I’ve had the Zoom H2n for around 6 months now, and I think it’s time for a review. You may not have noticed, but a lot of the videos up on my YouTube channel are recorded using this microphone before I got my EV RE27/nd.
The H2n has five capsules hidden under the head basket which allows the mic to have four modes of recording: Stereo XY, 2 & 4 Channel Surround, and Mid Side Stereo. Stereo XY acts in pretty much the same way both the H1 and H4n record sound. The 2 & 4 channel mode creates pretty neat 3D sound and records into two separate files for combining them in post production. Finally, the Mid Side Stereo mode records from the front of the H2n, and simultaneously records the two microphones on the left and right of the H2n.
The H2n can record at up to 24bit/96kHz in WAV or MP3 from either the internal microphones or an external line level/dynamic* mic source. The unit comes with a 4 GB SD card, but if you plan on recording at 24bit/96kHz in WAV the card will fill up pretty quickly. I suggest using at least a 16 GB card so you don’t run out of space while on location without a computer to offload data to.
One of the great features of this mic that you’ll also find on most field recorders is the built in headphone jack and VU meter on the display. These features allow you to make sure you’re not clipping which in turn results in a clean piece of audio. On top of that Zoom also included built in compression and limiting presets to further prevent clipping. Unfortunately you can’t manually set the compression/limiter settings which is a real pain if you actually know what you’re doing. Besides that, there’s also an auto gain control and a lo cut filter which I haven’t tried yet.
Besides using this mic for recording audio for my YouTube videos, I’ve also used it to record samples, and for some freelance video projects. A few months ago I had a client that needed to record question and answer videos for their website. I used the H2n because it was small enough to hide behind his laptop display and record audio close to his face. If I remember correctly I had the H2n set up on a small tripod to align it to the speaker’s mouth. In post production I simply aligned the audio from the camera with that of the H2n and it sounded great.
One of the things I actually dislike on the H2n is the glossy piano black finish. It gets loaded with finger prints and scratches. Call me picky, but this is just a terrible design for any product. Either way, it doesn’t affect the performance, so who cares?
Overall I’ve been fairly impressed with the audio from the H2n. It’s been really handy for a number of projects, and it’s paid itself off time and time again. So if you’re in the market for a small, affordable, and highly configurable field recorder, the H2n is an incredible value. You can find it on Amazon: Zoom H2n
*Note: The H2n can’t provide phantom power to your mic. It works with dynamics just fine, but you’ll need an external source of phantom power or a mic that is battery powered like some of the shotgun mics on the market. ___
I purchased the product with my own funds. The opinions expressed in this review are my own, no one reviewed the content before it was posted, and I am not being compensated for my review.
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