ZOOM H1 Handy Recorder – A microphone shootout.

by Doc Coleman - Nifty Tech Editor on November 22, 2010 · 35 comments

in Featured, Hardware

This is a review that has been a long time in coming. For some of you I’m sure it seems like it was too long. But we won’t review something on The Nifty Tech Blog until we have had a chance to work with it for at least a month, so if you’ve been waiting anxiously for this review since we posted the Zoom H1 Unboxing back at the beginning of September, we’re sorry for the wait. We’ve spent that time learning the Zoom H1 thoroughly and determining how it stacks up against other products. We hope that you’ll agree that the wait has been worth it.

First, the basics. The Zoom H1 is made by Sampson Technologies. After a couple of delays this summer, it was released on August 20th and almost immediately sold out. Several resellers found that they couldn’t complete all of their pre-orders until they received their second shipment of units. There are a number of places online that you can buy the Zoom H1, and while the list price is often quoted as being $159.99, it appears to be universally “discounted” to $99. We put discounted in quotes, because the listed price for the Zoom H1 in the original press release from Sampson Tech said $99. To us, the rest of it looks like marketing hyperbole. We bought the H1 along with the H1 Handy Recorder Accessory Package, which has a street price around $25. The H1 is compatible with any computer that can read SD cards or USB drives.

Next, it is important to remember that the H1 is not a microphone. The H1 is a complete recording system. It is incredibly light and portable. The entire unit, with flash card and battery weighs about an ounce and fits easily into a pocket with room to spare. The H1 ships with a AA battery and a 2 GB micro SD card in the box, so you are able to get the unit out of the box, set it up turn it on, and get it running in under 10 minutes. All without even looking at the instructions. Just look at the unboxing video again. I did just that.

The H1 is aimed at providing near professional quality in a package that is simple enough for the average consumer to use easily and effectively. For veterans of Sampson’s previous Handy Recorder line, the H4, H4N, and the H2, the H1 has a few welcome surprises. The H1 only records a single input source. That source is either the built in stereo condenser microphones in the XY configuration at the top of the unit, or an external input that plugs in on the right side of the unit with a 1/8th inch stereo jack. Recording starts and stops with a single press of the big button on the front of the unit, a departure from the H2 and H4, which required a double press of the record button to get things started. Input levels are easily adjusted with the buttons just underneath the input jack, allowing you to adjust the sensitivity of the unit to the level of the sound you’re recording.

If you want to monitor what you’re recording, plug in your favorite set of headphones on the left side of the unit and adjust your output volume with the buttons just underneath it. Or, if you don’t have your headphones with you, you can review recordings you’ve made on the built in speaker on the underside of the unit.

The H1 comes with a 2 GB micro SD card, but can take micro SD cards up to 32 GB in size. The H1 uses the FAT file system and will format the micro SD card appropriately. How much recording time you get out of your SD card depends on what settings you choose. You can record in either MP3 for WAV format and at varying levels of quality. For our testing, we got a 16 GB micro SD card, and when recording in WAV format at 44 Khz and 16 bit sound, that gives us over 24 hours of recording time. And that isn’t the highest quality setting the unit has, just the highest practical one to use.

One selects between MP3 and WAV formats via one of three switches on the back of the unit. The other two switches activate the Lo Cut features, a form of onboard noise reduction, and the Auto Level feature, which adjusts the sensitivity of the mic according to the level of ambient sound in the area. Auto Level is useful when recording in areas where the sound level will rise and fall without warning, such as an airport or a bus terminal. The one issue with the Auto Level is that it tends to adjust the level in steps which you can hear in the playback. The advantage is that you can record audio that progresses from a whisper to a scream and have all of it perfectly understandable without ever overloading the listeners ears. In our tests, we were actually able to hear the sound of air moving through the air ducts from across the room. This unit really has a lot of range.

