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Zoom H6, first modular audio recorder presented
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  • hi guys, I do not have much time to make a video with zoom H6 tests as recommended by Mr Vitaly Kiselev! What I can tell you is that I shot for the first time with my GH2 and H6 last night and I am very happy with my purchase! The H6 is really better than the H4N, no doubt! The battery is much longer even with two microphones phantom power. The buttons are convenient, the unit turns on and off almost immediately. The fact that the XLR would block does not bother me at all. The microphone MS seems excellent to my ears and the function that allows to save an additional file-12db is great. Certainly, the H6 is heavier than the H4N, but for all these reasons I do not care! In short, the H6 is now my new boyfriend in the adventure that I expect, as I now begin until April 2014 filming of a new television documentary ...

  • A friend of mine bought the H6 for DSLR video work and ended up returning it. Here's the problem - there is no way to protect yourself from unexpected signal overloads. You can't record a second file at a lower volume level when using the XLR inputs. You can only do this when using the built in mic. And the limiter is absolute crap. Yes, it will limit the recorded level of the signal, but it does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to reduce the distortion from an overloaded signal. Apparently the limiter is downstream of the mic preamp and not upstream where it needs to be.

    So, for a one man band, who needs a recorder he can depend on to produce undistorted audio, this is not a good product.

  • This was shot with the H6 XY mics:


  • Non locking XLR connectors are not such a big deal.

    I like Roberts video's since he appeals to the engineer in me, however he gave a pretty good yank on the cable to the H6 to get it to disengage. This actually can be a benefit. Can you imagine somebody trips over your mic cable. Do you want to loose connection or have the camera/recorder rig ripped from your hands? Generally the non-locking sockets are reasonably stable. I don't have an issue with this point. (BTW I use Juicedlink preamp for my sound).

  • @gabilourson

    Can you make short video with sound samples how it works?

  • I've got mine. Seems very good !

  • Interesting that you mention using low output mics to stress things a bit more. I expanded my comparisons a bit and used a ribbon mic as the source, with the gain maxed out on both the H6 and the RME.

    Full story here:


  • In fairness, a condenser microphone like the NT4 will give a pretty decent output, so the H5 should be able to handle it no problem--it really shouldn't stress the pre-amps. A low output dynamic microphone, on the other hand, would be a test that I'd be interested in hearing.

    Having 4 XLR inputs with phantom power is nice (mind you, the module that gives you 2 extra XLR's apparently doesn't offer phantom power), but I'd rather have 2 good channels than 4 or 6 so-so channels.

    In fairness, if you're using it only for filmmaking you probably using shotguns or lavaliers, so it's not necessarily as big of a deal, but if you're someone like me who would also use it with low output dynamic microphones, the noise floor of the preamps become more of a concern. (Though a CloudLifter or FetHead can alleviate that somewhat.)

    Non-locking XLR connectors is a bit of a bummer, seems Zoom still hasn't figured that out.

  • In my first effort at comparing the H6 to some other recording chains I hooked up a Rode NT4 stereo mic to the H6 and a pair of Shure KSM141s to an RME UFX. I thought the result was a very good showing by the H6, but my level matching was pretty poor and the use of different mics for the two chains reduced the quality of the comparison.

    I set out to do something a bit more rigorous. I powered the NT4 with a battery, connected one channel to a passive splitter, and fed the signal to the H6 and the RME UFX.

    Here are some test tone and room tone clips:

    and these are music clips:

    To my ear the H6 preamps perform as well as the RME.


  • I suggest to check the video below if you do not have much time to check all of them, as Robert is as always good.

  • An unboxing video - Zoom H6. (*Japanese)

  • Modular add in mics seem like junk. The base recorder may be good if the pre's are nice.

  • And a little more info on the H6. Of course it has phantom power (subject to battery life), and the video claims to have redesigned the pre-amps with a lower noise floor.

    Here are the key specs:

    • Six tracks of simultaneous recording
    • Four interchangeable input capsules: stereo X/Y (included), Mid-Side (included), Shotgun (optional) & combo dual XLR/TRS (optional).
    • Large full-color display for easy viewing of recording and playback levels
    • Records directly to SD, SDHC and SDXC cards up to 128 gigabytes
    • Compatible with MP3 and BWF-compliant WAV file formats, including 24-bit / 96k for ultimate HD audio
    • Four XLR/TRS combo jacks to connect external microphones or line-level devices each with their own gain control, pad switch AND phantom power in three different voltages
    • USB port for data transfer to audio editing software and allows for H6 to serve as multichannel audio interface for computer and tablets
    • Connects to DSLR or digital camcorder
    • Runs on 4 AA batteries for up to 20 hours.
  • "However, 2 clean preamps with phantom power are more important for me than 6 noisy ones." Absolutely! I think at this moment of other possibilities out there, that is the key for its success or not. But the modular idea is super cool! Finally! ;)

  • I'm really interested in the Zoom H6, if the preamps are usable. However, 2 clean preamps with phantom power are more important for me than 6 noisy ones. As the Zoom website doesn't state phantom power, I'm wondering if the H6 won't offer it.

  • Zoom H2n makes it up to some 17 hrs with 2 batteries, what is huge improvment compared to the first H2 model.

    Zoom H4n makes it with only two AA batteries and phantom power on (with 2 mics) some 4-5 hrs. In stamina mode, it could record much longer- but I didn't use it at all for 44.1 kHz isn't my preference (not sure if stamina even supports phantom)

    I don't expect H6 to extend battery life in the same scale like the H2n compared to H2 did, but with its 4 batteries it will have much higher power capacity, so I guess following max batt life times:
    - 3 hrs with 6 mics and phantom on
    - 5 hrs with 4 mics and phantom on
    - 11 hrs with 2 mics and phantom on
    - additional jack input won't make big difference for max rec time which will easily extend 20 hrs without using phantom power

    @Mr_Moore the new H6 will ceirtanly not use 4 instead of 2 batteries to double voltage inside the device, but to increase battery life times- but using 4-6 phantom powered XLR inputs will drain lots of the juice. Yet, even 3 hrs with 6 phantom powered XLRs would be just great!

    Amazing, the optional extention for total 6 XLR's

  • Any word on availability?

  • Not sure it’ll have phantom power, though. Not enough juice. Even if they are connected in series, the four AA batteries will only put out six volts (and forget about “20 hours of operation”).

    Having said that, I have a Zoom H1. It operates from a single AA battery and lives up to its advertised 10+ hours of operation, all the while powering my RØDE lav mic.