Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A few Zoom H-4 complaints

I've had my Zoom H-4 a little longer now. And while I still think it's a great recorder for $250, I do have three main complaints.
  1. When using the internal mics, the Zoom is very susceptible to handling noise. After a while you start to develop a feel for how to hold it without generating noise, but it can still be troublesome, especially when you're used to holding a mic like the RE-50 which has very little handling noise at all.
  2. There is definitely a little electronic hiss/noise. I didn't notice it much at first because overall the Zoom still sounds so much better than most minidisc recorders. If you listen very closely, there's a little electronic noise, but you can only really hear it at high volumes. I still prefer the Zoom to the MZ-R50 because it has a much better signal to noise ratio.
  3. For some reason Samson ships the H-4 with a silly little pouch that barely covers the recorder and wouldn't protect it from a fly.
The first problem can be handled with practice and/or getting a decent external mic. There's not much you can do about the second problem.

As for the third, Farrah stepped in to save the day. Ever since she purchased a sewing machine in January she's been spending almost as much time in front of it as I have been spending at my computer. After spending the last few years knitting, I think it's refreshing to have a new creative outlet.

I'd been keeping my Zoom in a microphone pouch. Surprisingly, it was just about the right size. But I kind of wanted it back for my microphone. So Farrah whipped up a padded bag for the Zoom. It fits just right and provides some protection when I throw my recorder in a bag. I wouldn't want to drop it from a great height, but I probably wouldn't recommend that even with a titanium case.

Samson should really offer up a case like this. Not only doesn't the Zoom ship with a real case, you can't find one anywhere on Samson's website. In fact, I'm not sure anyone makes a case for the Zoom yet. I saw another store selling what they called a Zoom case, but upon closer inspection it was a microphone pouch.

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