It is also fairly energy efficient. The H1 comes with a single AA battery, which provides all the power that it needs for 10 hours of recording. If you already carry a few rechargeable AA batteries and a charger, you should be good to go with the H1. If not, you can power the unit with the AC adapter and the USB cable from the accessory kit, or pick up new batteries from your local convenience store.

If all you get is the H1, you will have a few hurdles to overcome. While the unit does have a USB port, it doesn’t come with a USB cable, so if you want to copy your recorded audio to your computer you’ll need some kind of SD card reader. The micro SD card that comes with the unit also comes with a micro SD to SD adapter, so you’re good there. The H1 also lacks a wind screen, so you’ll have to be careful to avoid pops and breathing across the microphones as they will pick it up.

If you pick up the Accessory Pack like we did, it really solves a lot of issues. The accessory pack comes with a small tripod, a Padded shell case that fits just the H1 and a spare SD card, a foam windscreen, the AC adapter, a USB cable, and an item they describe as a mic clip adapter. This is really just a handle with a screw protruding out the top. This fits into the standard camera style tripod fitting on the back of the H1. This lets you aim the H1 pistol style, which could be handy for mounting on a camera or recording a distant audio source. The USB cable and power adapter are worth the price of the kit in my opinion. While the H1 will not recharge a battery through the use of the charger, being able to power up the unit from the computer to copy off sound files or from available wall power when recording, will help preserve your battery life. When the H1 is connected to a computer by the USB cable, it starts up in USB mode, making the micro SD card available to the computer. In this mode you can’t record, unfortunately. If instead of plugging into a computer, you use the USB cable to plug into the AC adapter, you can run the unit from wall power while recording. The windscreen does a great job of cleaning up incidental noise from wind and breathing and ours now pretty much lives on the H1. The tripod is sadly a pretty cheap unit. You will probably be better served by finding an inexpensive camera tripod on your own if you need something like this. The case is a bit of a toss-up. it is nicely made and will go conveniently on your belt, but since it only accommodates the naked H1, we are left wanting space to carry the windscreen as well.

The shape and the size of the H1 make it very tempting to treat it like a normal microphone, and for mobile applications, you can pretty much do that. But it doesn’t work in the studio, since the H1 doesn’t have any sort of digital output for your audio. You can use the analog output from the unit to patch it into a sound board but that would mean that you’re going from analog to digital to analog to mixer to digital in order to get the sound onto your computer. This may work well enough for your particular applications, but it doesn’t really make for accurate sound recording.

And in the end, the real question you have to ask yourself is “What kind of sound recording quality am I getting for my $100 when I buy the H1?” To answer that question, we went and talked to John Taylor Williams, aka @Wryneckstudio, a professional sound engineer and podcaster (http://livingproofbrewcast.com/), and got his help comparing the Zoom H1 against several other professional and consumer grade microphones. To give you an idea of what each of these mics sound like, we recorded parts of our conversation so you can listen to them and judge for yourself. To get the full effect of these audio files, your best bet is to plug in your best set of earphones and listen through them when playing back each file.

We started off with the MXL-991. This is a small diaphragm condenser mic routed through John’s sound board. A condenser microphone uses capacitance changes to convert sound into electrical impulses, or in this case, digital data. Condenser mics are usually very small and can be found in everything from telephones to high end microphones. Condenser mics require a power source in order to record sound. John added an external pop filter to this mic for our recording. This is a professional quality microphone, but if you listen to the audio, you should notice a certain background hum of floor noise, and that the quality of the sound drops off quickly unless the speaker is close to the mic and directly in front of it. Floor noise is the level of sound picked up by a microphone when recording a silent room. Literally it is the sound of silence, and it is different for every microphone. The noise floor is the level of floor noise that a particular microphone picks up. It sounds a little confusing at first, but when we started talking those terms, it quickly makes sense. John describes the 991 as a great podium mic because it will give good sound at a fixed distance, but drops off external noise.

