From extremely basic dictaphones to full-featured, professional handheld audio recorders, there are numerous different types of physical audio recording equipment. A digital recorder can even be your PC. A laptop and its built-in microphone are all you need to record a regular podcast, though we do suggest getting a better microphone!
However, a competent standalone digital voice recorder (sometimes known as a portable recorder or a field recorder) is a crucial tool when you start seeking to improve both your sound and your productivity. I’m going to walk you through your options for digital recorders here, from budget models to high-end equipment. You can discover anything here that meets your demands and budget, no matter what they may be.
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Zoom H6 6-Track Portable Recorder
- Direct recording to SD cards up to 128GB.Display 2.0-Inch full color LCD (320 x 240 pixels)
- Gain knobs, pads, and Phantom power for each input
- Newly redesigned preamps with an ultra-low noise floor, up to 24-bit/96kHz audio in WAV or MP3 format
The Zoom H6 is like having a full recording studio in your palm of your hand. It’s a portable digital recorder that can record high-quality audio directly to the device or into audio recording and editing software on your computer. The 6 in the name refers to the fact that it accepts four XLR inputs as normal and captures two additional channels through the top-mounted stereo microphone. Add in a slew of built-in device features like limiters, compression, and other processing tools, and you’ve got yourself a lot of power in a small package.
The Zoom H6 is the company’s flagship portable audio recorder, and while its price is increasing, it is getting a lot of new users. It features four XLR/mic/line/instrument combination inputs, each with its own gain, -20dB pad, and phantom power control. When mounted on the camera, the screen tilts back, making it easier to regulate the settings. It also includes the XYH-6 adjustable X/Y head and the MSH-6 mid-capsule, as well as replaceable microphone heads. It would cost $ 80 to buy one separately, so you get your money back right immediately. The Zoom H6 additionally expands the maximum memory storage per card to 128GB.
The Zoom H6 six-track portable recorder, which opens in a new tab and comes with a replaceable microphone, is without a doubt the best Zoom recorder for podcasting on the market. In addition to the 6-channel simultaneous recording, this recorder features an XY and mid-side microphone module as well as studio headphones. For individuals who are serious about their audio sounds and have a budget for products in this price range, the Zoom H6 is the greatest digital voice recorder. The H6 is a durable and multifunctional gadget with adjustable and replaceable microphones. The H6’s remarkable audio capabilities can be used by musicians and podcasters, but keep in mind that this device is not for the faint of heart. Also, keep in mind that the H6 only has 2GB of internal storage, so be prepared to transfer your files to another device.
Zoom H4n Pro 4-Track Portable Recorder
- Four-channel recording up to 24-bit, 96 kHz. Built-in stereo X/Y microphones, up to 140 dB SPL
- 2 XLR/TRS inputs with locking connectors. Records directly to SD/SDHC cards up to 32 GB
- 4-in/2-out USB audio interface. Monaural speaker: 400 mW 8 Ω
The H4N Pro is a more advanced variant of the H4N. It has two professional microphones in an X/Y pattern, two XLR / line / instrument combo inputs with optional phantom power, and an 18 ”mic input. It records up to four channels. It can also be used as a USB interface for a Mac or PC. For monitoring, the H4N Pro offers a headphone / line jack, as well as a direct connection to the DSLR. The H4N Pro is a cheap mid-range option that can be used by both experienced and inexperienced podcasters. This is a functional, portable, and reasonably cost home podcast studio that can be quickly and simply packed up and turned into a mobile interview setup if necessary with audio recording software. You may also use the H4N Pro to record professional-quality audio with your video.
Its outstanding quality has been praised in numerous evaluations. Its four channels (including an X/Y stereo microphone and two XLR / TRS combo inputs) are excellent for capturing room ambiance and floor sounds during multitrack recording. Customer feedback on the preamps for the XLR inputs has been positive. It also includes phantom power, which allows external condenser microphones to be powered. The built-in microphone’s sound quality is praised, as it produces genuine stereo sound that rivals that of studio mics. It also offers a straightforward and user-friendly menu.
