While I’ve read a lot about the Zoom H2 flash recorder and heard a few audio clips here and there, this podcast from Neal Ewers of Blind Cool Tech is probably the most useful review I’ve come across so far.
Ewers spends more time than necessary explaining the button and menu layout of the Zoom H2. This is the sort of thing that really comes across more clearly in text than audio. But since the entire review is done using the H2, you get a good sense of how the recorder sounds. And overall, it’s pretty god.
At the start of the podcast Ewers switches from a Zoom H4 to an H2, demonstrating that the H2 does not have the electronic pulsing noise that appears on the H4 when running on battery power.
First, he demonstrates clearly that the H4’s pulsing noise (which he calls a whistle) disappears when you plug in the unit. Or, if you want a more portable solution, you can follow my instructions for creating a portable battery pack which will trick the H4 into thinking it’s plugged into a wall.
- The buttons don’t have the tactile feel of the buttons on the H4, making it hard to know when you’ve pressed a button.
- You can’t change settings while you’re in record ready mode, meaning you lose the ability to hear the changes as you’re listening.
- There’s no file format buttons on the front of the unit for switching from WAV to MP3 or changing resolutions.
- There’s still plenty of handling noise when using the built-in mics.
- Ewers plugs in several external mics including a headset mic, and a lapel mic. Neither sounds very good, and I wouldn’t recommend them for professional recording, but they’ll do for most podcasters.
Neil decides to keep his H2 and sell his H4, even though the H2 does not include phantom power or XLR inputs. And to be honest, if you listen to the start of the podcast when he switches from the H4 to the H2, I have to say, I think the H4 sounds better. But for $200, the H2 might be a great unit for beginners.