Next up was the MXL-990. This is a large diaphragm condenser mic, with a built in windscreen. The 990 has a very similar level of floor noise, and also tends to drop off quality when the speaker isn’t directly front and center on the mike, although it doesn’t drop off as quickly as the 991. This mic required more gain to get the same results as the 991. This either means the speaker must project more into the mic, or the output level of the mic must be raised in comparison to everything else. Since this mike didn’t drop off as quickly as the 991, it was better for use as a single mic for recording a conversation with two or three people.

Then we tried out an Audio Technica DR-VX1. This is a dynamic microphone. Dynamic microphones use electrical induction to convert sound to electrical impulses, and they work much like a loudspeaker in reverse. These mics are usually tuned to a particular band of sound and are good for stage applications because they don’t feedback as easily. This mic had an odd issue that the floor noise when the stand was on the table was much higher than when it was being held. You can hear the background hum drop away when John picks up the mic. This mic also has a sweet spot very close to the microphone so the speaker pretty much has to address the mic directly, or crank up the gain so high that the floor noise becomes a palpable presence. This mic appears to be more suited for use in studio situations where someone can speak directly into the mic.

We followed that up with an EV-ND Dynamic mic. This was a mic that John had been using for about 15 years and which is still going strong, although somewhat battered about the edges. This mic did have a pronounced background hum that we would have had to remove in post-production had we been using it for any kind of straightforward voice work. In our off-mic conversation, John indicated that he still had use for this mic when recording in more intense environments where the background hum would either be overwhelmed, or where background noise would need to be removed in post anyway.

At this point we broke out John’s Zoom H4 Handy Recorder. The H4 and the H4N have been popular products for Sampson Tech for many years. One advantage that the H4 has is that you can plug in two XLR style microphones as inputs. On the H4, these input will override the onboard condenser microphones, but on the H4N, you can record up to four separate tracks simultaneously, the condensers, the two XLR inputs, and a separate line in input with a standard 1/8 th inch jack. This also makes the H4N a choice unit for field recording where portability and versatility is important. We found the H4 to have rich clear sound and a noise floor that didn’t require any post production correction. John even said that the silence from the H4 was good for using as a base track to create an ambient feel in a more heavily edited and noise-reduced compilation. An excellent recording unit, and a high mark to shoot for.

Now we came to the H1 at last! We started recording with the H1 without using the wind screen and we got the same kind of rich sound that we had gotten from the H4. We noted that the H1 had an even quieter noise floor than the H4. And then we put the wind screen, aka the mic afro, on the H1 and lowered the noise floor even more. We also noted that the H1 gave the best sound for speakers outside of the direct line of focus, making it an ideal unit for recording interviews or small discussion groups. The H1 is somewhat limited in that you can only record from the built in microphones or from the line in port, but some people are looking at that as a feature, allowing them to replace expensive wireless microphone setups with the H1 and an inexpensive lavaliere microphone. When all you need to record is a single source, the H1 does it well.

We took one more swipe a the H1 with the Auto Level function on to show how it would adapt to the available sound level and adjust the sensitivity of the mic. You can hear some of the transitions as the H1 adjusts in this recording. Of course, what got to us was the fact that no matter how loud or how quiet we got, everything was clear and understandable.

Lastly, we rounded things out with the Blue Snowball. The Snowball is a USB mic that connects directly into your computer, so this was the first mic we used (not counting the H4 and H1, which recorded internally) where we recorded audio without going though the mixing board. The Snowball has three condenser mikes inside the ball, and has three settings that determine how they are used. The first is a standard cardioid deployment which gives good sound for a speaker directly in front of the mic. The second is the same deployment with built in noise reduction, which tends to lower the ambient levels across the board for some reason. The last is an omni-directional setting, which provides good sound from any direction. The Snowball provided a decent sound and didn’t have any odd hums in the noise floor, but it did have its own oddities. I had worked with the Snowball previously, and found it difficult to get good audio levels from the Snowball when recording in Garage Band on my Mac. It wasn’t until I tried the Snowball with Skype that I determined that the issue was in Garage Band and not the Snowball. John found that the Snowball had a hollow sound to it. It is a respectable consumer level microphone, but it still didn’t match the quality of sound available with professional mics. We did ramble a bit and go back and forth with the Snowball settings, so this recording is a bit long.

