Zoom H4N vs H6

In the world of digital recorders, Zoom is an established audio complany providing quality products that would satisfy both the average consumers and professionals. We are currently going to review two of their portable recorders: the Zoom H4N and the Zoom H6, and try to find out which one is more worthy of their price.

Zoom H4N vs H6

Audio performance
It’s undeniable that H6, as being the later and more expensive model, is supposed to perform better on the field. During tests H6 recordings are a lot louder at lower input levels, compared to H4N. However, at around input level 10, H6 began producing background noises, while H4N maintained audio clarity up until level 100, although it remained rather silent. Depending on how you plan to use the device, you may want to stick with H4N for more silent, but clear recordings, which proves very useful during loud events such as concerts. On the other hand, H6 gives you the opportunity to catch faint sounds with much less effort.

Specification comparison
Another advantage of the H6 model is the number of channels. H4N is a 4-track recorder, while H6 has 2 additional channels, which greatly expands the number of options you have. Once again it goes down to what you intend to do: anyone with some experience in the music industry knows the worth of multiple channels. You can connect several mikes, input musical instruments, maybe even a PA mixer, and create studio quality sound. But if you don’t need great audio coverage, you can save yourself some dollars and go for the H4N. The rest of the specs are rather similar and lack substantial differences.

Zoom H6 appears to be more user-friendly than its predecessor. H6 loads twice as fast and appears easier to work with. The display looks smaller, but is colored and is easy to see the sound levels from a distance. H4N, however, has a more conveniently positioned display. It’s worth mentioning that when running on batteries below 50% charge, H4N sometimes produces high-pitched hissing sound and that may become an annoyance for some users.

Zoom H4N vs H6

Zoom H4NZoom H6 (bundle)
Key features- Built-in X/Y stereo mics record at either 90° or 120° - Four channel simultaneous recording using built-in and external mics - Digitally controlled, high-quality mic preamp for improved audio quality - Large 1.9-Inch LCD screen and improved user interface for easy operation - 24bit/96kHz Linear PCM recording for pristine recording- Bundle Ed (with Hard Case, 16GB SD Card, Mic Stand Adapter, Mic Clip, Mini Tripod, Headphones, AA Batteries, 3.5mm Aux Cable, 1/8-Inch-to-RCA Cable, and Polishing Cloth) - Interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera - Large full-color LCD display, angled so it's easy to read in all environments - 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

Customer Rating4.4 out of 5 starsN/A out of 5 stars
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Clearly Zoom H6 is the better one here. It’s one step further in terms of quality, performance, and user-friendliness, a definite improvement over the older model. H6 should be your choice if you can afford it. You can consider H4N as an alternative only if you’re not into professional endeavors – you will still get good quality at a reasonable price.

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