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Is the Zoom H8 the best handheld recorder around? Over the last few years, Zoom has become a giant in the world of portable recorders and podcasting solutions. I was immediately keen to review it: Eight inputs out of the box and the ability to record up to 12 channels simultaneously! It also has three dedicated configuration modes built in, Field, Music, and Podcast. Was my initial enthusiasm justified? Has Zoom upped the ante in the handheld recorder market? My very first impression: I was surprised at how compact the H8 is.

I was expecting a much larger box! Opening it up, I was greeted by a device which looked part Borg and part tactical weapon! The Zoom H8 has the feel of a sturdy piece of mid-level camera gear.

Installing the included AA batteries, I had the unit powered up within minutes of unboxing. The card I used was incorrectly formatted, but the H8 prompted a reformat quickly and easily. ZOOM H8 and carbonated beverage for sense of scale. The first test for the H8 was as a simple, stereo field recorder. The XYH-6 connects to the H8 via an expansion port on the top of the unit under a clip-off cover. The XYH-6 is one of a range of mic modules from Zoom, including shotgun, mid-side and even ambisonic mic arrays.

You really can tailor the H8 to a huge range of field recording situations. I was impressed with the XYH-6 and started walking around the house recording anything and everything which made a sound! I then tried a large-diaphragm condenser into the microphone inputs and was equally impressed with the results for close-miced voice-over work.

There was no discernible noise from the mic preamps and the results were clean and transparent. Recordings using the XYH-6 XY stereo mic had an amazing sense of depth and realism belying the price point. My only criticism was some handling noise when hand-held; employing the onboard high pass filter alleviated much of this. The Music App opens up a neat little mixer window on the touch screen which gives a surprising amount of control. Within the mixer, you have the option of adjusting the individual level of each source, pan, basic three-band EQ and effects send level.

Ahhh yes, effects! It should come as no surprise that the H8 includes DSP based effects ; after-all Zoom made their name decades ago making guitar processors and FX units.

With this in mind, I was perhaps expecting more from the onboard effects in the H8. View it as a welcome bonus function rather than a selling point.

Your microphone and instrument inputs can then be recorded natively to SD card , or streamed to a connected computer via USB.

Usefully, the onboard mixer can be used to stream a mixed stereo pair to a connected computing device. I can see the Music App perhaps being most useful for video live streams to social media although the preset nature of the DSP would require some prior preparation on behalf of the performers!

These allow you, as a podcaster, to play jingles, station IDs and idents. Perfect eh? Well, almost perfect…. The H8 allows you to adjust the level of the Sound Pads , but only globally. Any audio files you load into the Sound Pads has to be in. It would have been much more convenient for the H8 to convert file type and bitrate upon import.

Had Zoom given us another two or three headphone outputs it would have elevated this into an exceptional stand-alone podcasting solution.

For your money, you get a field recorder, a podcasting solution, a multi-track hardware recorder and a multi-channel audio interface. Zoom needs only to make a few tweaks to their software to turn the H8 from a very good portable recorder into a truly great Swiss Army knife of an audio machine. If you buy a product via an affiliate partner, we receive a small commission that helps support us financially.

But you pay the same price you would have anyway. Your email address will not be published. For a better experience on Gearnews, we recommend JavaScript to be enabled. Zoom H8: a feature-rich new portable recorder with touch screen interface. Zoom PodTrak P4: a complete podcasting studio in a portable format. Zoom H4n Pro turns the popular Handy Recorder professional. Zoom introduces the F6 multitrack field recorder.

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Zoom h8 vs zoom h6 – none:.Zoom H5 vs H6 – Which one is better to choose?

Apr 13,  · Good Bad Missing. This Zoom H6 is a six-channel portable recorder. It comes with an interchangeable XYH-6/BLK 90º/º adjustable stereo X-Y mic system as shown which has its own mm input jack if you prefer to use a different input for those channels, as well as four more channels of XLR / ¼″mic or line inputs. Jun 04,  · I’ve recorded audio for many videos using the Zoom H6, it’s a terrific tool with decent audio quality, lots of features, and excellent battery life. But Zoom recently released the F6 recorder with a new level of capability. The F6 combines very low noise preamps with dual ADCs and 32 bit float recording, and the combination nearly. Sep 13,  · However, the H6 has a longer battery life–this recorder can run for up to 21 hours with fresh batteries. The H5 can run up to 15 hours. While this is still impressive, it’s still significantly shorter than the battery life of the H6. The Winner: We think the Zoom H6 wins this one thanks to its longer battery life.