • Low Noise Floor

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indie Filmmaking
        • Interviews
        • Live Event Recording

        Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

        I had a feeling before buying this that it would work great but be unintuitive to use. Not true! The menu/display screen is pretty simple to navigate, and all settings/options are not buried too deep. Would it be nice to access things like phantom power in a single button click on the console? Sure. But Zoom obviously had to design this in a simple, small form factor.

        I use this for film, and I'm transferring all files to the computer to edit and mix there, so I have no interest in the mixing, EQ'ing, editing features onboard the H6. Can't speak intelligently to those features. I'm merely using this as a high quality audio capture device.

        The noise floor is very low, especially when using a professional shotgun mic with it, and the stereo mics that come with it are convenient for certain kinds of uses; however, they may be too noisy compared to standalone mics used in conjunction with the H6.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        great price point!

        By Joevich

        from Philadelphia

        Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

        The zoom h6 is a great product at an excellent price point! Great sounding audio and easy to use.

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        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        The best piece of gear I have ever purchased, hands down

        By Aram Vartian

        from Washington, D.C.

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Clear Crisp Recording
        • Compact
        • Long Battery Life
        • Multiple Configurations
        • Physical Controls

        Cons

        • Digital Menu Is Sluggish

        Best Uses

        • Music
        • Podcasting
        • Video

        Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

        For the price, the Zoom H6 digital recorder has been the most reliable, most functional and most impressive piece of recording technology I have ever purchased.

        I run a surprisingly popular actual play Dungeons and Dragons podcast called Godsfall, and recently we upgraded our audio rig so that every member of our five-person cast was on an individual lav mic. I needed an affordable device to record clean audio on all of these microphones individually while giving me easy access to adjust those voices on the fly. Since our recorded games can last up to seven hours, I also needed the device to have decent battery life. The H6 drastically outperformed all of my expectations.

        Even on Eneloop Pro rechargeable batteries, the H6 rarely drops below a single bar, even when providing phantom power to our back-up shotgun mic. The audio is records is crisp and clean and easy to adjust with large, tactile knobs instead of through a fiddly digital menu. This allows me to keep the game running smoothly, making audio adjustments without interrupting the pace of our story.

        The X/Y and ball mics the unit comes with are also excellent, providing a complete package that allows me to capture ambient audio as well as professional voice overs. As a video professional, I have also found the H6 an invaluable tool for processing and capturing audio, a vast improvement over any DSLR's audio input.

        The device feels solid but not excessively heavy, allowing me to toss it into any bag without considering or feeling the extra weight, even loaded with 4 AA batteries. The buttons, knobs, toggle and switches feel well-built and have excellent feedback. If I had any complaint it would be that the digital menu seems to drag a bit as you navigate, but even that is ever just so slightly.

        If you have a need to record professional audio in a compact package, this is far and above the only option for you.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        excellent choice

        By aga

        from san francisco

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

        perfect for travel videography

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        excellent choice

        By aga

        from san francisco

        Verified Buyer

        Comments about Zoom H6 Handy Recorder with Interchangeable Microphone System:

        excellent for travel videography

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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