Zoom H4n PRO – Handy Recorder Review

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A sound and reliable hand recorder is necessary for music recording, podcasts, interviews, and generally everything looking for audio quality. Zoom H4n Pro handy recorder is a device to deliver professional-level results, no matter the shooting circumstances.

As an accessories producer, Zoom is known for producing gadgets that provide all-in-one solutions within budget. Zoom H4n is a prime example. Where recording pro-level audio requires a complete set-up, this single handy recorder can deliver the same results with easy portability and pretty impressive performance.

With every new addition in Zoom’s H recorders, there have come some significant improvements. The same is the case with this one. The upgrades and array of new features in this version make H4 one of the most superior handy recorders available in the market.

Plug it in guitar, microphone, condenser mics, keyboards, and various other instruments, and Zoom H4n Pro will handle all your audio needs.

I use it with my camera Sony A7RII to achieve superior sound quality for my videos and record natural sounds for My YouTube channel.

Natural sounding preamps, realism in output, low noise floor, four-channel recording up to 24-bit, high speed, and excellent portability make it a worthy option for anything looking for studio-quality audio.

Zoom H4n PRO settings buttons

 

Zoom H4n PRO Review

Loaded with tons of features, here is the insight into the main features and performance of Zoom H4n:

Easy to use

Though the design of the predecessors of the Zoom H4n Pro was ergonomically sound, we see some further improvements. It can easily be held in hand and carried around as it weighs as little as 294 grams only.

This gadget still falls in the category of a slightly large one. But still, it is easy to grip and it works for every type of audio need but for beginners, who do not want to get in the mess of many gears and want a single gadget to take care of everything they necessitate, this handy recorder is the ideal choice for them. It comes with very logical and easy-to-understand menus.

The only thing that is a turn-off in design is the rubbery cover. It gets sticky as it gets old. But it is removable. We suggest you get a cover for your recorder on your own.

Zoom H4n Pro batteries

4 Channels Live Recording

Zoom H4n Pro recorder supports four-channel recording (using 4ch mode) up to 24-bit, 96 kHz. There are many advancements in handy modern writers, but this feature is rare, especially in this price range.

Zoom based its marketing on this feature, and honestly, it was worth it. Four-layer recording opens endless possibilities. For example, it allows the creation of stereo landscapes by mixing and layering different audios. This is ideal for live and outdoor recordings.  The XLR/TRS inputs can be used to add extra microphones and instruments and connect the H4n Pro directly to mixing consoles. That also makes it ideal for recording live performances.

Simultaneous recording modes

Including this recording mode, there are three main modes offered for simultaneous recording tracks:

  • 2 (STEREO mode)
  • 4 (4CH mode)
  • 2 (MTR mode)

Zoom H4n PRO microphone

 

Built-in stereo x/Y microphones

Zoom H4n recorder comes with two microphones; one built-in and one external. These condenser SPLR designed stereo X/Y microphones are designed for optimum stereo recording. XY miking techniques allow decent center sound recording along with its stereo image.

Both microphones can handle up to a roaring 140 dB SPL (Sound Pressure Level).

To add microphones, connect instruments, connect it with mixing consoles, and for simultaneous recordings, it features XLR/TRS inputs.

Zoom H4n PRO connectivity

Maximum recording time and file size

Zoom H4n Pro comes with a 2GB file size of the maximum file size of simultaneous recording. This is not that much, so it features WAV and MP3 playback formats. Users can convert the WAV files to MP3s. MP3 is a compressed format that reduces the file size.

Recording time for 4 GB (SDHC) format is approx. 380 minutes (WAV 44.1 kHz / 16-bit stereo track) and 68 hours (MP3 44.1 kHz / 128 kbps stereo track). It works perfectly for outdoor recording as it can go on without charging for a long time.

To record media, you have to insert your card. Two supported card formats are SD card (16 MB – 2 GB) and SDHC card (4 GB – 32 GB).

If you have more significant storage needs, an SDHC slot can add up to 32GB of additional storage.

Zoom H4n PRO controls and SD card

All in one device for musicians

Zoom H4n features multiple features that make it all one solution for all audio needs of musicians. Its remodeled FX processor with ultra-realistic guitar/bass amp emulation, compression, limiting, and reverb/delay will keep all the instruments in tune and allies to get the best performance while recording live or in-studio.

It can also be attached with video recording tools directly. If you are an amateur videographer or just starting with podcasts or youtube videos, it is an ideal tool. You don’t have to spend much on building a complete audio recording set-up but still enjoy professional-level acoustics.

