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Zoom H2 Handy Portable Stereo Recorder
List Price: $334.99

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Product Description

It's a simple idea: provide brilliant stereo recording in an easy-to-use, ultra-portable device. The H2 is the only portable recorder with 3 mic capsules onboard for mid-side recording. A directional mic is in the center (mid) and two directional mics (side) are positioned left and right. The audio is decoded instantly, bringing these three signals together for unparalleled stereo imaging. One button recording, gain controls on the side and an intuitive user interface mean you can always capture the moment. Set your levels, push record and go. The H2 records on Secure Digital (SD) media and a 512MB SD card is included. With a 4GB SD memory card, the H2 provides up to 2 hours recording at 96kHz, 6 hours at 44.1kHz, or up to a staggering 138 hours in MP3. Play your recordings on your home audio system with its 1/8" stereo output or listen to your masterpiece with headphones. Or, use the H2's USB interface to move your recordings to your Mac or PC to listen, edit and share. 512MB SD memory card included; Accommodates up to 4GB SD optional memory cards Auto Gain Control (AGC) for pristine recordings Auto Start function means you're always ready to record Low-cut filter eliminates wind noise On-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner Two standard alkaline AA batteries will give you 4 hours of continuous operation and a backlit display means it's always easy to use in any situation Pocketable - Weighs only 4 ounces

It's a simple idea: provide brilliant stereo recording in an easy-to-use, ultra-portable device. Now everyone can record pristine audio in an infinite variety of applications. From seminars and conferences, to electronic news gathering (ENG) and podcasting, to musical performances, songwriting sessions and rehearsals, the H2 provides amazing recording quality. And no matter what kind of music you perform or the instrument you play, the H2 can effortlessly record it in high-quality stereo.

Why Four Mics are Better Than Two
90 degree Pattern
90กใ Pattern
Record from the front at 90กใ
120 degree Pattern
120กใ Pattern
Record from the front at 120กใ
The H2 is the only portable recorder with 4 mic capsules on-board for 360กใ recording. With 4 mic capsules in a W-X/Y configuration, the audio is decoded instantly, bringing these four signals together for unparalleled stereo imaging.

But the H2 doesn't stop there. For maximum flexibility, you can record from the front of the H2 in a 90กใ pickup pattern or the rear of the H2 in a 120กใ pickup pattern at up to 96 kHz/24-bit resolution as a WAV file, or as an MP3 file at bitrates up to 320 kbps. Additionally, you can record in a 360กใ pickup pattern at up to 48kHz/24-bit resolution which will allow you to convert your recordings to 5.1 Surround.

Push a Button...
That's all it takes to start recording! The H2 is a remarkably robust device that is incredibly easy to use. One button recording, gain controls on the side and an intuitive user interface mean you can always capture the moment. Set your levels, push record and go. It's that simple. Or use the Auto Start and Auto Gain Control functions to ensure complete capture at the right level. And if you need to fine-tune your levels on the fly, we made it easy with gain control buttons on the front panel.

Play it Back!
Play your recordings on your home audio system with its 1/8" stereo output or listen to your masterpiece with headphones. Or, use the H2's USB interface to move your recordings to your Mac or PC to listen, edit and share.

The H2 records on Secure Digital (SD) media and a 512MB SD card is included. The unit can accommodate up to a 16GB SD card, allowing up to 24 hours of total recording time using the 16-bit/44.1kHz WAV format. At 128kbps MP3, you get an amazing 280 hours of stereo recording. Store your recordings on a PC or Mac with its USB 2.0 interface. And you can use its time stamping function for reference during production. Or use the H2 as a USB Mic for recording directly to a computer.

What's Life Without Accessories?
The H2 comes with earbuds, 1/8 inch stereo to RCA cable, mic clip adapter, tripod stand, USB cable, AC adapter and a 512MB SD card.

Ultimate Convenience
The H2 weighs 4 ounces and fits in your pocket for the ultimate in portability and convenience. Two standard alkaline AA batteries will give you 4 hours of continuous operation and a backlit display means it's always easy to use in any situation.

Enjoy Your Brilliance
Brilliant stereo recording in a convenient, user-friendly package means there's never been an easier way to record high quality audio. The H2 gives everyone the power to record anything and share it with anyone, anywhere. You'll be amazed by your sound.

