Zoom H6 Handy Recorder

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With the revolutionary Zoom H6 Handy Recorder, the bar is raised. Four interchangeable input capsules - X/Y, MS, Shotgun, and Dual XLR/TRS Combo - make the H6 the ultimate chameleon of the audio world, and its advanced preamps make it the best-sounding one too. Whatever your application - live recording, professional film/video work, live broadcast or electronic news gathering -the H6 can handle it with ease.

  • Interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera
  • Six-track simultaneous recording
  • Four mic/line inputs with XLR/TRS combo connectors
  • Gain controls (real knobs!) and -20dB pads for each input
  • Phantom power for all main inputs: +12/+24/+48V
  • Large full-colour LCD display, angled so it’s easy to read in all environments
  • Records directly to SD, SDHC and SDXC cards up to 128GB
  • Up to 24-bit /96kHz audio in BWF-compliant WAV or a variety of MP3 formats
  • Auto-record, Pre-record and Backup-record functions mean that you’ll never miss that perfect take
  • Multitrack to stereo internal mixdown
  • Independent monitor and playback mixes
  • Virtual VU meters
  • Voice memo and up to 99 marks per recording
  • Overdubbing, up to 99 takes
  • Built-in effects, including low-cut filtering, compression and limiting
  • Onboard MS decoding
  • Normalize, Divide and Trim editing
  • Chromatic tuner and metronome
  • A/B loop playback
  • Variable playback speed, from 50% to 150%
  • Variable pitch per track without affecting playback speed
  • USB port for data exchange to and from computer
  • Multichannel and stereo USB audio interface for PC/Mac/iPad
  • Camera strap mounts
  • Mountable directly to DSLR or camcorder with optional HS-01 Hot Shoe Mount adapter
  • Accepts standard AA alkaline or NiMH rechargeable batteries
  • Over 20 hours of operation with 4 AA alkaline batteries

  • Features

    XYH-6 X/Y Capsule
    The capsule adds two matched high-quality unidirectional microphones to your H6. This kind of microphone is most sensitive to signal coming from directly in front, and less sensitive to signal coming from behind or from the sides; in technical terms, they are said to utilise a cardioid polar pattern. Playing back stereo X/Y tracks in mono results in a fuller sound than you would get with one microphone, but if mono compatibility is critical (for example, in television production), the Mid-Side (MS) mic technique can be a better choice.

    MSH-6 MS Capsule
    MS (“Mid-Side”) recording: an incredible technique that allows you to actually adjust the width of the stereo image after it has been recorded, making it especially useful for film, video and television projects. Sound like magic? Read on. Although the MSH-6 MS capsule appears to be just one microphone, it actually contains two mic elements, positioned directly on top of one another. The basic concept behind MS recording is that the Mid microphone picks up signal coming from the centre, while the Side microphone creates ambience and directionality by adding or subtracting information from either side. The Mid-Side technique works well whenever you need a variable amount of room sound. It can also be used for studio recording, and its convenience and flexibility make it a good option for rehearsal and live concert recording as well. Another benefit is that it provides total mono compatibility, making it an excellent choice for stereo recordings that may eventually be played back in mono, such as TV broadcasts.

    SGH-6 Shotgun Capsule
    Shotgun mics have a narrower focus than an average microphone. However, shotgun mics are not the audio equivalent of a photographic telephoto lens. Even though they do an above-average job of picking up sounds that originate from a short distance away, they always sound better when they’re physically close to the sound source.

    EXH-6 Dual XLR/TRS Combo Capsule
    Both EXH-6 inputs are combo jacks that accept either XLR or 1/4” balanced (TRS) or unbalanced (TS) connectors. They can handle both mic- and line-level signals, which means that you can connect either microphones or line-level devices like mixers, portable music players, electronic keyboards, or electric guitars or basses with active electronics (passive electric guitars or basses can also be connected with the use of a mixer or effects device). Internal switching contacts automatically detect the circuit of choice. Each EXH-6 input offers a dedicated analog gain control knob as well as a -20dB pad that allows you to prevent distortion even when high-level signals are introduced; in fact, with the use of the Pad switch, the H6 can input 30dB louder signal and 14dB softer signal than any other Handy Recorder model. In addition, a built-in instrumentation amp allows signals to be transmitted with minimal noise even when long cables are used.

