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Zoom H2N Vs. Blue Yeti Or What?


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I am contemplating buying a microphone. The Blue Yeti seems to be well accepted and is in my price range. I know that Wolf loves his.

 

But I would also like to have a portable recorder and reading up on the Zoom H2N's features it seems that it can also be used as USB microphone plugged into a computer.

 

Has anybody tried using a Zoom as a microphone only, if so what were the results like?

 

Other suggestions?

 

Don.

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Has anybody tried using a Zoom as a microphone only, if so what were the results like?

Other suggestions?

I've used a Zoom H2 (predecessor to the H2n) as a mic, as well as a Blue Yeti. Both work well, and the H2(n), of course, is also a good independent field recorder.

 

For this purpose, though, I'd give the Yeti the edge. It's very well built, and the multiple patterns are a nice feature. And the Blue Yeti Pro (which I haven't used) can be used to make 24 bit recordings, while the H2, when used as an interface, is limited to 16 (I'm not sure about the H2n).

 

I liked the Yeti enough that I was considering upgrading to the Pro, but ended up getting an Apogee MIC instead. Since I mostly record on an iPad these days, it makes for an extremely compact and convenient package, and the sound quality (to my ears) is excellent. The MIC comes with a USB adaptor too, but I think it only works with a Mac.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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I've not much knowledge about USB mics, my experience is mainly in the studio, but from that experience I would say it is worth getting something capable of 24 bit recording as that will make setting your recording levels much easier. On the other hand it's not really worth going above a sample rate of 44.1 kHz, despite what the marketeers might tell you, you won't get any significant increase in audio sound quality.

 

Chris

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The Zoom H2N is 24-bit capable and has multiple microphone patterns.

 

I am getting tempted by the H2N unless someone tells me that the sound quality is poor. Functionally, it is very versatile.

 

From the Zoom web-site:

https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/handy-recorder/zoom-h2n-handy-recorder

 

Features at a glance

Five built-in microphones and four recording modes: Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90° X/Y stereo, and both 2-channel and 4-channel surround

Analog-type input gain control

Auto Gain provides three preset recording levels

Stereo ⅛" Mic/Line In mini phone jack with Plug-in power (2.5V)

Stereo ⅛" Phone/Line Output jack with dedicated volume control

Built-in reference speaker for fast monitoring

Large 1.8 inch backlit LCD display

Records directly to SD and SDHC cards up to 32GB

Supports up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats

Auto-record and Pre-record features

WAV to MP3 conversion

Internal mixdown: four-track surround to stereo

Up to 99 marks per recording

Built-in effects, including compression/limiting and low-cut filtering

Onboard MS decoding

Normalize and Divide functions

Chromatic tuner and metronome

Loop playback with user-defined start and stop points

Variable playback speed, from 50% to 150% for phrase training

Variable pitch without affecting playback speed

USB port for data exchange to and from computer and use as a USB microphone

2-in/2-out USB audio interface for PC/Mac computers

SD card reader function

Data recovery function automatically saves data if power fails or card is removed

Mounts directly to tripod or DSLR

Runs on only 2 standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries, or AC adapter (AD-17, USB to AC type)

Over 20 hours of operation with 2 AA alkaline batteries

Edited by Don Taylor
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I have a Zoom H2N and before that I had the previous model which I've donated to one of our band members. I made my earlier "tune of the month" recordings with the H2 and the lastest totm's on the H2N. It's cheap,cheerfull and does a fine job... is easier to, use than the H2.... I don't notice that the sound is any better but the microphone configuration is . Used in conjunction with a pair of headphones it is very easy to balance left and right recording with regard to a perceived imbalance of output on a Duet... Anglo as well I'd imagine.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Toaster:

 

I can buy an H2N + accessories in Canada for about C$250 from Amazon.ca. But for about the same money I could buy an H4N with Accessories from Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Zoom-Handy-Portable-Digital-Recorder/dp/B001QWBM62/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1434981402&sr=8-2&keywords=Zoom+h4n&pebp=1434989018132&perid=1PPTGS1AZ4B13J544JJB

 

That is delivered to a US address. Note that this is an 'old' version that is being sold off, but the 'new' version is the same device without the accessories!

 

 

Added: However the accessories that come with the H2N look more useful.

 

Another thing to check is that your Android hardware will accept microphone input over USB. My Asus tablet does not, the USB port can only be used to charge the tablet. If I buy a Zoom then this would not matter to me as it has all of tbe functions that I want in a self-contained unit. The H4N has even more functions than I could get on Android.

Edited by Don Taylor
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The Zoom H2n should work fine. It's a great all-purpose recording tool.

 

Just check, if 24 bit recording is a consideration, that the Zoom can handle it *as an interface*. The earlier H2 is 24 bit-capable as a stand-alone recorder, but not as a USB device.

 

Apart from that, I can't see a downside. Neat little tool.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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Bob

 

Thanks for pointing this out. Looking at the manuals online I cannot see an option for choosing 16bit vs 24bit so I suspect that the USB mic interface is 16bit only.

 

However, so is the Blue Yeti. You have to go to a YetiPro to get a 24bit interface.

 

Given the functionality in H2N, and even more so in the H4N, I am not sure if I should care so much about 24bit on the USB mic side. It looks like I can do everything that I want to do live using one of these as a standalone in 24bit mode, and I can still get the results over to a computer offline without loss of samples.

