Looking well flapjack with its no-nonsense – some may say brutal – industrial looks, the Zoom H2 Portable 2-Track SD Recorder promises high quality stereo recordings in an ultra-portable device.
Packing not two, but four microphone capsules, the H2 can deliver full 360° recording, bringing all four signals together for solid stereo imaging.
It’s a flexible fella too, as their website explains: “For maximum flexibility, you can record from the front of the H2 and at 90° or the rear of H2 at 120° in up to 96 kHz/24-bit WAV format, as MP3 up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can record 360° in 48kHz/24-bit format which will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 Surround.
Additionally, you can record 360° in 48kHz/24-bit format which will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 Surround.”
The 4oz chunky chappie offers one button recording with gain controls on the side plus ‘auto’ options. There’s no speakers on board so playback is either via an external amp or through headphones plugged into its 1/8″ stereo output.
There’s also a USB 2.0 port for shunting files to your PC.
Priced around £150, the H2 records on to Secure Digital (SD) media, with a 4GB card providing up to 2 hours recording at 96kHz, 6 hours at 44.1kHz, up to a hefty 138 hours in MP3 format.
Bundled with the recorder comes earphones, an 1/8 inch stereo to RCA cable, a mic clip adapter, tripod stand, USB cable, an AC adapter and a 512MB SD card. Interestingly, there’s also an on-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner and metronome for budding axe heroes.
Powered by alkaline AA batteries, the battery life is a bit disappointing, offering just 4 hours of continuous operation – a figure dwarfed by the portable MiniDisc players that are still popular with radio reporters (the BBC have used MiniDisc recorders for years).
Still, it’s priced pretty well and we could see it appealing to musicians, reporters, journos, sound samplers and – naturally – bootleggers.
W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90° cardioid, Rear 120° cardioid and 360° polar patterns
Built-in USB 2.0 port for data storage.
Records in WAV 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz at 16-bit or 24-bit, MP3 to 320kbps and Variable Bit Rate (VBR) data formats
Time Stamp and Track Marker functions in Broadcast WAV Format (BWF)
512MB SD memory card included
Auto Gain Control (AGC)
Auto Start function
Low-cut filter eliminates wind noise
On-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner
Price: around £150 (cheaper in the States at $200)
More info: Samsontech