Features:

  • W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90กใ cardioid, Rear 120กใ cardioid and 360กใ polar patterns
  • Built-in USB 2.0 interface
  • 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
  • Accommodates up to 16GB SD memory cards
  • Auto Gain Control (AGC) for pristine recordings
  • Auto Start function means you're always ready to record
  • Low-cut filter eliminates wind noise
  • On-board chromatic Guitar/Bass tuner

H2 Handy Recorder Features at a Glance
H2 features anotated
The H2 Handy Recorder brings the ultimate in functionality and versatility to portable digital recording. A clear, backlit display features recording levels, time code, file name and remaining battery life. LEDs indicate Front, Rear, 2 Channel or 4 Channel modes and the recording angle: 90กใ, 120กใ or 360กใ. An Active Mic LED is on the front and back of the H2. Transport controls include one button recording, playback and pause, fast forward and rewind. Use the Menu key to enter the control menu and the cursor keys to navigate through the feature sets.

Within the menu, set recording parameters such as direction and polar pattern, activate the Auto Start function and set file format. And you'll find additional settings like Auto Gain Control to make sure your recordings are always pristine. And you can fine-tune your levels on the fly with the Record Level buttons on the front.

H2 side features anotated
On the left side of the H2 is a 1/8" Phone/Line Output for monitoring and playback. Playback Volume, Power On and the AC power are located here as well.

On the right side of the H2, you can plug in a powered 1/8" external stereo mic. Setting levels is easy with a Mic Gain slider for Low/Medium/High gain. You can also digitize analog recordings with the 1/8" Line In.

Use the USB 2.0 Interface to move your files to a PC or Mac for storage, editing and playback. The time stamp function is great for reference during production. And you can even use the H2 as a USB mic and record directly to your favorite digital audio software.

For brilliant stereo recording, and plenty of extras, there's never been a simpler or more functional solution than the H2 Handy Recorder from Zoom.

Please note: The Zoom H2 will not mount as a USB Drive on MAC OS X 10.5.0 Leopard unless you update to H2 Firmware version 1.2 or higher.

Choose the Right Polar Pattern for the Best Recording in any Situation

Choose the Right Polar Pattern for the Best Recording in any Situation
90 degree Pattern
90กใ Pattern
Record from the front at 90กใ
120 degree Pattern
120กใ Pattern
Record from the front at 120กใ

Record your band rehearsals in 360กใ brilliant stereo.
360 polar pattern
90กใ Pattern
Record from the front at 90กใ

Features:
  • W-XY mic patterns with 4 mic capsules and signal processing allows Front 90 cardioid, Rear 120 cardioid and 360 polar patterns
  • Finally record 360 sound as 2ch data or 4ch data simultaneously
  • 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)

Customer Reviews:

  • What's going on?
    I'm a happy user of the H2 Zoom since it first hit the market. I use it as an adjunct for sound effects recording. I was checking out some accessories at a pro audio site today, and they have posted an alert that the H2 Zoom is no longer available. Anybody know anything? The H2 is a fine piece of "handy" simple stealth recording equipment, just as advertised. I would hate to see it disappear....more info
  • The good, the bad, the ugly
    The good....
    Great sound! (does mostly what claimed) Very compact, self-contained with internal mic's & such)
    The bad....
    A bit confusing to operate at first (small buttons, small screen)... sit down & play with it awhile. Keep an eye on the flashing/solid red light (Sometimes pushing the button does not start recording)
    Side switch's (off/on & sensitivity) are easily moved (especially when putting in in/out of it's little bag)
    The ugly.....
    Horrendous battery life... less than 3 hours (Plan on using it plugged in). Never sees card on first power up (plan on turning in on a couple of times to "find" card)... no need to plug & unplug card.. this is a software issue I think).
    VERY slow download through USB (you can X100 the download speed by removing card & plugging it into a card reader)

    Also..... Plan on recording hot. Setting the VU meters like one would do on a mixer results in very low volume. I accidentally bumped the sensitivity switch (threw it to maximum) red-lined everything... had very little distortion....more info
  • Not as easy as others claim
    I got a Zoom H2 for my birthday. First, let me state, the other reviewers ARE correct - to create an audio recording using the built in condenser mics is dead easy. Recording a line-in recording is a whole different ballgame - it took my wife (the computer guru) and I eight hours to figure it out.

