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Zoom H4 quick review


Generally i can recommend this device, as it gives you quite a lot of bang for the buck. Portable recording devices have always been quite overpriced, but the H4 changes all this.

Advantages

  • Very low price.
  • Very good sound quality considering the price. 96 khz really does give you usable sound content above 20 khz.
  • Both .mp3 and .wav format (and no useless proprietary formats).
  • Many different samplerates and bitrates.
  • Lots of settings.
  • Small and light weight. It even fits in a large pocket.
  • Works as a standard mass-storage device (so it works in all OS'es).
  • Accepts mp3 files from other devices (apprently the software is well-written).
  • Fairly robust construction. It seems to be durable. Also the power-button doesn't switch on randomly while inside a bag or pocket, like the H2 does.
  • It can be used as a soundcard. This only works in some OS'es, so I haven't tried this feature yet.
  • Uses a standard battery type (AA)

Disadvantages

  • Settings are lost at power-off, (tested using firmware 2.10). This really seems like a bug.
  • No usable peak indication. There are lots of other LEDs displaying less relevant info. Why didn't they use one of the LEDs for this crucial piece of information? Displayed memory card access or mode is much less relevant, and could be put in the LCD display.
  • Menus are horribly slow - and gets slower the more files are on the memory card.
  • You cannot put anything in directories. It's not really optimal as an mp3 player.
  • Somewhat power hungry. I wish they would have made room for a bit more battery power.
  • XLR inputs have some amount of noise.

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