ZOOM H8 Review: The only portable recorder you’ll ever need? – .ZOOM H8 Review: The only portable recorder you’ll ever need? –

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Is the Zoom H8 the best handheld recorder around? Over the last few years, Zoom has become a giant in the world of portable recorders and podcasting solutions.

I was immediately keen to review it: Eight inputs out of the box and the ability to record up to 12 channels simultaneously! It also has three dedicated configuration modes built in, Field, Music, and Podcast. Was my initial enthusiasm justified? Has Zoom upped the ante in the handheld recorder market? My very first impression: I was surprised at how compact the H8 is.

I was expecting a much larger box! Opening it up, I was greeted by a device which looked part Borg and part tactical weapon! The Zoom H8 has the feel of a sturdy piece of mid-level camera gear.

Installing the included AA batteries, I had the unit powered up within minutes of unboxing. The card I used was incorrectly formatted, but the H8 prompted a reformat quickly and easily. ZOOM H8 and carbonated beverage for sense of scale. The first test for the H8 was as a simple, stereo field recorder. The XYH-6 connects to the H8 via an expansion port on the top of the unit under a clip-off cover.

The XYH-6 is one of a range of mic modules from Zoom, including shotgun, mid-side and even ambisonic mic arrays. You really can tailor the H8 to a huge range of field recording situations. I was impressed with the XYH-6 and started walking around the house recording anything and everything which made a sound!

I then tried a large-diaphragm condenser into the microphone inputs and was equally impressed with the results for close-miced voice-over work. There was no discernible noise from the mic preamps and the results were clean and transparent.

Recordings using the XYH-6 XY stereo mic had an amazing sense of depth and realism belying the price point. My only criticism was some handling noise when hand-held; employing the onboard high pass filter alleviated much of this. The Music App opens up a neat little mixer window on the touch screen which gives a surprising amount of control. Within the mixer, you have the option of adjusting the individual level of each source, pan, basic three-band EQ and effects send level.

Ahhh yes, effects! It should come as no surprise that the H8 includes DSP based effects ; after-all Zoom made their name decades ago making guitar processors and FX units. With this in mind, I was perhaps expecting more from the onboard effects in the H8. View it as a welcome bonus function rather than a selling point.

Your microphone and instrument inputs can then be recorded natively to SD card , or streamed to a connected computer via USB. Usefully, the onboard mixer can be used to stream a mixed stereo pair to a connected computing device. I can see the Music App perhaps being most useful for video live streams to social media although the preset nature of the DSP would require some prior preparation on behalf of the performers!

These allow you, as a podcaster, to play jingles, station IDs and idents. Perfect eh? Well, almost perfect…. The H8 allows you to adjust the level of the Sound Pads , but only globally. Any audio files you load into the Sound Pads has to be in. It would have been much more convenient for the H8 to convert file type and bitrate upon import.

Had Zoom given us another two or three headphone outputs it would have elevated this into an exceptional stand-alone podcasting solution. For your money, you get a field recorder, a podcasting solution, a multi-track hardware recorder and a multi-channel audio interface.

Zoom needs only to make a few tweaks to their software to turn the H8 from a very good portable recorder into a truly great Swiss Army knife of an audio machine. If you buy a product via an affiliate partner, we receive a small commission that helps support us financially.

But you pay the same price you would have anyway. Your email address will not be published. For a better experience on Gearnews, we recommend JavaScript to be enabled. Zoom H8: a feature-rich new portable recorder with touch screen interface. Zoom PodTrak P4: a complete podcasting studio in a portable format. Zoom H4n Pro turns the popular Handy Recorder professional. Zoom introduces the F6 multitrack field recorder.

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First thoughts on the Zoom H8 audio recorder – Sam Mallery.

 
Overall, the H8 is an impressively capable and versatile recorder, and I enjoyed using it. Files I transferred to my usual DAW all worked exactly as expected. The H8 is worth every penny spent as it produces affordable, professional sound quality in a small portable package. The advertised battery lifespan is more or.

 
 

Zoom H8 Track Portable Recorder Review & Demo – Audio Mentor.

 
 

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Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyzed reviews to verify trustworthiness. Customer reviews. Style: Recorder Change. Write a review. How customer reviews and ratings work Customer Reviews, including Product Star Ratings help customers to learn more about the product and decide whether it is the right product for them. Learn more how customers reviews work on Amazon. See All Buying Options.

