Handy recorders: Zoom H2 vs H4n

I’ve noticed that some authors have the Zoom H4n handy recorder. Does anyone have experience with H2 as well? From what I’ve read, H4n has some nice improvements regarding interface and options for musicians, etc, but I’d like to know if there’s any significant difference in sound quality of built-in mics, if anyone had a chance to compare the two models :wink:

I have the H2 (it’s about 2 years old now - don’t know if they’ve updated it) and love it for capturing my band since the four mics allow for 360 degree recording for practice sessions. Recording live shows I usually only use the XY pattern and stick it out in front of the band wherever it won’t get trampled or spilled upon :). I don’t have experience with the H4, so I can’t compare the quality, but in my opinion the H2 sound quality is more than sufficient for getting bootlegs for the band to listen to, or to make sketches with. I do find that I have to master it a bit in the live case so that everything is EQd better, but it does a pretty good job on its own.

The interface sucks, but I don’t ever use anything except record and delete, preferring just to use my DAW for effects, etc. Oh, and one other issue with my version is that it’s USB 1.1 so it’s pointless to try to copy to my computer over USB (I just pull the SD card out). Otherwise it’s a great little tool for sketches.

I wouldn’t use it for any serious recording, though to be fair I don’t think any hand held would be up to the task.

I love my H4n. I would recommend it to anyone without hesitation. A nice improvement over the H2, and a better overall quality for the price tag than any other recorder I’ve tried. :slight_smile:


I have the H4n. All I can say is that it gives you goosebumps :> when you listen to the recordings with professional headphones. You can feel the sound right in your head and how it moves through your head. I would definitely suggest it over the Zoom H2.
I have a few samples recorded if you`d like to hear it. Check out my profile. Thanks

Never used the H2, but I love my H4N and would recommend them to anyone, the recording quality is fantastic.

Thank you all for your input so far :wink:

I have the H2 as well and I “felt in love” with it right after the first recording. Yes, the interface sucks big time and USB speed should’ve been faster definitely, but apart from that, I love it! :slight_smile: Recordings need some tweaking most of the times, but in the end the result is very good.

That’s mostly why I wanted to compare it with H4n. I was wondering if there’s any improvement of the quality of recorded sound (if it can be better than very good :smiley: ). And in the meantime, since starting this thread, I found about the H2n as well (maybe some mod could add it to the title? :slight_smile: ), which has 5th mic added, so if I decide to ‘upgrade’ from my H2, I wouldn’t know what to choose :slight_smile:

Another option is the Sony PCM-D50. I have been using one for over a year and love it. The overall opinion of most people that have used both the Sony and the Zooms was that the Sony has “slightly” better quality in-built mics and “slightly” cleaner pre-amps (even without XLR’s). While I personally haven’t compared it to the zooms. I took those opinions on board and choose the Sony. I also liked the cage like protection for the inbuilt mics as opposed to the H4n which has nothing (I mean it gets abused on the field and I’ve dropped it a number of times already :wink: ). I won’t be looking back, The Sony PCM-D50 is a fantastic unit for the price and the in-built mics truly surprised me.

Either way, you can’t go wrong with the H2n or H4n. Lots of people praise them both.