    I wanted to record the audio from a youtube video and transfer it to my ipod.

    #1 - it took me about 2 hours to figure out the line-in on the Zoom H2 WILL NOT WORK. I tried everything from the dry audio output from the computer, the headphones output from the computer and the headphones output from my Bose computer speakers to the Zoom line input - no luck.
    The freakin manual is WRONG - you need to use the MICROPHONE input. Once I figured this out, the headphones output from my computer to the Zoom H2 mic input worked fine.

    #2 youtube is MONO - you have to configure the Zoom H2 to record in mono. Othewise you will only hear the output in one channel. The Zoom H2 manual explains this pretty easily.

    Next - the dreaded file transfer from Zoom H2 to computer - the manual says you can turn off the Zoom H2 power and use USB power from the computer - WRONG!!!!!!! The Zoom H2 has to be plugged in, AND the Zoom H2 power (batteries or power adapter) must be ON!

    The computer transfer will indicate everything - folders 1-10 and files 1-10. It REALLY helps if you know what folder and file you recorded your music in, otherwise you will have to listen to EVERY folder and file to find the darn thing.

    #4 - Windows Media Player will NOT play Zoom H2 files. Download Realplayer - it will play the files.

    #5 apple HATES people not paying the 99 cents plus fees for itunes downloads. The way to get around this is to use RealPlayer to create the song you want as a desktop file. itunes will incorporate a desktop music file.

    #6 - it took me and my wife 8 hours to figure this out!!!! I finally got the song "A Coward" by Chromagarage onto my ipod. I found this song on myspace. Since the band is from Japan, is not signed, has not U.S. youtube files and no itunes download, I didn't feel guilty about ripping their song. It is a wonderful song, in case you want to check it out....more info
  • amazing digital recorder
    Being a professional musician who records in my private studio to prepare solos or orchestral cadenzas I was looking to replace my Sony Walkman which uses cassette tapes. I felt the technology was going digital and I still needed portability and good sound. The Zoom H2 offers terrific size, great fidelity with its built-in mic, rather easy instructions and extremely decent price. I can either hear playback through headphones or download files onto my iMac G5 and hear them through iTunes. I am thoroughly pleased with this product and wonder why I didn't buy it sooner. Amazon.com is always a reliable merchant....more info
  • Absolutely fantastic!
    As a student journalist, I have a lot of need for a digital recorder. I'm usually fine doing my interviews with the microphone on my mp3 player, so when it came time for me to do an audio slideshow, I thought that would work. Alas, my audio was 100 percent unusable. With that failure, I quickly went searching for a new recorder and found this.

    This model is about the highest-priced recorder before hitting $300 and beyond. It cost more than I was wanting to spend (with my pathetic student budget), but it's absolutely worth it. My ultimate test, which came only days after receiving the recorder, was to pick up ambient noise during a loud game at the Pepsi Center, in Denver. Blasting music, announcers, hitting, clapping, cheering, fan commentary. But using the various settings, I was able to pick up all ambient noise, or just zone in on specific noises or people. Every single second was usable in high definition. The sounds slideshow was later published on the team's Web site.

    My one complaint is that this recorder simply looks cheap. It has a plastic exterior that makes most people think that it's low-quality. It's not. It works a lot better than it looks. It was an investment for me--one that I'll continue to use in all my sound projects....more info
  • Smaller but better than the old Zoom H4
    The sound quality of the built-in mikes is about the same as the old Zoom H4, but the interface and the design is much, much better. It's smaller, but the menu buttons are bigger, and in fact big enough to push them precisely. It's also nice that the batteries have their own compartment apart from the memory card. For me it's a major plus that you can set the date and time, and not have all your files with the same time-stamp of September 16 at 1 AM. It can handle 4 GB SD cards without you having to download and install any firmware updates, and the battery life of two CVS alkaline batteries is quite decent.

    The tuner is a nice feature, though it's of course no substitute for tuning by comparing an open string to the string below stopped. The only complaint I have about the Zoom H2 is that I have never been able to remove the memory card without the aid of tweezers: I push it in and it pops out a little bit, but I can't take it out completely just with my fingers. Still, that's not enough for me to deduct even half a star. I once recorded a string quartet in a tiny practice room, imported it into a GarageBand (I didn't do any editing besides cut and paste), made a CD and gave it to a friend. He actually thought I had recorded it in a studio!