After some analysis of the waveforms of the different audio tests and the quality of the recordings that each one produced, the verdict was that the H1 does indeed deliver professional quality sound at a consumer level price. For the same price as the Snowball, you get a unit that is light, easy to use, has long battery life, and gives superior sound. We found the H1 to be a great value all around. If you need a portable recorder, we think you’ll love the Zoom H1.

{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Jett Micheyl November 22, 2010 at 5:13 PM

You've done incredible research. Very nicely done. I'm looking forward to obtaining my H1 very soon.


ariochmorningstar December 4, 2010 at 9:25 PM

Excellent work, Doc. I've been looking for something affordable to take on the road. Looks like the H1 may be just what I need. Perhaps I may have a new toy to take to Balticon 45! Thanks, man.


Doc Coleman December 5, 2010 at 8:05 AM

I think you'll be seeing a lot of H1s at Balticon 45. Being small, light, and easy to carry around in a pocket, they'll be great for recording panels. Especially when mounted on a tripod up on the presenter's table. And it wouldn't surprise me if a few folks marked their H1s with a color pattern so they can be told apart.Glad you folks liked the article!Doc


Anonymous December 20, 2010 at 6:35 AM

Does the H1 play back files loaded onto the SD card from a computer? Is there a way to format the files in advance so they become "zoom" files ready for the H1? So far nothing I've put onto the card from the computer reads on the H1. Yep, I'd like to be able to load a card with music files and use the H1 as a music player. Possible?Any help will be appreciated.


Doc Coleman December 20, 2010 at 11:50 AM

I haven't actually tried that. I do know that when you create a recording on the Zoom H1, the name of the file is in the format ZOOMxxxx.fmt, where the xxxx is a four digit number, and the fmt is the file format, either WAV or MP3. When I renamed one of those files without moving it, the H1 would no longer play it. It is possible that the H1 will only play files with that naming convention. I have not tried adding a WAV or an MP3 to the unit with that kind of name. Not yet. I shall have to experiment and get back to you.Doc


Doc Coleman January 4, 2011 at 1:47 AM

I did get a chance to do a test, and if you copy a file to the H1 with a name in the ZOOMxxxx.fmt format, the H1 will see it and be able to play it through the built in speaker or the output port.Doc


Inezita February 8, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Please, I copy a file mp3 music from computer to the H1 with a name in the ZOOMxxxx.fmt format, but the H1 did not saw it and do not be able to play it through the built in speaker or the output port. I put it in the same folder the others recorded files.


Doc Coleman - Nifty Tech Editor February 11, 2013 at 7:50 AM


Did you give your file the same number as one of the files already on the H1? Did you use WAV or MP3 for the format? The H1 doesn’t understand any other formats. Double-check the name. Make sure there are no spaces or other characters. It should work if you’ve got the format of the name correct, but it has to be exactly right.



Barbara April 9, 2011 at 2:32 PM

I just bought a H1 recorder but am having trouble formating it. Also need a bit more help in understanding its operation. Know it is relatively simple, but…. Also can what I record be heard through the little speaker at the bottom of the unit. I’m following the Quick Start Guide but need more specific, step by step info. Hope you can help or tell me where to go for help. THANKS TONS.


Doc Coleman April 11, 2011 at 5:22 PM

Hi, Barbara.

I had to do a little research on your questions as I haven’t had to directly format a card yet. If you put a new Micro SD card into the H1 and it doesn’t like the format, it will bring up a format screen on the H1. Simply press the big button on top to format the card. Or, if you have an existing card that you want to format, press the trash button next to the power switch when you turn the power on. This will put you right into the format screen. Again press the big button on top to format.

