We are having a closer look at the Zoom field/hand recorder range consisting of the H1n, H5, and H6. Zoom is one of the leading brands when it comes to developing high-quality and innovative field recorders. Zoom managed to innovate with their field recorders, and this resulted in some stunning functions that we will point-out in the review.
So, you are considering a Zoom field recorder? Read on!
Why is the Zoom H6 great, I hear you ask?
The Zoom H6 is the largest handy recorder in the whole product range from Zoom. There are bigger Multitrack recorders such as the F8n, but these are not as easy to take with you on the go and to hold steady in your hand.
The Zoom H6 is a 6-channel recorder and can plug in 4 XLR/TRS cables at the same time (combi plugs). Also, you have the switchable microphone on the top.
Do you want to record a podcast with 1-4 microphones and have only one general overhead mic?
Then the Zoom H6 is perfect! What about recording for a band with four channels like guitar, microphones, and an overhead microphone to capture the whole sound spectrum? The Zoom H6 is an excellent choice since it is so portable to take around with you and works on batteries.
Like many occasions when you don't have a big audio interface and computer with you, the H6 is a life saver. It's so compact and easy to take around, therefore you should never compromise or miss a take.
In the H6 box
The H6 comes with a couple of great accessories such as a box to protect everything, two switchable microphones (XYH-6 X/Y mic + MSH-6 MS mic), batteries, manual, Cubase LE and Wavelab LE software, windscreen and a USB-cable.
So, when purchasing, you have enough tools to get started! What about If you want to expand? Then Zoom is offering a broad range of accessories such as a shotgun microphone, remote controller, AC Adapter, hot shoe mount so that you can extend your recorder.
Essential functions of the Zoom H6
The Zoom H6 can both record in WAV (44.1/48/96 kHz Bit rate: 16/24) and MP3. With the LCD full-color display, you have a clear overview of everything that is happening; which is very helpful.
It has an output so you can directly monitor with your headphones but also features a simple speaker on the back, don't expect too much from this but it's an excellent addition that enables you to play recordings back for multiple people. With the four x AA, sized batteries the H6 can record for over 20 hours.
Each input can be individually controlled, and each channel can be turned on or off with a single button. The interface of the complete Zoom H6 works perfectly and is straight forward to use.
The switchable microphones make the H6 such a versatile device. You can't go wrong with functions here, there is enough inputs, the interface works extremely well, and the device is very portable.
You can buy an extension cable for the switchable microphones, this so you can extend the length. If you want to use all the 6 XLR/TSR inputs, you should buy the capsule that is listed below to continue with another two inputs. This extension is affordable and only costs around €60.
The build quality
The build quality of the Zoom H6 is excellent. The sides are made from soft rubber. The placement of the buttons is metal and sturdy. All the buttons feel very good, and you will have try very hard indeed if you want to break anything. The only thing that can be potentially damaged is the display and the switchable microphones, but if you make sure you place it in the case that comes with the recorder, then you are good to go!
We absolutely love the Zoom H6! It is a truly multi-functional and extensive recorder to have when it comes to recording music on the go. Likewise, if you are making podcasts, recording interviews or recording a band – the Zoom can do it all! In some occasions you don't have to have all the hardware to make it work. The Zoom H6 easily fits in a backpack to always carry around. Furthermore, no power source is needed, the batteries will do it all. It's also the choice of many audio engineers and sound designers that are recording sound outside their personal studio’s.
In our honest opinion It's one of the best hand recorders that is available on the market and retails at a fair price with options to extend if your sound needs continue to grow.