Zoom H1 is the perfect out-of-the-box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasions

Zoom H1

star Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasionsstar Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasionsstar Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasionsstar Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasionsemptystar Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasions (4.2/5)

Zoom H1 Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasionsThe Zoom H1 is the perfect out-of-the-box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasions.

While it is the smallest of the Zoom H series, it remains to be a nice little recording device, a great tool for increasing the quality of sound in shooting with small HD cameras or HDSLRs.

The Zoom H1 can do some impressive recording, regardless of being such a small unit, definitely getting the job done.

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The Zoom H1, about the size of a Snickers bar, is a power-packed little recording unit that can be taken anywhere, as solid as the Zoom H4N.

Among the main features of the Zoom H1 is its ability to switch from MP3 to WAV formats, giving opposing bit rates and different formats to manipulate and its tripod mount on the back, perfect for attaching to the hot shoe of a HDSLR or onto a tripod, giving more control over the microphone direction and noise reduction.

The Zoom H1 is a great piece of equipment to add to the audio gear bag, given how lightweight and portable it is.

 

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Zoom H1 Features:

  • stereo XY microphone configuration for capturing perfect stereo images
  • same frequency and SPL handling as the popular Zoom H2
  • records broadcast WAV (BWF) at 96kHz/48kHz/44.1kHz, at 16-bit or 24-bit
  • records MP3 from 48kbps-320kbps for maximum recording time
  • hi-speed USB 2.0 port
  • built-in reference speaker
  • includes 2GB microSD memory card and 1 AA battery
  • 10 hours operation
  • accommodates up to 32GB microSDHC memory cards
  • track marker function
  • low-cut filter
  • built-in mounting joint for tripod mount
  • 1/8″ external mic input
  • stereo 1/8″ line output
  • auto record level

Zoom H1 Parts Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasions

Zoom H1 Pros & Cons:

 

Pros:

 

Cons:

  • no XLR inputs
  • microSD card

 

What People Say about the Zoom H1:

Zoom H1 Features Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasions“***UPDATED, IMPORTANT EDIT*** September 2013: Zoom has released a new firmware (v. 2.10) at their Japanese website (which acts as a download center for their US consumers). The update adds USB 3.0 support.

Go to zoom.co.jp and click the “downloads” link at the top. Find the link for the H1 under “Recorders.” There’s an updated manual for version 2.0 as well in Acrobat format. Enjoy! On to the (updated) review…

Straight to the point: If you’re considering getting a digital recorder and your needs are simple, seriously consider this one.

The sound is quite phenomenal for a recorder this size and asking price. (Zoom claims the H1 has the same frequency and SPL handing as their popular H2.)

Button/switch placement is intuitive and couldn’t be simpler. Need the lo-cut filter? Slide the switch in the back (and the LCD will tell you it’s on). When you’re ready to record, simply press the big red button on the front. When done recording, press it again. If you want to hear what you’ve just recorded (via the built-in speaker or the line out jack), simply push the play button on the side of the unit.

There are several functions that will prove useful including adjusting the input level manually (from 1 to 100; *really* useful for loud situations like a rock concert) and being able to actually monitor audio during recording via the line out jack.

The unit records in MP3 and Broadcast WAV formats, in many bit-depths and sample rates. (Max for WAV is 24-bit/96 kHz and 320 kbps for MP3.) Broadcast WAV functions just like any other WAV with the addition of having metadata (like time and date) stamped into the file, which is great for identifying WAVs in audio editors that support the format. The H1 allows you to place markers into WAVs during recording for easy transport/identification during playback in audio editors as well. (The H1 will also jump to these markers while in playback mode should you push the “<<” or “>>” buttons during playback.)

I have not tried the newly-added function of being able to use the H1 as a USB audio interface, mostly because I did not get the H1 for that purpose, though it’s very nice to know that such a feature is available to me should I need it. ASIO drivers are available at Zoom’s website.

File transfer to your computer is quite fast. (For comparison’s sake, the H1 uses Hi-speed USB 2.0 versus the H2′s Full-speed USB 2.0. In layman’s terms, the H1 is quicker than the H2 file-transfer wise.) The unit is firmware-upgradable and version 2.00 is available at Zoom’s website. (Mine came with version 1.02 initially and now runs 2.00.) When you connect to the computer using a (Mini-B to Standard-A) USB cable using version 2.00 of the firmware, the H1 will ask if you want to use the H1 as a card reader or an audio interface. It will eventually default as a card reader if you do not do anything. Otherwise, you simply choose what you want the H1 to do with the record button.

I knew that the Zoom H1 was small but I wasn’t exactly prepared for how small. If you were to lay your hand flat, the H1 would fit inside it with room to spare. (I have average-sized hands.)

The Zoom H1 is so light even with one AA battery that it feels delicate. I wouldn’t suggest banging it around. There’s a connector for a wrist strap at the bottom of the unit (near the speaker) so if you’re concerned about dropping the H1, it might be worth your while to connect a strap.

The cover to the microSD card slot can come open with just a nudge which might annoy you while handing the H1. (I should also note the cover is made of a hard plastic but looks like it might come off and break with enough force; just be careful as you open it.) The tripod mounting joint is also made of plastic so you might not want to overtighten when mounting the Zoom H1. Like most recorders, the H1′s sensitive mics are prone to handling noise.

There doesn’t seem to be any way of recording in mono; it would have to be done post-production.

Get the Zoom H1 Accessory Pack as well but also get a RedHead windscreen (or similar) to boot; the included windscreen in the Accessory Pack is great for voice/plosives and all but horrible for wind noise (which is not surprising since it’s a foam windscreen). One needs more to baffle the wind only a “dead cat” type windscreen can provide.

I know I forgot things but I wanted to make this as concise as possible, pros and cons. It’s simply a great recorder and I was not disappointed.

UPDATED EDIT 2010: Since my initial review, two months have passed by, so I thought I’d give my updated thoughts. There are some reports that the H1 is draining batteries faster than normal even while the Zoom H1 is off. This is obviously not in every unit as I do not have this issue. (I had mine since official release, which was August 20, 2010.) A quick way to find if you have a defective Zoom H1 is to simply check the battery within a day. If it’s quite low or no battery power, contact Samson (in the U.S.) and let them know.

There are users who claim that the Zoom H1 is shoddily built. My challenge to that is, What were you expecting for $99 USD? Gold? As I said in my review, the H1 is so darned light with a battery in it it’s hard to not think of it as delicate. Is it so shoddy that users who are careful with their electronics shouldn’t pick it up? Oh, heck no. It’s not like the Zoom H1′s casing is made of plastic that’s so pliable it’s pathetic. It feels solid enough at least in my hand.

Obviously, if your needs put you in a situation where durability is a concern, the H1 might not be for you. I Zoom H1 Pros Zoom H1 is the perfect out of the box unit for daily recording and small projects, such as recording live events, office meetings and family occasionswould think this was common sense all things considered.

Of course, a note on the sound: The Zoom H1 is quite superb. I’ve done (far) more than a bunch of recordings already and there are times where I have to check to see if what I’m hearing is coming from my monitors or in the real world. (I thought someone was presently mowing their lawn off in the distance when, in fact, they were not.) It’s that good.” – lacobus

 

 

 


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