Zoom H1n Handy Recorder
- Streamlined body with matte finish and newly designed protective mic enclosure
- Built-in stereo condenser microphones in 90-Degree x/Y format
- One-touch button controls
This little podcaster recorder is great for beginner podcasters who do a lot of face-to-face or location-based recordings in noisy areas. You may easily mount them on mic stands, tripods, and DSLR cameras using the threaded hole on the back of the recorder.
It’s small enough to fit in your pocket and features noise cancellation. These characteristics make the voice recorders perfect for journalists and other content makers who frequently need to record audio on the run and in noisy surroundings.
Budget-conscious podcast producers, fear not. The under-$100 Zoom H1N records high-quality audio in stereo or mono using the digital audio recorders integrated X-Y mics. They are quite high-end for the price and gather a great deal of data. Many of the H1N’s features can be accessed by pressing the recorder’s buttons rather than cycling through endless menus.
The device is about the size of a handheld microphone. Recording is quick because to a tactile record button that is easy to find without looking. The Zoom H1N is a good option if you’re seeking to get into stereo field recording for audio dramas on a budget.
Tascam DR-40X Four-Track Digital Audio Recorder
- High-quality unidirectional stereo condenser microphones that can record in A-B and X-Y positions
- XLR/TRS inputs compatible with +4dBu line level / +48V
- 4-channel mode that can be used for dual recording and nondestructive overdub recording, etc.
At first glance, the DR-40X appears to be a carbon copy of its predecessor. Although, when the podcast recorder is turned on, the new LED display stands out instantly, being brighter, more modern, and departing from the DR-40’s former orange display’s slightly dated appearance. The new display is noticeably better, with better visibility in low-light situations. The red stripes surrounding the two built-in condenser mics, which really pop and look fashionable, are the only other truly visible aesthetic variation other from the display. The unit is tough but compact, with an ergonomic design that makes it simple to traverse all of the necessary functions.
The DR-40X has a slew of additional features, the most notable of which is a USB 2.0 audio interface (Mac / iOS compatible via CORE audio, and Windows via ASIO driver download). This is a great feature for anyone searching for a device that can be used for both portable recording and direct recording to a computer. You may also utilize the USB connection to transfer files from the SD card quickly. Overwrite recording mode, for speedy instant recording, and dictation mode, for efficient reading and transcription of the human voice, are two further upgrades that journalists and content creators can benefit from. SD card storage has also been increased, enabling for the usage of SDXC cards with capacities of up to 128GB.
The qualities that made the DR-40 so popular have been kept in the new DR-40X, which will please those who are familiar with the prior handheld recorder. Dual recording mode saves your life by letting you to store two independent recordings, one at the set input level and the other muted between -6dB and -12dB, protecting you from the horrors of clipping. Overdub, pre-record, and auto-record recording modes are still available, as well as a built-in chromatic tuner for players who need to tune before recording and reverb for a touch of ambience if desired.
The Tascam DR-40X is a superb kit with quiet preamps, good audio quality, and a slew of useful functions. It can record four recordings at the same time, using two external microphones in addition to the built-in microphones. It’s ideal for group or “round table” recordings because of this. Because of its tiny size, the DR-40X may easily slip inside a small bag or purse. Record in excellent quality up to 96/24, which is more than adequate for everything from interviews to sound effects recording on the run.
Zoom H5 Digital Multitrack Recorder
- Uses a system of interchangeable input capsules that can be swapped out as easily as the lens of a camera
- Includes detachable X/Y capsule (XYH-5) with extended signal capacity and shock mounted mics for reduced handling noise
- Four-track simultaneous recording
For producers searching for variety in their digital voice recorder, the Zoom H5 is a fantastic option. With its top-notch and interchangeable onboard mic, it’s a fantastic handheld recording tool. But it also works fantastically as an in-studio tool, for recording from a mixer, or as a USB microphone or computer interface.
The H5 takes a step forward in terms of ultimate configurability with replaceable capsules to fit X-Y, Vocal, and Shotgun microphone arrangements, as well as two additional connectors with phantom power to handle any of your external microphones.