This page works best with JavaScript. Disabling it will result in some disabled or missing features. You can still see all customer reviews for the product. Top positive review. Reviewed in the United States on September 2, This product is great. It does everything as advertised and sounds great.

Once I spent some time exploring all of it’s features I was not disappointed. The Zoom H8 is versatile, and customizable. Its LCD screen is just large enough to display the software controls.

The only thing that needed improvement was the ability to slide the headphone volume slider control smoothly. But that was a small nusance. Zoom addressed this concern in their latest firmware 2. The headphone slider is much more responsive now. After I spent some time, as there is no documentation on this, I was able to think it thru by trial and error.

All of the recording frequencies must match the Zoom H8 frequency setting. All three settings on the H8, computer sound card, and your Digital Audio Workstation software must match exactly or it will not function. The top four listed are for the detachable microphone module on top. Ignore the top four inputs listed unless you are using a detachable module as a source in your mix. Many modular microphone and expansion options available from Zoom. There is no documentation or video on setting up multi-track mode at this time.

Perhaps I may produce a video to help explain this to new users, as myself. I would have found that useful to learning. I contacted Zoom tech support and took them to school on this topic. I simply shared what I had learned. Tech support suggested I return the unit thinking it was maybe not compatible with my AMD processor.

That was not the case. I am glad I persevered as I experimented. They are included in the purchase and can be installed for just one instance each. Cubase is a Digital Audio Workstation single and multi-track recorder and Wave Lab lets you polish your tracks and finalize your mix before uploading to various outlets and podcast.

Link’s to podcast outlets are included in the WaveLab Cast software. Guitar Lab software is also included and allows users to create customizable effects for electric stringed instruments. Guitar Lab offers several built in effects and ready made patches to make your instrument really sing. They each recognize and perform flawlessly with the Zoom H8. Yes indeed! The H8 is worth every penny spent as it produces affordable, professional sound quality in a small portable package.

The advertised battery lifespan is more or less 15 hours in the field. At home I plug my H8 into a usb port on my computer. With USB it powers up and stays on without a drain on battery power. Top critical review. Reviewed in the United States on February 18, I was shocked to learn this portable recorder comes without a case, unlike its predecessors.

For a piece of gear destined for the road, this is a huge oversight. Build quality is very plastic-y. This does not feel like it can taje even a single accidental drop. Even my H6 feels like it has a bit of heft and build quality to it, while this feels like Zoom skimped on the build quality. One of my preamp latches was busted, and I had to rip the XLR plug from the socket with all my strength.

I literally injured myself while on location in this way. Sort by. Top reviews Most recent Top reviews. Filter by.

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Style: Recorder Verified Purchase. Images in this review. Showing 0 comments. There was a problem loading comments right now. While I like many of the features of the H8, including the sound quality and ability to simultaneously record 8 tracks, I discovered that you can only use one effect on one track. All the other tracks cannot use a single effect. This is a severe limitation that I did not expect nor called out in the marketing or in the user manual.

I wrote tech support and this is what I got back: “Hello, Unfortunately you would only be able to assign one effect setting at a time on the H8. We apologize for the inconvenience. You can adjust the volume, but that’s a lot harder to do while shooting a video, and introduces noise if you are using the built-in mics.

Any chance for a firmware upgrade to solve this annoying oversight? Battery life is terrible, 4AA batteries will last less than three hours. This little unit can do more than most mixer 10 times the price and 3 times as large.

I use it mainly on Music record has three different record modes , which lets me use all 6 xlr inputs, lots of controls for each track and a main mix. You have to plug it in to an outlet, battery life is less than 15 minutes, not meant to be used on batteries.

There are very few downsides once you start using this unit everyday, I would buy it again. Excellent: 1. Mixer Effects Delay, Reverb, It has many features. Disadvantage: 1. No Android and PC Apps. Poor iOS Apps does not have features. Apps need improvement to add controlling scale of Music Effects such as Delay I have purchased this unit for the primary purpose of recording voiceovers.

I am using phantom power with my RE20 mic and a cloudlifter unit. The unit starts up fast, is easy to use, the sound is very clean and I am able to easily monitor my recordings through studio headphones.

I also like that some of the XLR jacks are designed to lock connections in place. My one big pet peeve is how recorded files are named. For each recording using a single input in my case , the H8 creates a new folder–with the file “Tr1. So if I record 10 takes, I have 10 folders–each with the same “Tr1. Unique file names for each recording should be generated instead This is a departure from the file system of the H4 and H6, and a big pain in the butt.

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