If you play back your recordings on the H1 and you don’t have anything plugged into the line out, the H1 will play back through the speaker on the bottom of the unit.

This info is in the Quick Start Guide that came with the H1, but it can be hard to find in the small print. You may want to download the PDF version of the guide from Sampson Tech’s website and try using Adobe Reader to zoom in on the text so that it is easier to read. It help me.



Nitai June 3, 2011 at 12:22 PM

Thanks for this answer. I could not understand why my H1 only showed 20 minutes of recording time after I had erased all the files. I followed your directions for formatting the disc and now I’m back up to 34 hours of recording space (mp3).


Arioch Morningstar June 21, 2011 at 10:57 PM

Oddly enough, I didn’t see any other H1s at B45. I saw lots of individual recorders, most being H2s or H4s. Did you see any H1s there?


Doc Coleman June 22, 2011 at 7:37 AM

I had my H1, and I know that Scott Roche had his, and I saw you with yours. I guess it is possible that we didn’t see many H1s because many of the folks doing recording had already gotten H2 or H4 models before the H1 came out. I didn’t see as much recording going on this year as I saw last year. It could just be a wrong place, wrong time sort of thing. Hard to say.



Carl Kwan October 12, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Really appreciate the time and obvious effort that went into this review. The fact that you guys really put the H1 through its paces and even had a professional sound guy help out is just incredible. I wish all product reviews were like this. I ordered an H1 today thanks largely to this great review. Thanks again. You guys are awesome.


Doc Coleman October 14, 2011 at 7:04 AM

Thanks a lot, Carl! We really try hard with every review to be as complete as we can be. We may not have the first reviews on new products, but when we do a review, you know we’ve lived with a product for a while and we’ve tried to identify any hidden issues it may have. I was very lucky to have a friend who is a professional sound engineer to help me out with this review. I could talk to you all day about ease of use of a recording system like the H1, and it still wouldn’t be a complete review without some mention of the quality of the recording. John Taylor Williams has the background ( and the trained ears) that I lacked to address the quality of the H1 with authority. We are very grateful to John and hope we’ll be able to work with him on future reviews.
A number of folks have told us that they have ordered H1s based on this review, and we are happy to report that without exception they have all been very happy with the purchase. I hope you have a similar experience with yours.
We look forward to hearing from you again!



Russell April 22, 2012 at 9:42 AM

My Zoom H1 worked fine the first 4 times now it won’t turn on. My old H2 still works but its big and bulky in my pocket.
I wish I could remember where I bought it so I could return it. Or can I return it to manufacturer?


Doc Coleman April 23, 2012 at 10:25 PM

I am not a representative of Sampson Tech, I am just a reviewer. That said, I am pretty sure that if you check the warranty information that came with your H1, you will find contact information for any warranty issues. Some manufacturers do prefer that you go through the retailer where you purchased your product, but they should still have a contact for warranty issues.



Russell April 23, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Thank you Don,
I found my receipt and returned it to Drum Power where I bought it from. They told me that Zoom was good with guarantee claims and that there is a 2 yr Guarantee on my Zoom H1. Wooo Hoo! So in a week or 2 I’ll have a new or repaired H1 and be ready to record again.


Doc Coleman April 27, 2012 at 10:02 PM

Glad to hear it. I hope your next H1 serves you much better.



Dirk June 9, 2012 at 10:59 PM

I have been using the Zoom H1 quite successfully. Just some comments:
1 – In studio type operations, never use the auto level – it will suddenly limit the audio dramatically if a level is succeeded and remain there for the rest of the recording.
2 – Use a decent wind sock to diminish the pops (the one in the kit is pretty ordinary) – there’s some good ones on line.
3 – The only weak spot I find is the button controls – they are nasty and don’t do the unit justice.
4 – Great sound!