 

Don.

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You will find that class compliant audio devices (i.e. devices that don't need drivers because drivers are already incorporated in the OS) are only capable of 16 bit recording. OTOH they don't need drivers so you just plug them in and off you go. So if the Yeti Pro can work at 24 bit then you will almost certainly need to install a driver. Yer pays yer money ...

 

The foregoing is true for both Mac and PC.

 

Chris

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If anybody else is considering one of these then the Zoom H1 version 2 is also capable of being used as a USB microphone and as a recorder. NB. I don't think that the version 1 can be used as USB microphone.

 

It is very small and cheap at about $100.

 

I understand that its sound quality is about the same as the original Zoom H2. Only one pattern, but the most useful pattern for most folks.

 

There are some good deals on these on eBay that include a nice accessory kit.

 

https://www.zoom.co.jp/products/handy-recorder/zoom-h1-handy-recorder

Edited by Don Taylor
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Just thought I'd toss this in for consideration. Not making any direct comparison with devices mentioned above, rather just making a user report from the field.

 

Zoom makes a line of stereo microphones that attach directly to an iPhone. I'm using a Zoom IQ7 and find it works well for both sound-only and video recording. There's a free Zoom App that works with IQ7 and the IQ7 also works with my other iPhone recording Apps. You can set the device for various recording quality levels and there's a manual gain control on the IQ7 in addition to whatever software options various Apps may make available.

 

It snaps directly into the Lightning port of the iPhone. There can be an issue if you use a thick case on your phone, but they include an extension that overcomes that problem with many cases. A down side is that you can't charge the phone battery while using the IQ7, but if you start off with a good charge it will run for a decent length of time. I haven't done a duration test for battery life, but I've used the IQ7 to record sound for a couple of hours at a time without running the battery low. Video recording does use up the battery more rapidly, but I think that's more about the video processing and not the sound recording.

 

As to sound quality, I'm happy with the IQ7. Some reviewers think it's great, while others seem less impressed. It's difficult to judge the validity of such comments because one never knows how well versed commenters are on the technical aspects and how qualified they may be to compare. On the latter, I mean in terms setting up competing equipment to get a reasonable comparison.

 

Speaking for myself, the IQ7 meets my needs and I believe that the the sound quality exceeds the capabilities of the devices I'm most likely to use to listen to the recordings. Some of you folks may use high-end sound systems but I'm typically either using earphones feeding from my iPhone or iPad, Jawbone Bluetooth speakers, or my vehicle's sound system. I have owned various hand-held recorders by Sony and Zoom over the years (my most recent before the IQ7 was a Sony PCM-M10) and I have decided I prefer the IQ7 for it's simplicity coupled with good sound.

 

I typically feed the sound (either a file from a recording App or sound directly from the IQ7) into Twisted Wave, my favorite sound recording/editing App and after trimming out any unwanted bits, I'm quite satisfied with the results.

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Don -

 

I just picked up an H2N from Long & McQuade - open box for 175 CAD. Have only used it to record my lesson so far, but with little to no configuring it did a good job of that. I'll try it out in different environments and settings and report back. So far I'm quite happy with what I got for the money!

 

Todd

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  • 5 years later...

Posting in this thread rather than start a new one, has anyone found H2N settings that work particularly well for concertina recording? Or any tips and tricks?

 

Edit; Oh, I have an H1N. Same question applies, I suppose!

Edited by perspiration
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I did buy a used H2N five years ago(eek!) and use it as a USB microphone, but I only use it to record myself while practicing so I have not tried to optimize the sound quality or to tweak the sound afterwards.

 

Settings?  I use 44.1kHz and set the gain according to the manual.  I do not think that it does 24 bit recording as a USB microphone, but I have not really investigated that.  I record using Audacity on a PC.

 

For my purposes it works just fine.  One problem I had with my H2N was that the previous owner had cross-threaded the plastic threads (a stupid idea) that are used to mount it on a tripod.  I over-drilled the thread hole and glued in a brass threaded insert which now works well.  The little tripod (a cheapo camera tripod) that came in the accessory kit was not worth having - I use a better quality small camera tripod that I already owned.  You do need a tripod, or a mount of some sort, with this  device, I do not think just setting it down on a table top would work very well.

 

This is quite old tech so you might want to see what else is new.  It can operate as an 'audio interface' for the microphone but I was unable to get it to work on JamKazam - I suspect that the latency inside the H2N is too long to make it useful in this context.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

It can operate as an 'audio interface' for the microphone but I was unable to get it to work on JamKazam - I suspect that the latency inside the H2N is too long to make it useful in this context.

 

 

From my experience with Jamulus I'd say you've got that bang to rights there.

 

Chris

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  • 3 weeks later...

I bought a Blue Yeti a while back - wanting the convenience of a USB microphone plus the stereo etc options.

 

I sent it back a few days later for a refund (which I got) - the audio quality was really bad, considering the price etc, giving nothing like a flat frequency response. I replaced it with a Rode NT-USB Mini Microphone which is excellent - a decent condenser mic with a USB interface, and nothing more. 

 

I think the problem with the Blue Yeti is that (a) it's over-hyped and (b) 95% of its users are doing spoken voice. I guess that it has internal processing which makes spoken voices sound great, but is inappropriate for instrumental recording where you want the response to be as even as possible. I advise keeping away from it...

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