    The H6 offers four main inputs (1-4), plus two additional inputs (L, R) that are derived from whichever capsule (X/Y, MS, Shotgun, or Dual XLR/TRS Combo) is plugged into the unit. The supplied XYH-6 X/Y capsule also provides a secondary input for connecting an external mic- or line-level signal via a stereo 1/8” Mic/Line In mini phone jack. When a connection is made to that jack, signal from the X/Y microphones is muted.

    Each of the six inputs (that is, 1-4 as well L, R) have a dedicated gain control knob as well as a -20dB pad, allowing you to prevent distortion even when high-level signals are introduced. In fact, with the use of the Pad switch, the H6 can input a signal 30dB louder and 14dB softer than any other Handy Recorder model. In addition, all capsules utilise higher voltage preamps (5 volts instead of the more commonly used 3 volts) for distortion free recording, even at high volumes. A built-in instrumentation amp allows signals to be transmitted with minimal noise even when long cables are used.

    The H6 Line Out is an unbalanced stereo 1/8” phone jack, located on the bottom of the H6, beneath the LCD display. It carries the analog stereo output signal, as determined by the H6’s internal mixer.

    The interview started a split-second before you were ready. The conductor lifted his baton just as you were checking a cable. The talent went back on-air a moment too soon. No problem… as long as you’re using the H6. Its Pre-Record function automatically keeps the H6 silently but continuously recording in the background, all the time. Then, when you hit the RECORD button, it keeps the previous two seconds and appends it to the beginning of the file. It’s as if the H6 had started recording two seconds before you actually got to hit the button.

    Backup-Record - the ultimate safety net. When turned on during the recording of WAV files, the H6 automatically records a duplicate set of L/R tracks, but with 12dB less input gain. Even if the original L/R track is distorted, chances are the Backup version is fine. You can listen to either set of tracks simply by going to the Backup File option in the PROJECT menu. When turned OFF, you’ll hear the original L/R tracks; when turned ON, you’ll hear the lower-level Backup tracks instead. Pick the one you prefer and use it as your L/R master. Bacon saved.

    The Auto-Record function allows the H6 to automatically start recording when a certain level of sound is detected. When turned ON and the RECORD button is pressed, the H6 doesn’t immediately start recording; instead, it goes into a standby mode; as soon as an incoming signal exceeds the Start Level you’ve set, recording begins. There’s an equivalent Auto-Record Stop function, too. When turned ON, as soon as incoming signal drops below the Stop Level you’ve set, recording ends.

    Onboard Effects
    The H6 provides an arsenal of effects that allows you to add polish to your recordings and compensate for any problems or limitations in the acoustics of the recording environment. The H6 allows you to choose from three compressor settings and three limiter settings. The two “General” settings (Comp1 and Limiter1) are all-purpose settings that will work well on most kinds of program material. The Comp2 and Comp3 presets are optimised for use with vocals and drums, respectively, while the Limiter2 and Limiter3 presets are optimised for use in live concert recording and small room “studio” recording, respectively.

    Battery Life And Recording Times
    The H6 requires just 4 AA batteries - either alkaline or rechargeable NiMH - for power. Battery life (when using alkaline batteries) is more than 20 hours, even during continuous recording. An optional AD-17 AC adapter (included in the APH-6 Accessory Pack) allows you to power the H6 from any standard wall socket.

    Supported File Types
    The H6 can record audio in two different basic file types: WAV and MP3. The H6 can record up to six monophonic WAV files (or up to three stereo files) in any of the following formats: 44.1kHz / 16-bit 44.1kHz / 24-bit 48kHz / 16-bit 48kHz / 24-bit 96kHz / 16-bit 96kHz / 24-bit. All WAV files recorded by the H6 are automatically time-stamped, making them fully compatible with the Broadcast Wave Format (BWF); in other words, they are “BWF-compliant.” This is especially important when recording audio for video, because it allows the audio to be precisely synchronised with the onscreen action in post-production. MP3 recordings are compressed, making them much smaller than WAV files, and thus much easier to upload and download.

    Note that when the MP3 file type is selected, the H6 only records in stereo; if you want to record in multitrack, you must select a WAV file type. The H6’s internal mixdown function allows multitrack WAV projects to be easily reduced down to stereo MP3 (or WAV), with independent control over each track’s level, panning and pitch.

    The H6 As An Audio Interface
    Connect the H6 to your laptop or desktop computer via USB, launch your favourite DAW or use the included Cubase LE software, and start laying down your tracks. You can even connect the H6 to an iPad (camera connection kit required).

