If you want to have a mobile stereo recorder with studio like quality, you need the following recipe: two condensers microphones, one box, compression effect and two 1/4-inch XLR input jacks. Well, at least that's what the people from Samson Technology think, because the aforementioned components are the main selling points of one of their most interesting portable recorders, the Zoom H4 Handy Digital Recorder.
According to the manufacturer, the Zoom H4 Handy Digital Recorder is just the thing to have in order to record live musical performances, interviews, podcasts, meetings, classes and seminars. The H4 allows you to record 24-bit/96 kHz digital audio as well as in MP3 format with bitrates up to 320kbps.
As mentioned right from the start, the H4 features two studio-quality electret condenser microphones configured in an X/Y pattern for true stereo recording. It also includes 2 combination XLR-1/4-inch input jacks with phantom power for use with any external microphones of your choice. And the H4 is loaded with on-board studio effects such as compression, limiting and mic modeling. An 1/8-inch headphone jack is also provided for monitoring.
The H4 records on to Secure Digital (SD) media, a 512MB SD card is included with the unit. With a 16GB SD memory card, the H4 provides up to 24 hours of stereo WAV file recording in 44.1kHz/16-bit mode (CD Quality), or as many as 280 hours in MP3 stereo mode. And to move your recordings to a PC or Mac, the H4 includes a USB mass-storage interface.
The H4 provides four hours of continuous recording operation from 2 AA batteries. A back-lit, 128×64 pixel LCD provides the visual interface. An AC adapter, USB cable, windshield cover and tripod adapter are also included.
The Zoom H4 Handy Digital Recorder is available at various retailers for around 190 – 220 US dollars, which seems to be a more or less fair price point, given the advanced recording features this thing can provide.