Summary: I thought that probably the best way to "test" out the H4n Handy Recorder is to use it for a lot of different applications and find out how it handles and performs. The overall construction is quite sturdy and the button placement on both sides is quite well thought out. The jog wheel and buttons are in logical places and it doesn't take you very long to get used to the device and change folders, file formats and more.
Pros: Professional audio quality with stereo microphones, Support for two additional XRL or 1/4" powered mics, Provides phantom power even when powered by "AA" batteries, SD Card supports 32GB cards for extensive recording capability, USB interface works as a USB Audio Interface on compatible OS', Multiple file formats, compression and folder storage options
Cons: SD Card can be ejected by pressing on the slot cover, Volume and jog dial makes enough noise to be heard by the recorder
Conclusion: Like many guitarists, you’ve probably put off buying a portable digital recorder because a) you’re lazy and b) you knew that an improved version would come along in a few months. Whereas many earlier portable recorders were more of a convenient compromise, the H4n overcomes most of those drawbacks to offer truly professional sound quality and exceptional ease of use for a truly attractive price.
Excerpt: Zoom H4n Digital Recorder — Zoom are pleased to announce their all-new recorder: The H4n features an improved user interface, built-in X/Y stereo condenser mics, a digitally controlled mic pre-amp and the ability to use internal and external mics simultaneously for 4-channel recording; making the H4n the most sophisticated handheld recorder by Zoom, to date.
Summary: At its heart, the Zoom H4N is a serious two-track recorder, where it is amongst the best in its class. The multitrack mixing and four-track recording functionality — as well as the huge number of other ‘bells and whistles’ — make it the most versatile, too. A classy upgrade to an already impressive product.
Pros: Class-leading feature set., Better preamps than the H4., XLR inputs and phantom power., Capable of surround-sound recording.
Summary: The Zoom H4n is a mobile recording dynamo with features that outperform competitors that cost twice as much. It represents outstanding value for musicians and podcasters who demand professional-sounding results
Pros: Sturdy, intuitive design, High-quality stereo microphones, Capable of recording four channels simultaneously