    I saw the new Zoom H4 in Popular Science magazine, and it looks very nice. But I'm going to stick with my H2 for as long as it works....more info
  • Card Protected Error
    I used the Zoom H2 for awhile without problem but then I would occasionally get a "card protected" error when turning the unit on. I thought it was just one of those glitches that adds personality to complicated electronic devices. Unfortunately the problem has gotten worse to the point the H2 is unusable. Using different recommended memory, reformatting and new firmware did not help. The warranty is past and Samson has no discounted exchange program like Canon and many vendors. They want $50 to look at it and say they will give me a price for repair but will keep the $50 plus $8 shipping either way. I always assume the worse in cases like this. The worst case scenario is it would cost me more for their (it is actually slightly discounted, but not much) replacement than to find a discounted free shipping alternative online. This thing is pretty cool but no where near perfect. Some negatives about the device, it is complicated and not intuitive to use. Seems good for voice and music only but not samples from nature. It just would not easily pick up faint sounds even at the most sensitive setting. It also needs a better covering for wind, the foam is worthless.
    I gave it one star because the company does not stand behind there product once the warranty is past, They would not be out anything to replace it at cost. No one buys one of these expecting it to last only one year. Why not keep a customer happy and they may repurchase from you again & again....more info
  • Good Sounds
    The recorder has been used several times to record my practice sessions as well as my band's rehearsal. This is a fairly large concert band - 42 pieces, not some little group. The fidelity could be a little better, but it does a good job picking up the various instruments.
    It does a lot more - there's a metronome feature and a tuning feature, but I have not yet mastered the skills for those. All in all, it does a good job, and I am pleased.
    ...more info
  • Something missing here
    Everything about this is great except that fast forward is the same speed as real-time (it doesn't work). Also rewind is hardly functional. I must have gotten one with a factory defect, or else it's just not a good design.

    The buttons and menus are very simple and easy to use and the microphones work well....more info
  • Great quality recording
    We needed a recorder for our son to take to music school. We had heard good things about the Zoom. The quality of the recorder was better than we had hoped for. The Zoom is light-weight and easy to operate. The price is very reasonable. I would highly recommend this product....more info
  • What an easy-to-use tool!
    I bought the H2 to replace my Sony Minidisc Recorder, whose battery wouldn't retain a charge if I didn't use it for several months! The H2 takes AAs and if I leave Eneloop batteries in it I know I'll have power after months of inactivity. I use the H2 mainly for sound files to accompany still images I post on pbase.com. I like the fact that the microphone is integrated within the unit and I don't have to fiddle with lots of wires. the included handle keeps me from making noise when I hold the unit to record. I could of course use the included table stand instead. Here's an example of a recording I made this morning to accompany a picture: http://www.pbase.com/digipets/image/112286541...more info
  • Zoom H2 recorder looks good so far
    Took the plunge and purchased the Zoom H2 after reading reviews of flash memory type recorders. This will add/replace my still working Sony R37 portable minidisc recorder for making live recordings of concerts. I have a Sony MDS-JB940 minidisc deck as well that was used for the editing of the recordings. Unfortunately, I have starting losing a few recordings while editing them!? Some were recovered using the Table of Contents (TOC) recovery technique...do a search for it. Anyway, I'm now afraid to even attempt an edit on the deck. The other problem with minidisc is the sensitivity to shock during recording since the write head (or erase head) is in contact with the minidisc...thus it is sensitive to shock but for recording only. The Zoom H2 will address the shock problem for sure...and that will be a hugh relief. I have not recorded any concerts yet using the H2 and I'm still evaluating the device but so far I am very impressed with the unit. The manual is very understandable and the features of the H2 far surpass the competition especially at the current price ($163 w/free shipping). It's brother, the H4, will probably be lowered in price as time goes by because the new H4n replaces it. I'd still like to find out if the H2 can utilze SDHC memory greater than 4 GB!? One Zoom H2 combo ships with 16 GB! Anyway, I'll get back to checking out the unit and give it a chance at a live recording but I'll probably have my R37 along for the ride and make a dual recording just in case....more info