Review Zoom H6 Multi-Track Portable Recorder Studio Mics Compared

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Zoom H6 Multi-Track Portable Recorder

The Facts

Zoom H6 Multi-Track Portable Recorder

The H6 comes in a plastic hard shell case, the main H6 body and two interchangeable stereo mic capsules including an XY Microphone capsule and a MS (Mid-Side) capsule. Also included in the case are a foam windscreen, a 2 GB SD card, four AA batteries the an operation manual and a USB cable.

The Microphe Capsules

I really love the idea of the interchangeable microphone capsules and so far they have worked out great!
It is easy to swap them out all you have to do is push two buttons to release / or secure the capsules in place.

As stated priviously the Zoom H6 comes with 2 mic capsules, one a XY mic that is switchable from a 90 to 120 stereo field pattern (by turning the capsules.

XY-mic_top

And the other included capsule is a MS (mid side) mic that lets the user change the stereo width in post production.MS-mic_slant
Not included are the XYH-5 X/Y (with shock mounting) the SGH-6 shotgun capsule and the EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo capsule which supports you 2 more XLR/TRS ins allowing you to use 6 of your own independent microphones and using the Zoom H6 purely as a recording device.

The Zoom H6 has a super low noise floor and the pre-amps are very nice. I found the XY capsule to be clear and clean and very balanced across the sound spectrum with only a little lack of capturing in the low end.

USB Out / Audio Interface

I had no trouble at all connecting the Zoom H6 to my computer as a drive by selecting the “Storage Drive” option while booting the H6 with the UBS cable pluged in.

If you saw the video than you know that I was excited about was the ability to use the Zoom H6 as an audio interface and utilize the stereo capsules as to record into my DAW. The noise floor was very very low and I was even surprised to “hear” that while plugging in my SM57 and Neumann TLM 103, the pre amps for the XLR inputs sounded just as clean if not better than my aging Digidesign 003 preamps.

Audio Fidelity & Uses

After my initial test it is clear the Zoom H6 blows my Rode VideoMic out of the water. It will be a great field recorder for me to capture more bird songs, wlll come in handy while traveling as my main mic input and audio interface. It will take a few more tests, but my feeling is that the H6 XY mic capsule will be a welcome addition to my studio recording as well – utilizing it as an audio interface at times when I fell capturing the sound with a stereo matched mic set up will benifit my recordering.

Final Thoughts

The thing I was the happiest about with the H6 is the versatility. The ability to get a lot of uses out of one piece of gear. The Zoom H6 has the potential to be very useful in a number of ways for me, as a composer who sometimes needs to capture environments, dabbles in sample library development and often has to work out of a hotel room from my laptop.

I would have liked to have seen a dedicated lithium battery and charger for this kind of unit. Similar to that of an SLR camera. And if I am gonn be really picky, I would have liked to have a 10ft or 15 foot USB cable included for my purposes.

As you can see I am very happy with the sound quality or I wouldn’t even consider it for studio use.

 

Zoom H6 Compared to other similar recorders in it range.

Official Zoom H6 Product Videos