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$99 Digital Recorder - Zoom H1

Discussion in 'Recording' started by adiant, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    It wasn't that long ago that I was happy to get a digital audio recorder (Marantz PMD620) for $250. Now the Zoom H1 is selling for $99 in most electronics stores, like U.S. BestBuy.com. Admittedly, you have to buy the $25 accessory kit to get an AC adaptor, which may not be a necessity given the 10 hour stated life of the single AA battery that powers it.

    The only other major difference is the use of (the generally more expensive) MicroSD cards instead of regular-sized SD/SDHC as the Marantz does. Zoom also specifically states a 32GB size limit on cards, while Marantz claims their unit will work with 2TB SD cards when they come in about a decade from now. Problem with that claim is that the SD 2.0 specification used by SDHC cards is limited to 32GB.

    For those unfamiliar with the devices, they are designed to fit into a shirt or pant pocket, have built-in stereo microphones, but can also take external microphones or other audio sources, and can record 54 continuous hours of CD quality stereo (WAV format) on a 32GB memory card. Needless to say, the base price doesn't include the 32GB card -- the Zoom gives you a 2GB one -- a 32GB card costs about $65 if you look hard and get lucky. There are also fake cards out there, too: typically, a 1GB card formatted to look like 32GB.

    ref. - H1 Handy Recorder
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Is this an ad for Zoom? Yes digital recorders come in all varieties and various functionality. Most with inbuilt microphones do not have provision for external microphones. Some do. Some of these recorders only record at 44.1k/48k and some record all the way to 192k or DSD 1bit. One really haz to evaluate one's needs to know what is the best fit.
  3. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    No, merely a continuation of an ongoing set of threads I started two years ago: http://recording.org/budget-gear/37115-24-hour-recordings-recommendations.html
    They ended with me buying a Marantz PMD620 during a short period when they had a $100 off coupon in the U.S.

    I've heard of Zoom, but don't know anything specific about them. But I was, quite frankly, shocked at the huge drop in pricing in the last two years. Before I found the Marantz back then, I was looking at $500.
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Ah. There has been an explosion in personal digital recorders. They are definitely not all equal and the one with the higher end options still cost lots of money. The entry level category is replete with options and are surprisingly decent if not "pro" quality. For your needs especially one of those would have sufficed.
  5. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    The lowest price I've seen on these type of portable digital audio recorders, or any stand-alone stereo digital audio recorder for that matter, is $59.99 at B&H Photo for the TASCAM DR-03. Sale is over now, but I still can't find anyone selling for less than the $69.99 B&H currently offers.

    I will be moving ahead soon on one of these because I'd like a backup for my Marantz PMD620, as I sometimes am recording two things at once, and want to get rid of my TASCAM DP-01. Not only is it bulky, but the transfer of raw tracks from one partition to another (allowing access from a computer) takes forever.

    As I've mentioned before, I can live with "near Pro" quality on the built-in microphones, as I would only use them for "emergencies", normally sticking with pro quality external mic or mics and an external pre-amp. It is CD quality (44KHz/16bit) WAV files, manual volume control (i.e. - turn AGC off) and continuous recording for up to two days that I am after.
  6. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Well, the Zoom H4n is the normal recommendation for bang v buck.
  7. adiant

    adiant Active Member

    Thank you very much for that!

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