Whey you say "no smart phones need apply" it is my understanding that
there are good-quality audio interfaces for the iPhone, just say'n.
To that end, I have a Zoom H2 which is amazingly good for the price. The
slightly thicker, but otherwise improved Zoom H2n seems decent...not
enough for me to buy it as the H2 meets my needs (I do have other more
In general, I think the Tascam units have also been well-received.
I delayed a bit sending this after starting it and I see John Schroth
has said good things about the Tascams and Don Cox about the Zoom H4n.
Two things about the H4n--it is huge compared to many other options and
I heard rumours (you should check this out) that the XLR inputs (a plus)
are not all that quiet, but then again, I don't think you're looking for
something that uses external mics.
Also, if you wish to spend less, the Zoom H1 is not bad. My son has one
and he's gotten some decent recordings with it.
One of the neat things about the Zoom H2n is that it has an MS mic
arrangement on the front and a broad XY arrangement on the back (total
of five mic capsules) and the MS is much nicer than XY (as on the
original Zoom H2) for recording speech as you have a mic dedicated to
the direct sound. The H2 and H2n can record two stereo pairs (front and
back) which is quite useful. A colleague borrowed my H2n and bought her
own to record a major discussion session and she had eight different
perspectives to transcribe from.
I see Cary brought up the point about battery life--this is something to
check. The Zoom H2 gets maybe six hours off a fully charged pair of
Maha/Powerex Imedion NiMH cells. The H1 uses a single AA and gets about
the same life. I think the H2n has even better battery life. I don't
know about the newer Tascams.
http://zoom.co.jp/products/h1 Zoom H1 now on version 2
http://zoom.co.jp/products/h2n Zoom H2n
http://zoom.co.jp/products/h4n Zoom H4n
http://tascam.com/products/handheld_recorder/ The Tascam lineup
I have been happy with 8 and 16 GB cards in the Zoom H2 (I bought one
for my church and they record services every Sunday and then extract the
sermon for the Web). At 44.1 ks/s 24 bit it is about 1 GB an hour for
stereo. I bought a 16 GB card in 2010 when we were going to be away for
seven or eight Sundays (only one service a Sunday in the summer).
On 2013-04-14 1:59 PM, Peter Hirsch wrote:
> I seem to recall the discussion of decent quality portable digital
> (audio) recorders on this list a year or three back.
> Can I get suggestions from out there for something pocket sized that
> costs up to $250 (or so) that I can use at those moments when I am
> saying to myself "I wish I had something to record that (birdcalls,
> subway musicians, environmental sounds, etc. - I'm not talking super
> hi-fidelity concert recording) with".
> "No smart phones need apply"
> Peter Hirsch
Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.