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Review of the Zoom H1: Creating Your Own Audio Information Products



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Information marketing is all about creating great products and services for people to buy. Many of you are already producing audio programs. I’ve done over 4,000 hours of audio products for myself and my clients over the past many years.

“Back in the old days” I used to record audio on cassette tape. And, before that, I did a few on reel-to-reel tape decks. Luckily, we don’t have to use that old stuff anymore.

More recently, I’ve been using the Marantz PMD-660 and PMD-670 to record audio onto a compact flash storage device. I love both of these machines. They are both very similar machines. The 670 has a few more features and costs about $200 more. The 660 goes for around $500.

About a week ago I ordered the ZOOM H1 audio recorder.

I read all the reviews about the product before buying it. The average review was about 4 on a scale of 1-5. I buy most things on Amazon these days. I’ll talk about WHY in a future post. My total bill came to just under $125. This included an accessory kit which all the reviews said were well worth it and they were right.

Most of the comments were accurate. Here are my thoughts about the H1:

Positive:

Simple and easy to use. Very quick set up time.
Great instructions: Simple to read and follow.
Allows for recording in both MP3 and WAV format.
Unexpectedly great sound for the money.

Negative:
Plastic casing: Easily breakable.

When should you consider buying and using this device?

I do a lot of traveling and when I do, I sometimes do interviews. This device will be PERFECT for doing on-the-road interviews. The quality will NOT be AS good as dragging along my Marantz PMD 660, some XLR cables and some decent mics, but in an environment where there’s not much noise, this product will definitely suffice.

When you get it, it looks and feels a bit like a toy. It’s VERY light and like I said before a bit flimsy, so be careful. BUT, the quality of sound, when you are recording in a room with very little OTHER noise is VERY good.

If I were doing interviews in noisy places where I couldn’t control the ambient noise, I would NOT recommend this unit.

If you’re recording voice, the MP3 setting is set at 128kpbs. This is fine for voice recording. If you set it in the WAV mode, you will take up 10X more space than in the MP3 mode. I suppose if you’re recording a music event, like some people do with this device, that may make sense.

For audio interviews, the MP3 setting is perfect.

Bottom line? If you need a light-weight, mobile solution for doing interviews, this unit is perfect. If I do interviews at my place will I use it? Probably not. I’ll still use my PMD 660 with some good micas. If I’m traveling, I will now take the H1 and leave the bulk of all the PMD 660 stuff behind.

If you get it, just make sure you DO get the accessory kit and you DO be very careful when packing it. Also, don’t sit on it! Just like with a pair of glasses, it will be GONE!

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