Doc Coleman June 11, 2012 at 11:30 PM


Thanks for sharing your observations. It does seem like our experiences vary a bit. When I have used auto-level, the H1 continues to re-adjust the levels as the input thresholds change. That said, I wouldn’t use auto-level as a rule, but it is cool to have if you have a particular application that would benefit from automatically adjusting levels. Apparently your mileage may vary.

By all means, use the wind sock that fits your needs. I like the one that came with the kit, but my needs are fairly basic.

I take it you’re referring to the button controls on the side of the unit. I don’t know that I would call them “nasty”, but the side buttons do seem a little cheap. They work just fine, but one could hope that future versions will have a little better fit and finish so the unit will have more of a “lightweight tool” than “toy” feel to it.

The H1 is a great lightweight tool, no matter what other issues it may have. And of course, it still delivers the great Zoom sound.

Thanks for reading. I hope you find other reviews on the site that are useful to you!



jhsc August 29, 2012 at 5:53 AM

“an item they describe as a mic clip adapter. This is really just a handle with a screw protruding out the top… This lets you aim the H1 pistol style, which could be handy for mounting on a camera or recording a distant audio source”.

Oh, you crack me up – it’s a “mic clip adapter” designed to slot into a “mic clip” on a mic stand.

If you wanted to mount it to a camera, it’d be simpler to just use a hot-shoe to tripod mount type adapter straight to the H1.


Doc Coleman August 29, 2012 at 7:06 PM

D’oh! Yup, you’re right. I don’t do a lot of work with mic stands, so the mic clips on the end didn’t even come to mind.

As for the reference to using the adapter to mount the H1 to a film camera, that was taken from one of the pictures that Zoom has up on their H1 page. I thought it was odd myself. I agree that a tripod mount would be much more useful.



db September 17, 2012 at 6:33 AM

Hi Doc, are you sure you still need a card reader for the H1?

Only I’ve read elsewhere that you plug the USB straight into the Computer and the H1 pops up as a USB drive. Have things changed since this review?


Doc Coleman September 18, 2012 at 9:06 PM

Hi, DB.

I think you misread that section a bit. The H1 doesn’t come with a USB cable. You either need to buy one separately, such as with the accessory kit, or you use a card reader. If you have a compatible USB cable, you can plug the USB cable into the H1 and straight into the computer and connect it as a USB drive. It is just a matter of having the right equipment. You only need a card reader if you don’t have a USB cable.



Jennifer January 21, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Just picked up this recorder and have been fiddling with it. Here’s a dumb question…. I’ve figured out how to copy files from the recorder onto my computer. But after they’ve been copied, they should still also be on the recorder, correct? I didn’t delete them, but I can’t find them! HOWEVER, the recorder now says I have only 19 minutes of available recording space, and I started with 30 minutes, so something must be taking up space. It is my files, hiding somewhere? I really wish Samsung had a more comprehensive manual than their Quick Start Guide…..Any insight you can lend?


Doc Coleman - Nifty Tech Editor January 21, 2013 at 9:00 PM


If you didn’t delete them, the files should be right in the folder where you originally recorded them.

A couple of thoughts… If you can’t find the files and you want to keep them, look in the trash. The files shouldn’t be there, but obviously something unusual is happening. The other possibility is to eject the H1 and make sure the files you copied to your hard drive are still accessible. Some file systems do funky things and will remap a file to a separate drive but don’t bother to copy it.

If you don’t want the files and you just want the space back, try emptying the trash when your H1 is connected to your computer. If that doesn’t do the trick, just use the H1 to reformat the card. Just make sure that you have a good copy of your audio before you delete anything. Because when it is gone, it’s gone.

I hope something in that helps. I just haven’t heard of people having files disappear like you describe, so I’m not sure what to tell you. Anyone else have an idea?



