At NAMM 2024, Zoom unveiled the Zoom Essential series, three brand-new field recorders (H1, H4, and H6) with 32-bit float, a larger display, and other features.
I have been a Zoom customer for a very long time, as some of you may know. For almost ten years, I have been recording in the field, in the studio, and at trade shows with the H6 field recorder. one of my preferred gadgets.
Zoom has been upgrading a growing number of its products to 32-bit technology over the past few months. Thus far, the H series has not been included. Until 2024 at NAMM!
Zoom Essential Series
Zoom improved its renowned H series field recorders just in time for NAMM 2024. To be honest, Zoom, I find the design a tad annoying. The H series no longer has its vintage appearance.
They somewhat failed, in my opinion, to acquire a modern appearance. The new H Essential series appears more affordable than the originals, especially with the blue buttons. I already long for the vintage H6 style. I would prefer the amazing new features on my outdated, awesome H6, though.
Some features are shared by the three models (H1, H4, and H6). Let’s start with the best feature: 32-bit technology. You never have to change the settings while using 32-bit float recording.
You can attach it to your PC, Mac, iOS, or Android device as a USB audio interface or USB microphone because they now include a USB-C port instead of a tiny USB port. In addition, they run on batteries and share an SD card with a maximum recording capacity of 1TB (SDXC).
NAMM 2024: “You’ll never have to adjust levels” – Zoom’s new Essential Series handheld recorders have 32-bit float for clip-free recordings every time, and are more accessible than ever before https://t.co/xeRt1JnnEW— MusicRadar (@MusicRadar) January 26, 2024
The recently designed blue soft touch buttons are another new feature that allows for silent operation. Additionally, Zoom created the Essential Series with the visually handicapped and the built environment in mind. Using the built-in speaker or headphones, navigate the menu with audio descriptions available in English, German, French, and Spanish.
Additionally included are 3.5mm mic/input, outputs for additional connectivity, built-in speakers for rapid playback of your recordings, and outputs. There are variations, though.
Zoom H1 Essential
Similar to the original H1, the new H1 Essential is a 2-in/2-out field recorder that records clear audio up to 120 dB SPL and has an inbuilt X/Y microphone. Additionally, it has a convenient 3.5mm mic/line input for lavalier microphones as well as a 3,5mm output for sending the signal to cameras.
Setting reference points when recording is made instantaneous with a new marker button.
Zoom H4 Essential
Zoom’s ultra-clean preamps, which enable phantom power and +4dBu professional line level input, are the basis for the two XLR/TRS combo inputs found on the H4 Essential. Me
Rock concerts can be heard with sound levels as high as 130 dB SPL, thanks to the inbuilt X/Y microphones. You can record on a total of four tracks. You can associate the H4 Essential with iOS devices by using the BTA-1 Bluetooth adapter (separate purchase), which is entirely compatible. It’s unfortunate that the hardware does not support Bluetooth.
The H4essential’s bright, full-color LCD screen makes navigating its menu and features a breeze.
Zoom H6 Essential
Last but not least is the H6 Essential series flagship. In addition to a new X/Y microphone built on the next-generation 3.0 capsule technology with 32-bit float capability, it has four XLR/TRS combo inputs (ultra-clean Zoom preamps). You get six tracks altogether from it.
You can also get the new EXH-6e capsule, which is ideal for podcasters and gives you two extra XLR inputs. Along with a waveform display, the new H6 Essential boasts a new display that allows you complete control over the integrated mixer. Additionally, it works flawlessly with the BTA-1 Bluetooth adaptor.
Detaching the capsule and using the provided cap for a low-profile configuration is another new option.
Finally, the new H6 is available. A good, strong feature upgrade. The Zoom Essential series’ design is the only item that I don’t find really appealing.
In Q2 2024, the new Zoom Essential series will be accessible. The H1 Essential costs 129,71€, the H4 Essential costs 260,61€, and the H6 Essential costs 391,51€.