Zoom H2 review

  • £159

Decent recordings at an appealing price

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Our Verdict

Surround sound is a nifty feature, albeit one that’s hard to use effectively. Stereo is good, but we found the machine rather a bind to use

For

  • Surround sound playback
  • Good price
  • Decent recordings

Against

  • Feels a bit cheap
  • Frustrating to use

Zoom currently offers two products of this nature, the other being the H4 (£225) which has a different set of features.

We picked the H2 to review for two reasons: first, it is the cheapest such product currently available, and second, it offers surround sound capability thanks to the inclusion of four internal microphones.

Even if you don't want surround, the ability to choose between the front mics, angled 90 degrees apart, and the rear ones, angled 120 degrees, is useful.

Questionable build quality

It's hard to deny that the price shows in the build quality - it's a bit plasticky. Even worse is the display, which is tiny and slow to respond, while the operating buttons are also minute and have very little tactile feedback. Combine those features with the lack of a 'stop' button and you have the recipe for an occasionally frustrating experience. It does all work, though, and is still a versatile little machine which can give satisfying results.

The microphones were a little coloured-sounding on test. The mic amps are quiet, but still good. Performance via the line input is on a par with most rivals, but the headphone output is not keen on high playback levels and gets a bit harsh when listening loud.

We probably wouldn't want to use this recorder very frequently - among other things its USB connection seems to be grindingly slow - but it is cheap, does the job, and is clearly fine for the very occasional recordist's adventures.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Voice Recorder
USBYes
HeadphoneYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card
Brand NameZoom
MicrophoneYes
Built-in DevicesMicrophone
Maximum Battery Life4.50 Hour
Height32 mm
Width63.5 mm
Depth110 mm
Audio FormatsMP3, WAV
Form FactorPortable
ManufacturerZoom Telephonics, Inc
Product ModelH2
Product NameH2 Handy Recorder
Manufacturer Part NumberH2
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.zoomtel.com
Marketing Information

The H2 begins with 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), interviews and podcasting, to musical performances, songwriting sessions and rehearsals, the H2 provides amazing recording quality. And no matter what kind of recording you want to make, the H2 can effortlessly record it.

Weight (Approximate)110 g