Jennifer January 21, 2013 at 9:26 PM

Thank you so much, Doc. I now realize that my files ARE still on the recorder–I thought they were missing because but I couldn’t use the playback button on the recorder to hear them on the reference speaker and/or delete them once I had copied them onto the computer. So, using the computer to see the files, I deleted them (I think) from the recorder. They now exist only where I copied them on my hard drive. But I’m still at only 19 minutes of recording space, so I think my only option to get all my recording space back is to reformat.

Does that make any sense? Can you tell you are dealing with a person to whom NONE of this is intuitive? 🙂 I appreciate your help, and your patience!


Doc Coleman - Nifty Tech Editor January 21, 2013 at 9:51 PM


Aha! Another piece to the puzzle. If you change the names of the recordings on the H1, the device won’t be able to play them back any more. Apparently one of the ways that they got the recorder to be so light-weight was to give it a fairly stupid operating system. When it is playing back, it can only find files with certain pre-generated names. If you really want to see what is on the memory card, you have to hook it up to a computer. If you copy the files first, and then rename the ones on your computer, that should probably clear up some of the confusion.

I’m glad this little chat has helped you. I hope you find some of the other reviews helpful as well.



Susie August 29, 2013 at 7:39 AM

Your H1 review is superb so just wanted to thank you for that firstly. Secondly, I have a couple of queries.

How can I delete files from the SD card when connected to my Mac? When I try to move the files to trash, I get a message saying they can’t be deleted. Can you only delete the files directly from the H1? If so this is a pain as you can’t delete them as a group and it takes ages to individually delete all the files. If I can’t delete all files from the SD card via my computer, am I best off just reformatting the SD card while it’s in the H1?

Also when I plug in a lav mic (using the Sennheiser ME2) into the line-in jack it only records on the left channel which I’m guessing is mono. Do you know how I can get it to record in stereo (both channels). I think it only is able to do this with phantom power which the H1 does not provide so don’t know if you have any solutions to allow me to record in stereo using a lav mic plugged into the H1?

Richard Levine September 29, 2013 at 10:26 AM

Incredible information. Thanks so much. I realize your original post was almost three years ago, but the MXL-991 audio sample link (http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2077542/ZoomH1/MXL-991.mp3) now gives a 404 error. If you still have it, I’d love to hear it. All the other links are still good. Thanks again for truly valuable and useful information.


Doc Coleman - Nifty Tech Editor October 8, 2013 at 11:33 PM


Thanks for your note! I’m not sure what went wrong there. The file was still in place, but the URL didn’t match the file. I have corrected the URL in the post for the MXL-991 audio sample, and verified that all the links for all the audio files work. The Zoom H1 is a very cool unit, and it still stacks up pretty favorably after three years.



Doc Coleman - Nifty Tech Editor August 30, 2013 at 7:04 AM


Thanks for the kind words!

I have never had problems with deleting individual tracks on the SD card from my Mac. I usually leave the card in the H1 and use a USB cable to connect to the Mac. If you do get to the point where you just want to erase the entire card, your best bet is to reformat the card uing the H1. That will make sure that the H1 will be able to write to it in the future. Some people have reported that when they format cards using their computers they end up having to re-format them witht he H1.

I am not familiar with the Sennheiser ME2, so I can’t tell you if this is an issue with the H1 or the Sennheiser. I believe you will find that most lav mics are mono, but that some have mono plugs, which will only record to the left track, and others have stero plugs, which record the same signal to both tracks. You can usually tell by looking at the plug. If it has one black stripe, it will only record to the left track, but if it has two black stripes it should record to both tracks, providing that it is seated correctly. I don’t think there is a lav mic that does true stereo recording, but I could be wrong.

As far as I know, phantom power only works with XLR mics, so that shouldn’t be a concern.

If you really need a stero signal, you should be able to take your mono track and write it over both left and right. That you’ll have to do in your audio processing software, not on the H1. I hope that helps you figure out how to deal with it.



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