    When the H6 is set to “Stereo Mix” in the USB menu, it acts as a 2-input / 2-output interface; when set to “Multi Track,” it acts as a 6-input / 2-output interface. The H6’s onboard INPUT&OUTPUT mixer allows you to create a custom stereo or six-track mix for output via USB, with independent control over the level and panning of each track, as well as access to effects like low-cut filtering, compression and limiting. In addition, signal that is input to the H6 can be monitored directly before it passes through the connected computer or iPad for zero latency (that is, without any delay). There’s also a handy Loop Back mode that allows you to blend stereo signal coming from the computer or iPad with signal coming into the H6 inputs, useful for live streaming via the Internet or for adding narration to a musical backing track.


    Recording Media
    SD card 16MB to 2GB
    SDHC card 4GB to 32GB
    SDXC card 64GB to 128GB
    Capsules Inputs
    XYH-6 X/Y mic
    Mic type Unidirectional
    Sensitivity -41 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa
    Input gain -∞ to 46.5 dB
    Max sound pressure input 136 dB SPL
    XYH-6 Mic/Line In
    Connector 1/8" stereo mini jack
    Input level - ∞ to 46.5 dB
    Input impedance 2 k Ω
    Plug-in power 2.5V supported
    MSH-6 MS mic
    Mic types Unidirectional and bi-directional
    Sensitivity -37 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa (unidirectional) -39 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa (bi-directional)
    Input gain -∞ to 42.5 dB
    Max sound pressure input 120 dB SPL (unidirectional) 122 dB SPL (bi-directional)
    Shotgun mic (SGH-6)
    Mic Type Unidirectional (mic unit x3)
    Polar Pattern Super-cardioid
    Sensitivity –39 dB, 1 kHz at 1 Pa (each mic unit)
    Input Gain –∞ to 50 dB
    Maximum Sound Pressure Input 122 dB SPL
    Inputs 1 to 4
    MicConnectors XLR / TRS combo jacks (XLR: Pin 2 hot / TRS: Tip hot)
    MicInput gain (PAD OFF) -∞ to 55.5 dB
    MicInput gain (PAD ON) -∞ to 35.5 dB
    MicInput impedance 1.8kΩ or more
    MicMax input level +22 dBu (PAD ON)
    MicPhantom power +12V /+24V /+48V (Phantom power can be turned on/off independently for Inputs 1 - 4)
    MicEquivalent Input Noise (EIN) -120 dBu or less
    Line Out
    Jack type 1/8" stereo mini jack
    Rated Output Level -10 dBu when output load impedance is 10k Ω or more
    Phone Out
    Jack type 1/8" stereo mini jack
    Output Level 20 W +20 W into 32 Ω load
    Built-in speaker 400mw 8 Ω mono speaker
    Recording Formats
    Sampling frequency 44.1/48/96 kHz
    Bit rate 16/24 (Mono/Stereo, BWF-compliant)
    Maximum simultaneous recording tracks 8 (L/R + INPUT 1 to 4 + L/R backup) (Backup recording: -12dB lower than set L/R input gain)
    Sampling frequency 44.1kHz
    Bit Rate 48/56/64/80/96/112/128/160/192/224/256/320kbps Maximum simultaneous recording tracks: 2
    Recording Time (With 2Gb Card) 03:08:00 (44.1 kHz / 16-bit WAV)  34:43:00 (128kbps MP3)
    Display 2.0-inch full color LCD (320 x 240 pixels)
    Mass Storage Class operation
    Class USB2.0 High Speed
    Audio Interface operation:
    Class USB2.0 High Speed
    Multi-track mode
    Inputs / Outputs 6 / 2
    Sampling frequency 44.1/48kHz/96kHz
    Bit rate 16/24 bit USB bus powered operation possible
    Audio Interface operation
    Class USB2.0 Full Speed
    Stereo mode
    Inputs / Outputs 2 / 2
    Sampling frequency 44.1/48kHz
    Bit rate 16 bit USB bus powered operation possible (iPad operation supported in stereo mode only)
    Power Requirements AA size (LR6) battery x 4 Alkaline or NiMH type AC adapter: AD-17 (DC5V/1A/USB-type) (optional) USB bus power
    Battery life (with alkaline battery, continuous recording) Over 20 hours
    Dimensions And Weight
    H6 77.8mm (W) x 152.8mm (D) x 47.8mm (H), 280g
    XYH-6 78.9mm (W) x 60.2mm (D) x 45.2mm (H), 130g
    MSH-6 58.0mm (W) x 67.6mm (D) x 42.1mm (H), 85g