Feeds

Ten... digital voice recorders

Modern dictators

Mobile application security vulnerability report

Zoom H1

RH Numbers

Last but not least we come to the Zooms, starting with the H1, which leaves me with mixed emotions. There are many positives to be said, such as the pair of directional microphones that record with a broad frequency range to a very high standard. Many of the audio settings are built-in to the body as physical switches too, which saves fiddling around with battery-draining and monitor-distracting screen manoeuvres.

Unfortunately, for voice recording, the H1 could be better. There is no pause button for record, so it creates a new file each time you stop. Plus the cheap plastic body picks up a lot of noise when held and pressing buttons can be disastrous mid-recording. It's also pretty sluggish to boot and slower than most to process after a recording ends.

There's still much to love. Users can choose between various Wav and MP3 formats, with uncompressed recordings blowing my socks off in quality. There's also a bright orange screen, MicroSD expansion, and decent background noise elimination with a low-cut switch.

The H1 runs on a single AA battery and life could be longer, but overall you've got to hand it to Zoom here, the H1 is a pretty nifty tool, and an affordable option for any careful dictaphonatic. What it seems to lack in build is made up for in sound and the price point is very reasonable.

Zoom H1

Reg Rating 75%
Price £78
More info Zoom

Zoom H4n

RH Numbers

First off, it has to be said that the H4n is more than a voice recorder, and sits higher up the pecking order in a field-recorder area of products. Moroever, it doesn't merely handle audio recording, but can plug into a PC and act as an entire audio interface with XLR and Jack ports. There are heaps of features for music recording too, but as the focus here is on voice recorders, so we'll skip that – click here for more.

As a recorder, the device is a great tool for dictation too, albeit a chunky one. Indeed, the Zoom H4n looks a bit like an oversized taser, with the two built-in mics protruding from the top. The capture pattern of these mics can be adjusted by twirling their nozzles round. As with its smaller sibling, the H4n records in a range of file formats, from low-rate MP3s all the way to a 96kHz/24bit Wav recording.

The basic display set against a bright orange background is clear and easy to navigate through using the jog-wheel on the side. The H4n has no built-in storage, although it does come bundled with a 1GB SD card. Unfortunately, the SD card can accidentally pop out through its cover, should you squeeze the device in a tight grip, thus losing any recording currently in process.

As a standalone dictation device, you probably don't need to splash out on something as extravagant as this. While the likes of the Grundig costs just as much, the Zoom H4n is undoubtedly versatile but in this group context, it is the proverbial sledgehammer to crack a nut. ®

Zoom H4n

Reg Rating 80%
Price £260
More info Zoom

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.