Metronome

Metronome is a feature that helps to keep the consistency and maintain tempo in recordings.

This gadget comes with a built-in metronome (five sound sources). Not only a metronome, but it also has some tuners like:

  • The chromatic
  • Guitar
  • Bass
  • Open A/D/E/G
  • DADGAD

See the manual for a deeper understanding.

Accessory Kit

H4n Pro comes bundled with multiple accessories to optimize the user experience.

Many accessories in this APH-4nPro accessory kit <– Affiliate link  🙂 can save you a good deal of money. These accessories include a hairy windscreen, USB cable, splitter cable, and attenuator.

H4n Pro Specs:

  • Dimensions:73 (W) × 157.2 (D) × 37 (H) mm
  • Weight: 294 g
  • Simultaneous tracking record: 2 (STEREO mode), 4 (4CH mode), 2 (MTR mode)
  • Recording time 4 GB (SDHC): Approx. 380 minutes (WAV 44.1 kHz / 16-bit stereo track), Approx. 68 hours (MP3 44.1 kHz / 128 kbps stereo track)
  • Max file size of simultaneous recording: 2 GB
  • Tuners: Chromatic, Guitar, Bass, Open A/D/E/G, DADGAD
  • Metronome sound sources: 5
  • Variable beat: 1/4 –  8/4, 6/8, un-accentuated
  • Tempo: 40.0 – 250.0 BPM
  • Recording media: SD card (16 MB – 2 GB), SDHC card (4 GB – 32 GB)
  • Display: 128 x 64 dots Full-dot backlit LCD
  • WAV Format (Record/Play) [Quantization: 16- / 24-bit, Sampling frequency: 44.1 / 48 / 96 kHz]
  • MP3 Format (Recording): Bitrate – 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 80, 96, 112, 128, 160, 192, 224, 256, 320 kbps, VBR; Sampling frequency – 44.1 / 48 kHz
  • INPUT [1] [2]: XLR (balanced input) / standard phone (unbalanced input) combo jack

Zoom H4n PRO bottom connection

  • Input gain: (Using balanced input) −16 dB to +43 dB, (Using unbalanced input) -30 dB to +32 dB
  • Built-in stereo mic: Unidirectional condenser microphone, Sensitivity -45 dB/1 Pa at 1 kHz, Input gain -16 dB to +51 dB
  • Maximum sound pressure input: 140 dB SPL
  • External mic: Mini stereo phone jack
  • Line Output load impedance: 10 kΩ or more
  • Phone output: 20 mW + 20 mW (into 32Ω load)
  • Monaural speaker: 400 mW 8 Ω
  • Phantom power: 48V, 24V, OFF
  • USB: USB 2.0 High-Speed Mass Storage Class operation, Audio interface operation
  • Power requirements: DC 5V 1A AC from AC adapter (ZOOM AD-14), 2 x AA batteries
  • Batteries: IEC R6 (size AA) x 2
  • Continuous recording time (Stereo Mode): Using built-in mics at 44.1 kHz/16-bit without headphones connected – about 5.5 hours using alkaline batteries or about 7.5 hours using NiMH (2500mAh) batteries
  • Continuous recording time in Stamina mode, Using built-in mics at 44.1 kHz/16-bit without headphones – about 8 hours using alkaline batteries or about 10.5 hours using NiMH (2500mAh) batteries

Zoom H4n Pro in case with AA batteries

 

I am using EBL rechargeable batteries, and I am absolutely happy with the results.

Pros:

  • Four-channel recordings
  • Excellent quality XY microphones
  • Five tuners
  • Perfect recording time
  • All in one solution for musicians
  • Reasonable priced
  • Monaural speaker with 400 mW 8 Ω output
  • Easy to use
  • It can be attached with Zoom RC4 Wired Remote Control. Allows recording and audio playback without touching the gadget.
  • Perfect for live recording

Do not use the Stamina button, unless you don’t care for the sound quality, and just need to record for longer before the battery dies.

Zoom H4n PRO stamina button

Cons:

  • On bulky side
  • Outer rubbery covering might get sticky over time

Conclusion

Leaving behind all the financial strain and complexities of setting up an entire recording system, Zoom H4n Pro Handy Recorder is one solution for all your audio needs.

If you are expecting something very fancy or modern tech, this device is not for you. If you want something that won’t cost you much, is easy to operate, and offers high-fidelity field recordings and professional-level audio, we highly recommend you buy it. <–Affiliate Link  🙂 Thank you!

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