A few weeks with the new Zoom H6 Handy Recorder – our review

by planetmitchLeave a Comment

Thanks to the folks at Zoom, we had a few weeks with the new Zoom H6 Handy Recorder and we want to share our impressions with you.

They shipped us the kit, which included the Zoom H6, the xy mic, the stereo mic module, windscreen, batteries, SD card adapter and micro SD card, a cable, and a great hard shell case.

zoom h6 handy recorder unboxing

zoom h6 handy recorder unboxing

Please watch the video below for our thoughts and sample audio from the xy and stereo modules as well as with the RØDE NTG-2 and RØDE VideoMic Pro plugged into the Zoom H6.

Zoom H6 Handy Recorder Review

Overall impressions of the Zoom H6

Zoom H6 - back - with XLR, headphone, volume, and power

Zoom H6 – back – with XLR, headphone, volume, and power

The new Zoom H6 is a very exciting upgrade over the zoom H4n and indeed, this is an exceptional update to the trusted recorder that many people use to record external audio for DSLR video.

I like the ability to attach microphone modules directly to the recorder – especially if you're mounting the recorder to something that is isolated. That also can come with a price – you may not be able to handhold the recorder for quick interviews as there is handling noise that is recorded if you're not very careful on how you hold the recorder in your hand. So, use an isolating mount, and you'll be in great shape.

The XLR inputs and the microphones and preempts inside the recorder are superb. There is very little noise as you can hear from the review video.

I also liked that the Zoom H6 has a speaker on the back – it is at least an option to check your recordings if you don't have headphones (which of course you should have when you're recording audio right?)

Zoom H6 - back - with Speaker

Zoom H6 – back – with Speaker

You can't go wrong if you purchase the new Zoom H6 – however, as we noted in the video, there are some things that you need to be aware of.

For example the XLR inputs do not lock, so there's a possibility that your cords may wiggle loose.

I also was very disappointed in the form factor for mounting the zoom H6 on top of my camera. It is virtually impossible to see when mounted in that direction if you're using your HDSLR on a tripod mounted at eye level. If you're going to mount it on the side of a rig or in some other manner, then you'll be quite happy with the LCD as well as the positioning of the dials, buttons, and microphones.

The LCD can also be hard to see outside.

So, while the Zoom H6 is not yet the perfect external recorder, it is getting very close.

(cover photo credit: snap from me)

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