Reviewed: Zoom H1n Handy Recorder

Dynamic Music | | Expect to Pay: $199

The Zoom Handy Recorder series are nifty little devices that have changed the way in which many of us look at location recording. The full range caters for multitrack options and incorporate external input sources like an additional microphone, but the simplest recorder is often all that is needed. That is where the Zoom H1n shines, and as the newest generation of their popular H1 Handy Recorder, there’s some nice touches that Zoom have included to make this even more usable than before.

One thing that I was never a fan of in the original H1 was the somewhat dull orange display. This worked well in dark environments like clubs and band rooms, but could be difficult to see in brighter light. This has been dealt with in the H1n with the new model offering a very bright, blue-lit LCD display that stands out in any lighting conditions. This makes the H1n a great companion to a DSLR camera for filming video when you want a higher quality audio capture. You can use it on location, mounted on the camera and still see all the relevant information supplied on the screen. Easy mounting, alone with calibration for use with cameras and an external line input make this an idea video accompaniment. The stereo pair of microphones built in to the unit offer that well known Zoom quality for X-Y audio recording and sound great.


Not only is this a handy tool for video recording, but the Zoom H1n was also built with musicians in mind. It can handle exceptionally high sound pressure levels with a built in limiter that is able to be engaged at the press of a button. A built-in speaker allows for quick playback without the need for headphones, though a headphone output is provided, allowing the ability to listen back whilst recording an overdub. This is ideal for songwriting and production sessions when you need to get your ideas down quickly. The one button recording facility makes this possible, so you can turn it on, set it in place and start recording right away, without needing to worry about lengthy setup procedures. That’s what’s so likeable about the H1n, it gets the job done but doesn’t hinder the creative process.


Hits and Misses


Compact, lightweight design

Bright LCD screen

Great sounding stereo microphone

Easy overdubbing


None really