Zoom H6 Handy Recorder Offers Interchangeable Mic System


Musikmesse 2013: Zoom introduced the new H6 Handy Recorder, which they say is the ‘world’s first handy recorder with interchangeable mic system’.


  • XY mics capture stereo depth and clarity
  • Mid-side mics provide continuously variable stereo width
  • Four XLR/TRS inputs for external mic/line connections
  • Up to six channels of simultaneous recording
  • High-definition audio of up to 24-bit/96kHz
  • 6-in/2-out USB audio interface
  • Over 20 hours of operation with 4 AA batteries
  • Supports SDXC memory cards up to 128GB
  • Optional Shotgun mic and external XLR/TRS inputs available

Pricing and availability have yet to be determined. See the Zoom site for more info.

21 thoughts on “Zoom H6 Handy Recorder Offers Interchangeable Mic System

  1. Looks great – the selling point for me would be the preamp quality. The H4n imic pres are passable but not great, I hope this is better…

    1. another lovely noticeable feature are those individual gain knobs- (adjusting gain on h4n and h2 is kind of a headache). the interface on this thing looks clean and intuitive. i dont think it will be cheap…

  2. This is REALLY wild looking. I bet it really does a heck of a job too. I still dig my H4n for super hearing and all the recording I do. I doubt I’ll be upgrading.

  3. They should also mention that in addition to variable width, Mid-Side provides great mono-compatibility– (sums down to the mid sound only). For folks recording samples that will ultimately be played in a mono live rig, or on a single-speaker device, MS is ideal. Also, unlike XY, you actually have a mic pointing at the thing you are recording.

  4. this looks shocking and so toylike, should have just improved on the H4n – i.e. pro Line Level input, this is an ugly beast and interchangeable mics makes me think of Sony handycam accessories 2002 range, yuck, i thought these guys knew what they were doing now i think the H4n (best selling handheld recorder in the world since 2009) was a fluke.

  5. I don’t want to be the negative guy, but I’m not impressed with Zoom equipment. I had an H2, and my uni has H4s, and I just don’t think they’re particularly good. They have clocking issues for a start, so syncing up recordings with video is a real ballache. I’ve got two Tascam recorders and a Sony D50 for field work and the Tascams especially offer much more bang for buck than Zoom gear.

    All that said, this is a cool idea, I’m just not sure Zoom are the company who can best executed, although I’m willing to be proven wrong

    1. I have an H2n and have been pretty happy with it. For the price, the feature set and sound are as good as I expected. I briefly used a Tascam DR-05 and was impressed with the sound– especially its ability to handle higher SPL’s than the H4n. But still, the H2n would be my choice because of how they configured it for formats, MS, mixing line in, and using it as a USB audio interface. I’ve even been using it as a cheap in-ear-monitor with some decent DUNU earbuds.

      Offering the shotgun and XLR ins as options (to keep the price point down) is a good idea.

    2. I’ve done several feature films as well as a bunch of shorts with the H4n, it replaced the giant Fostex DAT I was using for years surprisingly well. I have not had any sync issues, and have to wonder if this might be something to do with your workflow. for context, I’m usually plugging in Schoeps and Sennheiser mics worth 10x the cost of the Zoom, it’s not like I can’t afford other gear.

  6. This looks pretty bad I think zoom probably put a team together shortly after Roland R26 mess expecting that was going to be a hit but it flopped this is overkill, zoom owns the low end of handheld recorders, I hope they still improve on the H4n with the rumoured H4x, zoom make pretty good recorders but yeah the Sony d50 was great its discontinued now and Sony only sell the M10, hopefully Sony will bring out a d50 replacement with XLR inputs soon, we can forget about Sound Devices making a small handheld they make great recorders but the pricing is circa 2006 and they’re charging too much given the low cost of the good quality third party components they use.
    Great news is BlackMagic Design are rumored to be building a handheld with mic help from fellow Aussies Rode mics this will be top notch build and quality at a fair reasonable price.

  7. Great idea! My H2 has been well loved over the years. One exception though… batteries!?!? Even my $20 electric screwdriver has a rechargable LiPo in it. This shouldn’t be acceptable in 2013.

    1. I get your point, and would agree if it was a toothbrush or a personal massage unit. But with recording, you usually don’t have time to sit around and wait for the rig to charge up while you listen to the best song you ever heard go by. Anyone can get rechargeable cells and use them in a rig like this– but let me throw some AA’s in so I can get back to recording now.

    2. Yeah, I agree…

      It has been industry standard for DSLRs to work with lithium-ion batteries for many years now. Why does the same thing not apply to their audio counterpart?

      Regular batteries are fast to replace, but to be honest – it is completely common for DSLR filmers to always have a charged up reserve lithium-ion battery for their camera lying around. Why shouldn’t this also work for us audio guys?

  8. I think Zoom make great handheld recorders, Tascam no way! – Tascam not the same great company they once were, it’s name is licensed to whoever wants to pay for it, they’re not the same company that say built 4 track recorders etc in the 80’s which Bruce Springsteen recorded Nebraska on no way long since gone, they’re owned by a private equity company and anyone (within reason) can license the logo and compnay name and slap it on anything like generic recorders, I bought a DR5 at a trade show in Taiwan a year before Tascam came out with it, it’s exactly the same but doesn’t have a name , I thought Tascam were okay until the DR40 it was that recorder that left a bad taste in my mouth as that DR40 is a complete H4n ripoff except it’s plastic not rubber and sounds dire, that was just theft and dispicable – there is absolutely no resale value with Tascam check eBay, same cannot be said for Zoom, the H4n is the best handheld recorder on the market disliked by people that either do not own it, dropped it or couldn’t afford it and bought a Samsung sorry Tascam DR40, it doesn’t have a noisy preamp you have cheap mics (NTG2 anyone?) there’s your problem.
    I think this H6 will be great but I would lose the bundled external mics, I hope Zoom doesn’t sell them and insteads puts them in a dark cupboard, we all have externals and if we don’t we’ll aquire over time. Lose the external mics please zoom I don’t care if they’re bundled free these look stupid, this alone has taken any kind of professionalism that could be said of the H6.
    *****H4n TIP Of The Year***** In 4 Channel Mode ie you’re armed in 4 Channel mode and you have XLR mics in Inputs 1 & 2, on the back of the unit plug in another external or a mixer into the EXT MIC it’ll bypass the Built IN mics in 4 Channel recording mode, awesome!

    1. As an owner of both a Tascam DR-05 and a Tascam DR-40 I have to disagree with you. I also used a borrowed Zoom H4n for quite a long time and I would always pick the DR-40 over the H4n.

      In my opinion, the DR-40 feels far more resilient and generally said, I like Tascam’s product designs way better than Zoom’s. When it comes to audio quality, I’d say they are pretty much on the same level, but I just like the overall feel of the DR-40 more than the H4n…but I guess that’s a question of taste.

  9. Bottom line: the H6 preamp quakity will make or break it. Until some “reviewer” does a video demonstration of the sound quality comparison between the H6 and the H4N (which everyone is familliar with), so that we can hear for ourselves what, if any, improvement is made to the H6 preamps, there really is no review. It’s just another sales pitch for another new item based on absolutly nothing.


    Then I’ll believe you.

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