ZOOM H2N by Russ56
The Zoom H2N portable recorder is a small device with five top mounted microphones and can be used as an audio interface.
I have been using this unit for a few months now and cannot believe the versatility.
The actual technical specifications and full list of sampling rates can be found on the Zoom website, so I will keep this review as a practical experience.
The first thing I recorded was acoustic guitar at the 24 bit 96 Khz sampling rate,
and the tones were smooth and full. I also recorded speech and some frogs in the garden. The speech was clear and so were the frogs, however as I used MS Stereo on the frogs when I listened back I could hear the traffic for up to two kilometres around the suburb! I will use XY stereo next time to keep the sound front focussed, or use MS stereo without the side microphones, essentially mono then. You can record in Raw mode MS stereo which allows you to change the side mix later, or even import these files as two separate files for post production mixing.
I then tried the unit as a USB audio interface into my laptop and it performed flawlessly. There was some latency which I fixed in the program. I suspect the audio program was at fault, not the Zoom H2N. The unit can also accept a line input, so you could put an audio mixer or another microphone through it.
Using quality AKG K240 headphones I could not believe the playback quality of this unit for the price. It makes a great MP3 player!
I have heard photographers use this unit to record sound for videos and drag the files into the picture editor program.
As a song writer I find this unit a great sketchpad to quickly jot down musical ideas as they strike. Just turn it on (almost instant) and hit record.
The only criticism I have would be the playback button, you have to push in a lever, but it works.
Now, equipped with a quality SD card there is no excuse not to capture the audio of an entire wedding or your child's first concert.
There is also a very good guitar tuner with different scales built in.
The sceen is bright and clear, and one of the most amazing things after using it for over two months is I am still on the original batteries, 2 AAs. When they run out I will use my trusty rechargeable Eneloops, and Zoom even have a menu setting for those!